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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    An orc at the head of a legion of soldiers raises her spear high, gives a mighty shout, and charges into battle with a surge of magic quickening her stride, her followers pouring after her toward the enemy in a riot of enthusiastic howling.
    A dwarf slams his shield into the face of his gnoll foe, knocking it to the ground, then with a swing of his axe, hurls a bolt of ice at another several feet away. The ice clings bitingly to its fur for a moment before vanishing, leaving a weave of paralytic magic in its place that holds the gnoll immobile.
    A human surrounded by a swarm of kobolds slams her greatsword into the ground, summoning a fan of flames that sears her enemies into retreat, then leaps forward and swings her blade, still wreathed in fiery power, deep into the armored chest of their leader.
    These heroes are warmages, fierce combatants who study magic for its destructive capability and the utility it can bring in battle and adventure. They avoid the unreliable complexities of high-level spells which can be used up or wasted, and focus instead on coaxing unmatched performance from a wide breadth of inexhaustible cantrips, augmented by vigorous physical training in the mundane tools of war.

    The Warmage



    Spoiler: So what's this all about?
    Show
    The most common defense of the Fighter and its general inferiority to magic users in terms of utility, choice, and flavor is that the game "needs a simple class for beginners," and you know what? That's absolutely true. The game needs simple classes. Different people have different desires from a class, and "simple to build" and "simple to play" are both completely real, completely legitimate examples of such desires.

    What I'm not entirely clear on, though, is why "hitter of things with swords" has to be that class, and why "setter of things on fire" never can be. The warlock, 3.path's "simple" caster, has now become the most complex and confusing class in the game with three separate types of spells to keep track of on three different recharge schedules. Sorceror is the simplest currently but it still has a lot of moving parts and is still really easy to screw up and undercontribute with by choosing the wrong spells or using them at the wrong time. There's a real gap for the person who just wants to roll to attack every round and feel confident that they're holding up their end of the party but who prefers the flavor of the mysterious master of the elements over the legendary swordsman.

    This Warmage is an attempt to correct that oversight. It's necessarily not quite as simple as the Fighter, for the unavoidable reason that even cantrips are more complex in their application than "what size die does my weapon deal". That said, it should still offer a basically straightforward character in the Archon that's comparable in power to the Champion at the same level of choice, while still offering enough variety and complexity in the EK and BM mirrors to provide players who want a more tactical magical character but dislike Vancian resource management.


    Table W: The Warmage
    Level Prof Special Cantrips
    Known
    1st +2 Arcane Style, Cantrips, Warmage Edge 5
    2nd +2 Arcane Command, War Magic Expertise 5
    3rd +2 War Magic Focus 5
    4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 5
    5th +3 Pervasive Cantrips 6
    6th +3 Ability Score Improvement 6
    7th +3 War Magic Focus feature 6
    8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 6
    9th +4 Reactive Warding (one use) 7
    10th +4 War Magic Focus feature 7
    11th +4 Overwhelming Cantrips 7
    12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 7
    13th +5 Reactive Warding (two uses) 8
    14th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8
    15th +5 War Magic Focus feature 8
    16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8
    17th +6 Arcane Surge (two uses), Reactive Warding (three uses) 9
    18th +6 War Magic Focus feature 9
    19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 9
    20th +6 TBD 9

    CLASS FEATURES
    As a warmage, you gain the following class features.

    Hit Points
    Hit Dice: 1d10 per Warmage level
    Hit Points: 10+Con mod at 1st, 1d10+Con or 6+Con thereafter

    Proficiencies
    Armor: Light and medium armor, shields
    Weapons: All simple weapons plus any five light, one-handed, versatile or ranged weapons
    Tools: Choose siege weapons or any one vehicle proficiency, or alchemy kits

    Saving Throws: Constitution
    Skills: Choose three of Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Arcana, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Tactics & Logistics

    Spoiler: don't mind the house skill
    Show
    Tactics & Logistics, which I may yet rename to Military Science, is a custom skill that covers organizing armies, anticipating ambushes and flanks, finding and distributing supplies, and a variety of other things only applicable to specific war-related campaigns.


    Equipment
    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

    (a) a light armor and a shield or (b) a medium armor
    (a) a ranged weapon and 20 pieces of ammunition or (b) five thrown weapons
    (a) a melee weapon or (b) two light weapons
    (a) an adventurer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack

    Arcane Style
    You gain access to your magic in a distinct way, through either research and study, insight and prayer, or innate magical force. Choose one of the following options to define your warmage spellcasting:

    Scholar
    Your spellcasting attribute is Intelligence, you know the Prestidigitation catnip in addition to your normal cantrips known, and you are proficient in Intelligence saves. You can create and carry a spellbook, which contains two 1st-level ritual spells from any class list. You may copy other ritual spells into your spellbook as you discover them, provided their level doesn't exceed half your character level. So long as you have your spellbook, you may cast any ritual spell in it, but only as a ritual, unless you gain the ability to cast spells from another class.

    Sage
    Your spellcasting attribute is Wisdom, and you are proficient in Wisdom saves. You know the cantrips Guidance, Light and Mending in addition to your normal list of cantrips known.

    Savant
    Your spellcasting attribute is Charisma, and you are proficient in Charisma saves. When you roll dice to determine the effect of a cantrip, you use a die one step larger than normal (Vicious Mockery would use a d6, for example).

    Spoiler: Alliteration!
    Show
    I dislike Sage providing two good saves, but "always proficient in casting stat" is likewise a hard rule. I tried to balance it with a weaker secondary benefit, but advice is welcome.


    Cantrips
    You have the ability to use magic, but only in its most straightforward form. You know five cantrips of your choice from the Warmage list. You learn additional cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Warmage table.
    Your spellcasting attribute for these cantrips is determined by your Arcane Style. You may use any weapon you're proficient with as an arcane focus, and may also use such a weapon to perform any somatic components your cantrips might require.

    Warmage cantrips: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Blisterwind,* Chill Touch, Fire Bolt, Fire Fan,* Homing Strike,* Produce Flame, Korrin's Fist,* Quickfoot,* Poison Spray, Ray of Frost, Resistance, Screaming Blade,* Shillelagh, Shocking Grasp, Thorn Whip, True Strike, Vicious Mockery, Voidshield*

    Spoiler: Cantrips
    Show
    Asterisks are homebrewed, and can be found here. Even that's not an absolute list - I haven't looked through EE lately but generally, if it's combat-flavored transmutation, abjuration or evocation and not explicitly flavored as godly, it ought to be fair game. I've seen a few homebrew cantrips by others on the forum here I'd gladly allow as well.


    Warmage Edge
    As a warmage, whenever you roll damage for a cantrip, you add additional damage equal to your proficiency bonus. This bonus damage doesn't stack with bonus damage from Agonizing Blast or similar abilities that add static bonuses.

    Arcane Command
    Starting at 2nd level, you can marshal your arcane power to bolster any effort beyond the reach of chance or failure. On your turn, when you would roll a die or dice to determine the result of an attack, spell, or effect, you may simply choose any possible result instead.
    Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but can still only use it once per turn on your turn.

    War Magic Expertise
    At second level, your study of the arts of war exceeds that of any normal student. Select one of Arcana, History or Tactics & Logistics with which you are proficient. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make using that skill.

    War Magic Focus
    At third level, you choose a specific area of study to develop your magic through. Choose Archon, Blade Mage, or Tactician, all of which are detailed at the end of the class description. The focus you choose grats you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th level.

    Ability Score Improvement
    When you reach 4th level, and again at 6th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or increase two by 1 each (to the normal limit of 20).

    Pervasive Cantrips
    Beginning at 5th level, when you would ordinarily deal no damage with a cantrip due to its attack roll missing or your target making a successful saving throw, you instead deal half damage.

    Reactive Warding
    Starting at ninth level, when an enemy hits you with a ranged or melee attack, you can instinctively create a magical shield to protect yourself. Make a Constitution saving throw, and subtract the result from the damage your enemy deals. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you complete a long or short rest.
    You can use this feature twice between rests starting at 13th level and three times between rests starting at 17th level.

