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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    May 2015

    Default 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes) [PEACH]

    This class is inspired by and built upon this and this post (big thanks to the creators), as well as 3.5 prestige classes for some archetypes.
    Im looking for feedback regarding balance :)
    Thanks in advance!

    ďI am my blade and my blade is me. We are an extension of one another. We are one. Without me, my blade is nothing. Without my blade, I am nothing. We were born for battle, and here we shall revel in glory and martial perfection. None shall stand when we decide they shall fall. And we have decided
    - Inscrutable Master Shen

    The kensei was born for conflict. Swift, strong, enduring, and utterly confident in her martial skills, she seeks to test herself against worthy foes. Battle is beautiful to her - a perfect moment in which life hangs suspended on the bright edge of a sword. Sheer combat skill is important to a kensei, so she trains intensely with her chosen weapons; but even more important are her athleticism, daring, recklessness, and joy in the hour of danger. Kensei live for a chance to test themselves in battle - the stronger the foe, the greater the glory once the enemy is defeated.


    Level Proficienct Bonus Features Martial Maneuvers known Ki
    1st +2 Unarmored Defense, Bonded Weapon, Spiritual Weapon Training - -
    2nd +2 Fast Movement - -
    3rd +2 Martial Discipline 3 1
    4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3 2
    5th +3 Extra Attack 4 3
    6th +3 Weapon Mastery 4 4
    7th +3 Martial Discipline 4 5
    8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 5 6
    9th +4 Legendary Maneuvers 5 7
    10th +4 Martial Discipline 5 8
    11th +4 Accelerated Offense, Withstand 6 9
    12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6 10
    13th +5 Keen Eye, Clash 6 11
    14th +5 Battle Clarity 7 12
    15th +5 Martial Discipline 7 13
    16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 7 14
    17th +6 Bonded Weapon Improvement 8 15
    18th +6 Martial Discipline 8 16
    19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 8 17
    20th +6 Ki Mastery, Kiai! 9 18

    Class Features
    As a Kensai, you gain the following class features.

    Hit Points

    Hit Dice: 1d8 per kensai level
    Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at higher levels: 1d8 (0r 5) + your Constitution modifier per kensai level after 1st

    Proficiencies

    Armor: Shields
    Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons, exotic weapons
    Tools: None
    Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
    Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Arcana and Sleight of Hand
    Equipement


    You start with the following equipment in addition to equipment gained by your background
    ∑ (a) a two-handed melee weapon or (b) two one-handed melee weapons
    ∑ (a) 2 daggers, (b) 2 handaxes or (c) 5 javelins
    ∑ A shield
    ∑ (a) a dungeoneerís pack or (b) an explorerís pack


    Unarmored Defense

    While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this bonus.

    Bonded Weapon

    The core of the Kensai is the connection she shares with her weapon. Often an heirloom or somehow important to the kensai in a personal way, this blade typicalls has no innately magical or special properties until it is in the kensai's hands. At level 1 when she holds this weapon the kensai infuses this it with a small fraction of her own life force, either making it magic-like or improving the magic within it previously.
    A spirit weapon is treated as magical for purposes of overcoming damage resistance and what effects can damage it, even if it is a non-magical weapon. Additionally the kensai may call this weapon to her hand from any distance as a bonus action, and she gains advantage on resisting any attempts to disarm her.
    If the Kensai has disadvantage on an attack with her Bonded Weapon, she may spend her bonus action to negate the disadvantage effect for that attack once per short rest.
    Only one weapon may be selected as a bonded weapon at a time, and if a bonded weapon is destroyed then the kensai loses access to this feature until she has it repaired/ reforged. She may designate a new weapon as her bonded weapon after 24 hours of training and meditation. If the weapon is of the same type as the last weapon, training is not needed, and thus only needs to be infused with the kensais spirit, which takes 12 hours.
    The kensai needs to meditate for 2 hours with her bonded weapon every day, or the bond is broken, and the kensai must yet again infuse the weapon with her spirit. Weapon meditation can be done while resting.

    Spiritual Weapons Training

    Your training with a wide range of weaponry and tactics gives you great skill with particular weapons. Choose one of the following options when you reach 1st level.
    Polearm Finesse
    Reach weapons become Finesse weapons to you if they are your Bonded Weapon.

    Battering Smash

    Your melee attacks with bonded heavy weapons deal double damage to objects, structures and constructs.

    Versatile Expertise

    When you use a versatile weapon with two hands that you are bonded to, increase the damage die of that weapon an additional step.

    Close Quarters Archery

    You no longer suffer disadvantage at 5 ft. range with ranged weapons if you are bonded to the ranged weapon.

    Dueling Spirit

    When the kensai wields a bonded weapon in one hand and no weapon in the other, she adds +2 to her damage rolls with that weapon.

    Armored Spirit

    When the kensai wields a bonded weapon she gains +1 AC.

    Fast Movement

    Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 ft. while not wearing any armor.

    Martial Discipline

    At 3rd level, you commit yourself to follow a particular martial school or philosophy known as a martial discipline. Choose between the quick-striking and versatile Warblade, the merciless Ronin, the tide-turning Master of the Unseen Hand, the horrifying and inflictive Ravager or the immovable Shield Saint. Each discipline is detailed at the end of the class description. Your discipline grants you features at 3rd level, and then again at 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th level.

    Ability Score Increase
    When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2 or two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you canít increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    Extra Attack
    Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

    Weapon Mastery

    Beginning at 6th level, you can no longer be disarmed, unless you fall unconscious.

    Legendary Maneuvers

    Starting at 9th level, you begin to master powerful martial maneuvers known as legendary strikes. Initiating a legendary strike functions identically to initiating a normal strike maneuver except that they are more physically straining. Once you initiate a legendary strike, you must complete a short rest before you can initiate another.

    Accelerated Offense

    At 11th level your speed and alertness, grant you bonuses, that let you get into the fray of combat quicker. You gain a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your proficiency bonus.

    Withstand

    With the ki of her spirit overflowing, the Kensai becomes capable of deflecting harm from her body. Starting at level 11, the kensai gains advantage on her Wisdom saving throws.

    Keen Eye

    Starting at 13th level, as a free action, you can allways spot at least one vulnerability (if any) on an enemy.

    Clash

    By 13th level, if you are the only hostile within a creatureís reach, you deal an additional 1d4 Force damage with all attacks, as long as you are wielding your bonded weapon.

    Battle Clarity

    By 14th level, you are able to enter a state of perfect mental clarity on the battlefield. Whenever you are charmed or frightened, you may immediately expend 1 Ki to negate the effect.

    Bonded Weapon Improvement

    Upon reaching 17th level, your bonded weapons has truly become an extension of yourself, and even while it is a short distance from you, the part of your spirit that is infused into the weapon, may be in contact with your physical body. While your bonded weapon is within 10 ft. of you, you have advantage on death saving throws.

    Ki Mastery

    With full mastery of her art attained, the Kensai is able to use her Ki in a more refined manner, and gains renown for her skills. Starting at level 20, the kensai reduces the cost of any of the maneuvers that have a tag matching her chosen archetype by 1 Ki.

    Kiai!

    Through intense training, understanding of an enemies movements and insight into advanced anatomy, the Kensai has learned to make a successful attack deadly at will. Beginning at 20th level, the Kensai may convert a successful strike with her bonded weapon into a critical hit for the cost of 2 Ki. She may use use this ability a number of times between short or long rests, equal to her Wisdom modifier. This ability is a free action that is declared after the strike is rolled and confirmed as a hit, but before damage is rolled. This ability cannot be used on Attacks of Opportunity.



    Martial Discipline: Ronin
    Strengths: Powerful damage dealer

    Spoiler: Ronin
    Show


    The Ronin is a feared and merciless combatant not to be taken lightly. Specialized in wielding two-handed weapons against multiple enemies, the Ronin deals death effectively. Ronin are generally looked upon as being dishonorable. A Ronin may however choose to swear fealty to a master, at which point they will instead be considered Samurai. Samurai are seen as honorable beyond any doubt and are well respected throughout the world, by good, neutral and evil beings alike.

    Martial Study

    You have learned how to focus your mind and channel your ki in order to perform incredible martial techniques known as maneuvers. Through the use of these maneuvers, you are able to attain superhuman levels of speed, skill, and endurance on the battlefield.
    Ki
    Much like the monk, a Kensai has a pool of spiritual energies that she may draw upon to augment and infuse her attacks. Starting at level 3 she gains a pool of Ki energy equal to her kensai level minuts two. Whenever you enter combat, you have only half of your maximum Ki pool available, rounded down, but a minimum of 1. Whenever you hit an enemy with your first melee attack on a turn and it isnít Ki-empowered, you gain 1 Ki. After successfully striking an enemy during your turn, you may use your bonus action to refocus yourself, doubling the amount of Ki you gain on the turn. Whenever you lose Hit Points equal to your maximum Hit Die + your Constitution modifier you lose 1 Ki. If you take damage while you have no Ki remaining, you take an extra 1d4 Psychic damage.
    After a short or long rest you have your maximum Ki available outside of combat. While out of combat, you regenerate 1 Ki every 10 minutes.

    Martial Maneuvers

    You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers or stances. You can freely mix your knowledge of maneuvers and stances, but you must know at least one stance at any given time. You continue to learn additional maneuvers as you gain levels, as noted on the Kensei table.
    You may learn maneuvers from any discipline, however, there are some restrictions. You can learn any Maneuvers that fit all archetypes or your own archetype without restrictions beyond the amount of Maneuvers you can learn. When learning Maneuvers that fit another archetype, however, only Maneuvers with a cost of 2 Ki are freely accessible, and the Warblade maneuvers are not accessible to you at all.
    Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist their effects. If that is the case, the saving throw is explained by the maneuver.

    Stances

    When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn special stances, inspired by and trying to emulate the elements, which increase your effectiveness in combat. You can use a bonus action on your turn to enter a stance if you are wielding a melee two-handed weapon. The stance lasts for 1 minute, until you change stance or until you are knocked unconscious.

    Wind Stance

    When you are in this stance, you may take the Disengage action as a bonus action.

    Earth Stance

    You assume a pose, where you become one with the ground beneath you. While in this stance, when subjected to to an effect that would move you or knock you prone, you can spend 1 Ki to negate the effect.

    Fire Stance

    You reposition yourself in such a way, that you can put additional force behind any attack. Before you attack with a melee weapon on your turn while in this stance, you can immediately spend your bonus action to deal an additional 1d8 Force damage.

    Water Stance

    You become like water, making its way through the cracks, you cease being assertive but adjust to and flowing through obstacles with ease. While in this stance, you may freely move through enemies, but you may not end your turn on their square.

    Lightning Stance

    You become quick as lightning, striking quickly and out of nowhere. While in Lightning Stance, you may move at twice your normal movement.

    Surge of Energy

    At 3rd level, when you land a critical hit, you regain 2 Ki instead of 1. Additionally, when you spend at least 3 Ki on a turn, you also gain resistance to piercing, bludgeoning and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons until the start of your next turn.

