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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Jul 2019

    Default Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Hi Everyone
    I recently started to work on a homebrew class, with the (not so) original name "spellblade".

    "Oh no!" you say, "another "melee with spells" class absolutely trivial!" yes, although this time I think I have created a mechanic that can at least make it a bit interesting.

    These are the class goals:

    • He must be a decent melee fighter
    • He must be able to cast powerful spells but with some limitations
    • He must be able to cast a certain type of these spells along with a melee attack, as if they were maneuvers, at least a number of times/day.
    • He must remain a melee fighter, not an armored turret.

    Thinking and thinking, I found this brilliant (???) solution. At launch the spellblades spells have this behavior:

    Due of their hybrid nature, ALL spellblade's spells have range reduced to 5 feet.

    With this starting point i set up a base class and a wizard archetype with an Extra Attack, a Fighting Style and some specific class features that do the trick and allow you to use spells in melee situations.

    Enjoy!

    This is the Base Class:

    Spoiler
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    Spellblade

    Through study and training a spellblade is able to combine very different abilities. Whether they are dedicated to defending the borders of a kingdom, imposing their superiority or traveling in search of adventure, spellblades are always looking for new sources of knowledge to increase their skills and excel in every field.

    Creating a Spellblade

    Spellblades are masters of combat and mystical arts. Thanks to their training, a spellblade can wield any type of weapon and use every kind of shield and armor. In the same way it is able to channel powerful arcane abilities through its body and its weapon with devastating results.

    Quick Build

    You can make a spellblade quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Strength your highest ability score. Your next-highest score should be Intelligence. Second, choose the soldier background.

    Class Features

    As a spellblade you gain the following class features.

    Hit Points

    Hit Dice: 1d10 per spellblade level
    Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per spellblade level after 1st

    Proficiencies

    Armor: All armor, shields
    Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
    Tools: None
    Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
    Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, History, Intimidation and Survival

    Equipment

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

    • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
    • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
    • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) a scholar’s pack

    Table: The spellblade

    Level Proficiency Bonus Features Arcane Smites Cantrips Known Spells Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 2 Spellcasting, Arcane Smite 2 3 2 2 — — — — — — — —
    2nd 2 Spellblade Training 2 3 3 3 — — — — — — — —
    3rd 2 Battle Surge 2 3 4 4 2 — — — — — — —
    4th 2 Ability Score Improvement 2 4 5 4 3 — — — — — — —
    5th 3 — 3 4 6 4 3 2 — — — — — —
    6th 3 Fighting Style, Spellblade Training 3 4 7 4 3 3 — — — — — —
    7th 3 — 3 4 8 4 3 3 1 — — — — —
    8th 3 Ability Score Improvement 3 4 9 4 3 3 2 — — — — —
    9th 4 Extra Attack 4 4 10 4 3 3 3 1 — — — —
    10th 4 Spellblade Training Feature 4 5 11 4 3 3 3 2 — — — —
    11th 4 Carve Spells 4 5 12 4 3 3 3 2 1 — — —
    12th 4 Ability Score Improvement 4 5 12 4 3 3 3 2 1 — — —
    13th 5 — 5 5 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 — —
    14th 5 Spellblade Training Feature 5 5 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 — —
    15th 5 — 5 5 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 —
    16th 5 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 —
    17th 6 Improved Arcane Smite 6 5 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
    18th 6 Dissonant Strike 6 5 15 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
    19th 6 Ability Score Improvement 6 5 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
    20th 6 Superior Arcane Smite 6 5 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

    Spellcasting

    A spellblade is a warrior who applies its arcane studies to its martial techniques, releasing mystical energies directly from its body. Due of their hybrid nature, all spellblade's spells and cantrips have range reduced to 5 feet. Spells or abilities that normally increase the range of a spell have no effect.

    Cantrips

    You know two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn additional spellblade cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Spellblade table.

    Spell Slots

    The Spellblade table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spellblade spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

    For example, if you know the 1st-level spell Magic Missile and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Magic Missile using either slot.

    Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

    You know four 1st-level spells of your choice from the wizard spell list. The Spells Known column of the Spellblade table shows when you learn more wizard spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the table. For instance, when you reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.

    Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the spells you know and replace it with another spell from the wizard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

    Spellcasting Ability

    Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your spellblade spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

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

    Ritual Casting

    You can cast any spellblade spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.