    Spoiler: Totally not Indomitable.
    Show
    I figure if fighters attack AC and get defenses against saves, warmages can attack saves and get defenses for AC. I've given fighters a better version of Indom - refreshes on a short rest, the reroll is always a Con save - so that's my balance point for this. Let me know if you think I've hit it.


    Overwhelming Cantrips
    Beginning at 11th level, when you roll damage for one of your cantrips, roll one extra die and add it to the result.

    Devastating Cantrips
    Capstone in progress.


    War Magic Focus

    Archon
    Compare to Champion. The Archon is the most distilled version of the Warmage, focused on damage and utility without complex choices.

    Reliable Casting
    As an Archon, whenever you roll to determine the effect of a cantrip, you may reroll any 1s or 2s and take the new result.

    Magic Affinity
    Beginning at seventh level, whenever beneficial magic is cast on you that requires a die roll, roll an extra die and discard a die result of your choosing.

    Battle-Hardened
    Beginning at tenth level, you may add half your proficiency bonus to any Strength save you make, and to any Strength or Constitution checks that wouldn't already add your full proficency bonus.

    Spellshield
    Starting at fifteenth level, your experience with combat magic gives you advantage on all saves against spells or magical damage.

    Arcane Sight
    Once you reach 18th level, you are completely attuned to the warps and disturbances of magic in the world. You are automatically aware of the presence, location and school (where applicable) of every magical effect, item, or creature within 30' of you. This ability is considered a divination effect comparable to true seeing, when relevant.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2015-08-17 at 02:29 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Blade Mage
    An Eldritch Knight mirror, focused on improving martial prowess and cleanly integrating cantrip and weapon use.

    Bonus Proficiencies
    Upon selecting this focus, you gain proficiency in heavy armor and with all martial weapons. You also gain proficiency with one of fletcher's tools, leatherworker's tools, smith's tools, or woodworker's tools.

    Bonded Weapon
    At third level, when you select this focus, you may bond with up to two weapons (melee, ranged, manufactured or natural). You form a bond by spending an hour moving through martial forms and focusing your magic through the weapon; this may be done during a short rest.
    Your bonded weapon cannot be disarmed from you unless you are incapacitated, and if you lose hold of it, you may summon it to your hand at any time as a bonus action so long as it is on the same plane as you. It becomes magical, allowing it to overcome some damage resistances and immunities, and you may use your spellcasting attribute in place of your Strength or Dexterity score to determine its attack bonus (but not any damage bonus).

    Spoiler: Hey look, it's actually useful like this.
    Show
    I'm mostly ok with the EK, but bonded weapon is some serious weaksauce as written. This version is what I created in response. Works even better for warmage, who actually wants a high casting stat, unlike EK who probably prefers strength and relying on Eldritch Strike to land spells.


    Follow-Through
    As a blade mage, you learn to interweave magical and martial skill into a seamless whole. When you use your action to cast a cantrip, you may use your bonus action to make a grapple, disarm or shove attempt or a quick, glancing weapon attack that deals 1d4 base damage (regardless of the weapon you use).

    Martial Focus
    Starting at 7th level, you may attack twice, instead of once, when you use the Attack action on your turn. You may also use your normal weapon damage when using Follow-Through, provided your weapon attack is made with your bonded weapon. If you choose to disarm, grapple or shove instead, you add double proficiency (if any) to your Athletics check.

    Mage Sight
    At 10th level and above, you can use your magical skill to extend your attention and perception to an incredible degree. As a bonus action, you gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet (or the range of your existing darkvision increases by 60 feet) for ten minutes, and you have advantage on all Perception and Investigation checks (or any similar tests of mental acuity) while this effect lasts. Once you use this ability, you must complete a short or long rest in order to use it again.

    Imbued Blade
    Beginning at 15th level, when you cast a cantrip that deals damage, its magic permeates and clings to your bonded weapon. Until the end of your next turn, any successful attack you make with your bonded weapon deals 1d8 bonus damage of the same type as the cantrip. You can't imbue your weapon with the energy of more than one cantrip at once; casting a new damaging cantrip while your blade is still imbued replaces the current effect.

    Battle Tempo
    Starting at 18th level, you gain the ability to automatically cast Haste on yourself when you use your Arcane Command.


    Tactician
    A Battle Master mirror, intended to expand utility and allow the player to expand on and specialize in a tanking, buffing or controller role. Compare specifically to this Battle Master. These two subclasses either play really well together or are terribly redundant, I'm not sure which.

    Combat Superiority
    When you choose this archetype at third level, you learn unique combat techniques called maneuvers, which are fueled by special dice called superiority dice.
    Maneuvers. You start knowing two maneuvers of your choice, which modify your attacks or allow you new actions. Available maneuvers are detailed under "maneuvers" below. Each has a level requirement; you can't learn a maneuver unless your warmage level is at least the level indicated by that maneuver. You can't combine maneuvers; you may apply only one maneuver to any given cantrip, movement or action. Each time you gain another Tactician feature (at levels 7, 10, 15, and 18), you learn two new maneuvers, and may also replace one known maneuver with another.
    Most maneuvers require expending Superiority Dice. You begin with three of these dice, which are d8s, and gain another at fifth level and every odd warmage level thereafter. The dice increase in size to d10 at fighter level 10 and d12 at 18th. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain all your expended dice when you finish a short or long rest.

    Quick Reconnaissance
    You're well-practiced at reading the battlefield with a glance. You may add twice your proficiency bonus to Intelligence checks to remember the details of an object or area you've only briefly observed.

    Evasive Instinct
    Starting at 7th level, you add your proficiency bonus to initiative checks, and you automatically Disengage whenever you move. You lose the benefit of this feature if you're incapacitated.

    Spoiler: Or is that "ability checks to determine initiative"?
    Show
    At first I was going to just word this as "you never provoke opportunity attacks", but using Disengage specifically makes it more clear how it interacts with things like Sentinel.


    Quick on the Uptake
    By 10th level, your long manipulation of magic has made you especially sensitive to its use by others. You have advantage on any ability check to detect the presence of magical traps or effects, and you automatically make Intelligence checks against illusions whether or not you interact with them.

    Arcane Invigoration
    Beginning at 15th level, as long as you are threatened by at least one enemy, you may use the energy of a cantrip to refocus your attention and renew your strength. You use your action to cast any cantrip you know, and instead of the cantrip's normal effect, you regain two superiority dice. You can't exceed your normal maximum number of superiority dice in this way.

    Mirrorguard
    When you reach 18th level, your mastery of combat magic allows you to turn even the most powerful enemy spells to your own profit. When you are the target of a single-target spell or magical effect, you may use your reaction to reflect it against its caster. You suffer no damage or adverse effects from the spell, as though it had never been cast, and the creature that cast the spell is affected as though it had cast the spell on itself, having to save against its own DC or roll an attack against itself and resolve the effects normally.
    Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

    Spoiler: Everyone wants to be an eye tyrant, right?
    Show
    And you get to keep your binocular vision! Best of both worlds.


    Maneuvers
    Many maneuvers have a minimum warmage level requirement before you can learn them, as indicated by their placement on the list. Some require spending multiple superiority dice, and others allow you to spend more dice than usual to increase their effects; as mentioned in the class description, these extra dice can't exceed your proficiency bonus. Some maneuvers have no cost in superiority dice at all, and can be used whenever their triggering conditions are met; these don't interfere with or prevent the use of other maneuvers in any special way

    Spoiler: Third Level
    Show
    Abjurant Aura When you are not wearing heavy armor and cast a cantrip on your turn, you gain a +1 bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +2.

    Arcane Extension Before using a cantrip, you may spend a superiority die. The cantrip adds your superiority die to its damage, and its range increases by 50%. If the cantrip has more than one type of range (such as Thorn Whip, which can attack to 30 feet or pull a creature 10), this only affects one range of your choice.
    If you spend three dice to activate this maneuver, the range of the cantrip doubles, and you deal all three dice in extra damage.

    Distracting Cast When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend a superiority die to confound its defenses. Add the superiority die to your damage, and the next weapon or single-target spell attack made against that creature before the end of your next turn has advantage.

    Elemental Alteration Before using a damage-dealing cantrip, you may spend a superiority die and select one of acid, cold, electricity, or fire. The cantrip adds your superiority die to its damage, and its damage type changes to the type that you select.

