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Dragons_Ire
2018-12-18, 12:50 PM
Me and a sibling are co-creating a setting, and I had the idea of creating a new subclass for each class, inspired by various aspects of the setting. However, I don't have a ton of experience homebrewing, and I'd love to get some feedback so that I can refine my ideas. Please, critique honestly, and harshly if necessary. I won't take it personally.

I will include notes and explanations of my thought process for each feature in italics. Currently only the paladin subclass is complete and ready for playtest.


The initial concept for this subclass is an order of warriors who expose hidden evils. The main mental images that I used to inspire the features of the class were a warrior doing battle with a werewolf in a moonlit glade, a warrior battling a group of cultists he's infiltrated, and a warrior looking at a records book of a thief's guild.

Oath of the Nightwatch
The Oath of the Nightwatch commits a paladin to a lifelong stand against the darkness. Sometimes known as moon knights or hunter knights, these paladins are pursuers of evil wherever it may hide. Their arms and armor are often adorned with images of moons or stars, but some leave theirs plain and nondescript, due to the secrecy their hunts require.

Tenets of the Nightwatch:
The tenets of the Oath of the Nightwatch are the same, though the exact wording can vary by region.
Reveal the Truth. Expose evil, wherever it may be, and bring all dark deeds to light.
Shield the Weak. We face terrible evils, so that others with less strength don't have to.
Vigilance. We must always be on guard, the watchers in the night.
Unrelenting pursuit. Don't allow darkness to slink away and recover, pursue and destroy it whenever possible.

Oath Spells:
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
3rd: Bane, Guiding Bolt - These felt the most thematic. Bane is great against groups at low level, perfect for fighting a squad of cultists. Guiding bolt felt thematic, especially if reskinned as moonlight, but it's pretty strong. Maybe too good for a paladin?
5th: Shadow Blade, Moonbeam - Since the paladin can see invisible creatures via his Channel Divinity, See Invisibility is redundant. Shadow blade provides advantage when fighting at night, seems pretty solid. Moonbeam is possibly the most thematic spell for this class, and we have precedent for it being a paladin spell (Oath of the Ancients).
9th: Clairvoyance, Spirit Guardians - Expanding on the theme of watching/observing, Clairvoyance adds utility. Spirit Guardians is good for protecting, and defending against hordes.
13th: Locate Creature, Arcane Eye - These expand on the tracking/observing theme.
17th: Scrying, Steel Wind Strike - Scrying adds to the observation theme, and Steel Wind Strike is for standing between hordes and innocents.

Channel Divinity:
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Seeker of Truth. You can use your Channel Divinity to gain supernatural insight. As a bonus action, you grant yourself a +5 bonus to Wisdom (Insight) checks for the next 10 minutes. In addition, creatures have disadvantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made against you. This is almost exactly the same as one of the Redemption Paladin's options. I'm very satisfied with the flavor and balance of this option.
Rebuke Falsehood. As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer invoking clarity and truth, using your Channel Divinity. Each creature with its form hidden by an illusion spell, its form altered by a transmutation spell, or with the shapechanger tag that can see or hear you within 30 feet of your must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw its natural form is revealed, ending any spells and effects which conceal or change its natural form and preventing the creature from concealing or changing from its natural form for one minute or until it takes damage. Huge shout out to cesius on this one. This is absolutely perfect.

Aura of Clear Sight:
Beginning at 7th level, you become suffused with lunar magic, empowering the vision of you and of your allies. You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can see normally in nonmagical darkness to a distance of 120 feet. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet, and applies to magical darkness as well. This is really important thematically. When you fight a lot during the night, you kind of need night vision, especially if you're a human (like many paladins). Modified this to prevent Darkness shenanigans until level 18. I figure by that point it's not really that problematic.

Vigilant Guardian
Starting at 15th level, whenever a creature makes an attack against another creature within 5 feet of you that you can see, you can use your reaction to cause that attack to target you instead. Changed this feature to be a guarding feature. This seems a bit weaker than other 15th-level paladin features, but it is unique. The closest thing I can think of is the Mounted Combatant feat.

Unerring Watcher:
At 20th level, as an action, you can assume the form of a radiant watcher. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

You have truesight out to 120 feet.
You gain a limited ability to see into the future. Your attack rolls have advantage, and other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against you.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
I think this is pretty flavorful, but is mini-Foresight too strong? It seems to be in line with the Ancients and Conquest features.

Anyway, I'm really satisfied with the class thematically, and none of the features seem really OP, but I'm worried that the overall package is too strong. It just feels a little too good. I hope that's just me loving the flavor, but I wanted to find some folks with objective (or as objective as possible, anyway) opinions.



Under construction

Under Construction

If you read through one or more of those subclasses, you are awesome. Have a cookie :smallbiggrin: If you provide feedback, you are even more awesome, have an internet :smalltongue:

Dragons_Ire
2018-12-18, 12:52 PM
Reserved for potential future expansion.