    One with the Blade

    Beginning at 7th level, if there are at least three targets within your Reach, the first attack each round will hit a second target within Reach of your choice for the same damage, if the attack hits its primary target and your attack roll implies a hit on the second target.

    Way of Steel

    At 13th level, you have learned to master your weapon. The damage modifier is doubled if you successfully hit an opponent with the first attack on your turn, as long as you are attacking with a melee two-handed weapon.

    Strengthened Stances

    At 15th level, assuming a stance begins to be second nature to you. You may choose to strengthen one of your stances. You can strengthen a second stance at level 18.

    Strength of Wind

    While in Wind Stance, whenever you are hit with a ranged weapon attack while in this stance, before damage is rolled you may make an attack against the projectile (AC 15) by spending your reaction. On a hit, the inbound attack is instead treated as a miss and the projectile is destroyed.

    Strength of Earth

    When in the Earth Stance, when you make an attack with your bonded weapon, you can, as a bonus action, attempt to shove the target of your attack.

    Strength of Fire

    The additional damage you deal while in Fire Stance turns into 2d8 Force damage.

    Strength of Water

    While in Water Stance, you no longer provoke attacks of opportunity when you move through or around hostile enemies.

    Strength of Lightning

    While in Lightning Stance, whenever you move at least 10 ft. before reaching an enemy, you may get an additional attack on that enemy, but only if you use all of your attacks on that same enemy.

    Iai Strike

    Starting at 18th level, you have learned to cut through anything. For every round where you donít land a critical hit, your crit range increases by 1. Once you do land a critical hit, your crit range resets to only 20. Additionally, critical hits deal an additional 2d4 Force damage for every four Kensai Levels.



    Martial Discipline: Master of the Unseen Hand

    Strengths: Powerful battlefield manipulator

    Spoiler: Master of the Unseen Hand
    Show


    Having had your spirit bonded magically with a weapon, has increased your innate understanding of magic and the tiny vibrations that exist in all things as well as the very air. The Master of the Unseen Hand, wishes to explore this magical bond, learning to draw upon the strength of their bonded weapon, channeling its connection to the Weave through herself, and out of her free hand. This process, however, brings with it an increased mental strain, reducing the Kensaiís health. Masters of the unseen hand delight in crushing their foes with invisible force, flinging massive objects into the sky and disarming enemies with a single thought. Their mastery of the craft of telekinesis makes Masters of the Unseen Hand potent and versatile combatants. Masters of the Unseen Hand are few and far between, but wherever they go, they inspire awe. They usually wield one-handed weapons, so their other hand is free for the somatic requirements of telekinetic manipulation.

    Spell save DC
    = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
    Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

    Martial Study

    You have learned how to focus your mind and channel your ki in order to perform incredible martial techniques known as maneuvers. Through the use of these maneuvers, you are able to attain superhuman levels of speed, skill, and endurance on the battlefield.
    Ki
    Much like the monk, a Kensai has a pool of spiritual energies that she may draw upon to augment and infuse her attacks. Starting at level 3 she gains a pool of Ki energy equal to her kensai level minuts two. Whenever you enter combat, you have only half of your maximum Ki pool available, rounded down, but a minimum of 1. Whenever you hit an enemy with a melee attack that isnít Ki-empowered on your turn, you gain 1 Ki. After successfully striking an enemy during your turn, you may use your bonus action to refocus yourself, doubling the amount of Ki you gain on the turn. Whenever you lose Hit Points equal to your maximum Hit Die + your Constitution modifier you lose 1 Ki. If you take damage while you have no Ki remaining, you take an extra 1d4 Psychic damage.
    After a short or long rest you have your maximum Ki available outside of combat. While out of combat, you regenerate 1 Ki every 10 minutes.

    Martial Maneuvers

    You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. You continue to learn additional maneuvers as you gain levels, as noted on the Kensei table.
    You may learn maneuvers from any discipline, however, there are some restrictions. You can learn any Maneuvers that fit all archetypes or your own archetype without restrictions beyond the amount of Maneuvers you can learn. When learning Maneuvers that fit another archetype, however, only Maneuvers with a cost of 2 Ki are freely accessable, and you may not choose anything from the Warblade maneuvers.
    Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist their effects. If that is the case, the saving throw is explained by the maneuver.

    Bonded Sight

    Upon reaching 3rd level, the Master of the Unseen Hand feels like he could see more using his weapon than his eyes. At any time, after reaching level 3, she may gouge out her eyes and gain 60 ft. of blindsight. If the spirit weapon is lost, so is the blindsight ability, but the kensai allways knows where her weapon is, and can see 30 ft. around it. Once blinded the condition is permanent, unless a Greater Restoration or similar spell is cast on the Kensai.

    Unseen

    Beginning at 3rd level, the Master of the Unseen Hand has begun to feel small vibrations in the very air, when she holds out her bonded weapon. Swinging her sword, she may harness that power from the Weave and through her weapon, to such a degree, that she begins vibrating at extreme frequencies and almost becomes invisible to the normal eye. The Kensai may cast Blur on herself as an action while wielding her bonded weapon. When cast this way, the Kensai does not need to maintain concentration on Blur. The ability costs 2 ki.

    Bonded Consequences

    The Kensaiís Hit Die will be 1d6 for every level past 3rd.

    Unseen Hand

    At 7th level, gaining deeper control of the tiny vibrations in all things, you have now learned to truly harness and control these vibrations. You have learned to cast Telekinesis at 20 ft. with only a somatic component by using an action and spending 2 Ki. Telekinesis lasts between turns, but does not cost an action or Ki to maintain on a turn, unless the Kensai actively moves what she has in her telekinetic grasp. You cannot move on the same turn, as you use Telekinesis, and you must maintain concentration or the spell will fail. Furthermore, you lose all your telekinetic powers, if you are not holding your Bonded Weapon in one hand. You can cast Telekinesis a number of times equal to your Kensai level divided by four every short rest.

    Telekinetic Wielder

    At 10th level, the Kensai becomes better at controlling vibrations in the Weave nimbly and precisely. She develops the ability to wield weapons with her telekinetic power. If she succeeds in disarming a foe, she may immediately attack with the weapon. If she still controls a weapon at the start of her turn, she may make two attacks with the weapon. The Kensai can only wield one weapon telekinetically at any given time. Your attack modifier for telekinetically wielded weapons is your Wisdom and proficiency modifiers.

    Telekinetic Flight

    Upon reaching 15th level, the Master of the Unseen Hand can use her Telekinesis spell to lift herself or a willing creature into the air. With a move action, the Kensai can move 60 ft. with perfect maneuverability and can move willing creatures as well. She does not have to move all creatures she is lifting in the same direction, but any lifted creatures plummet to the ground if they move more than 20 ft. from the Master of the Unseen Hand. The Master of the Unseen Hand can lift one Medium or smaller creature per three Kensai levels including herself, but the total weight may not exceed the maximum weight allowed by Telekinesis.

    Fling Skyward

    Using her telekinetic abilities in a violent thrust, the Kensai can at 18th level hurl a creature straight up into the air. The Kensai must first make an ability check, contested by the creatureís Strength check to grab a hold of the creature, and then make another ability check, again contested by the creatureís Strength check, to fling it skyward. The Kensai can then fling the creature 10 ft. straight upwards for every two Kensai levels. At the beginning of the creatureís next turn, the creature falls to the ground, taking 1d6 points of damage per 10 ft. fallen. If the creature hits a ceiling, it takes 2d6 points of damage from the hit, and then falls to the ground. Flinging a foe skyward immediately ends the telekinesis effect.



    Martial Discipline: Warblade

    Strengths: Very versatile and quick

    Spoiler: Warblade
    Show



    Martial Study

    You have learned how to focus your mind and channel your ki in order to perform incredible martial techniques known as maneuvers. Through the use of these maneuvers, you are able to attain superhuman levels of speed, skill, and endurance on the battlefield.
    Ki
    Much like the monk, a Kensai has a pool of spiritual energies that she may draw upon to augment and infuse her attacks. Starting at level 3 she gains a pool of Ki energy equal to her kensai level minus two. Whenever you enter combat, you have your entire Ki pool available. Whenever you hit an enemy with a melee attack that isnít Ki-empowered, you gain 1 Ki. Whenever you take damage for any reason, or if you go a full round without attempting an attack, you lose 1 Ki. If you take damage while you have no Ki remaining, you take an extra 1d4 Psychic damage.
    After a short or long rest you have your maximum Ki available outside of combat. While out of combat, you regenerate 1 Ki every 10 minutes.

    Martial Maneuvers

    You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. You continue to learn additional maneuvers as you gain levels, as noted on the Kensei table.
    You may learn maneuvers from any discipline, however, there are some restrictions. You can learn any Maneuvers that fit all archetypes or your own archetype without restrictions beyond the amount of Maneuvers you can learn. When learning Maneuvers that fit another archetype, however, only Maneuvers with a cost of 2 Ki are freely accessable.
    Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist their effects. If that is the case, the saving throw is explained by the maneuver.

    Faster Movement

    Beginning at 3rd level, you gain another 10 ft. of movement.

    Uncanny Dodge

    Beginning at 7th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attackís damage against you.

    Iaijutsu

    Starting at 10th level, if an enemy is struck by the Kensaiís Attack of Opportunity, he must make a Wisdom saving throw, or become stunned.

    Martial Prowess

    By 15th level, you are able to anticipate your enemiesí ploys and tactics. Whenever you would be disarmed, grappled, pushed, knocked prone, or similar, you may use your reaction to negate that effect.

    Warmastery

    Beginning at 18th level, you are able to take advantage of the most subtle cues and openings offered by your opponents. You can take two reactions each round.



    Martial Discipline: Shield Saint

    Strengths: Strong Control and good utility

    Spoiler: Shield Saint
    Show


    The Shield Saint has learned from her time as a simple Kensai, that bonding with a weapon doesnít just inflict pain and suffering unto her enemies, but also onto herself and her allies. Thus the Shield Saint focuses on bonding with her shield instead, protecting and helping her allies, while trying to complicate things for her enemies, all while safely hidden behind a shield.

    Martial Study

    You have learned how to focus your mind and channel your ki in order to perform incredible martial techniques known as maneuvers. Through the use of these maneuvers, you are able to attain superhuman levels of speed, skill, and endurance on the battlefield.
    Ki
    Much like the monk, a Kensai has a pool of spiritual energies that she may draw upon to augment and infuse her attacks. Starting at level 3 she gains a pool of Ki energy equal to her kensai level minus two. Whenever you enter combat, you have your entire Ki pool available. You cannot regain Ki in combat by normal means.If you take damage while you have no Ki remaining, you take an extra 1d4 Psychic damage.
    After a short or long rest you have your maximum Ki available outside of combat. While out of combat, you regenerate 1 Ki every 10 minutes.

