PDA

View Full Version : 4e-inspired Hexblade fix



bahamut920
2008-05-21, 10:55 PM
HEXBLADE
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/cw_ag/75396.jpg
<Insert fluff here>
MAKING A HEXBLADE
Abilities: The hexblade's special abilities and spells all rely on Charisma in order to function, making this a high priority for all hexblades. In addition, hexblades are capable combatants both in and out of melee, so a decent Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are essential as well.
Races: Ambitious and often unprincipled, humans boast the greatest number of hexblades in their ranks. Elves, despite their fascination with magic of all kinds, often find the practices of the hexblade distasteful, and rarely pursue the vocation. Many dwarven kingdoms boast a small contingent of hexblades in service to the king, however most dwarves seem disinclined to pursue the path of the hexblade. Gnomes and halflings, smaller and less suited to direct combat, generally eschew the path of the hexblade, and few half-orcs have the personal strength to pursue this course.
Alignment: Hexblades are often very mercenary, which lends itself to a strong lean towards neutrality and evil. However, there are a few good hexblades. The path of the hexblade does not encourage law over chaos or vice versa, however, and hexblades on both sides of the spectrum are frequently seen.
Starting Gold: 6d4 x 10.
Starting Age: As cleric.

Table: The Hexblade Hit Die: d8.
Level Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Armored mage (light & medium), hexblade's curse -1
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Arcane resistance
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Mettle
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Hexblade's curse -2
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Bonus feat
6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Curse of threat -2
7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Curse of weakness 1/day
8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Hexblade's curse -3
9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Mass hexblade's curse 1/encounter
10 +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Bonus feat
11 +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Curse of weakness 2/day
12 +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Curse of threat -3, hexblade's curse -4
13 +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Mass hexblade's curse 2/encounter
14 +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Greater curse of weakness
15 +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Curse of weakness 3/day, bonus feat
16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Hexblade's curse -5
17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Mass hexblade's curse 3/encounter
18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Curse of threat -4
19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Curse of weakness 4/day
20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Curse of failure, bonus feat, hexblade's curse -6
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier, x4 at 1st level): Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Profession, Ride, Spellcraft.

Table: Hexblade Spells per Day
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1 - - - -
2 - - - -
3 - - - -
4 0 - - -
5 0 - - -
6 1 - - -
7 1 - - -
8 1 0 - -
9 1 0 - -
10 1 1 - -
11 1 1 0 -
12 1 1 1 -
13 1 1 1 -
14 2 1 1 0
15 2 1 1 1
16 2 2 1 1
17 2 2 2 1
18 3 2 2 2
19 3 3 3 2
20 3 3 3 3

Table: Hexblade Spells Known
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1 - - - -
2 - - - -
3 - - - -
4 2* - - -
5 2* - - -
6 3 - - -
7 3 - - -
8 4 2* - -
9 4 2* - -
10 4 3 - -
11 4 3 2* -
12 4 4 3 -
13 4 4 3 -
14 4 4 4 2*
15 4 4 4 3
16 4 4 4 3
17 5 4 4 4
18 5 5 4 4
19 5 5 5 4
20 5 5 5 5
* Provided the hexblade has sufficient Charisma to cast spells of this level.