Dragons_Ire
2018-12-18, 12:53 PM
Reserved in case of more expansion, as I'm unsure how much space I'll need.

superninja109
2018-12-18, 02:21 PM
I don't get it. Are you trying to crowdsource subclasses or seek feedback on a collection of your own?
If it's the former, I suggest you post a description of your setting for others to see.
If it's the latter, you might want to make a separate thread for each.

I like the them of a hunter paladin. The paladin has no big glaring issues that I can see (but don't take my word for it. I've made some pretty stupid things). I think that you are worrying a bit too much about certain spells being too god for the spell list. Theoretically, all spells of the same level should be equal in power. Do realize that steel wind strike is limited by the number of hostile creatures available. For more spell ideas, I guess just look at the ranger spell list.

Dragons_Ire
2018-12-18, 05:42 PM
I don't get it. Are you trying to crowdsource subclasses or seek feedback on a collection of your own?
If it's the former, I suggest you post a description of your setting for others to see.
If it's the latter, you might want to make a separate thread for each.

I like the them of a hunter paladin. The paladin has no big glaring issues that I can see (but don't take my word for it. I've made some pretty stupid things). I think that you are worrying a bit too much about certain spells being too god for the spell list. Theoretically, all spells of the same level should be equal in power. Do realize that steel wind strike is limited by the number of hostile creatures available. For more spell ideas, I guess just look at the ranger spell list.

I'm primarily looking for balance feedback on these subclasses, and providing them for playtest if anyone is interested.

cesius
2018-12-18, 08:01 PM
Tenets of the Nightwatch:
The tenets of the Oath of the Nightwatch are the same, though the exact wording can vary by region.
Reveal the Truth. Expose evil, wherever it may be, and bring all dark deeds to light.
Defend the Weak. We face terrible evils, so that others with less strength don't have to.
Vigilance. We must always be on guard, the watchers in the night.
Unrelenting pursuit. Don't allow darkness to slink away and recover, pursue and destroy it unless circumstances prevent it.

Oath Spells:
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
3rd: Bane, Guiding Bolt - These felt the most thematic. Bane is great against groups at low level, perfect for fighting a squad of cultists. Guiding bolt felt thematic, especially if reskinned as moonlight, but it's pretty strong. Maybe too good for a paladin?

Sanctuary instead of Bane jumped out at me considering "Defend the Weak."



9th: Pass Without Trace, Shadow Blade - Here's where things get weird. I could not find any third level spells that felt right, with the possible exception of Dispel Magic, which is already on the paladin list. I finally decided to give them more thematic second level spells. I love the flavor of these, Pass Without Trace is perfect for stealthily tracking a group of evildoers, and Shadow Blade is even more amazing when you primarily fight enemies at night. I'm not sure if these are too strong though.

What about Nondetection, Clairvoyance, and Spirit Guardians? The latter two especially seem to be better fits to the tenants. The problem at this point, from my perspective, is that the tenants only match half the concept for the subclass. There's no tenant connected to secrecy, hidden pursuit, or the like. I recommend revising one or two tenants as you really like the theme and the tenants should support it rather than change the theme to fit your current tenants.



13th: Locate Creature, Freedom of Movement - Locate Creature expands on the tracking theme a bit, and freedom of movement prevents being grappled by a nasty horror of the night. These aren't quite as evocative of the theme, but they still work, and they seem very reasonable power-wise. I briefly considered Greater Invisibility here, but decided it was OP and not really thematic.

See above regarding Freedom of Movement.



17th: Hold Monster, Steel Wind Strike - We wrap up the same way we started, with a really good single target spell and a really good anti-horde spell. My concern is with Steel Wind Strike, is it too good? It seems like a really good spell, especially for a gish like a Paladin.


Legend Lore and Scrying seem to me as better fits to the concept. Another option from XGtE is Far Step which would follow the precedent set by Pass Without Trace and Freedom of Movement. There's really nothing in the subclass building up to Hold Monster or Steel Wind Strike and it's an abrupt shift from the previous spells and the theme of observation and stealth.



Channel Divinity:
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Seeker of Truth. You can use your Channel Divinity to gain supernatural insight. As a bonus action, you grant yourself a +5 bonus to Wisdom (Insight) checks for the next 10 minutes. This is almost exactly the same as one of the Redemption Paladin's options. I'm very satisfied with the flavor and balance of this option.
Revealing Weapon. As an action, you can use your Channel Divinity to infuse your weapon with divine energy. For 1 minute, you add 1d4 radiant damage to attacks made with that weapon, and the weapon emits dim light in a 10-foot radius. In addition, if the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration, and if you hit a creature whose true form is concealed by an illusion, shapeshifting, or other effect, that creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or have its true form revealed for the duration. You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends. This is very similar to one of the Oath of Devotion's options. It feels very thematic. My only concern is with the damage bonus, is that too much? I know the designers are very careful with damage bonuses, and I felt +Charisma mod would be too much.