    Excruciating Web When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend a superiority die to inflict maddening pain that focuses all that creature's hatred on you. Your target makes a Wisdom save, and on a failure, its next hostile action before the beginning of your next turn must target you.
    If you spend four dice to activate this maneuver, your target is automatically affected, with no saving throw allowed. The extra dice don't add any additional damage.

    Magnetic Weave When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend a superiority die to create a strong magical pull towards you on that creature. Add your superiority die to the damage it takes, and until the beginning of your next turn, it cannot increase its distance from you without succeeding on a Strength saving throw.
    You may spend additional dice when you use this maneuver; for each extra die you spend, you may affect an additional creature (with both the slow effect and the extra die of damage).

    Restorative Cast When you cast a cantrip on one or more friendly creaturs, you may spend a superiority die to restore hit points equal to twice the die's value plus your warmage level to one of your targets. If the cantrip targets multiple allies, you may spend additional superiority dice to apply this to additional affected allies past the first. You may also spend multiple dice to apply more healing to a single target.


    Spoiler: Seventh Level
    Show
    Dispelling Weave When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend two superiority dice to neutralize any beneficial magic that enemy benefits from. Add one of the superiority dice to the damage, and your target automatically loses concentration on any spell and must make a Charisma saving throw or have all beneficial magical effects on it immediately end.
    Alternately, you may spend two superiority dice when casting a beneficial cantrip on an ally to immediately end any hostile magical effects that ally is subject to.

    Lightning Leap On your turn, you may spend two superiority dice as a bonus action to immediately teleport to any point within (5 x your proficiency bonus) feet to which you have line of sight.

    Lingering Power When you cast a damage-dealing cantrip, you may spend two superiority dice to hold some of its energy in a potent offensive ward. As long as you maintain concentration on this effect, any time an enemy within 5 feet misses you with an attack, they take damage equal to one of your superiority dice. The damage type is the same as the type of the cantrip.

    Paralyzing Weave When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend a superiority die to lock that enemy in place. It takes extra damage equal to the result of your superiority die, and must make a Constitution save or become paralyzed until the beginning of your next turn.
    If you spend five dice to activate this maneuver, your target is automatically affected, with no saving throw allowed. The extra dice don't add any additional damage.


    Spoiler: Tenth Level
    Show
    Confounding Weave When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend three superiority dice to baffle and dizzy your foe. Add one of the superiority dice to the damage, and your target must make a Charisma saving throw or be affected as though by the spell Confusion until the beginning of your next turn.

    Elemental Wall On your turn, you may spend three superiority dice to cast a single-target damage-dealing cantrip at a point within range, rather than at a target. The energy of the cantrip plumes out into a wall, five feet high, five feet wide and as long as 5 feet times your proficiency modifier, in a shape of your choice. As long as you maintain concentration, this wall remains, blocking line of sight and dealing your three superiority dice in damage (using the cantrip's damage type) to, and halving the speed of, any creature that passes through or begins its turn in it. This damage can be halved, and the slow effect negated, with a successful Constitution save.

    Expanded Arcana Select a first level spell; this spell must be from the cleric or druid list if you are a sage, the wizard list if you are a scholar, or the bard or sorceror list if you are a savant. You may cast this spell using superiority dice, spending two dice per spell level to emulate normal spell slots. You must otherwise meet all the normal requirements and provide all the normal components of the spell (although you can use a proficient weapon as a focus and to provide somatic components as usual).

    Reactive Resistance If you or one of your allies takes damage, you may spend two superiority dice as a reaction to grant your target resistance to that damage type for one round (including against the triggering attack).


    Spoiler: Fifteenth Level
    Show
    Crippling Weave When you hit an enemy with a cantrip's attack roll or it fails a saving throw against your cantrip, you may spend four superiority dice to badly damage it in both body and spirit. Add two of the superiority dice to your damage roll, and the target must make a Constitution saving throw or suffer three levels of exhaustion. You can't push a creature past level three exhaustion in this way.

    Guardian Teleport As a bonus action, you may form a magical transmutation bond with a creature you touch. For one minute, if that creature is subject to a single-target weapon or spell attack and is within 30 feet of you, you may use your reaction to immediately switch places with it, forcing the attack to target you instead. When you do so, you may spend a superiority die and add the result to your ally's AC until the beginning of your next turn.
    You can only form this bond with one creature at a time; trying to bond with a creature while still bonded to another ends the current bond.

    Improved Arcana Select a first or second level spell; this spell must be from the cleric or druid list if you are a sage, the wizard list if you are a scholar, or the bard or sorceror list if you are a savant. You may cast this spell using superiority dice, spending two dice per spell level to emulate normal spell slots. You must otherwise meet all the normal requirements and provide all the normal components of the spell (although you can use a proficient weapon as a focus and to provide somatic components as usual).


    Spoiler: Eighteenth Level
    Show
    Arcane Advantage As an action, you may spend six superiority dice to empower yourself and your allies. Until the beginning of your next turn, every attack, ability check or saving throw you or your allies make is made with advantage.

    Elemental Nova As an action, select one cantrip you know and spend six superiority dice. Every creature within 30 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw or be subject to the full effect of that cantrip as though you had cast it on them individually.

    Superior Arcana Select a first, second or third level spell; this spell must be from the cleric or druid list if you are a sage, the wizard list if you are a scholar, or the bard or sorceror list if you are a savant. You may cast this spell using superiority dice, spending two dice per spell level to emulate normal spell slots. You must otherwise meet all the normal requirements and provide all the normal components of the spell (although you can use a proficient weapon as a focus and to provide somatic components as usual).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    The class itself looks good, but my question is how is the Warmage supposed to deal reliable damage? Cantrips really aren't that strong.
    DMs only roll dice for the sound they make

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    The class itself looks good, but my question is how is the Warmage supposed to deal reliable damage? Cantrips really aren't that strong.
    At 11th level, only once per round, sure, they are spamming Firebolt for 5d10+4 damage (31.5), or 15.75 on a missed attack roll. A savant would add 5 (or 2.5 on a miss) to that damage which is pretty solid. Compare to a Fighter, however, swinging three times with his Greatsword for 39.99 if all three hit, or an average of roughly 30 against AC 16, the Fighter does come out on top over even a Savant (and that's without the Great Weapon Master feat).

    It's strange. At a knee-jerk, the first 5 levels seem overpowered, but this would really need playtesting to iron out. It's an interesting concept, and a worthy one, to be sure, but it feels off and it probably needs some more oomph, especially going past 5th level.
    Homebrew


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    Special Thanks: Kymme! You and your awesome avatarist skills have made me a Lore Warden in addition to King of Fighter Fixes!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Ziegander, this would be pretty neat for the Dark Souls campaign. It definitely fits that "armored spellcaster" feel of the games.
    DMs only roll dice for the sound they make

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Saving throw proficiency in 5e is divided into 2 types, and each class is only proficient in 1 save from each type. The more useful saves are Dexterity, Constitution and Wisdom, since more spells and effects target them. The other 3 are targeted much less often, so they are generally deemed less useful.

    Since your class is already proficient in Constitution saves, I would hesitate to allow it to pick up proficiency in Wisdom saves as well. I know it breaks up the symmetry between the 3 styles, but otherwise the style that gives proficiency is Wisdom save is just more desirable than the other two from a mechanical standpoint.

    EDIT: I just read your note on the Sage style, but I still think it's a good idea to avoid Wisdom saves here. If you find it impossible to reconcile the two strong saves vs. casting stat association, I think it would be best to abandon the sage style altogether.
    Last edited by Pramxnim; 2015-08-12 at 09:09 PM.
    My current homebrews

    The gods play with dice and parchment!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    At 11th level, only once per round, sure, they are spamming Firebolt for 5d10+4 damage (31.5), or 15.75 on a missed attack roll. A savant would add 5 (or 2.5 on a miss) to that damage which is pretty solid. Compare to a Fighter, however, swinging three times with his Greatsword for 39.99 if all three hit, or an average of roughly 30 against AC 16, the Fighter does come out on top over even a Savant (and that's without the Great Weapon Master feat).