    Spellcasting Focus

    You can use your own weapon as a spellcasting focus for your spellblade spells.

    Arcane Smite

    When you cast a spell or a cantrip with a casting time of an action, that requires a spell attack roll, you can channel the effects through the weapon you wield.

    To do so, make a single melee attack, using the ability modifier of the weapon, instead of the spell attack roll, and add the attack damage to the effects of the spell. Using this feature counts as an Attack Action in order to use the extra attacks granted by the Extra Attack feature.

    Once you have used this feature the number of times shown for your spellblade level in the Arcane Smites column of the Spellblade table, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

    Spellblade Training

    At 2nd level, you choose to undertake special training to specialize your techniques. Choose Arcane Defender or Warmage, both detailed at the end of the class description. The archetype you choose grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th and 14th level.

    Battle Surge

    You can release the power of spells directly from your body.

    Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast area-effect spells without suffering from instantaneous effects even if you are within range. To do so the spell's origin must be centered on yourself, or, if required, you must be the target of the spell.

    Ability Score Increase

    When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    Fighting Style

    At 6th level you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options.

    Defense

    While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

    Dueling

    When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

    Great Weapon Fighting

    When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

    Protection

    When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

    Two-Weapon Fighting

    When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

    Extra Attack

    Beginning at 9th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

    This feature can be used together with the Arcane Smite feature.

    Carve Spells

    Beginning at 11th level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your spells. When you cast an Evocation spell using your Battle Surge feature, you can choose a number of creatures equal to 1 + the spell's level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

    Improved Arcane Smite

    At 17th level, you have become skillful at casting spells while fighting and you can take advantage of uncanny energies and powers. When you use Arcane Smite while casting a cantrip, you no longer expend uses of this feature.

    Dissonant Strike

    At 18th level, you learn how to make your weapon strikes undercut a creature's resistance to your spells. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.

    Superior Arcane Smite

    At 20th level, you no longer have limits on the number of uses of the Arcane Smite feature.

    Spellblade Training

    Arcane Defender

    Those who decide to defend their comrades and support them in and out of battle choose to train as Arcane Defenders.

    Bonus Spells

    When you undertake this training at 2nd level, you gain access to specific magical knowledge. Add two spells belonging to the Abjuration school to your list of known spells. You will learn a new spell of the same school on the 6th and 10th level. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots at the time you learn them.

    Shieldbond

    Once you've reached 6th level, you can spend 1 hour of meditation and forge a special bond with a chosen shield. This bond lasts until you create a new one, but you can't benefit from the following effects if you are holding another shield, a second weapon or a two-handed weapon with your off-hand.

    As a bonus action, you can teleport your bonded shield to orbit around one of your ally located within 45 feet of you. It gains all the benefits guaranteed by the shield, as if it were holding it, as long as it remains within 45 feet of you. Otherwise, the shield comes back to you.

    Also, if your ally is within 45 feet of you, you can cast your abjuration spells as if you were positioned in the shield square. You can also consider the ally as yourself in order to use the abjuration spells that have Self as range descriptor, or require a reaction.

    Arcane Reinforcement

    At 10th level, when the ally you are protecting with your Shieldbond feature is the target of an attack, you can use your reaction and one charge of your Arcane Smite feature to teleport both of you on each other position before the attack. You can choose to keep your bonded shield on your new position or to teleport it with your ally. When you use this feature, you will not be able to use the Arcane Smite feature or spend its uses until the end of your next turn.

    Improved Abjuration

    Beginning at 14th level, when you cast an abjuration spell that requires you to make an ability check as a part of casting that spell (as in Counterspell and Dispel Magic), you add your proficiency bonus to that ability check.

    Warmage

    Those who aim to specialize in a particular branch of magic, choose to follow the studies of an ancient tradition. Scholars who combine study and training in this way are called Warmage.

    Scholar Training

    When you choose this training at 2nd level, choose a wizard tradition from the ones listed below:

    • Conjuration
    • Divination
    • Enchantment
    • Illusion
    • Necromancy
    • Thaumatology
    • Transmutation

    Bonus Spells

    When you undertake this training at 2nd level, you gain access to specific magical knowledge. Add two spells belonging to the tradition you have chosen to your list of known spells. You will learn a new spell of the same tradition on the 6th and 10th level. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots at the time you learn them.