I think any theme for Paladin's Channel Divinity needs a Turn/Rebuke/Abjure for one option. I like the idea of Revealing Weapon knocking shapeshifters and illusionists out of it and I think this would work great as a Rebuke:

As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer invoking clarity and truth, using your Channel Divinity. Each creature with its form hidden by an illusion spell, its form altered by a transmutation spell, or with the shapechanger tag that can see or hear you within 30 feet of your must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw its natural form is revealed, ending any spells and effects which conceal or change its natural form and preventing the creature from concealing or changing from its natural form for one minute or until it takes damage.



Aura of Clear Sight:
Beginning at 7th level, your magic empowers you and your allies to see clearly in most circumstances. You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet. This is really important thematically. When you fight a lot during the night, you kind of need night vision, especially if you're a human (like many paladins). It seems potentially very potent, though. I think it's probably okay, though, as they don't get darkness as a Paladin (or oath) spell, and warlocks can abuse this at level 3 (the infamous Darkness + Devil's Sight). I almost made it an aura of true sight, but then I remembered the spell True Seeing and avoided that mistake.


The difference between Warlock shenanigans and this is the whole party gets to join in. I'd recommend changing it to: "You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of your can't be Blinded, except by a heavily obscured area, and do not grant Advantage to unseen attackers while you are conscious. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet." The heavily obscured area part keeps it from applying to Darkness (natural and magical) and heavy fog stuff, but I think this is countered by expanding the other portion to unseen attackers as this would cover stealth attacks too.



By 15th level, your ability to move stealthily has increased greatly. You gain proficiency in stealth. If you already have this proficiency, you instead gain proficiency in either Insight or Survival, your choice. In addition, you gain the ability to confuse your enemies with shifting shadows and light. When you are attacked by a creature that you can see, and that creature doesn't have advantage on the roll, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. An attacker using blindsight is immune to this feature. This is basically the Gloom Stalker Ranger's 15th level ability, but slightly weaker, and with a skill proficiency. I'm considering making it Charisma mod per long rest, like the Light Cleric's Warding Flare.


See my earlier comments about theme and tenants. It is is way too late in the subclass to be introducing the stealth aspect. The Oath chassis doesn't provide a good place for Stealth proficiency, but between Races and Backgrounds I don't think that's a problem. I'd replace Seeker of Truth with a bonus to Dexterity(Stealth) instead of Wisdom(Insight) to get the stealth upfront in the subclass. Level 15 could be a two-fold bonus. One portion, borrowing on the model of Vow of Enmity and Relentless Avenger would be that when you are under the effect of Channel Divinity , you can use your reaction to impose Disadvantage on on a creature you can see. The second part would be you can never receive Disadvantage on Dexterity(Stealth) checks. I'd say that's on par with permanent Protection from Good and Evil or never aging.



[B]Unerring Guardian:
At 20th level, as an action, you can unleash a piercing, almost prescient gaze. For 1 minute, you have truesight out to 120 feet, you gain advantage on attack rolls, and your weapon attacks deal an additional 1d4 radiant damage. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest. [I]I think this is pretty flavorful, but is advantage on attacks too strong? It seems to be in line with the Ancients and Conquest features.

I don't know if you want to make this a form shift like most of the other Oaths? I'd remove the Advantage and bonus damage as they don't really fit the rest of the theme. True Sight, yes, keep that and then perhaps allies within 10 feet get Advantage on all saves and +2 AC?



If you read through one or more of those subclasses, you are awesome. Have a cookie :smallbiggrin: If you provide feedback, you are even more awesome, have an internet :smalltongue:
Mmmmm, cookies.

Lord Von Becker
2018-12-28, 06:32 PM
Well, I really like the flavor. The tenets don't seem to adequately describe it, but they are cool.

I'm wondering if it would be reasonable to give three Oath spells per batch, if they're mostly lower level. That seems like it might solve your flavor issues.

I'm actually going to go the opposite direction regarding the Channel Divinity damage; it's too weak. Compared to Spiritual Weapon, which lets you hit about one-and-a-half times as often (at max CHA), 1d4 damage per hit is about a quarter of the damage per round. Charisma to damage is on par with that, but doesn't provide the same benefit to Smiting.
Advantage, on the other hand, does. Maybe something like "you have Advantage instead of Disadvantage to hit concealed foes" would work.

Dragons_Ire
2019-01-14, 03:53 PM
Man, it's been a while since I had the chance to work on this. I've heavily reworked the subclass, using almost all of cesius' suggestions. I ditched the stealth theme, as it doesn't really seem quite right anyway, replacing it with a guarding/protecting theme, and I emphasized the observation theme more heavily. I'm feeling pretty good about it right now, but don't be afraid to throw out more constructive criticism!

I actually had a point-by-point response a couple weeks ago, cesius, but I had left the tab open for a while and I lost it when it refreshed :smallsigh: After that, I couldn't bring myself to rewrite it.

Pact of the Elder Dragon is coming, hopefully pretty soon. Just gotta get the features organized to my own satisfaction before putting it up here for review.