    It's strange. At a knee-jerk, the first 5 levels seem overpowered, but this would really need playtesting to iron out. It's an interesting concept, and a worthy one, to be sure, but it feels off and it probably needs some more oomph, especially going past 5th level.
    Also, an 11th level Warlock with 20 CHA does an average of 31.5 damage with Eldritch Blast, and gets other spells on top of that.

    Maybe give the Warmage Heavy Armor as well?

    Also, how do the 11th and 20th features interact with eachother? Do they stack? And what about when using cantrips that deal 2d6 at level 1?
    DMs only roll dice for the sound they make

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Hey, interesting class. It actually took me a while to realise they didn't do any spells above cantrip!

    So the first thing that struck me was 'Arcane Command' - and I thought "a guaranteed critical at lvl 2? really??" Or guaranteed max damage on a multi damage dice spell? That can be pretty formiddable. I played a cleric with a homebrewed domain which basically replicated the diviner wizard's foretelling feature, where I just told people what their dice roll would be, and it was easily his best feature.

    Another little thing that sicks out is that you should probably allow access to two-handed weapons, considered the fluff in the opening description of the human with the greatsword.

    And, to echo a sentiment already in this thread, let them access heavy armour too, even if it's a few levels down the line

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    The damage is OK compared to the Champion at most levels, taking into account Pervasive Cantrip, Action Surge and the Champion's criticals. (I won't type out all the calculations because it gets impossible to read, but I was assuming the Warmage was a Savant and Archon, and used Fire Bolt, that the fighter used a greataxe with the great-weapon fighting style, that the average to-hit chance was 0.7, and that there were about 10 rounds of attacks between short rests.) From level 11 onwards the Warmage's is a bit higher, which I think is inappropriate because cantrips have side effects that weapon attacks don't, though admittedly the fighter can get feats to improve their damage while the Warmage can't, so it probably washes out if feats are permitted.

    However, at level 1 the Warmage's damage is too low. They should definitely get Warmage Edge at level 1 to keep up with martial classes there, even if it's only one (short, and frequently skipped) level. I'd also suggest that they should add their casting mod to the damage instead of their proficiency, to keep them in line with all other classes.

    Other suggestions:


    • You should make more utility cantrips available to the class. Almost all of your damage-dealing cantrips are going to go unused almost all of the time.
    • The Warmage will have a big problem with wasting damage against enemies with low HP. Characters with multiple attacks can spread them between weak enemies, but you can't do that with cantrips. Maybe you could allow them to deal splash damage to adjacent creatures a certain number of times per short rest?
    • Arcane Command isn't actively bad, but I don't find it very exciting. Also, I don't see why it should apply to attacks.
    • If multi-classing is allowed, you'll have to state that the Warmage's class features only apply to cantrips from their own list, or else you'll have a massive problem with Eldritch Blast.
    • Does a Savant increase the die size of Poison Spray to d20? If so, you should probably just forbid that cantrip.


    If your plan is to keep up with fighters, you could allow the Warmage to give their cantrips multiple beams like Eldritch Blast and add their casting mod to the damage of each, instead of simply adding more dice. You could either scrap Overwhelming Cantrip and Devastating Cantrip or limit them to single-targets only. Pervasive Cantrip is probably still OK because it adds roughly as much damage as Action Surge plus extra criticals.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Wow, lots of awesome feedback here, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    At 11th level, only once per round, sure, they are spamming Firebolt for 5d10+4 damage (31.5), or 15.75 on a missed attack roll. A savant would add 5 (or 2.5 on a miss) to that damage which is pretty solid. Compare to a Fighter, however, swinging three times with his Greatsword for 39.99 if all three hit, or an average of roughly 30 against AC 16, the Fighter does come out on top over even a Savant (and that's without the Great Weapon Master feat).
    Consider, though, you're comparing ranged to melee. In a featless environment, the max an 11 fighter is doing at 150 feet is 3d8+15, which comes out to 28.5 (before subclass boosts, anyway). At greatsword range, the warmage is using Poison Spray or Korrin's Fist for 5d12+4, which brings her up to 36.5 vs the greatsword's ~40. Add in either Savant or re-rolls from Archon and you're up to ~40 as well; combine them and... well, you're still behind GWM, admittedly.

    But then again, warmage has a lot of AoE potency. Without Archon or Savant, Acid Splash is ~40 at range if it hits two targets; Blisterwind is 52.5 if it hits three; Fire Fan is 66 in a round if it hits four. That's half the crowd-clearing power of Fireball, albeit at a much more stringent radius. If anything I'm worried they do too much damage. I suppose it matters a lot whether your DM prefers crowds or solos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pramxnim View Post
    EDIT: I just read your note on the Sage style, but I still think it's a good idea to avoid Wisdom saves here. If you find it impossible to reconcile the two strong saves vs. casting stat association, I think it would be best to abandon the sage style altogether.
    IDK, an extra 1-8 damage per target every round is hard to turn down, IMO, even for a second good save. There's precedence in the psionic Mystic and, sort of, in the monk/resilience feat, for multiple good saves, too, while there's none for non-proficiency with a casting stat. I did think about giving no default proficiencies and setting int/con, cha/con and str/wis. Still pondering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    Also, how do the 11th and 20th features interact with eachother? Do they stack? And what about when using cantrips that deal 2d6 at level 1?
    20th supercedes 11th. I should clarify that, thank you. Actually I should just throw out the level 20 and think of something else instead, since one die is too low to let single-target damage keep up and two dice would make AoE way too strong. Suggestions, anyone?

    Are there any cantrips that do 2d6? I have no good solution if there are (I had to change Blisterwind twice as a result of realizing this). 1d12 plus Savant is annoying too; I think I'd suggest for that just using an app to simulate a 1d14. 1d10+1d4 or 2d8 both have too many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bharaeth View Post
    So the first thing that struck me was 'Arcane Command' - and I thought "a guaranteed critical at lvl 2? really??" Or guaranteed max damage on a multi damage dice spell? That can be pretty formiddable. I played a cleric with a homebrewed domain which basically replicated the diviner wizard's foretelling feature, where I just told people what their dice roll would be, and it was easily his best feature.
    You know, the funny thing is, it's actually underpowered compared to Action Surge. Setting aside bonus actions, Action Surge lets a fighter straight up double his damage output one round per short rest. 2d6+4 (11) becomes 4d6+8 (22), 6d6+15 (36) becomes 12d6+30 (72). The warmage, on average, is getting about 35% less; 1d10+2 (7.5) becomes 12 (60% damage increase), 5d10+4 (31.5) becomes 54 (70%). And she can only really use this on cantrips; if she's a Blade Mage she can only max one weapon attack, barely a 25% damage increase if both attacks land. Crits, due to essentially doubling average die damage, work out about the same. (A little higher, but still not equal to the fighter's doubled average plus doubled mod.)

    At low levels, it does give the warmage a skill advantage (she can simply declare a 20 on an Athletics check to trip), but by mid levels the fighter catches up (very unlikely he'll fail to land a trip after six attempts). Defensively it's about even (she has 100% success on the unlikely circumstance of ending a Hold Person if she uses it on her save, he has ~25% success on the ubiquitous circumstance of attacks if he Dodges). The fighter can also Dash for mobility, which Arcane Command has no way to replicate.

    Another little thing that sicks out is that you should probably allow access to two-handed weapons, considered the fluff in the opening description of the human with the greatsword.

    And, to echo a sentiment already in this thread, let them access heavy armour too, even if it's a few levels down the line
    You people, no patience! For reference, the orc is an Archon, the dwarf is a Tactician and the human is a Blade Mage.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2015-08-13 at 09:00 AM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    You made an error in your damage calculations.

    2d10 doesn't average as 10. 2d10 averages as 11. So, 5d10+4 on a critical deals an average of 59 damage, not 54.

    Also, does Blisterwind function identically to Eldritch Blast, or does targeting one creature only count as "one" roll for the purposes of Warmage Edge?
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    Lotsa stuff
    Oh hey, I missed a post while I was posting. I addressed a few of your issues in my last post, I think, but for the others:

    * Cantrip utility - cantrips with riders do less damage than cantrips without (VMock's 1d4 vs Fire Bolt's 1d10 being the most extreme example), but generally that's an issue I'd solve by giving weapons more utility rather than giving warmages less damage. If only because the fake choice mess that is the weapons table fundamentally offends me. As for pure utility cantrips... I tried to sort of cover utility with the Style choices, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to give Scholars Prestidigitation or something. Are there any in particular you'd add to the parent list?

