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jiriku
2018-11-02, 11:53 AM
Designer's Note
This is a 5e port of the shadowcrafter variant of my soulcrafter class from 3.5 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?215075-3-5-Soulcrafter-a-soulknife-remix), which was itself a fix for the soulknife class published in the Expanded Psionics Handbook. Your criticism and suggestions are requested and appreciated.


SHADOWCRAFT ASSASSIN: A ROGUE ARCHETYPE

http://i846.photobucket.com/albums/ab24/gallopinggiraffes/the-darkness-slice1_zpswgoutnpr.jpg (http://s846.photobucket.com/user/gallopinggiraffes/media/the-darkness-slice1_zpswgoutnpr.jpg.html)


Midnight Strike
Starting at 3rd level, your sneak attack damage dice deal [psychic] damage. You can now only deliver your sneak attack when wielding a shadowcraft weapon.

Shadowcrafting
Starting at 3rd level when you select this archetype, you can use an object interaction to manifest a shadowcraft, which appears as a pitch-black object wreathed in shadows. You can maintain up to three shadowcrafts at a time, but a shadowcraft item vanishes one round after it leaves your immediate possession.


A shadowcraft must be a solid object or collection of related objects of no more than Medium size, and must be of a form and material that you have seen before. It can be any weapon or armor, a mundane piece of gear, or a vehicle or structure such as a coracle, cart, or tent. If you manifest a ranged weapon it can manifest its own ammunition. If you manifest a vehicle or structure, it appears properly outfitted with normal furnishings (a vessel may contain oars and shipboard weapons or a house may contain furniture and cookware) but these furnishings vanish one round after being removed from the vehicle or structure. To manifest a weapon, armor, vehicle, or tool kit, you must be proficient in its use.

A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or in an unoccupied space adjacent to you. Manifesting a shadowcraft can never be an offensive or defensive action. This means that you cannot manifest a shadowcraft in such a way as to make an attack, trap or enclose a creature (even yourself), interrupt or impair a creature's action, or damage or ram an object or vehicle. Manifested shadowcrafts must be properly supported by their environment. You cannot crush something by manifesting a house on top of it or smash foes by manifesting an anvil in midair and making it fall on them, for example. You may only manifest shadowcrafts during your turn; you cannot ready an action to manifest a shadowcraft. You cannot manifest poisons or other biological substances. Your shadowcrafts cannot be used as spell components. Your shadowcrafts are obviously supernatural and cannot be mistaken for normal objects.

Shadow Augment
At 3rd level, you can manifest a shadowcraft that is a magic item with a Tier 1 property (see below). To manifest a magic item, you must be able to meet any prerequisites for its use and attunement. To manifest a spell scroll, you must know the spell and be able to cast it (it must be one of your spells known or you must have written it into a spellbook you own). If the item requires attunement, you are attuned to it. This augmented shadowcraft vanishes one round after it leaves your immediate possession, or whenever you complete a long rest.


You regain your use of this ability whenever you complete a long rest.

Improved Shadowcrafting
Upon reaching 9th level, you can maintain up to four shadowcrafts and can manifest shadowcrafts of up to Large size, such as a chariot, rowboat, or shack. At 13th level, you can maintain up to five shadowcrafts and can manifest shadowcrafts of up to Huge size, such as a wagon, raft, or small house. At 17th level, you can maintain up to six shadowcrafts and can manifest shadowcrafts of up to gargantuan size, such as a galley, sailing ship, or mansion.

Improved Shadow Augment
At 9th level, you can use Shadow Augment twice and gain access to Tier 2 properties. At 13th level, you can use Shadow Augment three times and gain access to Tier 3 properties. At 17th level, you gain access to Tier 4 properties.


A Tier 1 Shadow Augment can have any one of the following effects:
• Duplicate any uncommon weapon, armor, potion, or scroll;
• Duplicate any common magic item;
• Grant proficiency with one skill;
• Grant darkvision.
• The shadowcraft is one size larger than your normal size limit.