    Trained Novice

    At 6th level, you gain your chosen tradition’s 2nd level benefits.

    Trained Student

    At 10th level, you gain your chosen tradition’s 6th level benefits.

    Trained Academic

    At 14th level, you gain your chosen tradition’s 10th level benefits.


    This is the Wizard Archetype:

    Spoiler
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    Spellblade

    The school of the Spellblade studies the use of magic to awaken the martial skills of its disciples. Through a ritual, the mind and body of scholars are altered, and also changes the behavior of the magic as they know it. The Dungeon Master may require you to perform specific actions in order to access the ritual, such as contacting the disciples of the school or passing certain endurance tests. The ritual lasts one night, after which you will get the following features:

    Mark of the Ritual

    On your skin appears a shimmering mark, which shines with a suffused blue light every time you use your arcane powers. When you undergo the ritual at 2nd level, you get the following effects:

    • You can chose to swap your Intelligence and Strength scores once. This action is not reversible. If you do, you gain two levels of Exhaustion.
    • You gain 2 hit points. From now on, anytime you obtain a new level, you gain 1 additional hit point.
    • All your spells and cantrips have range reduced to 5 feet. Spells or abilities that normally increase the range of a spell have no effect. Also you can use your own weapon as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells.

    Bonus Proficiency

    Mystical martial knowledge flows into your body. At 2nd level, you also gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and all weapons.

    Arcane Smite

    Starting at 2nd level, when you cast a spell or a cantrip with a casting time of an action, that requires a spell attack roll, you can channel the effects through the weapon you wield.

    To do so, make a single melee attack, using the ability modifier of the weapon, instead of the spell attack roll, and add the attack damage to the effects of the spell. Using this feature counts as an Attack Action in order to use the extra attacks granted by the Extra Attack feature.

    You can use this feature a number of times equal to your actual Proficency Bonus. You recover all the uses spent when completing a short rest.

    Battle Surge

    You can release the power of spells directly from your body.

    Once you reach 6th level, you can cast area-effect spells without suffering from instantaneous effects even if you are within range. To do so the spell's origin must be centered on yourself, or, if required, you must be the target of the spell.

    Fighting Style

    At 6th level you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options.

    Defense

    While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

    Dueling

    When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

    Great Weapon Fighting

    When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

    Protection

    When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

    Two-Weapon Fighting

    When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

    Carve Spells

    When you reach 10th level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your spells. When you cast an Evocation spell using your Battle Surge feature, you can choose a number of creatures equal to 1 + the spell's level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

    Extra Attack

    Beginning at 10th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. This feature can be used togheter with the Arcane Smite feature.

    Improved Arcane Smite

    At 14th level, you have become skillful at casting spells while fighting and you can take advantage of uncanny energies and powers. When you use Arcane Smite while casting a cantrip, you no longer expend uses of this feature.


    These are the links to the D&D WIKI pages:

    Spellblade (Base Class)

    Spellblade (Wizard Subclass)
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-09-29 at 02:04 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    This is an outdated version of the class. To consult the updated one use the link to the D&D WIKI page in the first post.

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    Ok, i managed to write the Class Table in a post!

    Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known Spells Known
    2 Spellcasting, Combat Magic 3 4 2 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    2 _ 3 5 3 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    2 _ 3 6 4 2 _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    2 Ability Score Improvement 4 7 4 3 _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    3 Battle Emanation 4 8 4 3 2 _ _ _ _ _ _
    3 Extra Attack 4 9 4 3 3 _ _ _ _ _ _
    3 _ 4 10 4 3 3 1 _ _ _ _ _
    3 Ability Score Improvement 4 11 4 3 3 2 _ _ _ _ _
    4 _ 4 12 4 3 3 3 1 _ _ _ _
    10° 4 Fighting Style 5 13 4 3 3 3 2 _ _ _ _
    11° 4 _ 5 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 _ _ _
    12° 4 Ability Score Improvement 5 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 _ _ _
    13° 5 _ 5 16 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 _ _
    14° 5 Improved Combat Magic 5 17 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 _ _
    15° 5 _ 5 18 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 _
    16° 5 Ability Score Improvement 5 19 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 _
    17° 6 _ 5 20 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
    18° 6 Attack Surge 5 21 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
    19° 6 Ability Score Improvement 5 22 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
    20° 6 Superior Combat Magic 5 23 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

    And here the special features that characterize the class:

    Spellcasting:

    • Similar to the Bard's one.
    • Spells from the wizard's spells list
    • Int as spellcaster ability.
    • All spells range are reduced to touch.