    Martial Maneuvers

    You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. You continue to learn additional maneuvers as you gain levels, as noted on the Kensei table.
    You may learn maneuvers from any discipline, however, there are some restrictions. You can learn any Maneuvers that fit all archetypes or your own archetype without restrictions beyond the amount of Maneuvers you can learn. When learning Maneuvers that fit another archetype, however, only Maneuvers with a cost of 2 Ki are freely accessable, and you may not choose anything from the Warblade maneuvers.
    Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist their effects. If that is the case, the saving throw is explained by the maneuver.

    Bonded Shield

    Upon reaching 3rd level, the Shield Saint can no longer bond with a weapon, but can now instead bond with a shield, with which he gains all the same benefits as she would have with a weapon.

    Shieldwall

    Starting at 3rd level, whenever a Large or smaller hostile creature attacks an ally within 15 ft. of you with a melee attack, you may use your reaction to block the attack with your shield adding your shieldís AC to the targets AC. Additionally, you may Ready Shieldwall on a specific ally as a Ready action. There must be a free square next to your ally, where you can move to, in order to use Shield Wall.

    Shieldís Endurance

    At 7th level, reduce the non-magical physical damage you take from by an amount equal to your Strength modifier.

    Instill

    Lending her strength and life force to an ally, the Kensai knows how to turn her more war-like friends into deadly weapons. At 10th level, as a bonus action, the Kensai may select an ally within her sight to infuse with her life force. This ally may make one additional weapon attack each round, gains advantage on weapon attacks and may move an additional 10 ft. each round. These effects stack with haste and other buffing spells and abilities, though only one creature may benefit from instill at any one time. Once cast, Instill lasts until the end of combat. If the instilled creature is reduced to 0 Hit Points, the Shield Saint is instantly reduced to 0 Hit Points as well.

    Focused Resolve

    By 15th level, your mental focus and martial study have rendered your will into an unbreakable iron wall. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. Additionally, you can Grapple or Shove creatures up to two sizes larger than yourself.

    Saintís Endurance

    At 15th level, reduce all physical damage you take from by an amount equal to your Strength modifier.

    Juggernaught

    At 18th level, you embody the power of the shield completely. You become a juggernaught of pure force. Your Strength score increases by 4 to a maximum of 24.

    Mindfullness

    At 18th level, as a bonus action, you may use Mindfulness once per short or long rest to immediately regain 10 Ki.

    Martial Discipline: Ravager
    Strengths: Strong debuffing, good control

    Spoiler: Ravager
    Show


    Feared by many and understood by few, the infamous ravager is an individual who has dedicated himself to the service of Erythnul, deity of slaughter. A Ravager is a Kensai who has become addicted to pain and fear. Living a life of violence and savagery, the ravager seeks to spread this deityís malignant influence wherever he goes, never resting long in one place. All ravagers are readily identified by the bizarre and fearsome facial tattoos they wear to mark themselves as Erythnulís instruments.

    Martial Study

    You have learned how to focus your mind and channel your ki in order to perform incredible martial techniques known as maneuvers. Through the use of these maneuvers, you are able to attain superhuman levels of speed, skill, and endurance on the battlefield.
    Ki
    Much like the monk, a Kensai has a pool of spiritual energies that she may draw upon to augment and infuse her attacks. Starting at level 3 she gains a pool of Ki energy equal to her kensai level minus two. Whenever you enter combat, you have no Ki available. Whenever you take damage you gain 1 Ki. If a creature you have struck dies within your range of vision, you regain 2 Ki.
    You have no Ki available outside of combat, unless you take damage or you leave combat with Ki available. Each Ki degenerates after 10 minutes outside of combat.

    Martial Maneuvers

    You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. You continue to learn additional maneuvers as you gain levels, as noted on the Kensei table.
    You may learn maneuvers from any discipline, however, there are some restrictions. You can learn any Maneuvers that fit all archetypes or your own archetype without restrictions beyond the amount of Maneuvers you can learn. When learning Maneuvers that fit another archetype, however, only Maneuvers with a cost of 2 Ki are freely accessable. Two more restrictions apply: Only Warblades may choose Warblade Maneuvers, and Ravagers may not choose any Maneuvers besides their own and those that fit all.
    Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist their effects. The saving throw DC for your maneuvers is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity or Strength Modifier (your choice).

    Aura of fear
    Beginning at 3rd level, the Ravager gains an Aura of Fear. Enemies within 10 ft. of a ravager get a reduction to all saving throws equal to half the Ravagerís Proficiency modifier (rounded down).

    Ravaging Maneuvers

    Starting at 3rd level, the ravager no longer has access to all Maneuvers, but only those marked as usable by the Ravager or those marked as usable by all.

    Cruelest Cut

    Beginning at 7th level, the ravagerís familiarity with pain and fear grant her cruel precision with her melee attacks for the cost of 2 Ki. The character must declare she is making a Cruelest Cut attempt before makes a melee attack (thus, a failed attack roll ruins the attempt). If she strikes successfully, she deals 2d4 points of Necrotic damage on top of her normal weapon damage. The damage done from Cruelest Cut, can only be healed through a long rest. A ravager can use Cruelest Cut once per long rest, for every 3 Kensai levels, but may only make one Cruelest Cut attempt per round.

    Self-inflicted Wound

    Beginning at 15th level, as a bonus action, you may cut yourself in order to gain Ki. You inflict a small wound upon yourself dealing 2d4 damage unresistable damage, and thereby gain 2 Ki.

    Pain Touch

    Erythnul teaches that life is pain, and so is the touch of a Ravager. By 15th level, a ravager can make an unarmed touch attack that deals 1d8 Necrotic damage + 1 point of Necrotic damage per Kensai level. Upon successfully damaging a creature, the Kensai must choose wether to gain 1 Ki from the attack or spend 1 Ki on trying to frighten the creature. The creature must then make a DC Wisdom saving throw equal to the Kensaiís level or become frightened.

    Visage of Terror

    At 18th level a Ravager has plumbed the true depths of horror and hopelessness. For the cost of 3 Ki and using only somatic components, she can trigger a spell-like ability similar to the arcane spell Phantasmal Killer. The only difference being, that the Ravager herselfs takes on the illusory manifestation for the inflicted target, and that the spell was cast as if it was a 5th level spell. Every long rest, Visage of Terror is castable a number of times equal to the Ravagerís Wisdom modifier.

    Empowered Aura of Fear

    Beginning at 18th level, your Aura of Fear has itís range increased to 30 ft. Furthermore, enemies within the Aura of Fear, have disadvantage on saving throws against fear effects.
    Last edited by altfuldisch; 2015-05-11 at 02:11 AM.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Alright. To be honest, I only read up until level 6. However, every feature that I read is overpowered, so I suggest you take a look at making Kensai a monk subclass, and balance between the other monk subclasses.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Yep, without even looking at the archetypes, the base class alone is broken overpowered.

    * Unarmoured defense add nothing to the concept and seems to be there just because it's strong.
    * Free legendary magic item.
    * Regenerating Ki pool that makes the resource meaningless.
    * +6 bonus on attacks in bounded accuracy ? Really ?
    * Advantage on every attack within 30ft, and no penalty for shooting in melee. Really? Damage still dealt on a miss with attacks, no save ? what?
    * Proficiency flat added to all damage ?
    * Fast movement
    * Uncanny dodge

    I'm surprised you haven't added evasion, as this seems to be cherry picking the best features of several classes whilst adding entirely broken extras, and that's just skimming down it.

    Lets have a glance at archetypes-

    Ronin:
    *one stance is Barbarian rage +++
    *One stance is catch arrows +++
    * One stand is the sentinel feat +++
    * One stance is Polearm master +++
    All of these are cherry picked and then the power increased.
    *disadvantage on all attacks against you.


    .............. in fact i'm going to stop there.

    There is absolutely no attempt at balance here whatsoever. I don't think this is even worth trying to salvage with revisions .... you have literally tried to cherry pick all the strongest features, and strengthened them further.
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Thanks for the feedback so far.
    Yea, there hasn't really been any balancing so far. I mostly focused on the theme of the kensai and differentiating the archetypes.
    I made quite a few nerfs now, both to the base class and to the archetypes.

    Would you have another look, and let me know if anything still jumps out?
    And to clarify, the Spiritual Weapons Training only allows the Kensai to pick one of the options. A few more changes include removal of Uncanny Dodge and Stances now cost Ki to activate. Just to name a few.

    Thanks in advance :)

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    I really like the idea, but you should playtest this. Gather some friends and run a small campaign(in a dungeon or something) and just try out the class. Lvl up each session, and try to challenge the party to the most. It looks OP to me...

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by ImSAMazing View Post
    I really like the idea, but you should playtest this. Gather some friends and run a small campaign(in a dungeon or something) and just try out the class. Lvl up each session, and try to challenge the party to the most. It looks OP to me...
    I have a game coming up soon, where we want to test out some homebrew. I just wanted to do my due dilligence beforehand, and at least try to get it a bit balanced beforehand. Still combing through it all, and did a bunch more nerfs. Weapon Mastery for example is completely gone now. Will update the OP once done.
    Thanks for your contribution :)

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by altfuldisch View Post
    I have a game coming up soon, where we want to test out some homebrew. I just wanted to do my due dilligence beforehand, and at least try to get it a bit balanced beforehand. Still combing through it all, and did a bunch more nerfs. Weapon Mastery for example is completely gone now. Will update the OP once done.
    Thanks for your contribution :)
    Overpowered-ness hasn't changed in the slightest...you're still getting a free legendary item, let alone everything else you're getting, like a meaningless ki-point cost. I mean, you regenerate ki every time you hit someone--there's not a single class out there that does anything similar at all.

    As an optional idea, however:

    Kensai
    The Kensai focuses his training on the mastery of a single weapon over all others, until it becomes a natural extension of himself and the line between warrior and weapon becomes blurred.

    Weapon Mastery
    When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, pick a single non-heavy martial weapon. You become proficient with that type of weapon, and treat it as a monk weapon. In addition, when rolling initiative, you can expend one ki point to have advantage on your initiative roll and your first attack roll made with a monk weapon.

    Extension of Self
    At level 6, you have become so attuned to your chosen weapon that it acts like an extension of your body. Whenever you could make an unarmed strike, such as through the Martial Arts feature or Flurry of Blows, you can instead use your chosen weapon for that attack.

    EDIT: This hasn't been playtested yet; I'm considering replacing the existing Extension of Self and replacing it with a Maneuver system cloned from the Battlemaster Fighter or Unearthed Arcana's Spell-less Ranger Maneuvers. Depends on how often I think I'll get to use this.

    Iaijutsu
    At 11th level, you have gained an intuitive understanding of combat. You have the following features:
    • If you attack a creature with the weapon granted by your Weapon Mastery feature, that creature cannot take opportunity attacks against you until the start of their next turn. In addition, attacks with said weapon are considered magical.
    • You may not be surprised.
    • When subject to a melee attack, you may spend 1 ki point as a reaction to reduce the damage dealt to you by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.