CLASS FEATURES
As a hexblade, your job is to debuff your opponents to make them easier to fight. You can hold your own in melee, with a good base attack bonus and weapon proficiencies, but don't expect to even break level with a fighter or barbarian who knows what he's doing. Concentrate on keeping your enemies down as you fight, and generally only go after enemies who have been softened up by your abilities.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A hexblade is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (but not tower shields).
Armored Mage (Ex): Due to the hexblade's focus and simple spells, he ignores any arcane spell failure chance for all light armors, medium armors, and all shields (except tower shields). A hexblade still suffers the normal spell failure penalty for wearing heavy armor or tower shields.
Hexblade's Curse (Sp): As a swift action, a hexblade may curse a target within 50 feet. The target suffers a -1 circumstance penalty to one of the following (determined by the hexblade at the time of use): attack rolls, saves, damage rolls, ability checks, or skill checks. This penalty lasts until the hexblade's next turn. If the hexblade curses a second target while the first curse is still in effect, the curse ends on the first target, removing the associated penalties.
The penalty inflicted by this ability increases to -2 at 4th level, and by another -1 every four levels thereafter (-3 at 8th, -4 at 12th, -5 at 16th, -6 at 20th, etc).
Arcane Resistance (Ex): At 2nd level, a hexblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum +1) to all saving throws against spells or spell-like effects.
Mettle (Ex): A 3rd-level hexblade gains the ability to resist magical or unusual attacks with greater fortitude and willpower. A hexblade who is the target of an attack which allows a Fortitude or Will save to reduce the effect instead suffers no ill effect on a successful save. He still suffers the full normal effect of the attack on a failed save, however.
Spellcasting: Beginning at 4th level, a hexblade casts arcane spells drawn from the hexblade spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without having to prepare it ahead of time, like a sorcerer.
To learn or cast a spell, a hexblade must have a minimum Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level (Cha 11 for 1st level spells, up to Cha 14 for 4th-level spells). The Difficulty Class for saving throws against a hexblade's spells is equal to 10 + the spell's level + the hexblade's Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a hexblade can only cast a certain number of spells per day. This daily allotment varies by the hexblade's class level, and is given on the table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When it is indicated that the hexblade gains 0 spells per day of the given level, he only receives any bonus spells he is entitled to due to his Charisma score.
The hexblade's selection of spells is extremely limited. He begins play knowing no spells, but learns one or more new spells at certain levels, as indicated on the table above. (Unlike spells per day, a hexblade's Charisma score does not affect the number of spells he can learn; the values on the table above are fixed.)
At 12th level, and every third hexblade level thereafter (15th, 18th, 21st, etc), a hexblade may choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the hexblade "loses" the old spell in exchange for a new one. The new spell must be of the same level, and both must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level spell the hexblade can cast. A hexblade may only swap a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap spells when he chooses new spells for that level.
From first level through third level, a hexblade has no caster level. From 4th level on, the hexblade's caster level is equal to his hexblade level -3.
Bonus Feat: At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, 20th, etc), a hexblade gains a bonus feat, which must be chosen from the following list: Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation only), Greater Spell Penetration, Spell Focus (enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation only), or Spell Penetration.
Curse of Threat (Sp): At 6th level, a hexblade gains the ability to impede an opponent's capacity to dodge or intercept his attacks. Once per round as a swift action, the hexblade may designate a target within 30 feet, who receives a -1 circumstance penalty to Armor Class until the end of the encounter or until the hexblade designates another target for this ability.
The penalty incurred by this ability increases to -2 at 12th level, and by -1 every six levels thereafter (-3 at 18th level, -4 at 24th level, etc).
Curse of Weakness (Sp): At 7th level, a hexblade gains the ability to deliver a truly dire curse. Once per day as a standard action, the hexblade may designate a target, who then receives a -4 circumstance penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks until the end of the encounter. Alternatively, the hexblade may choose to apply a -6 circumstance penalty to one of the target's ability scores. A successful Will save from the target negates this effect. The Difficulty Class for the saving throw against this ability is 10 + 1/2 the hexblade's class levels + the hexblade's Charisma modifier.
The hexblade gains an additional use of this ability at 12th level and every five levels thereafter. The penalty granted by this ability increases by -2 at 14th level and every seven levels thereafter.
Mass Hexblade's Curse (Sp): At 9th level, a hexblade gains the ability to curse many targets at the same time. Once per encounter, instead of designating only one target for his hexblade's curse, a hexblade may instead choose to curse any number of targets, no two of which may be more than 20 feet apart. The effects of the curse still only last for one round.
The hexblade gains another use of this ability at 13th level, and every four levels thereafter.
Curse of Failure (Sp): At 20th level, the hexblade learns the ultimate curse. Once per day as a swift action, the hexblade may curse one target within 100 feet, causing that target to incur a 50% miss chance on all attack rolls. A successful Will saving throw by the target negates this effect. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against this ability is 10 + 1/2 the hexblade's class levels + the hexblade's Charisma modifier.
The hexblade's caster level for all of his spell-like abilities is equal to his class levels.