    Combat Magic:

    A spellblade can channel his arcane power through the weapon he holds.

    When you cast a spell that requires an attack roll, ranged or melee, you can choose to use the modifier you would normally use with the weapon you wield instead of the Intelligence modifier. If you do, you spends your bonus action and add the weapon damage to the effects of the spell once. This action can be considered as an Attack action in order to use the Extra Attack feature.

    The spellblade can use this feature a number of times equal to his Intelligence modifier (up to a minimum of once). He recover all the uses spent when completing a short rest.

    Battle Emanation:

    A spellblade can release the power of spells directly from his body.

    Once you reach 5th level, you can cast area-effect spells without suffering instantaneous effects even if you are within range, as long as the spell's origin is centered on yourself.

    As long Battle Emanation requires that the spell origin is centered on the caster it cannot be used in combination with Combat Magic.

    Improved Combat Magic:

    At 14th level, a spellblade has become skillful at casting spells while fighting and can take advantage of uncanny energies and powers. When using the Combat Magic feature, you can also add the Intelligence modifier to the weapon damage when making the attack.

    Attack Surge:

    Starting at 18th level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional attack, if you performs the Attack action on your turn.

    Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

    Superior Combat Magic:

    At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Combat Magic left, you regain one use.
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-25 at 05:53 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Update: I've created the page of the class on D&D WIKI, you can find it here: dandwiki.com/wiki/Spellblade,_Variant_(5e_Class)
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-28 at 10:51 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Hi guys!
    In the D&D wiki page of the class are requested some subclasses. I find the class at the actual state pretty balanced, so i need your help to write down some some ideas for subclasses that not upset everything! ^^

    Can you help me?

    Thanks in advance

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Alright, let's roll a concentration save and see if I can't wrap my head around this!

    The main feature:
    Just to make sure i'm not misunderstanding.
    When you make a weapon attack you can use your bonus action and the appropriate spell slot to have it deliver a spell's effect instead of the normal effect of a weapon attack. The spell deals bonus damage equal to your weapon's damage dice. You can do this (int mod) times per short rest.
    Since this has limited uses and uses your bonus action, this could go on almost any class. I can easily see this as a channel divinity for cleric or paladin, a wizard or druid subclass or even a rework of the Eldritch Knight. I think it would feel better to have the uses be not based on a player's intelligence modifier, but rather a seperate column of the class table. Being MAD is already tough, and this is the whole reason for this class existing in the first place. When playtesting you should just have it flat 1/short rest. If that turns out to be not enough increas it to flat 2 uses, with an additional use at 2nd, 6th, 12th and 17th level, and unlimited uses at 20th. This takes off a lot of ability score anxiety away from your player, which is more fun without necessarily being more powerful. And remember, when you can increase fun without adding or subtracting power, always add fun.

    Does this work for cantrips?
    Does the weapon attack substitute any saving throw attached to the spell, or do you use both?
    Is it just for spells that have attack rolls (hopefully that's a no)?

    I like how you justified patching up all of the wizard's weaknesses by reducing his range to touch. The only problem is that as written this class is best played with a rapier+shield+longbow, effectively negating that balance tactic. Being only allowed to work at melee is the only method you used to add design space to fit all this power into the class (best spell list, best spellcasting progression, best weapons, best armor, 2nd best hit dice, extra attack etc), so I think allowing longbows is a giant oversight. I think you should go all in, and change your main feature to only be applicable to melee weapon attacks. There is precedent for this, for example Divine Smite and Barbarian Rage only applying to melee weapon attacks. I'm still also hesitant about the shield proficiency, but only playtesting will tell if I'm right. As written your class looks like a damage-dealing/melee utility class. You should emphasize these roles by encouraging players to play with a big two-handed weapon.