    Decisive Strike
    At 17th level, when you use your Weapon Mastery effect to gain advantage on your first attack, you may expend an additional 5 ki points; if you would have hit, you are considered to have made a critical hit. The target of your attack must then make a Constitution saving throw at your ki save DC. They drop to 0 hit points on a failure, or take 7d10 additional damage on a successful save. The damage dealt is of the same type as the weapon used.
    Last edited by Inchoroi; 2015-05-08 at 04:51 PM.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Overpowered-ness hasn't changed in the slightest...you're still getting a free legendary item, let alone everything else you're getting, like a meaningless ki-point cost. I mean, you regenerate ki every time you hit someone--there's not a single class out there that does anything similar at all.

    As an optional idea, however:

    Kensai
    The Kensai focuses his training on the mastery of a single weapon over all others, until it becomes a natural extension of himself and the line between warrior and weapon becomes blurred.

    Weapon Mastery
    When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, pick a single non-heavy martial weapon. You become proficient with that type of weapon, and treat it as a monk weapon. In addition, when rolling initiative, you can expend one ki point to have advantage on your initiative roll and your first attack roll made with a monk weapon.

    Extension of Self
    At level 6, you have become so attuned to your chosen weapon that it acts like an extension of your body. Whenever you could make an unarmed strike, such as through the Martial Arts feature or Flurry of Blows, you can instead use your chosen weapon for that attack.

    EDIT: This hasn't been playtested yet; I'm considering replacing the existing Extension of Self and replacing it with a Maneuver system cloned from the Battlemaster Fighter or Unearthed Arcana's Spell-less Ranger Maneuvers. Depends on how often I think I'll get to use this.

    Iaijutsu
    At 11th level, you have gained an intuitive understanding of combat. You have the following features:
    • If you attack a creature with the weapon granted by your Weapon Mastery feature, that creature cannot take opportunity attacks against you until the start of their next turn. In addition, attacks with said weapon are considered magical.
    • You may not be surprised.
    • When subject to a melee attack, you may spend 1 ki point as a reaction to reduce the damage dealt to you by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.


    Decisive Strike
    At 17th level, when you use your Weapon Mastery effect to gain advantage on your first attack, you may expend an additional 5 ki points; if you would have hit, you are considered to have made a critical hit. The target of your attack must then make a Constitution saving throw at your ki save DC. They drop to 0 hit points on a failure, or take 7d10 additional damage on a successful save. The damage dealt is of the same type as the weapon used.
    So that's the Kensai intended as a Monk archetype?
    I already have a Kensai as a Fighter archetype, but wanted to make it as a full class with its own archetypes.

    I've updated the OP, with the most recent balance adjustments.

    In regards to a free legendary item: yea, they get +1 on their bonded weapon at level 1. That might be a little early, but it's what makes the Kensai special. At 9th level when they get +2, the party should have +1 weapons already if not +2 weapons. The modifiers don't stack, so the Kensai will choose the higher bonus.

    In regards to Ki: You regenerate Ki every time you hit someone with a normal melee attack, meaning the attack isn't empowered with Ki. You also lose Ki when you're hit though. Also several archetypes change the way Ki is generated and lost, since their playstyles differ greatly.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Overpowered-ness hasn't changed in the slightest...you're still getting a free legendary item, let alone everything else you're getting, like a meaningless ki-point cost. I mean, you regenerate ki every time you hit someone--there's not a single class out there that does anything similar at all.

    As an optional idea, however:

    Kensai
    The Kensai focuses his training on the mastery of a single weapon over all others, until it becomes a natural extension of himself and the line between warrior and weapon becomes blurred.

    Weapon Mastery
    When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, pick a single non-heavy martial weapon. You become proficient with that type of weapon, and treat it as a monk weapon. In addition, when rolling initiative, you can expend one ki point to have advantage on your initiative roll and your first attack roll made with a monk weapon.

    Extension of Self
    At level 6, you have become so attuned to your chosen weapon that it acts like an extension of your body. Whenever you could make an unarmed strike, such as through the Martial Arts feature or Flurry of Blows, you can instead use your chosen weapon for that attack.

    EDIT: This hasn't been playtested yet; I'm considering replacing the existing Extension of Self and replacing it with a Maneuver system cloned from the Battlemaster Fighter or Unearthed Arcana's Spell-less Ranger Maneuvers. Depends on how often I think I'll get to use this.

    Decisive Strike
    At 17th level, when you use your Weapon Mastery effect to gain advantage on your first attack, you may expend an additional 5 ki points; if you would have hit, you are considered to have made a critical hit. The target of your attack must then make a Constitution saving throw at your ki save DC. They drop to 0 hit points on a failure, or take 7d10 additional damage on a successful save. The damage dealt is of the same type as the weapon used.
    I think weapon mastery should allow you to choose a simple weapon as well, if you'd like to focus on that (e.g., focus on the quarterstaff). Should also clarify you have to choose a melee weapon, since monk weapons are defined as such.

    For Extension of Self, it's only ridiculous if your chosen weapon is magical in some way (with an enhancement bonus or extra weapon dice), but otherwise it's just flavor for the most part.

    Free Crits are very dangerous to give out IMO, even if the class in question doesn't have any way to scale the damage (like with paladin smites). Maybe you can expend 5 ki points IF you get a critical hit instead, to force the Con save.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by SonsOfSauron View Post
    I think weapon mastery should allow you to choose a simple weapon as well, if you'd like to focus on that (e.g., focus on the quarterstaff). Should also clarify you have to choose a melee weapon, since monk weapons are defined as such.

    For Extension of Self, it's only ridiculous if your chosen weapon is magical in some way (with an enhancement bonus or extra weapon dice), but otherwise it's just flavor for the most part.

    Free Crits are very dangerous to give out IMO, even if the class in question doesn't have any way to scale the damage (like with paladin smites). Maybe you can expend 5 ki points IF you get a critical hit instead, to force the Con save.
    Ironically, the capstone is the only thing I don't have an issue with--the average damage is less than a rogue assassin at that level; it seems to balance out (before playtesting, of course) because the rogue must get a surprise attack in order for it to quality.

    Monk + Kensai:
    2d10 + 5 + 14d10 = 93

    Rogue + Assassin:
    2d8 + 5 + 20d6 = 84 x 2 = 168

    In addition, you're already proficient with simple weapons, IIRC. As for Extension of Self, I only thought it should be replaced because, in reality, it doesn't benefit you that much as you can exchange the martial arts die for the weapon's damage die already.

    I just wanted to mention, also, that magic weapons that a monk uses still get their magic bonus, even if they use the martial arts die in place of the damage of the weapon itself. However, that brings up an interesting point in favor of keeping Extension of Self, because your bonus action off hand attack references specifically the unarmed attack.
    Last edited by Inchoroi; 2015-05-08 at 06:52 PM.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Ironically, the capstone is the only thing I don't have an issue with--the average damage is the same as a rogue assassin at that level. In addition, you're already proficient with simple weapons, IIRC. As for Extension of Self, I only thought it should be replaced because, in reality, it doesn't benefit you that much as you can exchange the martial arts die for the weapon's damage die.
    I made the note about choosing a simple weapon specifically for Extension of Self, just so you COULD use a simple weapon in place of your unarmed strikes if you wanted. And I think Extension of Self should be kept; it's a nice ribbon unless you get a firebrand or something, in which it certainly gets more powerful. There could be another feature at 6th level to give more mechanical OOMPH in addition to it.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by SonsOfSauron View Post
    I made the note about choosing a simple weapon specifically for Extension of Self, just so you COULD use a simple weapon in place of your unarmed strikes if you wanted. And I think Extension of Self should be kept; it's a nice ribbon unless you get a firebrand or something, in which it certainly gets more powerful. There could be another feature at 6th level to give more mechanical OOMPH in addition to it.
    I had to go get my books to double check!

    However, I should add in there that its any Monk Weapon in place of your unarmed strike for the purposes of Flurry of Blows, etc. That way, it counts either way.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    You missed my last post entirely, Inchoroi?

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by altfuldisch View Post
    You missed my last post entirely, Inchoroi?
    Alright; Honestly, the entire class needs to be rewritten and rethought from the ground up. I stopped at the maneuvers themselves. These comments may seem slightly acerbic, but they're meant to be helpful, as well as to demonstrate why the class needs to be rewritten.

    Free magic item bonuses: No class gets anything like this. Drop it entirely.

    Ki: Regenerating is not something that should happen outside of a short rest. You'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever run out.

    Spiritual Weapons Training: ...a finesse greatsword? Just...no. Dueling Spirit is OP as well.

    Keen Eye: Has no function at all, really. Just fluff.

    Ki Mastery: Interesting, but not really suitable for a capstone, IMO.

    Wind Stance: Interesting idea; you should, instead, reference it in the same way that Monk does the missile catch ability it gets. Reduce damage, if you reduce it to 0, the projectile is destroyed.

    Earth Stance: ....no. Grapple, and then attack the grappled person with a greatsword with one hand.

    Fire Stance: Free frightened with only a single save? Kind of OP, but probably the least amount of broken so far.

    Water Stance: Why? Your AC is high enough.

    Lightning Stance: Another bonus to damage. I sense 3.pf influence here.

    Iai Stance: Extra damage, when you already deal too much damage as it is.

    One with the Blade: So, free extra attack. Alright. Hunter gets something similar, so I suppose its not that broken taken by itself.

    Obstructed Maneuvering: Why reduce the things that the base class gets? Makes no sense. 5e is very much a Carrot game, in the idea of Carrot vs. Stick.

    Way of Steel: Double modifier? Wow, way OP.

    Surge of Energy: More ki regen; didn't need it, but that just adds it back up even more.

    Quickened Stances: Free stance plus change as a reaction; alrighty then.

    Iai Strike: And...expanding crit ranges. Wowzers.

    Unseen Hand: Already see that the spell attack modifier is super OP.

    Bonded Sight: Free blindsight? No, as much as the fluff amuses me. You've got further blindsight at 3rd level than an ancient dragon, IIRC.

    Unseen: Interesting.

    Bonded Consequences: ...why in the world is this a thing? See above, RE: Carrot vs. Stick.

    Unseen Hand: Telekinesis; why? Doesn't make sense.

    Ki: More regen.

    Lightning Reflexes: Interesting, but super OP.

    Uncanny Dodge: Should function like the battlemaster maneuver that does exactly the same, except that this is way more powerful.

    Martial Prowess: Way OP.

    Warmastery: Oh, lord in heaven, no...

    Bonded Shield: See free magic items.

    Defensive Ki: See Carrot Vs. Stick.

    Shieldwall: How can you shield someone that's 15ft away from you?

    Saint's Endurance: Not so much, no.

    Instill: Mini-haste with no ki cost. No.

    Juggernaught: Nope. I don't see the point, plus its really OP.

