View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Battlemage - New Base Class

2016-09-14, 02:05 PM
A little background, the idea of this class is a full caster who specializes in doing damage in combat and rather than spellslots uses mana which only regenerates in combat in case it is not clear below. I would love to hear any thoughts, criticisms or suggestions.

Battle mage:
Other casters draws their power from divine entities, arcane study, or fiendish pacts. The battlemage draws power from battle itself and turns it into an equally destructive force.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per battlemage level

Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Int, Dex
Skills: Choose 2 from Arcana, Acrobatics, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Religion

Mana Limit
Mana Absorption

Battle Magic, Battlemage's Art

Spellcasting, Focus Energies

Mana Charge

Ability Score Improvement

Explosive Spells

Battlemage's Art


Ability Score Improvement

Arcane Awareness

Spell Effect

Battlemage's Art

Ability Score Improvment


Battlemage's Art

Spell Siphon

Ability Score Improvement


Battlemage's Art

Abiltiy Score Improvment

Master Mage

1 Battle Magic
Rising tensions, high emotions, the strike of a sword or the destructive power of a spell, all of these things generate an energy around them. That energy is called mana. A battlemage learns to harness this energy to become a destructive force of their own. This process is known as Battle Magic

Mana Limit - At level 1 a battle mage can absorb up to 2 mana without expending it, this is their limit and they cannot have more mana than this. This limit increases following the entry in the battlemage table.

Mana Absorbtion - Starting at level at the beginning of each turn in a combat a battlemage absorbs 1 mana increasing their current mana by 1 if it is not already at the limit. As the battlemage progresses the amount of mana they absorb each turn increases as shown in the table.

1 Battlemage's Art
A battlemage chooses to pursue either the art of war or the art of magecraft and receives abilities detailed later.

2 Spellcasting
Starting at level 2 a battlemage can use mana to cast spells from his list of prepared spells. Casting a spell expends a number of mana equal to the spells level + 2. As you gain access to higher levels you can prepare and cast spells with mana costs within your limit. Because of the stress of casting high level spells, you can only cast one spell of each level above 5th before taking a long rest. You can cast spells with the ritual tag as rituals.

Spellcasting focus - You may use a specially made light or finesse steel weapon with which you are proficient as a spellcasting focus. Because of its required quality it costs either 10gp or the normal cost of the weapon whichever is higher.

Preparing spells - *Functions as cleric*

2 Focus Energies
During a short rest you may focus on the enrgies around you as an action to fill your mana to the limit. Once you use this ability you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

3 Mana charge
If you are within 30ft of an enemy you may as an action in combat you may recover an additional amount of mana equal to your mana absorption rate

5 Explosive Spells
Your spells strike with an impressive speed and impact making them harder to dodge. Anytime you cast a spell that allows a dexterity save for half damage, add 1 to the dc.

9 Arcane Awareness
Your affinity for mana opens up your senses to all the magic in the world around you. You are treated as if always being under the effects of detect magic.

10 Spell Effect
When you cast a spell that deals damage and allows a save you can expend 1 extra mana to add a spell effect as a bonus action. Anyone who fails their save against the spell is affected by the effect until the start of your next turn.

Blinding Spell - blindness
Thundering Spell - deafness
Crippling Spell - half speed
Intimidating Spell - frightened

15 Spell Siphon
You learn to absorb mana from spells even as they are cast. Anytime you take damage from a spell you regain 1 mana.

20 Master Mage
You become so in tune with mana that you absorb it instinctively in response to danger. Gain 4 mana when you roll initiative.

The Art of War
1 Magestrike
You have learned to channel magic into your strikes. Before you attack with your focus weapon you can expend 1 mana to gain +1 to the attack roll and +1d4 damage on the attack. You may expend an additional mana to increase the damage to 2d4.

1 Bonus proficiencies
You gain proficiency in medium armor and shields and one-handed martial weapons

6 Extra attack
When you take the attack action on your turn you may attack twice instead of once.

11 Improved magestrike
The dmg bonus of magestrike increases to 1d6 per mana expended and you may expend an addtional mana per strike incresing the maximum to 3d6.

14 Spell strike
You have learned to channel spellcasting directly into your blade strikes. Before you make an attack you may cast a spell that requires an attack roll into your focus weapon as a bonus action. If the attack hits the target, they take the damage of the spell in addition to the attacks normal damage. If the attack misses the mana is still expended and the spell is cast as if it missed.