    * Warmage Edge: I didn't want to make 1st level too crowded, but I suppose you're right. As for proficiency bonus instead of ability mod, IDK. I like the scaling, and the fact that it differentiates cantrips a bit more from weapons, and not hanging everything on the same stat but also not increasing MAD either. And the easy math. I'm not married to it, though.

    * Low HP crowds: I created a couple cantrips largely for this exact purpose; Blisterwind is a sort of EB clone that spreads out d10s over multiple foes and is sort of the class' signature spell, plus there's the point blank AoE Fire Fan. They do have to get right in the middle of things to make best use of it, but so do greatsword fighters, right?

    * Eldritch Blast: Why is it always Eldritch Blast? No, I kid. I explicitly didn't specify "warmage cantrips" because I want this to be a reasonable multiclassing option and to not exclude Magic Initiate cantrips for the warmage who really wants to stack options. I didn't throw an exception on Eldritch Blast because that **** shouldn't be a cantrip, it should be an invocation, and also it should be single target (it's a blast, not a spray) and so that's how it is in our games and that's how I think of it. If you aren't doing that in your game, insert an "(except Eldritch Blast)" clause in all the cantrip-modifying features.

    * Arcane Command: Yeah honestly I don't like it either, but I couldn't think of anything else offhand that was both versatile and easy and near the Action Surge balance point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    2d10 doesn't average as 10. 2d10 averages as 11. So, 5d10+4 on a critical deals an average of 59 damage, not 54.
    I was doing max damage rolls from a declared damage roll, rather than crits from a declared 20. Marginally lower but more reliable, and probably how I would use it unless I were facing very high AC (or playing a "crits are max damage plus roll again" variant, in which case I'd probably errata that declaring a 20 doesn't count as a crit... which maybe I should do anyway, but then again, as discussed, Command < Surge already).

    Also, does Blisterwind function identically to Eldritch Blast, or does targeting one creature only count as "one" roll for the purposes of Warmage Edge?
    It's like Acid Splash; you roll damage once, then apply that to anyone you hit. More like applying a dragon sorc's boost to Fireball than to Scorching Ray* in function, although obviously the end result is the same.

    *er, pre-Errata.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Oh, when you roll extra damage dice and use a cantrip that affects multiple targets, do you add extra damage dice per target, or do you have to distribute them?
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Interesting idea.

    From a quick skim, it seems that your custom Cantrips add some multi-target attacks / area attacks / controller stuff, is that right?

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    I'm going to do a quick damage calculation for this at level 20 (not using the current capstone though, since that's subject to change)

    5d10+4 = 31.5 (Level 11 Warmage)
    6d10+6 = 36 (Level 17-20 Warmage, but 20th level capstone gets an extra 5.5, making 41.5)
    4d10+20 = 42 (Level 17-20 Warlock with Eldritch Blast, becomes 54 with +3 Rod of the Pact Keeper)
    3d10+15 = 31.5 (Level 11 Warlock)
    4d8+20 = 38 (Level 20 Fighter with Longbow, becomes 62 with a +3 Longbow and +3 arrows, and a 102 with Sharpshooter)
    3d8+15 = 28.5 (Level 11-19 Fighter with Longbow, becomes 40.5 with +2 Longbow and +2 arrows, and a 70.5 with Sharpshooter)

    So, from that, we can see that the Fighter and the Warlock have superior damage outputs at later levels, and Fighter tops them all with feats and magic items in addition to the +2 accuracy boost from the Archery Fighting Style. That's not even counting bonuses from subclasses (which adds a potential 4d12 (26) for Battlemaster, Usually at least one critical hit for Champion, and a possible 4d10+5 (27) damage from cantrips for the Eldritch Knight).

    The Archon looks good, but lacks offensive capabilities in lieu of defensive abilities.

    Let's do another damage calculation for 5th level.

    2d10+3 = 14 (Warmage)
    2d8+8 = 17 (Fighter with 18 DEX, with 37 damage with Sharpshooter)
    2d10+8 = 19 (Warlock with 18 CHA)

    Even then, the Warmage does less damage than the Warlock, and doesn't catch up until level 11, but drops down again at 17th level. The Warlock however gets altered full casting and a magical item, and defensive skills aren't that useful overall. Fighter also gets feat support and powerful magical items.

    So, we need to give the Warmage a bit more support. Fighters really benefit from feats, so maybe making feats with the Warlord in mind that don't really help other casters the way to go. Something needs to be done with the extra ASIs.

    Then again, this class is a lot more defensive than the Fighter and Warlock. Plus, it can use a shield while the Longbow fighter cannot and the Warlock needs a feat or multiclass to do so.

    The 20th level feature either needs a buff or the class needs feat support.
    Last edited by Wartex1; 2015-08-14 at 12:21 AM.
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    The Archon archetype is, I don't want to say terrible, but it needs a LOT of work. It's far worse and far less damage-focused than the Champion even is. It's more of a trap option than the Champion is. The Blade Mage is BOSS SAUCE, and as written, and I think it's balanced, makes the Archon look pathetic by comparison.
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Tactic & Logic isn't a skill in 5e.
    Quote Originally Posted by RodrigoAlves
    Once a player almost fell into a trap full of spikes. He asked me "how much damage would a spike do?"
    I said "Instant death"
    Then, he grabbed a spike and used it as a weapon for the rest of the adventure.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    The base idea of the class is actually quite ingenious but personally I am not sure if this what a War caster would like due to its focus is single target damage for the most part and has very little capability of buffing. Though I can understand this tactic as AoE blasting and multi-buffing is something the Sorcerer has. In general it has good design but one of the features stand out and screams imbalance.

    1.Arcane Command, I know you have defended this to equate this with Action Surge but you really can't compare the two as they enhance entirely different aspects of the game. The only features you really can compare this to is either the Rogue's capstone or the Tides of Chaos ability. The capstone is reactive to failure or a successful attack but doesn't make it a 20 on a non-ability checks and is only 1/short rest. The Tides of Chaos though is only declaring advantage on the roll is 1/long rest if the DM doesn't give you a Wild Magic Surge. All in all being able to declare the best result at level 2 recharging after a short rest is breaking bounded accuracy because with expertise they are doing nearly impossible level rolls at mid-low levels. Action Surge may give more nova options but they still have to succeed and can't match the kind of defense this gets because saves in this edition are rather tame. Instead why don't you make it reactive in which you add your casting modifier to the result?

    2. As others have said this issue with single target damage is a little odd. It makes ironically makes it seem less Warmage-like. Have you thought about spreading the damage die to different targets?

    3. As for the sub-classes I am going to disagree with Zeigander in the sense of his point in comparison with the Champion. Granted the Archon isn't as damage oriented as you think it is but if the original Champion is suppose to be its equivalent you did a better job. GWS for your cantrips makes it far more effective since you are rolling a nice handful of die than the Champion's improved critical. The second ability though is really specific and since the bulk of the Warmage is for damaging cantrips it wastes your action and to be honest most casters will probably use their slots for something else. The 10th level ability though is less versatile than Remarkable athlete, since this is more magic focused it seems a little odd. The 15th level ability though is gold making and the 18th level is decent utility. Overall this subclass rewards you taking the full 20 far better than the Champion does even though there is a bit of wait in the middle.

    If you take the appropriate feats than Zeigander is correct in saying this will deal more damage on average but it will be doing so at a -5 attack penalty. In general it has decent utility and opens up your action economy much better. Overall it is the better choice for options as well as offense but the Archon rewards not only simplicity but is far less ability score strapped and has better defenses.
    Last edited by Amnoriath; 2015-08-14 at 04:31 PM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Is this getting another update?
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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    EDIT: See my post below for me actually getting the numbers right (I think).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    I'm going to do a quick damage calculation for this at level 20...
    I think you're overlooking some of the Warmage's best case abilities. At level 5, a Warmage with the Savant feature and Archon archetype using Fire Bolt deals 2*(22/3)+3, or 17 2/3 damage on a hit, because they increase the die size to d12 and re-roll 1's and 2's. That's a bit more than the Fighter with a bow (excluding the sharpshooter ability).