A Tier 2 Shadow Augment can have any one of the following effects:
• Duplicate any rare weapon, armor, potion, or scroll;
• Duplicate any uncommon ring, rod, or wondrous item;
• Grant constant advantage with one skill;
• The shadowcraft does not vanish after it leaves your possession.

A Tier 3 Shadow Augment can have any one of the following effects:
• Duplicate any very rare weapon, armor, or potion;
• Duplicate any uncommon staff or wand;
• Duplicate any rare ring, rod, or wondrous item;
• Grant proficiency with one saving throw;
• The shadowcraft is invulnerable to all forms of harm.

A Tier 4 Shadow Augment can have any one of the following effects:
• Duplciate any legendary weapon, armor, or potion;
• Duplicate any rare staff or wand;
• Duplicate any very rare ring, rod, or wondrous item;
• Grant constant advantage with one saving throw.

If you duplicate a magic item, you can choose only from among magic items listed in the Dungeon Master's Guide plus any other sources that your DM makes available to you. You cannot duplicate bardic instruments or magic items that permanently set or improve ability scores. To manifest a magic item, you must be able to meet any prerequisites for its use and attunement. To manifest a spell scroll, you must know the spell and be able to cast it (it must be one of your spells known or you must have written it into a spellbook you own).

Bladewind
At 13th level, you learn to make a special attack when you are wielding a shadowcraft weapon. As an Attack action, you direct your shadowcraft weapon (or ammunition if it is a ranged weapon) to split into multiple parts or fire multiple pieces of ammunition, making one weapon attack against each foe you threaten (or each foe within 30 feet if using a ranged or thrown weapon).


You can use this ability twice. You regain your uses of this ability whenever you complete a short or long rest.

Legendary Shadowcraft
Upon reaching 17th level, you gain access to Tier 4 properties when using Improved Shadow Augment.

Grod_The_Giant
2018-11-14, 05:43 PM
Psychic Strike
Your sneak attack damage dice deal [psychic] damage.
Can this be turned off if you run into something immune to psychic?


Minor Shadowcraft
Starting at 3rd level when you select this archetype, you can use an object interaction to manifest or dismiss a shadowcraft, which appears as a pitch-black object wreathed in shadows. A shadowcraft must be an object or collection of related objects of no more than Medium size, and can be any weapon or armor, a mundane object or piece of equipment you are familiar with, or a vehicle or structure such as a coracle, cart, or tent. To manifest a shadowcrafted weapon, armor, vehicle, or tool kit, you must be proficient in its use. To manifest a unique item, such as the key to your jail cell, you must be familiar with the item (the DM decides if you are sufficiently familiar with an item to copy it).

You can maintain up to three shadowcrafts at a time, but a shadowcraft item vanishes one round after it leaves your immediate possession. You can dismiss any of your shadowcrafts with a thought (no action required). A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or at your feet. You cannot make an attack by manifesting an item (for example, by trying to drop the item on someone), although if you manifest a shadowcraft weapon you can use it to attack normally. If you manifest a ranged weapon it can manifest its own ammunition and you do not need to spend actions to reload it.

As an action, you can augment one of your shadowcrafts with special power so that it acts as a common or uncommon magic item. To augment a magic item you must be able to meet any prerequisites for its use. You can augment any appropriate item from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, plus items from other sources at the DM’s discretion. You can manifest or dismiss your augmented item as often as you like until you complete a long rest. If the item requires attunement you are automatically attuned to it and it does not count against your limit of attunable items. If the item is a single-use or charged item, then you can no longer manifest it once its charges or uses are expended.

You regain your use of this ability whenever you complete a long rest, allowing you to augment a different item or restore the charges or uses of your existing augmented item.
So... I can make shadowcraft poison? Healing potions? Gauntlets of Ogre Power? +1 weapons? Ooh, I know-- how 'bout a Wand of Magic Missile for a guaranteed 9d4+9 points of burst damage? Or an Elemental Gem. Why yes, I would like to summon three CR 5 minions every day, thankyouverymuch.