    Any spellcaster's main downside is the poor at-will damage of his cantrips and his lack of gas during long adventuring days. You also patched this weakness with Extra Attack. Even with the melee-only change, I think maybe finding a way to delay that extra attack by a level might be a good call, since right now your nova and your at-will damage are really strong. A better solution yet might be a cleric style "+1d8 force damage" on melee attacks at level 8. There is also precedent within the homebrew community for adding design space by making a class feature require the use of your reaction. Whatever your solution is for the 5-8th level at-will damage bump will be, I think you should move that feature over to the subclass, and get creative about it. Make each damage feature the same, but different, to better fit the target archetype of your subclass. As I see it, this damage bump is compensation for not getting Arcane Recovery.

    Basically, the class looks clean, and your main feature really gives the player the feeling of being a melee spellcaster. I'm still really worried about the overall powerlevel. Maybe that is a good tactic in order to get your players to playtest the class.

    I don't really understand Attack Surge. Is it Extra Attack (2) or is it Action Surge? Do you think either one of those is more fun than "When you take the attack action you can use your bonus action to cast a cantrip" which is a more traditional way of representing a character that weaves melee attacks and spellcasting together in one fluid motion? I'd personally use phrasing along the lines of "You can use your Battle Magic to deliver a cantrip instead of a spell of 1st level or higher, without expending a use of the feature"

    I agree about what you said about the subclasses. Having the best of everything PLUS Battle Emanation, Attack Surge and Fighting Style leaves little to no space for a subclass. Then again, there is precedent for subclasses that give little to no combat benefits. Definitely check out the rogue subclasses, which mainly aim to further the character's archetype rather than his effectiveness. Just ribbons and ability check bonuses, and strong flavor. Couple that with your 5th-8th level at-will damage bump and you've got a good recipe for a subclass. You can even have them represent the different uses of magic.


    Some use magic for deceptions and sneakery
    Encourages using spells like Invisibility, Spider Climb, Disguise Self
    Stealth and/or Deception Bonuses
    Some ribbon that makes you feel like a shadow mage, like a custom cantrip that allows you to manipulate shadows.

    Some use it to gain knowledge
    Encourages using Divination Spells
    Knowledge check bonuses
    Some sage-like ribbon, like casting augury as an action 1/day.


    Some are naturally in tune with the weave
    Encourages using arcana spells, like Magic Circle, detect magic and remove curse
    Arcana check bonuses
    Some spellcrafting ribbon, like moving the enchantment of one object to another object or something about scrolls.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-12 at 06:34 PM.

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    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Wow wow wow! Thankyou! I did not expect such effort!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Alright, let's roll a concentration save and see if I can't wrap my head around this!



    Since this has limited uses and uses your bonus action, this could go on almost any class. I can easily see this as a channel divinity for cleric or paladin, a wizard or druid subclass or even a rework of the Eldritch Knight. I think it would feel better to have the uses be not based on a player's intelligence modifier, but rather a seperate column of the class table. Being MAD is already tough, and this is the whole reason for this class existing in the first place. When playtesting you should just have it flat 1/short rest. If that turns out to be not enough increas it to flat 2 uses, with an additional use at 2nd, 6th, 12th and 17th level, and unlimited uses at 20th. This takes off a lot of ability score anxiety away from your player, which is more fun without necessarily being more powerful. And remember, when you can increase fun without adding or subtracting power, always add fun.

    Does this work for cantrips?
    Does the weapon attack substitute any saving throw attached to the spell, or do you use both?
    Is it just for spells that have attack rolls (hopefully that's a no)?
    Ok, i think about changing the limitation of Combat Magic in a certain numbers of use depending on the level instead of a ability modifier. As i have intended, Combat Magic works with cantrips too, but only if they request an attack roll.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I like how you justified patching up all of the wizard's weaknesses by reducing his range to touch. The only problem is that as written this class is best played with a rapier+shield+longbow, effectively negating that balance tactic. Being only allowed to work at melee is the only method you used to add design space to fit all this power into the class (best spell list, best spellcasting progression, best weapons, best armor, 2nd best hit dice, extra attack etc), so I think allowing longbows is a giant oversight. I think you should go all in, and change your main feature to only be applicable to melee weapon attacks. There is precedent for this, for example Divine Smite and Barbarian Rage only applying to melee weapon attacks. I'm still also hesitant about the shield proficiency, but only playtesting will tell if I'm right. As written your class looks like a damage-dealing/melee utility class. You should emphasize these roles by encouraging players to play with a big two-handed weapon.
    Mmm, actually a spellblade can't use Combat Magic with a long range weapon, as long the bullet isn't "connected" to the caster's body when it hit the target. Basically, a Spellblade don't charge the weapon whit a spell, "simply" use it as a conduit. Probably i have to specify it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    Any spellcaster's main downside is the poor at-will damage of his cantrips and his lack of gas during long adventuring days. You also patched this weakness with Extra Attack. Even with the melee-only change, I think maybe finding a way to delay that extra attack by a level might be a good call, since right now your nova and your at-will damage are really strong. A better solution yet might be a cleric style "+1d8 force damage" on melee attacks at level 8. There is also precedent within the homebrew community for adding design space by making a class feature require the use of your reaction. Whatever your solution is for the 5-8th level at-will damage bump will be, I think you should move that feature over to the subclass, and get creative about it. Make each damage feature the same, but different, to better fit the target archetype of your subclass. As I see it, this damage bump is compensation for not getting Arcane Recovery.
    Nice advice, thankyou!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    Basically, the class looks clean, and your main feature really gives the player the feeling of being a melee spellcaster. I'm still really worried about the overall powerlevel. Maybe that is a good tactic in order to get your players to playtest the class.