VARIANT CLASS ABILITY: INVOKER
You have traded your natural arcane gift for an inexhaustible (though not limitless) font of arcane power. Your magic works by slightly different rules than your fellows.
Level: 1st.
Replaces: If you take this class feature, you lose the ability to ignore arcane spell failure from medium armor and heavy shields, as well as medium armor proficiency, nor do you gain the ability to cast arcane spells at 4th level.
Benefit: You gain access to a limited number of invocations. You learn one least invocation off of the following list. You may use this invocation as if you were a warlock of your hexblade level. At 4th level, and every three levels thereafter, you learn one additional invocation. At 10th level, you gain access to lesser invocations, and at 19th level, you gain access to dark invocations. You may cast invocations while wearing light armor and light shields or bucklers without incurring any arcane spell failure penalty. However, if you attempt to cast an invocation while wearing heavier armor or shields, you incur a spell failure chance as normal.
The Difficulty Class of any saving throws involved in your invocations is equal to 10 + the invocationís level + your Charisma modifier. Invocations are spell-like abilities, and as such are subject to spell resistance. Your caster level is equal to your hexblade level.

HEXBLADE INVOCATIONS

LEAST INVOCATIONS
Baleful Utterance: Speak a word of the Dark Speech and shatter objects as the spell.
Breath of the Night: Create a fog cloud as the spell.
Darkness: Use darkness as the spell.
Devilís Sight: See through darkness and magical darkness.
Earthen Grasp: Use earthen grasp as the spell.
Miasmic Cloud: Create a cloud of mist that grants concealment and fatigues those who enter.

LESSER INVOCATIONS
Charm: Cause a single creature to regard you as a friend.
Curse of Despair: Curse one creature as the bestow curse spell, or hinder its attacks.
Relentless Dispelling: As targeted dispel magic, plus additional targeted dispel magic the next turn.
Stony Grasp: Use stony grasp as the spell.
Voracious Dispelling: Use dispel magic as the spell, causing damage to creatures whose effects are dispelled.
Wall of Gloom: Use wall of gloom as the spell.

GREATER INVOCATIONS
Caustic Mire: Acidic sludge slows progress, deals damage.
Chilling Tentacles: Use Evardís black tentacles as the spell, and deal additional cold damage to creatures in the area.
Devour Magic: Use targeted greater dispel magic with a touch and gain temporary hit points based on the level of spells successfully dispelled.
Enervating Shadow: Gain total concealment in dark areas and impose a Strength penalty on adjacent living creatures.
Nightmares Made Real: Create illusionary terrain that damages foes and allows you to hide.
Painful Slumber of Ages: Creature falls asleep, takes damage when awakened.

List of Changes:
Dropped Hit Die from d10 to d8.
Added medium armor and heavy shields to the armored mage ability.
Added Invoker variant class ability.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2008-05-21, 11:12 PM
My only comment is that having no save on that curse makes a Hexblade with caster back-up incredibly potent. Maybe a little TO potent. Especially with things like Mass Curse followed by things like Weird.

Other than that, it looks pretty good.

HellFencer
2008-05-21, 11:22 PM
I'm almost finished with my own rebuild of the Hexblade, so I'll post a link to it later.

Personally, I drop the spellcasting in favor of flavorful spell-likes and focus more on his curses.

I like the progression you used for the curse, but its still barely worth using in favor of a full attack. At least in my opinion. I've always thought the hexblade's curse was weak and severely lacked flavor.

bahamut920
2008-05-21, 11:24 PM
Hmmm. Hadn't thought of that. But with the save, you almost never get it off. I played a hexblade for about 13 levels in a campaign once; my biggest gripe with the class was that I never got off a curse. Not once. Maybe I should restrict it to one saving throw? Would that be better? And should I keep the spellcasting, or ditch it?