I highly recommend not letting you make magic items, or at least limit them to a specific list. They're... really not balanced by rarity at all, doubly so when you can replace consumable items every morning. Not only that, but the sheer power of the ability overtakes everything else-- you're going from "a Rogue who sometimes makes stuff out of shadows" to "hi, I'm the party artificer." I'd rework this to be more "I can make this useful tool" and less crafting.

Also: where do conjured items wind up? Do they have to be in your hand? Adjacent? Within 30ft? I see that they disappear in one round if you're not touching them, but that's long enough to, say, block a door from across the room... You might also specify a check for creating complicated items-- Int (Artisan's Tools), maybe.

Minor quibbles: I don't see "object interaction" as an official action very often; might be easier to default to bonus. Also, a medium-sized cart?


Improved Shadowcraft
Upon reaching 9th level you can maintain up to four shadowcrafts and may augment two of them as common, uncommon, or rare magical items. You can manifest shadowcrafts of up to Large size, such as a chariot, rowboat, or yurt.

At 13th level, you can maintain up to five shadowcrafts, and may augment three of them as common, uncommon, rare, or very rare items. You can manifest shadowcrafts of up to Huge size, such as a wagon, raft, or small house.
More and bigger stuff is cool; more powerful magic, not so much. At this point I'd suggest some rules about trapping people in conjured cages and the like. (M&M's Create (http://www.d20herosrd.com/6-powers/effects/effect-descriptions/create-control/) effect might be a mechanical starting point)


Bladewind
At 13th level, you learn to make a special attack when you are wielding a shadowcraft weapon. As an Attack action, you direct your shadowcraft weapon (or ammunition if it is a ranged weapon) to split into multiple parts or fire multiple pieces of ammunition, making one weapon attack against each foe you threaten (or each foe within 30 feet if using a ranged or thrown weapon).

You can use this ability twice. You regain your uses of this ability whenever you complete a short or long rest.
A bit weird as an Attack action, but I like it.

Legendary Shadowcraft
Upon reaching 17th level, you can maintain up to six shadowcrafts and one of the magic items you create can be a legendary magic item. You can manifest shadowcrafts of up to gargantuan size, such as a galley, sailing ship, or mansion.[/QUOTE]
How does "your immediate possession" work when you're making a mansion? The bigger these things get, the more I think there needs to be some sort of usage limit.

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Overall, I adore this idea. It's a lot for a D&D character, but it looks like it would be incredibly fun to play. And... possibly overshadow other players? I have a feeling you'll feel more like a superhero than a mage... it might be better to focus on making more complicated smaller things (shadow horses, animated weapons, cloaks that help you hide, etc) than really big things.

jiriku
2018-11-14, 08:21 PM
WOW! So much feedback and so many questions. Thank you! I'm really excited to get this much input on the class. You really helped with the magus of blades and I'm hoping to bring this class up to that same standard.


Can this be turned off if you run into something immune to psychic?

No. It's always psychic damage. This class is descended from the 3.5 soulknife, and doesn't have training in precision attacks. Rather, it's a character who can conjure a magic sword and charge it with psychic energy. So this is not "I'm gonna hit you where it hurts" but "I can kill you with my brain." Hmmm, maybe I ought to restrict it to only performing psychic strike with shadowcrafted weapons.


So... I can make shadowcraft poison? Healing potions? Gauntlets of Ogre Power? +1 weapons? Ooh, I know-- how 'bout a Wand of Magic Missile for a guaranteed 9d4+9 points of burst damage? Or an Elemental Gem. Why yes, I would like to summon three CR 5 minions every day, thankyouverymuch.

At 13th level you acquire the ability to make three magic items per day. If you want to have three potions or three hours of a CR 5 minion or three one-round bursts of 29 average damage, sure, you can do any of those things. Is that excessive for 13th level? My experience with high-level play in 5e is fairly limited. Maybe I should require that they be different items just to encourage some basic creativity. I was rather expecting that the common application would be a really cool magic sword. Up until 8th level you can only have one magic item a time so there's significant opportunity cost to your magic item choice. And the root impulse of the class is the soul knife, famously called Mr. "I have a magic sword as a class feature."