    But let's account for criticals, Action Surge, and Pervasive Cantrip too. For the Fighter, a critical occurs on every tenth attack and increases the damage by roughly 50%, so it's (kind of) equivalent to increasing the damage-per-hit by 5%. If there are about 10 combat rounds per short rest, action surge also lets them deal 10% more damage on average, so it's (kind of) equivalent to dealing 10% more damage on a hit. So the Fighter (kind of) averages 17*1.05*1.1, or 19.6, damage per hit.

    For the Warmage, criticals are half as common, so we only multiply by 1.025 for those. But if the average to-hit chance is about 0.7, Pervasive Cantrip will add half damage 30% of the time, so we multiply by 1.15 to simulate that. I.e. the Warmage (kind of) averages (17 2/3)*1.025*1.15, or 20.8, damage per hit.

    At level 11, the Fighter gets (3*(4.5)+15)*1.05*1.1 for 32.9. The Warmage gets (5*(7 2/3)+4)*1.025*1.15 for 47.9 (which is too much - I think I didn't work this out properly when I did it earlier or I would have commented as much - though a Fighter with a greatsword could get 46.2 before feats).

    At level 17, with the improvements to their criticals and Action Surge, the Fighter gets ((3*4.5)+15)*1.1*1.2 for 37.6. The Warmage gets (6*(7 2/3)+6)*1.025*1.15 for 58.9 (far too much, now; a fighter with a greatsword could get 52.8 before feats, though they'll catch up again at level 20).

    On that basis, I'd actually recommend knocking the extra dice at level 11 to just 1.

    EDIT: Actually, I undersold the Warmage on criticals because much more than half their damage comes from dice. Though in practice they'll often be using cantrips that rely on saves rather than attack rolls, so maybe it washes out.
    Last edited by weaseldust; 2015-08-16 at 07:32 PM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    I think you're overlooking some of the Warmage's best case abilities. At level 5, a Warmage with the Savant feature and Archon archetype using Fire Bolt deals 2*(22/3)+3, or 17 2/3 damage on a hit, because they increase the die size to d12 and re-roll 1's and 2's. That's a bit more than the Fighter with a bow (excluding the sharpshooter ability).

    But let's account for criticals, Action Surge, and Pervasive Cantrip too. For the Fighter, a critical occurs on every tenth attack and increases the damage by roughly 50%, so it's (kind of) equivalent to increasing the damage-per-hit by 5%. If there are about 10 combat rounds per short rest, action surge also lets them deal 10% more damage on average, so it's (kind of) equivalent to dealing 10% more damage on a hit. So the Fighter (kind of) averages 17*1.05*1.1, or 19.6, damage per hit.

    For the Warmage, criticals are half as common, so we only multiply by 1.025 for those. But if the average to-hit chance is about 0.7, Pervasive Cantrip will add half damage 30% of the time, so we multiply by 1.15 to simulate that. I.e. the Warmage (kind of) averages (17 2/3)*1.025*1.15, or 20.8, damage per hit.

    At level 11, the Fighter gets (3*(4.5)+15)*1.05*1.1 for 32.9. The Warmage gets (5*(7 2/3)+4)*1.025*1.15 for 47.9 (which is too much - I think I didn't work this out properly when I did it earlier or I would have commented as much - though a Fighter with a greatsword could get 46.2 before feats).

    At level 17, with the improvements to their criticals and Action Surge, the Fighter gets ((3*4.5)+15)*1.1*1.2 for 37.6. The Warmage gets (6*(7 2/3)+6)*1.025*1.15 for 58.9 (far too much, now; a fighter with a greatsword could get 52.8 before feats, though they'll catch up again at level 20).

    On that basis, I'd actually recommend knocking the extra dice at level 11 to just 1.

    EDIT: Actually, I undersold the Warmage on criticals because much more than half their damage comes from dice. Though in practice they'll often be using cantrips that rely on saves rather than attack rolls, so maybe it washes out.
    Warmage still falls heavily behind in Feat support. Now some may say that it doesn't matter because Feats are optional, but a huge ton of the Fighter's power comes from those feats.
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    d20 Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    You guys are great. Feedback! Math!

    Also, Tactician is up, although I reserve the right to add more maneuvers if I think of them. I also bumped Edge down to level 1 (and Focus down to 2).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    Oh, when you roll extra damage dice and use a cantrip that affects multiple targets, do you add extra damage dice per target, or do you have to distribute them?
    It's like Agonizing Blast - you add the extra whenever you roll damage. But to my knowledge, every single damaging cantrip in the game except Eldritch Blast rolls damage exactly once. If it's an AoE, it then applies that single damage roll to several targets (like fireball does); if it's single target, it then applies that single damage roll to its single target (like disintegrate does).

    So the end result is you add extra damage dice per target, but you're only adding the dice once, if that makes sense. This is mostly by design; I liked the idea of differentiating warmages from martials by making them somewhat better at AoE and somewhat worse at single target damage, since that's traditionally been the role of DPR-focused magic in D&D (at least in theory).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Interesting idea.

    From a quick skim, it seems that your custom Cantrips add some multi-target attacks / area attacks / controller stuff, is that right?
    Essentially, yeah, plus an attempt at creating more buffs (both self-buffs that integrate magic and martial combat better and buffs that can be put on allies). I'd like to take that further but it's surprisingly difficult to come up with buffs at cantrip power level that aren't redundant. I did give Tactician some class abilities to take up some of the slack, but still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    Arcane Command, I know you have defended this to equate this with Action Surge but you really can't compare the two as they enhance entirely different aspects of the game. The only features you really can compare this to is either the Rogue's capstone or the Tides of Chaos ability.
    I don't think I can agree with that. By that reasoning, we could only compare Rage (level 1, resist three damage types, level 3, resist *all* damage types) to Fiendish Resilience (level 10, resist one type) or at best, Elemental Affinity (level 6, resist one damage type). Or sneak attack (level 1, scaling 1-10d6 once per turn) to Colossus Slayer (level 3, doesn't scale) or Divine Strike (level 8, scales to only 2d8), and conclude that both low-level features are wildly overpowered. But they're not. Abilities have to be taken in context, not just of similar abilities, but what else is offered by the class they're part of, by other classes at that level, and by what the class is meant to achieve. Arcane Command is basically the warmage's only major feature besides cantrips, which means it needs to be comparable to Rage, Action Surge, and the versatility of level 1 full spellcasting, not to small secondary and tertiary perks offered by classes with other major features. That it's basically the rogue capstone+ is an (admittedly huge) thematic annoyance, but not a balance issue considering everything else rogues get.

    (All this to defend an ability I still kind of hate. I really have been trying to think of something better.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wartex1 View Post
    Math
    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    More math
    Weaseldust, it looks like you're comparing a fighter who always hits to a warmage who always hits, then adding warmage miss damage too? Instead of increasing average damage per hit on the warmage, shouldn't you assume 100% accuracy for both, then multiply fighter DPR by .7 and warmage DPR by .85 if you want to account for the Pervasive damage boost against average defenses? Or am I parsing your math wrong. You say it's too strong, Zeigander says it's too weak, Amnoriath says it's cool, I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE!

    Quote Originally Posted by Basically everyone who's posted since the last time I did
    Feats!
    Much like Arcane Command, I've been working on this since I first envisioned the class (I mean, all those ASIs!), but everything I come up with has the Eldritch Blast Problem. It's really vexing. Even War Caster isn't really a good choice for these guys - they get huge benefit from the AO option, but the other two perks are totally redundant. But if I added anything that boosted cantrips directly, that buffs warlocks too much.

    Dammit, this is why Eldritch Blast should be an invocation!
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2015-08-16 at 08:56 PM. Reason: How did that angry face get there?

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    You guys are great. Feedback! Math!

    Also, Tactician is up, although I reserve the right to add more maneuvers if I think of them. I also bumped Edge down to level 1 (and Focus down to 2).



    It's like Agonizing Blast - you add the extra whenever you roll damage. But to my knowledge, every single damaging cantrip in the game except Eldritch Blast rolls damage exactly once. If it's an AoE, it then applies that single damage roll to several targets (like fireball does); if it's single target, it then applies that single damage roll to its single target (like disintegrate does).