    Mindfullness: And...more ki regen. They'll never run out, no matter what they do.

    Pain-infused Ki: More ki regen.

    Aura of Fear: Interesting idea.

    Ravaging Maneuvers: See Carrot vs. Stick.

    Cruelest Cut: Not a bad idea.

    I'm going to stop there, I think.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    You may be interested in my Path of the Weapons Master monk subclass. Link is in my signature.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Alright; Honestly, the entire class needs to be rewritten and rethought from the ground up. I stopped at the maneuvers themselves. These comments may seem slightly acerbic, but they're meant to be helpful, as well as to demonstrate why the class needs to be rewritten.
    It's quite difficult to balance a class from the ground up and make it interesting at the same time. Thus I started out with a divergent phase, throwing anything in there, then a convergent phase reeling it back in. Quite a normal thing to do really, when designing... well, anything :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Free magic item bonuses: No class gets anything like this. Drop it entirely.
    I've been considering this actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Ki: Regenerating is not something that should happen outside of a short rest. You'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever run out.
    You'll need some rounds without using Ki-abilities and maneuvers to regain Ki enough to do more. Furthermore, you don't want to run empty (except for with the Ravager archetype), as you take extra damage if you have no Ki stored. Also you lose Ki when taking damage. It's meant to add tactical flavor, thinking the whole Ki mechanic into every combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Spiritual Weapons Training: ...a finesse greatsword? Just...no. Dueling Spirit is OP as well.
    Yea, finesse greatswords are a bad idea. So are mauls and greataxes. What I wanted here, was the option for reach weapons with finesse, as some reach weapons were actually used with quite a bit of finesse in real world history. As for Dueling Spirit, it grants +1 to damage rolls and +1 AC. The Dueling Fighting Style adds +2 to damage rolls. How is this OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Keen Eye: Has no function at all, really. Just fluff.
    It does have a function, and was meant to add a bit of RP flair into it. If you encounter a monster you haven't encountered before, you can look for vulnerabilities. Let's say it's an Ice Mephit (MM p.215). Using Keen Eye, would have your DM say "you sense that the creature is vulnerable to fire". It is in fact vulnerable to fire and bludgeoning damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Ki Mastery: Interesting, but not really suitable for a capstone, IMO.
    So you think it should be there earlier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Wind Stance: Interesting idea; you should, instead, reference it in the same way that Monk does the missile catch ability it gets. Reduce damage, if you reduce it to 0, the projectile is destroyed.
    That makes a lot of sense, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Earth Stance: ....no. Grapple, and then attack the grappled person with a greatsword with one hand.
    Yeah, have to agree here. Too strong, removed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Fire Stance: Free frightened with only a single save? Kind of OP, but probably the least amount of broken so far.
    Well, you have to spend Ki to get into the stance and spend a bonus action. Also it ends as soon as you switch stances or the foe takes damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Water Stance: Why? Your AC is high enough.
    To give options. Nobody is forcing a Kensai into a stance. Also he can't switch between all stances, just the ones he knows. Against a horde of goblins it might just make the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Lightning Stance: Another bonus to damage. I sense 3.pf influence here.
    No idea what 3.pf is :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Iai Stance: Extra damage, when you already deal too much damage as it is.
    Actually modelled this with a buddy of mine tonight. Compared to a rogue at the same level, this is still behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    One with the Blade: So, free extra attack. Alright. Hunter gets something similar, so I suppose its not that broken taken by itself.
    The Ronin is supposed to be pure damage, being good at multiple targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Obstructed Maneuvering: Why reduce the things that the base class gets? Makes no sense. 5e is very much a Carrot game, in the idea of Carrot vs. Stick.
    This is a limitation for a few reasons. Firstly he has stances and he deals more damage than the other archetypes. As such, he shouldn't regain as much Ki as them. Secondly, it makes the playstyles different between archetypes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Way of Steel: Double modifier? Wow, way OP.
    This is actually not as bad as it sounds. It's your Dex modifier. With 18 Dex, you'd get +8 damage instead of +4. For compatison the Monk gets Evasion and Stillness of Mind at the same level. Also a 7th level a Paladin gains a charm-immunity aura, a spell resistance aura or Relentless Avenger depending on archetype. All super powerful stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Surge of Energy: More ki regen; didn't need it, but that just adds it back up even more.
    He is limited in his gains, compared to others though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Quickened Stances: Free stance plus change as a reaction; alrighty then.
    Yea, apart from his damage, stances are what he is built around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Iai Strike: And...expanding crit ranges. Wowzers.
    At level 18 that isn't bad. And it's every round, not every attack. Makes a big big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Unseen Hand: Already see that the spell attack modifier is super OP.
    Well, he gets two spells that he focuses on, and that's it. He loses the weapon buff, but can apply it to his spell attack modifier. The first offensive spell is available at level 7, castable once per short rest. At level 20 it will be castabe five times every short rest. It's actually not that bad :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Bonded Sight: Free blindsight? No, as much as the fluff amuses me. You've got further blindsight at 3rd level than an ancient dragon, IIRC.
    I've been quite ambivalent about this one myself actually. The problem is, that he sacrifices his eyes for this, meaning he has NO vision apart from Blindsight. A dragon has blindsight and normal vision (and darkvision!). An Empyrean has 120 ft. of Truesight.. now that's badass!
    Honestly though, is it THAT bad? Blindsight, blur, telekinesis. That's basicly the archetype. It has drawbacks as well, since he cannot see anything past 120 ft. And 120 ft. actually isn't much once your outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Unseen: Interesting.
    Cheers! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Bonded Consequences: ...why in the world is this a thing? See above, RE: Carrot vs. Stick.
    Same reason as earlier. He is a mix of caster and martial, thus his HD drops a notch. And the weapon loses its power, in order to buff his casting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Unseen Hand: Telekinesis; why? Doesn't make sense.
    Inspired by the 3.5 prestige class Master of the Unseen Hand. It makes about as much sense as a Thief's Use Magic Device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Ki: More regen.
    Im guessing you're referring to Adrenaline-Infused Ki for the Warblade? It's actually not more regen, but just different regen to balance it out. And the Ki loss is greater here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Lightning Reflexes: Interesting, but super OP.
    Thief's Reflexes is better (rogue). Feral Instinct is statistically better as well (barbarian).

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Uncanny Dodge: Should function like the battlemaster maneuver that does exactly the same, except that this is way more powerful.
    That's good feedback! Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Martial Prowess: Way OP.
    It was a part of the Warblade in previous editions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Warmastery: Oh, lord in heaven, no...
    If 20 goblins run past you, you would get an attack of opportunity on all of them, sure. But it's level 18. Usually, enemies are intelligent enough, to not do that, which makes it situational at best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Bonded Shield: See free magic items.
    Yea, still considering dropping it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Defensive Ki: See Carrot Vs. Stick.
    See earlier remarks :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Shieldwall: How can you shield someone that's 15ft away from you?
    Because you rush to their aid, and place your shield in front of them. That's why you move next to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Saint's Endurance: Not so much, no.
    That doesn't make sense :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Instill: Mini-haste with no ki cost. No.
    A classic Kensai ability from previously. And it has a hefty risk attached. How should it be balanced? Ki cost? Smaller bonus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Juggernaught: Nope. I don't see the point, plus its really OP.
    The barbarian gets +4 Strength and +4 Constitution at level 20. You do realise some abilities are quite OP in the PHB as well, yea? It's not necessarily a bad thing. Especially at level 20.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Mindfullness: And...more ki regen. They'll never run out, no matter what they do.
    They are all different archetypes and thus don't get eachothers bonuses. The Shield Saint cannot regen Ki at all. Except with that one ability, which is usable once per short rest. He may VERY well run out of Ki. If the fight is long enough he WILL run out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Pain-infused Ki: More ki regen.
    Again, new archetype. Not more ki-regen. Different ki-regen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Aura of Fear: Interesting idea.
    Based on the 3.5 Ravager Prestige class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Ravaging Maneuvers: See Carrot vs. Stick.
    Balance issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    Cruelest Cut: Not a bad idea.
    Also a classic Ravager ability, except for the unhealable damage part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    I'm going to stop there, I think.
    But you were almost done! :(
    All of the abilities/features you didn't mention, im guessing are okay then? :P

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    The reference to 3.pf is 3rd Edition D&D and Pathfinder, abbreviated for ease of use.

    The thing is...this is the most broken class I've read for 5e to date. You've taken all the best abilities from Monk, Fighter, and Barbarian and lumped them into a new class, and then, on top of all that, you added in even more. If you use this class, it will blow literally every single class the other characters play out of the water--which has always been a huge problem with previous editions (see 3.5's Class Bloat). This is why WotC haven't done new classes--everything they've done to classes, save tweaking Ranger, is a new archetype or subclass; it's because you can use the Class itself as a base, tweaking the theme of the class with the archetype. The Kensai does not need to be a separate class at all. Monk + Battlemaster Maneuvers will do everything that the previous Kensai did--it may not do them in the same way, but that's a good thing, because classes and archetypes from previous editions really just don't work well in 5e.

    A good example of this is Rogue. They use the base of the rogue--movement, sneak attacks, precision--and modified it for specific themes. Those themes are Thief, Assassin, Arcane Trickster, and Swashbuckler. These all share the base themes of a rogue, but then add more themes on top of them, whether it be the intelligent use of items by the Thief, the gutting damage of the Assassin, or the fencing style of the Swashbuckler.

    So, what you should do, if you're dead set on making your own class for this, is taking the spirit of the previous edition, and pretending that they don't have mechanics at all (actually, you'd do better to think more about 2nd Edition D&D rather than 3rd Edition).

    What makes a kensai different from a monk who strikes the ironwood trees with their bare fists until they feel no pain? What makes them different than every warrior with a sword? Do they spend months meditating beneath a waterfall, attempting to cut the fall of water with their blade, and when they are able to, they have completed their training? Why do they do this?

    Let's ask the same questions about the monk: What makes a monk different from, say, a fighter?. A monk moves about in combat quickly, fighting with every limb at their disposal; their clothing--thin, airy, non-restricting--allow them freedom of movement, allowing them to dodge with precision.

    I suggest you ask yourself a bunch of questions about the theme and the narrative of a Kensai, and do so without referencing any mechanics, nor previous editions' archetypes or prestige classes.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    If that's the most broken 5e class you've read to date, then you haven't ready many 5e homebrew classes :)

    By no means is it the best from fighter, monk and barbarian. Maybe you havent re-read it, after I did a TON of nerfs? But let's make an analysis...

    The Kensai base class gets:

    A Hit Die of 1d8, just like the monk. In comparison the fighter gets 1d10 and the barbarian gets 1d12.

    Bonded weapon with +1 at level 1, +2 at level 9 and +3 at level 17. This is strong, sure. But the Barbarians Rage is more damage and even damage resistance. A Tempest domain cleric gains proficiency with heavy armor and martial weapons at level 1, making him a heavily armored caster and decent fighter. The fighter gets a fighting style and second wind, a strong heal. The Monk gets martial arts, which increases by level. Casters get cantrips and spells, some of them quite strong.