I hadn't really made up my mind on poisons. My thought is that since the poison disappears after 1 round and can't be created as an attack, you can't use ingested or inhaled poisons and most injury or contact poisons are severely nerfed. Plus, if you've never encountered it you can't manifest it. Alternately, you could conclude that except for the basic poison listed in the PHB, poison is not a mundane object and can't be manifested. I suppose I could explicitly restrict to "items on the PHB equipment tables, and other items with DM permission."


I highly recommend not letting you make magic items, or at least limit them to a specific list. They're... really not balanced by rarity at all, doubly so when you can replace consumable items every morning. Not only that, but the sheer power of the ability overtakes everything else-- you're going from "a Rogue who sometimes makes stuff out of shadows" to "hi, I'm the party artificer." I'd rework this to be more "I can make this useful tool" and less crafting.

I get where your concern is coming from. I want to present this as balanced when played alongside core class options. At the same time, the sheer power of the ability is supposed to overtake everything else because the core class mechanic is "soulknife imagined more expansively." What could we do to make it work? Is this an issue like the first draft of the magus of blades where the subclass just doesn't have enough power budget for anything meaningful?


Also: where do conjured items wind up? Do they have to be in your hand? Adjacent? Within 30ft? I see that they disappear in one round if you're not touching them, but that's long enough to, say, block a door from across the room...

"A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or at your feet."


Minor quibbles: I don't see "object interaction" as an official action very often; might be easier to default to bonus.

My specific reasoning is that object interaction is the kind of timing trigger required to draw a weapon. Manifesting your magic sword takes the same amount of time as drawing a sword would.


Also, a medium-sized cart?

Have you ever been to a theme park and seen the vendors with those little carts selling ice cream or hot dogs? Those would definitely fit in a five-foot square.


More and bigger stuff is cool; more powerful magic, not so much.

I guess my question is how much power is a class feature worth, and how much is a magic item worth? For example, if I wrote a feature that let you heal someone for 2d4+2 damage once per long rest, that wouldn't seem very good. A feature that lets you create (but not give away) a potion of healing good for 2d4+2 is essentially the same. A feature that let you glow on command and deal 2d6 fire damage with each attack would be pretty solid -- and that's about what you get if you manifest a flame tongue sword.

Hmm, I had a thought. I think what I'm hearing from you is that the power of magic items scales much faster than the power of class features. Have I got that right? In that case, my features that add both more magic items and increase the maximum rarity for all items is excessive. Going from one uncommon item at 3rd level to two rare items at 8th level is a big deal. Getting three very rare items at 13th level is an even bigger deal. What if 3rd level gives you one item that is uncommon, 8th gives you one rare, 13th gives you one very rare, and 17th gives you one legendary? This greatly reduces the snowball effect of more and more powerful magic items.


At this point I'd suggest some rules about trapping people in conjured cages and the like.

"You cannot make an attack by manifesting an item (for example, by trying to drop the item on someone)"



How does "your immediate possession" work when you're making a mansion? The bigger these things get, the more I think there needs to be some sort of usage limit.

The DM would decide, but my expectation would be that you materialize the mansion around you, or you materialize it with yourself directly at the front door. The "immediate possession" requirement can conflict with the "cannot make an attack" requirement -- the latter always trumps the former, and if you do not have room to manifest a shadowcraft without effectively attacking someone with it, then you can't manifest that shadowcraft.
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Overall, I adore this idea. It's a lot for a D&D character, but it looks like it would be incredibly fun to play. And... possibly overshadow other players? I have a feeling you'll feel more like a superhero than a mage... it might be better to focus on making more complicated smaller things (shadow horses, animated weapons, cloaks that help you hide, etc) than really big things.