@ Hellraiser - The only curse that isn't a swift action is the curse of weakness. You can curse and full attack in the same round with any other curse, and you can take Quicken SLA to make the curse of weakness a swift action as well. And the only curses that allow saves in my version are weakness and curse of failure. So all of the others are automatic.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2008-05-21, 11:36 PM
Well, I'd personally just say that if they make the save they made the save...but aren't necessarily immune to future attempts. That way a strong foe can resist a while, but eventually you'll get them. Allows you to still curse an opponent, but it's not a gaurantee to the point where you can plan the whole encounter around it.

I'm also a fan of ditching Hexblade casting in favor of Invocations...maybe Least, Lesser, and Greater (never reaching Dark). Say...1 Least at level 1, and then 1 every 3 levels after that (4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19), with Lesser available at level 10 and Greater at level 19.

bahamut920
2008-05-21, 11:57 PM
Hmm... I get your point, but I don't think I agree with it. In my opinion, "the hexblade Mass Curses the goblins to reduce their saves and then the wizard hits them with fireball," is a perfectly valid tactic. And I attempted to limit the curse to the point where it's not debilitating, it being without a save. I'll definitely consider nerfing it so the hexblade can only affect one saving throw at a time with it, or maybe removing saves entirely, but I don't think that adding a saving throw is a good idea. I want this ability to be useful all the time, a la the 4th edition "marking" and "challenge" abilities.

As for the invocations, that's an interesting idea. I may restrict the list a little, as well (besides just removing eldritch essence and blast shape invocations... obviously those need to go).

bahamut920
2008-05-23, 09:09 AM
Update! I got the invocation list done, so here's the Invoker variant!

VARIANT CLASS ABILITY: INVOKER
You have traded your natural arcane gift for an inexhaustible (though not limitless) font of arcane power. Your magic works by slightly different rules than your fellows.
Level: 1st.
Replaces: If you take this class feature, you lose the ability to ignore arcane spell failure from medium armor and heavy shields, as well as medium armor proficiency, nor do you gain the ability to cast arcane spells at 4th level.
Benefit: You gain access to a limited number of invocations. You learn one least invocation off of the following list. You may use this invocation as if you were a warlock of your hexblade level. At 4th level, and every three levels thereafter, you learn one additional invocation. At 10th level, you gain access to lesser invocations, and at 19th level, you gain access to dark invocations. You may cast invocations while wearing light armor and light shields or bucklers without incurring any arcane spell failure penalty. However, if you attempt to cast an invocation while wearing heavier armor or shields, you incur a spell failure chance as normal.
The Difficulty Class of any saving throws involved in your invocations is equal to 10 + the invocationís level + your Charisma modifier. Invocations are spell-like abilities, and as such are subject to spell resistance. Your caster level is equal to your hexblade level.

HEXBLADE INVOCATIONS

LEAST INVOCATIONS
Baleful Utterance: Speak a word of the Dark Speech and shatter objects as the spell.
Breath of the Night: Create a fog cloud as the spell.
Darkness: Use darkness as the spell.
Devilís Sight: See through darkness and magical darkness.
Earthen Grasp: Use earthen grasp as the spell.
Miasmic Cloud: Create a cloud of mist that grants concealment and fatigues those who enter.

LESSER INVOCATIONS
Charm: Cause a single creature to regard you as a friend.
Curse of Despair: Curse one creature as the bestow curse spell, or hinder its attacks.
Relentless Dispelling: As targeted dispel magic, plus additional targeted dispel magic the next turn.
Stony Grasp: Use stony grasp as the spell.
Voracious Dispelling: Use dispel magic as the spell, causing damage to creatures whose effects are dispelled.
Wall of Gloom: Use wall of gloom as the spell.

GREATER INVOCATIONS
Caustic Mire: Acidic sludge slows progress, deals damage.
Chilling Tentacles: Use Evardís black tentacles as the spell, and deal additional cold damage to creatures in the area.
Devour Magic: Use targeted greater dispel magic with a touch and gain temporary hit points based on the level of spells successfully dispelled.
Enervating Shadow: Gain total concealment in dark areas and impose a Strength penalty on adjacent living creatures.
Nightmares Made Real: Create illusionary terrain that damages foes and allows you to hide.
Painful Slumber of Ages: Creature falls asleep, takes damage when awakened.