18 Body of Mana
You undergo a permanent change to your body from constantly absorbing mana. Your skin takes on a colored hue and your body changes to a semi solid state. Because of this you ignore any non-magical difficult terrain, and can even move through solid objects at half your normal speed.

The Art of Magecraft

1 Up cast
Your continual study of mana has taught you how to make even the simplest spells threatening. When you cast a cantrip that deals damage you can expend 2 mana to add one additonal die of damage.

1 Bonus proficiencies
You gain proficiency in intelligence(arcana) and intelligence(Religion) checks. If you are already proficient you instead add double your proficiency bonus.

6 Powerful magic
Whenever you cast a spell using mana, if that spell deals damage, add your intelligence modifier to the damage.

11 Spellcraft
When you cast a damage dealing area spell you can modify it by changing the area's shape to either a a 40-foot cone, a 20-foot-radius spread, or a 120-foot line. Additionally you can choose to exclude 5ft sqaures from the altered spells area.

14 Spell Channel
On the turn after you cast a spell of 5th level or lower you may cast the same spell again for a reduced cost. Instead of its normal cost you may cast the spell for a number of mana equal to the spells level + 1. You must concentrate on the spell to channel it like this following the nromal rules for concentration and spellcasting. You may continue channeling a spell in this way until you do not cast it in a turn or you lose concentration on the effect.

18 Expert Crafter
When using spellcraft you may double the dimensions of all the shapes you know. As well you gain access to the following shapes: cylinder (20-foot radius, 60 feet high), , four 10-foot cubes

Battlemage spell list:

Acid Splash
Blade Ward
Chill Touch
Dancing lights
Fire Bolt
Poison Spray
Ray of Frost
Spare the Dying
Shocking Grasp
True Strike

Level 1:
Burning Hands
Chromatic orb
Color Spray
Detect Magic
Healing Word
Inflict Wounds
Mage Armor
Magic Missle
Witch Bolt

Level 2:
Cloud of Daggers
Flame Blade
Flaming Sphere
Gust of Wind
Heat Metal
Melf's Acid Arrow
Mirror Image
Scorching Ray

Level 3:
Call Lightning
Lightning bolt
Protection From Energy
Sleet Storm
Stinking Cloud

Level 4:
Evard's black tentacles
Fire Shield
Greater Invisibility
Phantasmal Killer
Wall of Fire

Level 5:
Cone of Cold
Flame Strike
Insect Plauge
Wall of Force

Level 6:
Blade Barrier
Chain Lightning
Circle of Death
Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere
True Seeing

Level 7:
Delayed Blast Fireball
Finger of Death
Fire Storm
Prismatic Spray
Reverse Gravity

Level 8:
Incendiary Cloud
Power Word Stun

Level 9:
Meteor Swarm
Power Word Kill
Prismatic Wall
Storm of Vengeance
Time Stop

2016-09-15, 12:28 AM
Interesting idea. The main drawback here is that judging whether you are or are not in combat can be very ambiguous. But little can be done about that without changing the whole point, I guess.

Why did you choose to make the mana cost of a spell equal to its level +2? This causes a weird curve where higher-level spells are way more cost-efficient. Is this intentional? Why not use the spell point values from the DMG?

Magestrike is weaksauce at level 1. Using that on a rapier will deal an average of 10 damage with probably a 60-70% hit chance. For 1 more mana you can cast magic missile to deal 10.5 damage automatically. And that's a 1st level spell, which due to the mana system are the absolute least efficient. As a result, even improved magestrike probably doesn't hold up.

Oh, and you seem to have typo'd the hit dice, so we can't actually tell what it is.

2016-09-15, 08:53 AM
Why did you choose to make the mana cost of a spell equal to its level +2? This causes a weird curve where higher-level spells are way more cost-efficient. Is this intentional? Why not use the spell point values from the DMG?

This was actually the design intent. With the spell point system the points are readily available and spell points grow exponentially as you level. So if the high level spells were just as or more efficient with spell points there would never be a reason to cast anything below your highest level really. With the mana system you have opportunity cost. 1st level spells are the easiest to cast and can be done the soonest in combat even if they are the least efficient. In order to cast higher level spells you have to spend rounds casting cantrips or attacking with a weapon. This means reducing your damage for several rounds to cast something big. I designed it so the weak weak big (free/max damage) sequence would out damage the medium medium medium(maintenance damage) sequence in order to compensate for losing out on early battle damage. Having it so high level spells are less efficient or even a linear scope of mana=x * spell level made the maintenance damage out damage the free/max damage until meteor swarm eliminating the benefit of high level spells.