Players who have played this class in my 3.5 games have loved it. As the DM I love it too, because players are always doing clever stuff with it that I didn't anticipate. I really, really want to make this class work in 5e. And I am 100% OK with a superhero feel -- we do a lot of that around the table. My last character was a warlock in a suit of transformable Gundam armor (you can do that in core, btw). We play big epic characters in big epic games where nations and worlds are at stake.

Grod_The_Giant
2018-11-15, 09:47 AM
WOW!No. It's always psychic damage. This class is descended from the 3.5 soulknife, and doesn't have training in precision attacks. Rather, it's a character who can conjure a magic sword and charge it with psychic energy. So this is not "I'm gonna hit you where it hurts" but "I can kill you with my brain." Hmmm, maybe I ought to restrict it to only performing psychic strike with shadowcrafted weapons.
That's a good idea--otherwise you run into the question of "why do they suddenly forget how to do normal sneak attack?"


At 13th level you acquire the ability to make three magic items per day. If you want to have three potions or three hours of a CR 5 minion or three one-round bursts of 29 average damage, sure, you can do any of those things. Is that excessive for 13th level? My experience with high-level play in 5e is fairly limited. Maybe I should require that they be different items just to encourage some basic creativity. I was rather expecting that the common application would be a really cool magic sword. Up until 8th level you can only have one magic item a time so there's significant opportunity cost to your magic item choice. And the root impulse of the class is the soul knife, famously called Mr. "I have a magic sword as a class feature."
At 13th level some minor magic items are probably fine, but as far as I can tell the ability comes online at 3rd, and scales up rapidly-- it seems like it'll be a very defining characteristic of the class, rather than the occasional neat augment.


I hadn't really made up my mind on poisons. My thought is that since the poison disappears after 1 round and can't be created as an attack, you can't use ingested or inhaled poisons and most injury or contact poisons are severely nerfed. Plus, if you've never encountered it you can't manifest it. Alternately, you could conclude that except for the basic poison listed in the PHB, poison is not a mundane object and can't be manifested. I suppose I could explicitly restrict to "items on the PHB equipment tables, and other items with DM permission."
Either way, I'd specify.


I get where your concern is coming from. I want to present this as balanced when played alongside core class options. At the same time, the sheer power of the ability is supposed to overtake everything else because the core class mechanic is "soulknife imagined more expansively." What could we do to make it work? Is this an issue like the first draft of the magus of blades where the subclass just doesn't have enough power budget for anything meaningful?
The Rogue has a decent amount of design space, I think-- enough to fit in the Green Lantern style constructs, at least. I don't think it can fit both incredibly powerful abilities you're using here.


"A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or at your feet."
Gotcha.


My specific reasoning is that object interaction is the kind of timing trigger required to draw a weapon. Manifesting your magic sword takes the same amount of time as drawing a sword would.
Fair.


Have you ever been to a theme park and seen the vendors with those little carts selling ice cream or hot dogs? Those would definitely fit in a five-foot square.
True enough, just seems weird as an example.


I guess my question is how much power is a class feature worth, and how much is a magic item worth? For example, if I wrote a feature that let you heal someone for 2d4+2 damage once per long rest, that wouldn't seem very good. A feature that lets you create (but not give away) a potion of healing good for 2d4+2 is essentially the same. A feature that let you glow on command and deal 2d6 fire damage with each attack would be pretty solid -- and that's about what you get if you manifest a flame tongue sword.