    So the end result is you add extra damage dice per target, but you're only adding the dice once, if that makes sense. This is mostly by design; I liked the idea of differentiating warmages from martials by making them somewhat better at AoE and somewhat worse at single target damage, since that's traditionally been the role of DPR-focused magic in D&D (at least in theory).



    Essentially, yeah, plus an attempt at creating more buffs (both self-buffs that integrate magic and martial combat better and buffs that can be put on allies). I'd like to take that further but it's surprisingly difficult to come up with buffs at cantrip power level that aren't redundant. I did give Tactician some class abilities to take up some of the slack, but still.



    I don't think I can agree with that. By that reasoning, we could only compare Rage (level 1, resist three damage types, level 3, resist *all* damage types) to Fiendish Resilience (level 10, resist one type) or at best, Elemental Affinity (level 6, resist one damage type). Or sneak attack (level 1, scaling 1-10d6 once per turn) to Colossus Slayer (level 3, doesn't scale) or Divine Strike (level 8, scales to only 2d8), and conclude that both low-level features are wildly overpowered. But they're not. Abilities have to be taken in context, not just of similar abilities, but what else is offered by the class they're part of, by other classes at that level, and by what the class is meant to achieve. Arcane Command is basically the warmage's only major feature besides cantrips, which means it needs to be comparable to Rage, Action Surge, and the versatility of level 1 full spellcasting, not to small secondary and tertiary perks offered by classes with other major features. That it's basically the rogue capstone+ is an (admittedly huge) thematic annoyance, but not a balance issue considering everything else rogues get.

    (All this to defend an ability I still kind of hate. I really have been trying to think of something better.)



    Much like Arcane Command, I've been working on this since I first envisioned the class (I mean, all those ASIs!), but everything I come up with has the Eldritch Blast Problem. It's really vexing. Even War Caster isn't really a good choice for these guys - they get huge benefit from the AO option, but the other two perks are totally redundant. But if I added anything that boosted cantrips directly, that buffs warlocks too much.

    Dammit, this is why Eldritch Blast should be an invocation!
    1. This class doesn't need more damage and really steps on the Battlemaster's toes in every way possible. As it stands this is the best of all three of the options because not only does it have huge nova potential to due many things of its choosing but he could go out for a hunt and stand there charging his dice.
    2. The Archon needs to make it middle abilities more relevant.
    3. Except that it is entirely logical to do so. Sneak Attack requires advantage or certain ally placement in melee as well as certain weapon types while Colossus Slayer doesn't. I could go on but it is not unreasonable. As such having an ability that is just 1 level later that is better in every way and rivals a capstone in its job is just ludicrous. It may seem small to natural 20 one d20 roll but that roll is likely always going to be significant. As I said before Action Surge doesn't guarantee that kind of potential at all.
    4. It doesn't need feats as martial fighters need feats just to keep up with the kind of damage this class deals. You have options through different cantrips.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    Weaseldust, it looks like you're comparing a fighter who always hits to a warmage who always hits, then adding warmage miss damage too? Instead of increasing average damage per hit on the warmage, shouldn't you assume 100% accuracy for both, then multiply fighter DPR by .7 and warmage DPR by .85 if you want to account for the Pervasive damage boost against average defenses? Or am I parsing your math wrong. You say it's too strong, Zeigander says it's too weak, Amnoriath says it's cool, I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE!
    I was trying to simplify by avoiding calculating actual damage. I was basically calculating the average damage you'd have to be able to do to keep up with the Fighter/Warmage without having any of their other abilities. You're right, though, that I made an error in just multiplying by 1.15 to account for Pervasive Cantrip. The actual extra should be 0.5*(0.3/0.7) or 0.214, instead of the 0.5*0.3 or 0.15 I was saying, because we're interested in the proportional damage increase. But that only makes things worse, because I should have been multiplying by 1.214 for the Warmage instead of 1.15.

    We can do it another way (but correctly this time, I hope). Start at level 5. Suppose there are indeed 10 combat rounds per short rest. Then the Warmage hits 7 times for 17 2/3 damage and 3 times for 8 5/6. They can also expect a critical every 20 rounds, which would do 14 2/3 extra, so over ten rounds they can expect half of that, or 7 1/3. Adding it all together, we get 157.5 per short rest.

    The Fighter with a bow attacks 22 times because of action surge, and has a to-hit chance of 0.8 (I was also forgetting the +2 from the style before too...). They deal 8.5 damage per hit, so they expect 22*0.8*8.5 from hits, but they also expect 2.2 criticals which deal an extra 4.5 damage. That adds up to 159.5. Almost exactly the same.

    At level 11, the Warmage hits 7 times for 40 2/3 and 3 times for 20 1/3. They can expect 18 1/3 from half a critical. That adds up to 364 damage per short rest.

    The Fighter now does 33*0.8*9.5 from hits and 3.3*4.5 extra from criticals, giving 265.65. Not nearly as much.

    A Fighter with a greatsword does 33*0.8*(13 1/3) from hits and 3.3*(4 1/6) from criticals. That makes 365.75. Suddenly very similar.

    Using GWM, the Fighter with a greatsword does 33*0.55*(23 1/3) plus 3.3*(4 1/6) for 437.25, so the feat does push them higher. (And this isn't including the extra bonus attacks they can get.)


    I think the above is how I did it first time (when I was properly awake) and concluded the damage was OK as is. I therefore retract my suggestion that the second extra die at level 11 is be removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    Much like Arcane Command, I've been working on this since I first envisioned the class (I mean, all those ASIs!), but everything I come up with has the Eldritch Blast Problem. It's really vexing. Even War Caster isn't really a good choice for these guys - they get huge benefit from the AO option, but the other two perks are totally redundant. But if I added anything that boosted cantrips directly, that buffs warlocks too much.

    Dammit, this is why Eldritch Blast should be an invocation!
    Why not just have the feats boost one hit per cantrip? Then they don't affect Eldritch Blast all that much.

    Alternatively, have a variety of feats for different cantrip damage types (fire, cold, etc.) but leave out force damage.

    EDIT: E.g. you could use "Slapstick Cantrip: Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a cantrip, you may use your bonus action to deal them an extra damage die in farce damage." Or "Burny Cantrip: When you deal a creature fire damage with a cantrip, they take two extra damage dice of fire damage at the end of each of their next turn unless they spend their action that turn rolling on the ground to put out the flames." Or even "Explody Cantrips: When you kill a creature with a cantrip, you may use your bonus action to deal two damage dice in the same damage type to each creature adjacent to them." - that wouldn't boost Eldritch Blast more than the other cantrips either.
    Last edited by weaseldust; 2015-08-16 at 07:45 PM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    1. This class doesn't need more damage and really steps on the Battlemaster's toes in every way possible.
    No more so than the ranger steps on the rogue's - that is to say, it's generally worse at the same job, apart from some good AoE. Battlemaster has straight up better maneuvers, due to the greater base versatility of cantrips; 7th-level+ BM maneuvers simply work, all Tactician maneuvers require a second save gate. Blinding Strike lasts until the target saves, while no Tactician ability lasts longer than a round. Line in the Sand stops movement, Elemental Wall only slows it. Guardian Sprint is free on any ally and can have a range of 45 on a Longstriding elf, Guardian Teleport is limited to 30 and requires a bonus action and preparation to use on a single ally. Tactician gets a full round of party advantage using the whole party's normal resources, Battlemaster gets a full round of party damage completely free of any resources but his own. Tactician gets two fireballs per short rest, Battlemaster gets two save-or-dies. Battlemaster can spend multiple dice to stack damage with the right maneuver, Tactician never gets more than one extra die of damage no matter how many dice are spent. Battlemaster can use three to four maneuvers per round just on attacks, Tactician never gets more than one. Battlemaster can recover dice and still attack, Tactician has to waste an action. Tactician has better movement and out-of-combat utility, but Battlemaster has much better control and single-target spike damage.

    I don't disagree it's potentially the best of the three subclasses when optimized, but it's got the lowest floor as well, and Blade Mage will always do more damage (+5.5-19 free every round vs +4.5-6.5 if resources expended), barring AoE novas by the Tactician (which requires large groups, endangers the party, and isn't sustainable over a long grind, especially once the Tactician starts wasting rounds trying to get dice back while the other two subclasses keep dealing steady damage).