Magestrike is weaksauce at level 1. Using that on a rapier will deal an average of 10 damage with probably a 60-70% hit chance. For 1 more mana you can cast magic missile to deal 10.5 damage automatically. And that's a 1st level spell, which due to the mana system are the absolute least efficient. As a result, even improved magestrike probably doesn't hold up.

I originally had magestrike as 1 mana. I might switch back if you think that is better.

Oh, and you seem to have typo'd the hit dice, so we can't actually tell what it is.

Good catch, its 1d8, this has been fixed.

2016-09-15, 06:47 PM
I like it! Just a couple of critiques. First of all, I agree that magestrike is super weak. SUPER weak. Like, doesn't justify taking the Art of War over Magecraft. The spell meddling of Magecraft is awesome, and is way way better than 1d4 extra damage. The only comparable class feature in the game is, of course, the Paladin's smite thingy. Divine smite is LEAGUES better. Let's compare.

Divine Smite
Mage Strike

2d8 Damage
1d4 Damage

Extra Damage Guaranteed on buy
Extra Damage NOT guaranteed on buy

Can "pump" from lvl 1
Can "pump" from lvl 11

Weapons gain permanent 1d8 extra at lvl 11
Nope. Never happens

Can be used limited number of times per day
Potentially unlimited uses per day

Max damage ever: 6d8
Max damage ever: 3d6

Does NOT give accuracy bonus
Accuracy bonus up to +3

As you can see, Magestrike edges out in two categories: Uses per day and accuracy bonus. And not everything else where Divine Smite is better is a problem. For instance, I don't think that the damage dice ought to be equal at all.

Suggested fixes:

Magestrike damage becomes 1d6, and 1d8 at level 11. Justification: damage is not guaranteed to apply, since you have to pay for it BEFORE rolling your attack. 1d4 is just WAY too small for a chance like that.

Magestrike cost goes down to 1.

In other places, I have a couple comments. Most battles don't last that long. Like, 5 rounds is a long time. And sure, maybe they'll be some leftover mana from a previous battle. But I would be using magestrike as much as possible, you know? That makes leftovers less likely. What I'm saying is that these guys might get to cast a single spell and maybe use magestrike once in a battle, and that's only guaranteed in the first battle after they use their Focus Energies for the day. Once that initial mana is gone, they will gain mana each turn in battle. If they, for instance, try to save their mana for a spell, the battle will probably end just as they're getting their fourth mana(enough for a lvl 2 spell). See what I'm talking about?

I think there needs to be a way for them to get more mana. The lvl 15 feature is cool, but comes waaaaaay late in progression, and has a steep cost to boot(take damage, get 1 mana). Unless they can get mana faster, this class will play like the world's most annoying spell-slot-hoarding wizard("just cast Fireball!" "No, I can't! I might need to later!").

2016-09-15, 07:52 PM
I have changed magestrike to 1 mana cost, but I am not sure about improving the damage. While smite is the best comparison it doesnt really work as that ability belongs to a half caster. A battlemage is at the end of the day a full caster so I am not sure about the damage boost. I will run the numbers against bladelock for damage compariosns but with 1d4 and optimized stats for 1 mana the art of war actually outperforms the art of magecraft until high levels as it is. And the +1 to hit is nothing to scoff at either. What if instead of the damage increase I allowed it to scale to 2d4 at level 1 when you get it? And then improved still scaled to 3d6?

As for the mana issue, I did give them mana charge at 3rd level so that at most levels if they spent 1 turn charging they could cast their highest level spell on the next. At level 5 2 normal + 2 charge + 2 normal covers 3rd and later 4th level spells. At level 9 3 + 3 + 3 covers 5th 6th and 7th level spells and at level 13 4+4+4 covers everything else. I figured their highest level spells every 2 turns in every combat was fairly reasonable, but I am open to ideas for adding more mana abilities if you think its on the low side. I had also thought about increasing spell siphon if its too steep but its more of a bonus then a strategy.

2016-09-15, 11:14 PM
Ya know, I see what you're saying with the mana issue. I had completely forgotten (somehow) that the mana absorption increased with levels. Silly me.

With the lower mana cost, allowing pumping of damage (not accuracy) might be a good compromise. I still think that 1d6 is enough less than 2d8 that it is little enough and yet large enough.

2016-09-16, 08:40 AM
Glad to hear about the mana. I have changed it to pump damage but left it at 1d4. This is roughly equivalent to up cast now. (max 1d12 vs 2d4 +1 to hit => 6.5 vs 5 + 1 to hit). I will see how it does in playtesting before changing any more in either direction.