    Unarmored Defense at level 1 exactly equal to the barbarian. The monk gets something similar as well. Historically, a Kensai doesn't use armor. This is a no brainer?


    Spiritual Weapon Training at level 2 allowing the Kensai tho choose one bonus (NOT all of them). I previously commented on Agile Assault and Dueling Spirit, as to why they are not out of place.

    Fast Movement at level 2 is something the monk gets too. In fact, the monk's movement increases passively as he gains levels, ending up at +30' of movement. How is this "the best from the monk class, just stronger"? The Barbarian gets Fast movement as well, allthough not at level 2.

    Martial Discipline at level 3 is where we choose our archetype and get the first archetype bonus. We get this again at 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th level. Quite standard stuff.

    Ability Score Increase at level 4. Also, quite standard stuff.

    Extra Attack at level 5, just like the Fighter (who gets even more later), the Barbarian and the Monk?

    Weapon Mastery at level 6 makes you immune to disarm, which sort of makes sense for a Kensai, who's weapon means everything to her and is even infused with her spirit.

    No class stuff for levels 7 and 8 as there is another ASI and archetype feature.

    Legendary Maneuvers are learned at level 9. They are more powerful maneuvers, that still cost Ki, but can only be used once per short rest. They are generally quite good, yea, but differ between all archtypes. To compare, at 9th level, the monk learns to run up vertical surfaces and over liquids. That's a potentially HUGE utility boost. At 9th level casters get 5th level spell slots. The barbarian gets brutal critical (passive buff for all attacks).

    Battle Skill at level 10 buffing your athletics and acrobatics rolls while in combat. Can be strong, sure. But comparitively weak to Monk's evasion, Paladin's Auras, the barbarians Totem Spirit or Totemic Attunement, etc. I don't see a problem here?

    Accelerated Offense at level 11 giving more initiative. It's good, no doubt. But the barbarian's level 7 ability Feral Instinct is better. The rogue's Thief's Reflexes is far superior, allthough not given untill level 17.

    Keen Eye at level 13, is as much an RP feature as a combat feature, not many monsters actually have vulnerabilities, and if they do they are mostly obvious (like skeletons being vulnerable to bludgeoning damage, ice-monsters being vulnerable to fire, etc.). There should be no argument, that this is "too strong" or "taken from fighter, monk and barbarian and made better".

    Battle Clarity at level 14 giving immunity to charm and fright. Many classes get similar things.

    Levels 15 to 19 add more ASI, archetype features and the last buff to bonded weapon.

    Ki Mastery at level 20 is by no means overpowered compared to other classes' level 20 abilities. It's arguably underpowered even. Nevertheless, not making it OP gives more room to do cool stuff with the archetypes, which is what I went for. Also there is a big RP element in this feature.

    So, that's it for the Kensai. What exactly makes it the "most OP class ever"? It doesn't do nearly as much damage as a rogue, it doesn't have nearly the movability of the monk and it doesn't have nearly the survivability of the barbarian. It's somewhere between a monk and a barbarian, yes. Which is the intent. What it does have going for it is utility. Which is also intentional. So please, enlighten me, where is it too strong? Specifically.

    In regards to your comments about finding a theme, I hope you can see that I did that already. I did, however, get inspiration for some archetypes from 3.5 prestige classes. Inspiration, not a direct copy.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    The issue is that it doesn't have it's own theme of abilities. It's a whole bunch of stuff you have cherry picked from other classes (and in many cases, strengthened), that make this class over powered.

    As a core concept: you seem to have completely misunderstood the core concept behind bounded accuracy and the damage scale of 5th ed, with the multiple ramps of AC and to hit.

    One of the strongest class features a ranger gets - a plus 2 to hit with ranged weapons. It's considered the no brainer choice as it breaks the curve of bounded accuracy.

    This class can easily get +6, it gets +3 just from the weapon.

    The highest AC in the system is a min maxed barbarian with a shield AC22, 24 at lvl 20. This class can go up to 28.

    Without getting into the smaller parts of balancing, you have ignored the core concepts of 5th edition combat.
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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    The issue is that it doesn't have it's own theme of abilities. It's a whole bunch of stuff you have cherry picked from other classes (and in many cases, strengthened), that make this class over powered.
    In many cases they are also weakened though.

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    As a core concept: you seem to have completely misunderstood the core concept behind bounded accuracy and the damage scale of 5th ed, with the multiple ramps of AC and to hit.
    Multiple ramps? There's the Bonded Weapon (which I already stated earlier, Im considering replacing), allthough it's modifier doesn't add to the modifier of a magic weapon, which you are very likely to have at 9th level! And then there's the Spiritual Weapons Training where you can get +1 to hit and +1 to AC. But how is that different from +2 to hit from the Archery Fighting Style available to several classes? Should I remove the +1 AC? Or the entire feature?

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    One of the strongest class features a ranger gets - a plus 2 to hit with ranged weapons. It's considered the no brainer choice as it breaks the curve of bounded accuracy.
    Spiritual Weapons Training is supposed to be the Kensai version of Fighting Styles. And Fighting Styles ARE powerful, as you describe so eloquently.

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    This class can easily get +6, it gets +3 just from the weapon.
    It gets +3 at level 17, yes. At that level, you are very likely to have magic weapons that give +2 or +3 anyways. At least if you follow the rules for random loot in the DMG. I don't see how this is "overly powerful" compared to everyone else? The +hit/damage on the bonded weapon does NOT stack with the +hit/damage on magical weapons. I'm still considering replacing this though, waiting for feedback from a few friends atm in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    The highest AC in the system is a min maxed barbarian with a shield AC22, 24 at lvl 20. This class can go up to 28.
    How can it get 28? Maxed Con and Dex = 20 AC. A shield on top of that is 22 AC. A magical shield on top of that is 25 AC (which a barbarian can also get, and likely will have at level 20). If he choses dueling spirit (in its current incarnation) he gets +1 AC landing him at 26 AC. A min/maxed barbarian at level 20 with a +3 shield will have 27 AC. Where do you find the last AC? And this is only the defensive archetype for Kensai, the Shield Saint.

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    Without getting into the smaller parts of balancing, you have ignored the core concepts of 5th edition combat.
    I actually like your feedback, as it explains more than just "that feature is bad". You explain your oppinion and offer some insight. I dig that. Could you point out any features that are broken, either on their own or if stacked together? And perhaps even offer a solution on how to fix it? :)

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Weapons known: Exotic weapons? These don't exist.

    Skills: Three skills known is high for a combat class. Two would be better.

    Bonded Weapon: You're breaking Bounded Accuracy... at first level. Remove this wholesale. Magic items are at the behest of the DM, not the players.

    Ki: Just have a flat amount of ki. This doesn't add tactical depth, this adds unneccessary randomness and bookkeeping.

    Agile Assault: Been addressed before, but finessing heavy weapons is pretty ridiculous.

    Versatile Expert: I actually like this, and it's not unbalanced at all. Props for this one.

    Dueling Spirit: Nope. Defensive fighting style, a very powerful fighting style, ONLY ADDS +1 AC. This does that and more. Just make this a refluff of the regualr Dueling style, with +2 damage and nothing else.

    Fast Movement: Is this needed? It's not bad by itself, but with everything else...

    Battle Skill: Nope, wholesale. At level 9 you get the Rogue's Reliable Talent for grappling. Furthermore, this is a combat class, not a skill class. It shouldn't get this at all.

    Accelerated Offense: This should just be advantage, like the Barbarian. Less bookkeeping, more in line with 5E philosiphy.

    Withstand: Choose just one save, and only against attacks that the Kensai can see.

    Keen Eye: Not many enemies have vulnerability. This isn't useful, really.

    Battle Clarity: Nope again. This is Mindless Rage... But it doesn't require resource expenditure. Perhaps allow spending Ki to resist these effects. Also, why is this an ability? What is the theme?

    Ki Mastery: The ki dropping is fine, I guess, but the fluff alongside the aura? Remove that. It makes the Kensai HAVE to be the leader of the group or else suffer mechanical disadvantages, and that's no fun.

    I gotta agree with everyone else so far. The Kensai, even without looking over the archtypes, is too powerful. You nerfed it somewhat, and it's not too horribly OP right now, but it needs more nerfs.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Weapons known: Exotic weapons? These don't exist.
    Yea, should have taken that part out. Been working with my DM to get some exotic weapons into a campaign. Katana, Bo Staff, Shuriken, Scythe, those sort of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Skills: Three skills known is high for a combat class. Two would be better.
    You're right, cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Bonded Weapon: You're breaking Bounded Accuracy... at first level. Remove this wholesale. Magic items are at the behest of the DM, not the players.
    Yea, working on a replacement there. What do you think about "If the Kensai has disadvantage on her attack, she may spend her bonus action to negate the disadvantage effect for one attack" as a replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Ki: Just have a flat amount of ki. This doesn't add tactical depth, this adds unneccessary randomness and bookkeeping.
    Some Maneuvers cost a lot of Ki, and I don't want them to be available too soon. But I get what you mean. I did want Ki to be something that should be payed close attention to, which is why it can be lost on damage taken and be regained through other means. I'll think this one through again, see if I can come up with something better.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Agile Assault: Been addressed before, but finessing heavy weapons is pretty ridiculous.
    Well, the idea was for reach weapons in particular to become finesse weapons. Inspired Game of Thrones, when Oberyn Martell fights The Mountain... have you seen it? He's quite agile, while wielding a reach weapon to keep his opponent at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Versatile Expert: I actually like this, and it's not unbalanced at all. Props for this one.
    Thanks :)

