View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Blending Steel and Spell - The Daggerspell Mage Roguish Archetype (PEACH)

Sicarius Victis
2016-10-26, 06:18 PM
This is my attempt at a Rogue subclass based on the 3.5 Daggerspell Mage prestige class. For those who don't know what it is, it was an arcane caster who cast spells on people by channeling them through dual-wielded daggers. Basically, the Daggerspell Mages saw the movements of ther twin daggers as an integral part of their spellcasting, and so based their whole fighting style off of it. They also used Sneak Attack, and evven had to have that to GET the prestige class, because everyone choosing to use daggers is a Rogue or something like that. I'm really not sure about that part. Anyways, I decided to attempt to make a Roguish Archetype based around that, drawing heavily from the Middle Finger of Vecna's two (http://www.middlefingerofvecna.com/2016/07/razor-mage.html) attempts (http://www.middlefingerofvecna.com/2015/09/daggerspell-mage.html) at it.

So here it is.

Daggerspell Mage
Daggerspell mages see the quick movements of their deadly daggers as an attendant part of their spellcasting. These sometimes reclusive figures remain spellcasters first and melee combatants second. Daggerspell mages, like their colleagues the daggerspell shapers, seek truth and justice, but they define such concepts in the heat of the moment. Daggerspell mages do not see morality as an absolute, and their ideals are guided by their sense of what is right and fair.

As copied from Complete Adventurer. Might try to come up with my own fluff for it later.

When you reach 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.

Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn another wizard cantrip of your choice at 10th level.

Spell Slots. The Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level wizard spells of your choice, two of which you must choose from the evocation and abjuration spells on the wizard spell list. The Spells Known column of the Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows when you learn more wizard spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be an evocation or abjuration spell of your choice, and must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level. The spells you learn at 8th, 14th, and 20th level can come from any school of magic. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the wizard spells you know with another spell of your choice from the wizard spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be an evocation or abjuration spell, unless you’re replacing the spell you gained at 8th, 14th, or 20th level.

Spellcasting Ability. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Arcane Focus. You can use a dagger as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells.

Basically just copy-pasted from the MFoV site, with a few changes. Mostly just modified spell schools (which I'm still debating about) and the ability to use a dagger as an AF, which just makes sense.

Invocation of the Knife
Beginning at 3rd level, any hand you wield a dagger in is considered to be empty for the purposes of spellcasting. While wielding two daggers, you gain the benefits ot the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style. When you cast a spell requiring a spell attack, you may instead choose to make a weapon attack with a dagger you are wielding. If you succeed on the attack, your target suffers both the dagger's damage and the spell's affects. If you are wielding two daggers, you may also use your bonus action to make a weapon attack with your other dagger. If you do, you may split any damage dice dealt by the spell between your two dagger attacks, but if the spell deals at least two damage dice then each attack must have at least one die of the damage. You must divide the damage dice between the attacks BEFORE rolling to see if either of them hit. You may only make a dagger attack instead of a spell attack against a target you would be currently able to Sneak Attack, and you may not deal Sneak Attack damage with any attack attempted using this feature.

This could theoretically do a lot of damage, but I figure it's somewhat balanced out the caveats about Sneak Attack, as well as the fact that that it's limited to daggers. Getting the TWF FS with daggers, as well as dagger-holding hands are effectively empty for spellcasting, is basically to make them able to use TWF as a half-decent strategy.

Dagger Climbing
At 9th level, you can use your daggers to scale sheer walls. You gain a climb speed equal to your base movement speed. In addition, while wielding two daggers, you may climb on any surface regardless of whether or not it has handholds, as long as your daggers would be able to penetrate its surface.

Shamelessly (and happily) stolen from tMFoV. This was one of my favourite parts of their design, just because it's both flavourful and FUN. Wording is slightly modified, and the effects are slightly modified as well, basically based off of the Mariner FS.

Daggerspell Stance
Beginning at 13th level, whenever you cast a spell that you don't make a dagger attack with using Invocation of the Knife, you may make a single dagger attack against any enemy within melee or thrown range as part of the action required to cast ths spell. You must be wielding a dagger to use this ability. If you are wielding two daggers, you may make an attack with your other dagger as a bonus action after the first attack. You may not apply Sneak Attack damage to any attacks made with this feature.

Not sure about this one. It's intended as a boost to Invocation of the Knife, allowing you to make the one or two attacks when you cast a spell even if you DON'T channel them through your dagger attacks. It also doesn't require you to be able to Sneak Attack, which is also nice. I'm just not sure whether or not it needs more.

Also, the name is based off of a fun 3.5 spell, whose effects can be simulated by using this feature with Blade Ward.

At 17th level, you master your blending of spell and steel. When you make an dagger attack with Invocation of the Knife or Daggerspell Stance, you may add Sneak Attack damage as normal. If the attack is made through Daggerspell Stance, you still must be capable of Sneak Attacking the target. As normal, you still may only deal Sneak Attack damage oce per turn, though if you hit with two dagger attacks against eligible targets in one turn, you may choose to divide the Sneak Attack damage dice between the two.

So. Any thoughts?

Gr7mm Bobb
2016-11-01, 01:10 PM
The main feature of the class, channeling through weapons, is nice and fluffy but also feels like the only thing the archetype really has to bring to the table. My biggest issue is that most of the worthwhile caster/rogue mechanics have been taken up by the arcane trickster, and it does so in a diverse cherry-picked sort of way that takes some of the best features from the 3.5 Beguiler, Arcane Trickster, and Spellthief. The bit about climbing with daggers, that was a ribbon ability to throw around help-me skill bonuses because you had to invest 8 ranks into concentration. If a player came to me and wanted to use their daggers to climb, I'd probably lower my DC a smidgen to reward fluff and the potential loss of equipment. It could easily be replaced with the ability to ad your Dex to Althetic skill checks (like the thief). While that was useful to the daggerspell, it didn't befit the rouge well.

The ability to cast the same as the Arcane Trickster rogue path is solid. And even the channeled spell business could be neat with the capstone being able to dual channel at 17th level. Overall it feels like it has a single mechanic trying to hold together an entire archetype. I feel that limiting it to being just a Daggerspell Mage is selling it short.

They were a mage who loved the used of a light throwable weapon. Why not loosen up the reigns on the dagger part and make allowances for similar weapons. Maybe instead of channeling spells, they store them in their weapons (# capped by Int mod). Then allow them to release the spells with a successful hit from an attack action, this way you don't accidentally mix-and-match the very potent weapon delivery cantrips like Green Flame Blade. You could even brew up a couple of your own to get some diversity in cantrip selection.

You could even pull in some of the other Rogue + Caster prestige classes like some of the neat idea's of the spell-warped sniper who specialized in delivering sneak attacks with touch spells. Or the Combat trapsmith who can make quick and temporary traps on the battlefield. So maybe an archetype that can accomplish MOAR damage by finding neat and exciting ways of sneaking sneak attack into thinks is what we could look at. This path could potentially have disastrous results and require multiple instances of fine-tuning, but could come out really neat.

Reading through there fluff they kinda sound like they could have made a really neat Rogue + Paladin with their ideals and such. With that maybe look at some of the stuff that made the Shadowbane prestige classes fun for people.

I guess my main beef is that the scope of the archetype in shackled in a way that reminds me of the assassin who's main perk is murder at 3rd level, followed by murder+ at 17th level. But even a directed class such as that is still loaded with fluff and neat abilities. MOAR damage is neat and all and different methods of delivery keep in interesting, but sometimes being able to do the impossible makes it worth doing.

For less complexity, look at the Eldritch Knight an maybe borrow some of those features for weaving spell/shanks.