    2. The Archon needs to make it middle abilities more relevant.
    Advantage on Bless and Bardic Inspiration is more powerful than you might think, but I could do something with Battle-Hardened. Straight-up proficiency in Strength saves and all Constitution checks? Proficiency on death saves? No perception penalties while sleeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    Why not just have the feats boost one hit per cantrip? Then they don't affect Eldritch Blast all that much.

    Alternatively, have a variety of feats for different cantrip damage types (fire, cold, etc.) but leave out force damage.
    I do like those. Especially the cleave-style explody one. Hm, maybe one could do a combo feat, with one feature each for fire/cold/electric damage?

    Personally I was kicking around something like

    DEFENSIVE CASTING
    * When you use the Dodge or Disengage action, you may cast a cantrip as a bonus action. This cantrip does base damage rather than scaling to your level.
    * You don't have disadvantage on ranged spell attacks due to being in melee.

    Sort of a combo Crossbow Expert/Charger thing - raises your DPR floor without raising the ceiling, very nice for Warmages (who still get their +2 dice and often have incentive to be in melee) but doesn't do anything special for blastlocks (who only get one beam and have every reason to stay ranged).
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2015-08-16 at 10:31 PM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    No more so than the ranger steps on the rogue's - that is to say, it's generally worse at the same job, apart from some good AoE. Battlemaster has straight up better maneuvers, due to the greater base versatility of cantrips; 7th-level+ BM maneuvers simply work, all Tactician maneuvers require a second save gate. Blinding Strike lasts until the target saves, while no Tactician ability lasts longer than a round. Line in the Sand stops movement, Elemental Wall only slows it. Guardian Sprint is free on any ally and can have a range of 45 on a Longstriding elf, Guardian Teleport is limited to 30 and requires a bonus action and preparation to use on a single ally. Tactician gets a full round of party advantage using the whole party's normal resources, Battlemaster gets a full round of party damage completely free of any resources but his own. Tactician gets two fireballs per short rest, Battlemaster gets two save-or-dies. Battlemaster can spend multiple dice to stack damage with the right maneuver, Tactician never gets more than one extra die of damage no matter how many dice are spent. Battlemaster can use three to four maneuvers per round just on attacks, Tactician never gets more than one. Battlemaster can recover dice and still attack, Tactician has to waste an action. Tactician has better movement and out-of-combat utility, but Battlemaster has much better control and single-target spike damage.

    I don't disagree it's potentially the best of the three subclasses when optimized, but it's got the lowest floor as well, and Blade Mage will always do more damage (+5.5-19 free every round vs +4.5-6.5 if resources expended), barring AoE novas by the Tactician (which requires large groups, endangers the party, and isn't sustainable over a long grind, especially once the Tactician starts wasting rounds trying to get dice back while the other two subclasses keep dealing steady damage).



    Advantage on Bless and Bardic Inspiration is more powerful than you might think, but I could do something with Battle-Hardened. Straight-up proficiency in Strength saves and all Constitution checks? Proficiency on death saves? No perception penalties while sleeping?
    1. Not quite, the Rogue can't reproduce the kind of utility or options a Ranger aside from the couple of spells known an Arcane Trickster has. Though if you are at that level a Beastmaster is hitting hard with 3 attacks if not 4. You are correct though there are issues with the Ranger but it isn't a comparison you can at all equate to what your Tactician can do against a Battlemaster. A Battlemaster has only 6 die in comparison to your 11. The only ones that don't have a second are ones that don't inflict anything on a creature. The good ones often require a bonus action out of it. It also has no save or dies, the closest it has to it is Menacing Attack which ends at the end of your next turn if they fail a wisdom save. This on the other can auto paralyze, yes, you expend a large amount of die to do so but that enemy is effectively dead and nothing a Battlemaster can possibly replicate that Yours also has much better control potential as well as a buff potential in which can actually meaningful lock down an opponent or enact better protection. On top of that it has much more versatile utility, immunity to Illusions, never has to take a Disengage action again, and has a battle changing capstone on top of other game changing choice maneuvers. Don't get me wrong I like the creativity here but just because Battlemaster is a Fighter doesn't excuse the fact anything the Battlemaster this does better and is actually the only subclass that can effectively break the limits of cantrips without having to go to feats and other ability scores to help.
    2. Bardic Inspiration isn't magic, you specified magic. Bless requires concentration and there are better things to fill that void when you get it.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    "I could do something with Battle-Hardened. Straight-up proficiency in Strength saves and all Constitution checks? Proficiency on death saves? No perception penalties while sleeping?"
    In line with others I would have it you add half your proficiency bonus to any save you aren't proficient with as it has that kind of general tone. I wouldn't mind if you copied the second half of my Barbarian's Untamed Soul ability. I really don't see an instance where a constitution check would come up in which a save doesn't answer.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    What else would bardic inspiration be if not magic? It's basically the last remnant of Bardic Music (sp).

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    You are correct though there are issues with the Ranger but it isn't a comparison you can at all equate to what your Tactician can do against a Battlemaster. A Battlemaster has only 6 die in comparison to your 11.
    Ah, I see the problem. You're comparing it to vanilla Battle Master. Don't do that. Like it says in the post, you should be comparing it to this one, which is actually a functional 20-level class. Didn't you notice I was talking about a bunch of stuff the vanilla BM doesn't get? Line in the Sand, Guardian Sprint, and combat Superiority Die recovery aren't exactly default features, and you said yourself the vanilla BM has no save-or-dies.

    That said, there is a problem here. Looking at the extra damage Blade Mage gets (38.5 at level 5, 70 ranged/77 melee at level 11, assuming standard array and 15+1 in weapon damage stat) and the boost from rerolls on Archon, I think I *do* need to drop Overwhelming down to a 1-die boost, but that leaves Tactician badly in the hole - she's only adding 18 damage per short rest at level 5 and 24.5 at level 11, a third of what she needs to keep up with the other two.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2015-08-17 at 02:46 PM.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    What else would bardic inspiration be if not magic? It's basically the last remnant of Bardic Music (sp).



    Ah, I see the problem. You're comparing it to vanilla Battle Master. Don't do that. Like it says in the post, you should be comparing it to this one, which is actually a functional 20-level class. Didn't you notice I was talking about a bunch of stuff the vanilla BM doesn't get? Line in the Sand, Guardian Sprint, and combat Superiority Die recovery aren't exactly default features, and you said yourself the vanilla BM has no save-or-dies.

    That said, there is a problem here. Looking at the extra damage Blade Mage gets (38.5 at level 5, 70 ranged/77 melee at level 11, assuming standard array and 15+1 in weapon damage stat) and the boost from rerolls on Archon, I think I *do* need to drop Overwhelming down to a 1-die boost, but that leaves Tactician badly in the hole - she's only adding 18 damage per short rest at level 5 and 24.5 at level 11, a third of what she needs to keep up with the other two.
    1. Actual direction, inspiration..etc. Ultimately it doesn't say it is magical.
    2. Yes, I did a bit but the problem is if you are going to post this for serious play you should never use your own homebrew as the point of balance as not everyone in the group will use yours. It has to be balanced with other sub-classes with the exception of a fix but only for that one of course. Besides this doesn't ignore that fact that at level 15 you can go and hunt something allowing to nova with full die every meaningful encounter. As I said before this is the only subclass that actually meaningfully breaks the constraints of cantrips giving them far more potential. Now while it really can't be compared to the Blade Mage this tramples on your Archon far more than a Battlemaster does a Champion.
    3. Well it does get 3 reliable weapon attacks of its choice probably too quickly. Ultimately Overwhelming Cantrips isn't the issue because as you demonstrated you general need that kind of additional dice to compete when martials use feats. Though it currently may be too abrupt as level 11 is a natural increase for a cantrip. You used the Fighter class for your base but are you truly beholden to 2 more ASI's? I think that it would be great opportunity to move the die around for a more steady growth and maybe you can add in another key feature.

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    Default Re: The Warmage: a Simple Caster (TM)

    I think the Superiority Dice works best with just martial maneuvers. Why not give the Tactician something more akin to Invocations or Metamagic? Emphasis the spellcasting aspect a bit more.
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