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Dueling Spirit: Nope. Defensive fighting style, a very powerful fighting style, ONLY ADDS +1 AC. This does that and more. Just make this a refluff of the regualr Dueling style, with +2 damage and nothing else.
    Makes sense, yeah. Fixing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Fast Movement: Is this needed? It's not bad by itself, but with everything else...
    Reading through WotC's Unearthed Arcana, they talk about Fast Movement for the barbarian achieving 3 things: getting him into the fight faster, helping him not lose rage by not being able to attack due to distance, and trying to avoid him wearing heavy armor. Both classes with unarmored defense (barbarian and monk) also get fast movement. It makes sense, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Battle Skill: Nope, wholesale. At level 9 you get the Rogue's Reliable Talent for grappling. Furthermore, this is a combat class, not a skill class. It shouldn't get this at all.
    I can understand the argument. Trying to come up with a replacement. Any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Accelerated Offense: This should just be advantage, like the Barbarian. Less bookkeeping, more in line with 5E philosiphy.
    I actually did consider that, and while it is simpler, it's arguably also more powerful. Should it really be stronger to favor simplicity? I must admit, I was stumped here from the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Withstand: Choose just one save, and only against attacks that the Kensai can see.
    Good suggestion, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Keen Eye: Not many enemies have vulnerability. This isn't useful, really.
    It was sort of meant as an RP thing as well for outside of combat. Just for a little flair. And some things were quite strong, so wanted to reduce some things as well. Not sure wether to replace it, or keep it to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Battle Clarity: Nope again. This is Mindless Rage... But it doesn't require resource expenditure. Perhaps allow spending Ki to resist these effects. Also, why is this an ability? What is the theme?
    A Kensai is a swift and cunning "ninja" of sorts. He lives for battle, so he shouldn't scare easy. Part of his soul is bound to his bonded weapon, and thus cannot be charmed. The Kensai and his weapon are an extension of eachother. Where some classes are versatile in the weapons they utilize, the Kensai specializes in a specific weapon. I understand it having to cost Ki though. Adding it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Ki Mastery: The ki dropping is fine, I guess, but the fluff alongside the aura? Remove that. It makes the Kensai HAVE to be the leader of the group or else suffer mechanical disadvantages, and that's no fun.
    Again an attempt at creating something that can be put into RP. I can understand what you mean though. Shouldn't necessarily be tied to the class as a whole. Removing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    I gotta agree with everyone else so far. The Kensai, even without looking over the archtypes, is too powerful. You nerfed it somewhat, and it's not too horribly OP right now, but it needs more nerfs.
    That's why it's in here, I'm just looking for help to get it in line with the others. Your feedback was very good though. Specific as to why something is too strong, and sometimes you even offer solutions. Great feedback! Thank you so much for your time :)

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by altfuldisch View Post
    Yea, should have taken that part out. Been working with my DM to get some exotic weapons into a campaign. Katana, Bo Staff, Shuriken, Scythe, those sort of things.


    These weapons already exist. Look under monk weapons. They are just reflavors of existing weapons (Bo staff and shuriken are specific examples given).
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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by meltodowno View Post
    These weapons already exist. Look under monk weapons. They are just reflavors of existing weapons (Bo staff and shuriken are specific examples given).
    Ahh, thanks for the heads-up!

    I've updated the OP with the most recent changes.

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by altfuldisch View Post
    Ahh, thanks for the heads-up!

    I've updated the OP with the most recent changes.
    Okay, incoming wall of text.

    It's...getting better, a bit. I would like to request, however, a bit more space in between the features and paragraphs. It'll make it a lot easier to read. This will include a lot more detail, and I'll try to demonstrate why the remaining bugs are bugs, not features.

    In addition, one thing I suggest you do is make up a table of how many features your class gives at every level, one through twenty. This might demonstrate why there's too many things.

    I'm going to skip the maneuvers again, because the base class and subclasses aren't balanced at all yet, so there's no point in trying to balance the maneuvers on a chassis that's OP.


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    Unarmored Defense: This isn't inherently broken, but I question the thematic usage of your Constitution modifier. The reason: The Barbarian uses CON for this purpose because that makes sense. Barbarians are a raging bundle of meat shield. Wisdom makes more sense, given the fluff.

    Bonded Weapon: OKay, slightly better. I would add a limited use clause to the dis/advantage shenanigan, however, to prevent abuse; otherwise, disadvantage stops being a thing completely to you. Once per short rest is fine. The point of dis/advantage is to provide a tool for the DM to control the narrative--5e is is all about the narrative, and all mechanics are made with that in mind; as far as I know, there's nothing in 5e that is mechanic-first, narrative-second.

    Martial Study: You shouldn't learn Ki stuff nor maneuvers until 2nd level. The Reason: This is the norm for classes with expendable resources that aren't full-casting spell slot users. In addition, you shouldn't learn more maneuvers than the Battlemaster Fighter (max 9), in addition, this should always include the subclass specific maneuvers, as well, so you should never have more than 9 maneuvers (this should also include stances, as well, as a substitute for maneuvers).

    Ki: Still do not like the continually regenerating Ki. It's broken, and here's why: spell slots, superiority dice, monk's ki, barbarian's rage, druid's wild shape, metamagic points all of them regenerate in one of two ways (with only a couple exceptions, such as very high level, i.e. level 18-20, features): Short Rests or Long Rests. Why do you want them to regenerate ki when they attack; if there's a thematic reason, state it. If its just for mechanical reasons, such as you wanting there to be more tactical depth, there are much, much better ways to do it; the best way, of course, are interesting and flavorful maneuvers and thematic class features. Forcing more bookkeeping on a player will bog down play and feel like a chore.

    Spiritual Weapons Training: This needs a bit of work. "Dual class" is not a reference for 5e at all; multiclassing doesn't work like that at all, and you should remove the penalty for doing so (see previous, RE: Carrot vs. Stick).

    Agile Assault: Rename to Polearm Expertise; say something like, "Choose either the glaive, the halberd, or the pike. You may treat these weapons as having the finesse property if the weapon is your Bonded Weapon."

    Battering Smash: Shouldn't be a problem.

    Versatile Expertise: Shouldn't be a problem.

    Close Quarters Archery: Shenanigans, but not that bad, in reality. I would you rather just say its the Archery fighting style and be done with it.

    Dueling Spirit: Shouldn't be a problem.

    NOTE: This is a lot of features for 1st level; really, really a lot. Ki + Maneuvers should be level 2; the extra fighting styles + Bonded Weapon would be fine for 1st level.

    Fast Movement: Fine; pretty good for a samurai.

    Ability Score Increase/Extra Attack: No problem with these.

    Weapon Mastery: Nice little ribbon, shouldn't be a problem.

    Legendary Maneuvers: I'll be skipping these, as well. I did want to ask what, exactly, is the reasoning for these? Ignore, of course, anything referencing a previous edition's stuff. Is this supposed to be a Samurai's setting themselves with their blade sheathed, and then strike out with one awesome attack? That doesn't make sense, of course, because of the options you have for weapons.

    Twist the Blade: No; doesn't make much sense, and feels like it should belong to rogue. Why would a samurai deal more damage to a surprised foe? What would be the thematic reasoning for this?

    Accelerated Offense: Jesus. +10 to your Initiative at level 20? Yeah, that's kind of OP. I think the most it should be is +6, i.e. your proficiency bonus, at level 20, because Bards get that later on as well. I don't, however, have an issue with the thematic ideal, however, as it makes sense for a samurai to have something like this.

    Withstand: The second 11th level feature (too many...); why advantage on CON saving throws? What is the thematic reasoning for this? I'd cut it completely, not because it's particularly broken, but because it feels like a bonus for bonus' sake.

    Keen Eye: This still needs an actual mechanic; for reference, look at Battlemaster's Know Your Enemy feature.

    Battle Clarity: I'm fine with this.

    Bonded Weapon Improvement: No free magic items. Drop it completely; or, alternatively, give it expanded crit to 19-20, if you have to have something here.

    Ki Mastery: Meh. I wouldn't call this broken, really; actually, I think this is a very lackluster ability for a class's capstone.



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    Ronin
    One thing that might be fun is putting a little bit in about your bonded weapon having to be a specific weapon type; for example, the Ronin says that they like to wield two-handed weapons against multiple enemies. Play up on that by saying something like, "Bonded Weapon: At 3rd level when you choose this archetype, your bonded weapon must be a two-handed weapon."

    Stances: Throughout the class, you learn all the stances; why? What is the thematic reasoning behind this? If its martial arts tropes you're after, most samurai studied a particular style, and that was it. I think you should instead, to maintain the thematic, have each level's ability add on to a specific stance, in a similar way to how Ranger's Hunter archetype stacks on different things to fit specific themes. For example:

    Earth Stance: While in this stance, when you are subjected to an effect that would move you, knock you prone, or both, you can use your reaction to be neither moved nor knocked prone.

    Strength of Stone: When in the Earth Stance, when you make an attack with your bonded weapon, you can, as a bonus action, make an attempt to shove the target of your attack.

    Wind Stance: Disengage as a bonus action? Sure. That should be it, however. The reasoning for this is that you get a monk feature on top of that, which makes it quite broken.

    Earth Stance: See my version of Earth Stance above. Why does your version decrease ki cost? What is the thematic reasoning for this to function like this?

    Fire Stance: Why does Fire Stance frighten? Doesn't make much sense at all. What are the thematic reasons for this? Do you want these to be actual elemental effects, or instead, do you want the martial stance to emulate the element, in the same way that tai chi in our world emulates the flowing of water.

    Water Stance: This is the one that makes the most sense, even if it really shouldn't just be bonuses, as it violates the spirit of 5e. What is the theme of the Water Stance? Bruce Lee has a quote; "Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it." So, as an idea, how about you having the ability to move through enemy spaces? You'll provoke, of course, but like water, you should flow around obstacles.

    Lightning Stance: No random bonuses; what is the theme you're going for with Lightning Stance? Lightning strikes quickly, once, and then doesn't strike again. How about a stance that grants you a bonus to movement?

    Iai Stance: Why is this the only one that's not linked to an element? What is the theme and why does it relate to Kensai as a class and Ronin as a subclass?

    Once with the Blade: Stances, then adding on Hunter's hordebreaker ability or the cleave ability from Battlemaster for free. I think you can see that that's broken (at least I hope you can...), especially on top of everything else you're already getting at this level. I'd cut it completely.

    Obstructed Maneuvering: Really not liking the "You suddenly forget stuff you knew before" shenanigans. You should instead say "You can choose a stance in place of choosing a maneuver when you are granted one." And, of course, more ki-regen shenanigans; it shares the Ki ability's brokenness of the base class.

    Way of Steel: Doubling your damage modifier probably isn't a good idea, especially at this level. The only thing that gets close is a Warlock Invocation at level 12, which requires an Invocation slot (this is how 5e is balanced; Carrot vs. Stick, meaning you can get good stuff with the expenditure of character resources, not the sacrifice of a feature you already have in place of another).

    Quickened Stances: You should not have two initiative bonuses per class; you've got your initiative bonus in the base class, drop it entirely. RAW, you have +10 on your Inititiave, and advantage on the roll. Drop stances as a reaction, as well; doesn't make sense. What thematic reason is there for that? The stances should be things you take when you begin your action; you set yourself, readying yourself for combat.

    Iai Strike: Wholly broken, honestly. More bookkeeping, and you do a buttload more damage on top of that at 18d6; rogue can do that, yes, however, it requires them to get a surprise round, something that doesn't happen all that often.



    Spoiler: Master of the Unseen Hand
    Show
    Master of the Unseen Hand
    This subclass doesn't make any sense at all. You start off as a melee-ranged martial fighting class...and then become a ranged magic user; not just that, but a telekinetic. Why? Ignore completely any reference at all to 3.5; what is the thematic reasons for this? Why does this exist? Why and how would a samurai do this?

    I will mention the Spell Save DC and the Spell attack modifier as being incorrect, as well.