Hmm, I had a thought. I think what I'm hearing from you is that the power of magic items scales much faster than the power of class features. Have I got that right? In that case, my features that add both more magic items and increase the maximum rarity for all items is excessive. Going from one uncommon item at 3rd level to two rare items at 8th level is a big deal. Getting three very rare items at 13th level is an even bigger deal. What if 3rd level gives you one item that is uncommon, 8th gives you one rare, 13th gives you one very rare, and 17th gives you one legendary? This greatly reduces the snowball effect of more and more powerful magic items.
The issue is twofold, I think:

First, magic items aren't assumed in 5e. In 3.5, you're really just expanding on something everyone gets, but in 5e you might well be the only person in the party with reliable access to magic items. It's a massive spike in versatility and power-- especially since you can make them on the fly. "The temple is flooding? Let me just shadowcraft a scroll of Water Breathing. Invisible things? Hang on, lemmie make a Lantern of Revealing."
Secondly, you're using rarity as a gateway to availability, which it... really isn't well balanced as. Look at Uncommon Items, for example-- you've got everything from fluffy garbage like Wind Fans and Brooches of Shielding to game-changers like Brooms of Flying and Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Rare items can be as minor as a Folding Boat and as major as a Wand of Fireballs. I worked on an artificer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?543633-New-base-Clase-The-Scholar) type class (which I really should revise one of these days), and I wound up having to go through the list item-by-item to determine when it would be appropriate.


I honestly don't think the ability is necessary; making figments is just that good. If you want to include it, I'd suggest structuring it more like this:

Shadow Infuse: At 3rd level, you may use an action to infuse one of your figments with extra magic. For one hour, it gains the one of following effects. Once you have used this ability three times, it may not be used again until you've completed a long rest.

Dark Flames: You may set a figment weapon ablaze, adding 1d6 fire damage to your melee weapon attacks with it. If your sneak attack damage applies to the attack, it may be fire instead of psychic.
Cloak of Shadows (Prerequisite: Level 9): You may cause a figment cloak or shirt to blend into the darkness. When in an area of dim or no light, you may use an action to become invisible until you attack or cast a spell.
Wings of Night (Prerequisite: Level 13): You sprout a pair of shadowy wings, enabling you to fly at a speed of 40ft.




"You cannot make an attack by manifesting an item (for example, by trying to drop the item on someone)"
"But I'm not making an attack, I'm just making a cage. It's not even coming close to them, look!" I'd like to see some rules for this sort of thing because it helps make the class even more creative-- and because players are 100% going to try to figure out how to use figments in combat.

jiriku
2018-11-15, 02:53 PM
That's a good idea--otherwise you run into the question of "why do they suddenly forget how to do normal sneak attack?"

Done.


"But I'm not making an attack, I'm just making a cage. It's not even coming close to them, look!" I'd like to see some rules for this sort of thing because it helps make the class even more creative-- and because players are 100% going to try to figure out how to use figments in combat.

I have added an additional paragraph of legal boilerplate to the base ability, and reorganized it so that the first paragraph addresses basic functionality, the second lists requirements you must meet, and the third describes things you cannot do. I tried to find a nuanced way to include poison that wasn't several paragraphs on its own, but it was more work than it was worth so I just banned poisons and all biologicals.


"The temple is flooding? Let me just shadowcraft a scroll of Water Breathing.

Technically to make that scroll you've need a 5-level dip in a class that had water breathing on its class list. But I take your point. There are no full-list casters like the 3.5 beguiler that have an arsenal of tricks at the ready in 5e. Access to such a broad array of effects is by itself a significant source of power that I hadn't considered.


Look at Uncommon Items, for example-- you've got everything from fluffy garbage like Wind Fans and Brooches of Shielding to game-changers like Brooms of Flying and Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Rare items can be as minor as a Folding Boat and as major as a Wand of Fireballs.

I am attempting now to go back and benchmark the most powerful item in each rarity class and use those as the determiners for when things should become available. I am noticing that the big offenders tend to be staffs, wands, wondrous items that improve an ability score, and bardic instruments.

A number of changes are now implemented for augmented shadowcrafts.
The rules for augmenting shadowcrafts are now much simpler.
Access to magic items other than weapons, armor, and single-use items is delayed by one ability tier. In particular, this eliminates a broad spectrum of uncommon utility items from gameplay at levels 3-8.
Access to staffs and wands is is delayed by two ability tiers.
Access to bardic instruments and items that permanently set or improve ability scores is banned.
Several options that are not simply a duplicated magical item have been introduced.