    Bonded Sight: This is so powerful that any and all players would be foolish to take anything else. You have a longer range for Blindsight than even an ancient dragon, and being blind has no penalty to you, because that's what blindsight does: "A creature with blindsight can perceive its surroundings wihtout relying on sight, within a specific radius." The only possible drawback is if they're beyond the radius, you can't see them, but, really, how often will something that you need to fight be that far away from you?

    Unseen: 1 ki to pass a perfect version of Blur faster than a wizard can cast it. Why? What is the thematic reasoning for this?

    Bonded Consequences: No. This does not help to balance anything, nor does it make any sense. You're suddenly less healthy.

    Unseen Hand: So, you get Telekinesis earlier than a wizard, without having to concentrate on it, nor do you have to take an action to do stuff with it. I ask, again, why? This makes no sense for a sword-wielding melee character to possess.

    Telekinetic Wielder/Flight: Pretty much the same questions as Unseen Hand? What is the thematic reasons for this?

    Fling Skyward: Um...okay. Doesn't make sense as an ability, and, if I'm reading it between the lines, its basically a free Reverse Gravity casting, with some arbitrary extra saving throws added in.


    NOTE: I want to say you should completely forget about this subclass; its very, very unthematic for what I think you're going for, and, honestly, I have no idea why you'd want to add it in. If you want something like this, play a warlock, or look around for one of the psion homebrews floating around.


    Spoiler: Warblade
    Show
    Warblade

    Adrenaline-Infused Ki: This has the same issues as all the other ki-regen shenanigans.

    Lightning Reflexes: Some more initiative shenanigans as well. One per class, at most, and only if it makes sense.

    Uncanny Dodge: Not bad, I suppose.

    Martial Prowess: Not bad, either.

    Warmastery: Nope. Free reactions destroys action economy, and will make combat slow to a crawl.



    Spoiler: Shield Saint
    Show
    Shield Saint
    Bonded Shield: I understand what you mean by this, but it needs a real reference. You don't have to worry about word count, so just say the mechanic again, since you'll have to reference it differently anyway.

    Defensive Ki: Don't change ki from base class. See Ki-Regen Shenanigans.

    Shieldwall: It's not really broken, per se, but cleaner language would be better.

    Saint's Endurance: I suppose it's not that OP, but it is somewhat lackluster, taken by itself.

    Instill: You can cast haste on an ally; and, plus, it stacks with haste. Way OP. Granting extra attacks should be very, very, very, very, very rare. Its why they're tied to class levels, and why they never stack when you multiclass.

    Focused Resolve: No issue with this.

    Juggernaught: Why does a Shield Saint get something like this? What is the thematic reasoning?



    Spoiler: Ravager
    Show
    Ravager

    Pain-infused Ki: This, like all the others, has the same issues, RE: Ki-regen Shenanigans.

    Aura of Fear: You should take a look at the DMG, pg 97, the Dreadful Aspect channel divinity that the Oathbreaker paladin archetype gets. This is, RAW, free, as well, so keep that in mind, since channel divinity is a resource to be used, not a free ability. Of course, this also includes the Enhanced and Empowered Aura of Fear.

    Ravaging Maneuvers: Has the same issues as all the other "You no longer know the same things that you knew before" shenanigans.

    Cruelest Cut: This isn't all that bad, actually. If it weren't for everything else, it'd be fine.

    Pain Touch: Necrotic damage plus ki-regen shenanigans, on top of frightened, for free, essentially.

    Visage of Terror: Interesting idea, but also unthematic (at least, from what I guess the thematic is supposed to be). Why is a ravager (essentially a barbarian, really) casting spells like that? What is the thematic reason for doing so?




    One last note. I really suggest you start this class from scratch, if you really must make it its own class, and forget all about these mechanics. Copy & Paste from other classes can work, but it shouldn't be relied upon at all, and, on top of that, you should consider the following:

    The chassis of 5e. This is completely different from other editions. It focuses upon the narrative; its why things like dis/advantage exist, its why, in my opinion they used plain language, rather than legalese, for the books. It also focuses on theme--literally everything 5e does is based on thing. Write out the theme for your desired class; completely forget about anything from previous editions. Totally forget about them, they'll only mess you up; using them as inspiration is fine, but you should only use the theme of the class for inspiration, not the actual mechanics.
    Last edited by Inchoroi; 2015-05-09 at 09:30 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    I'm going to skip the maneuvers again, because the base class and subclasses aren't balanced at all yet, so there's no point in trying to balance the maneuvers on a chassis that's OP.
    Yeah, had to remove the maneuvers as well, since the post got too big to actually post it. Apparently you're only allowed to post 50k characters :P
    But the OP is updated, and hopefully formatted to be easier read as well.

    Anyways, I did a lot of fixes based on your feedback... so thanks a lot, it really did help.


    A short overview of changes (im sure I missed something in the summary though):

    I moved Ki and Maneuvers to level 3, so it comes with the archtype. Made a lot more sense, and they can each spend/generate/lose their Ki in different ways that fit the theme.

    Base class:
    Changed Unarmored Defense to be Dex + Wis (instead of Dex + Con)
    Negating disadvantage is once per short rest now
    Removed Twist the Blade
    Changed Accelerated Offense to proficiency modifier instead of half of level
    Changed Withstand to Wis saving throws
    Changed Bonded Weapon Improvement to advantage on death saving throws
    Added Clash
    Added Kiai!

    Ronin:
    Changed stances somewhat
    Added enhanced stances
    Removed Quickened Stances
    Moved abilities between levels

    Master of the Unseen Hand:
    Reduced Blindsight from 120 ft. to 60 ft.

    Warblade:
    Added Iaijutsi
    Changed Warmastery to two reactions instead of infinite.

    Shield Saint:
    Saint's Endurance split into a weaker version and an upgrade, and its damage reduction now based on Strength.

    Ravager:
    Removed the 20 ft. version of his aura
    Added Self-Inflicted Wound

    Other comments:
    Iai Strike: Tried modelling this with a friend, and its basicly a 5% increase in crit chance every round (not every attack, this is important!), which gets reset once a crit lands. It can still take 5 rounds easily before landing a crit. The Ronin should be the pure damage archetype. But I'll playtest it soon and find out just how strong it is.

    Blindsight: I get that Blindsight is strong. Its supposed to be. I did change it from 120 to 60 ft. though. The issue is, that the Kensai cannot see anything past the range of Blindsight. Making far away enemies invisible. He cannot see where the road bends or when the mountains start for example. He'd be REALLY bad at navigating a ship as well :P

    Master of the Unseen Hand as a whole: added a bit more in the archetype description, let me know if that doesn't make sense to you :)

    Bonded Shield: I'll look into rewording this.

    Instill: it's strong, but its a tradeoff. Notice that once cast, the Shield Saint cannot remove it again. And if the Instilled character goes below 0, so does the Shield Saint. Its a big risk.

    Juggernaught: I want the Shield Saint to focus on strength, so he doesn't put TOO much into Dex and Wis (for increased AC). That's also why Saint's Endurance now gains its effects from Strength.

    Aura of Fear: It doesn't actually fear anybody. It just reduces their saving throws. When improved it does give enemies disadvantage on saving throws vs fear though.

    Pain Touch: The Ravager has a hard time getting any Ki, and mostly does get this at great risk to himself. Also, using Ki on this, means he doesn't have Ki for other stuff.

    Ravager as a whole: A Ravager embodies fear, pain and cruelty. He's an "evil" Kensai, only looking to do harm.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Nov 2014

    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    What is the thematic reason for each subclass regenerating Ki differently? Why have them regenerate outside of a short-rest or long-rest at all? What thematic reason is this to be different than any other class or subclass?

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    BarbarianGuy

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    May 2015

    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inchoroi View Post
    What is the thematic reason for each subclass regenerating Ki differently? Why have them regenerate outside of a short-rest or long-rest at all? What thematic reason is this to be different than any other class or subclass?
    It depends on how they are in touch with their spirit, as Ki is a spiritual thing - and for balance reasons.


    The Ronin is the pure damage dealer, who specializes in two-handed weapons and taking on several enemies simultaneously. He lives for battle, and (mostly) wants to be honorable. He generates ki by damaging his opponents, honing his martial skills, which he prides himself with. He loses Ki by taking a substantial loss to his Hit Points, as it impacts his pride and will. Also, if he has no Ki, he takes more damage when hit, as his will is low. He doesn't want to be at no Ki.

    The Master of the Unseen Hand manipulates the battlefield, and while he can deal damage, he has more utility and control. He generates Ki by damaging others, feeding off of the vibrations that extend along his blade. He loses Ki by taking a substantial loss to his Hit Points, as it breaks his focus and concentration. If he has no Ki, he takes more damage, as Ki also represents his will.

    The Warblade is tactical and fast, and most of his features are defensive minded, allthough just for himself. He isn't really a defender. He has the potential to gain a little more Ki than any of the others though, as he revels in the chaos around him, while maintaining order within himself. He is supposed to be able to use maneuvers more often than the others, and also has access to maneuvers exclusive to him. He does, however, lose Ki whenever he takes damage, not matter how much damage he takes. He relies on not being hit, in order to be successful. He also takes additional damage it hit while having no Ki.

    The Shield Saint is calm and very in touch with his spirit. So he starts with full Ki, but doesn't regenerate it at all - except for a once per rest ability, that gives him 10 Ki. It doesn't empower his spirit, to see others hurt, as he is a protector. He doesn't lose Ki by being hit either though, since he is so calm, and actually wants his enemies to hit him over his allies. If he has no Ki left at all, he also takes more damage though, since he is less in touch with his spirit, and thus less calm.

    The Ravager revels in pain and suffering, for example. So that is how he is in touch with his spirit, and thus he regains Ki when he takes damage. He enjoys it, as it brings him closer to his deity. He doesn't take extra damage at no Ki though, precisely because he enjoys it. So his Ki is powered by pain, which is why he starts combat without any Ki available.


    The reason I wanted Ki to be able to regenerate (except for the Shield Saint), was to differentiate the resource from other classes' resources, and to make it an interesting minigame. It's supposed to play a big role. Some maneuvers cost little Ki, some are more expensive and some are very expensive. Legendary maneuvers are castable once per rest, because of their power, but still require Ki. A lot of the features built into the class also require Ki. So you can do a LOT of things, but you can't just expend all of your ressources at once, since it will take a while before you can do something usefull again. Obviously this needs to be playtested.
    Compare it to a Sorceror for example. At 20th level he could throw one 9th level spell, one 8th level spell, two 7th level spells, two 6th level spells and three 5th level spells. One each round. That's 9 rounds of sheer awesomeness. Sick burst. A Kensai can't do that, as his best maneuvers are to expensive. On the other hand, he can do quite a bit, then do nothing, and then do a little something again.


    Added pictures to all archetypes, to be better show off "who" they are.
    Last edited by altfuldisch; 2015-05-10 at 05:00 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 5e Kensai class (with 5 archetypes) [PEACH]

    Added PEACH to the post name, just found out what it means.

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