    I don't really understand Attack Surge. Is it Extra Attack (2) or is it Action Surge? Do you think either one of those is more fun than "When you take the attack action you can use your bonus action to cast a cantrip" which is a more traditional way of representing a character that weaves melee attacks and spellcasting together in one fluid motion? I'd personally use phrasing along the lines of "You can use your Battle Magic to deliver a cantrip instead of a spell of 1st level or higher, without expending a use of the feature"
    Attack surge is exactly what you say, a merged and downpowered version of Extra Attack and Action Surge, and I thinked it considering that the spellblade is not a warrior strong as a Fighter but he's still a warrior. Your cantrip variant is pretty cool, but maybe i prefer use it in place of Improved or Superior Combat Magic, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I agree about what you said about the subclasses. Having the best of everything PLUS Battle Emanation, Attack Surge and Fighting Style leaves little to no space for a subclass. Then again, there is precedent for subclasses that give little to no combat benefits. Definitely check out the rogue subclasses, which mainly aim to further the character's archetype rather than his effectiveness. Just ribbons and ability check bonuses, and strong flavor. Couple that with your 5th-8th level at-will damage bump and you've got a good recipe for a subclass. You can even have them represent the different uses of magic.


    Some use magic for deceptions and sneakery
    Encourages using spells like Invisibility, Spider Climb, Disguise Self
    Stealth and/or Deception Bonuses
    Some ribbon that makes you feel like a shadow mage, like a custom cantrip that allows you to manipulate shadows.

    Some use it to gain knowledge
    Encourages using Divination Spells
    Knowledge check bonuses
    Some sage-like ribbon, like casting augury as an action 1/day.


    Some are naturally in tune with the weave
    Encourages using arcana spells, like Magic Circle, detect magic and remove curse
    Arcana check bonuses
    Some spellcrafting ribbon, like moving the enchantment of one object to another object or something about scrolls.
    Wow, those are good advices, thankyou again!

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Ok, i think about changing the limitation of Combat Magic in a certain numbers of use depending on the level instead of a ability modifier. As i have intended, Combat Magic works with cantrips too, but only if they request an attack roll.
    Mmm, actually a spellblade can't use Combat Magic with a long range weapon, as long the bullet isn't "connected" to the caster's body when it hit the target. Basically, a Spellblade don't charge the weapon whit a spell, "simply" use it as a conduit. Probably i have to specify it better.
    I think the entire feature warrants rewriting in terms of phrasing, just to make sure everything is clear. I mean, if I had to read it, rewrite it, and a few separate questions, it probably isn't clear enough.

    Battle Magic

    Starting at 1st level, when you cast a spell of 1st level or higher on your turn you can choose to deliver it using your weapon. Instead of the attack roll normally associated with the spell make a melee weapon attack. If the attack hits the spell is delivered and deals bonus damage equal to your weapon's damage dice. You don't add your ability modifier to the bonus damage, but any other damage bonuses that normally apply to a weapon attack still apply. This feature does not replace any saving throws normally associated with the spell.

    This feature has a number of uses based on your Spellblade level as shown in the Combat Magic column of the Spellblade table, and you regain all expended uses at the end of a long or short rest.

    When writing the table for this consider using a percentage of your total spell slots as a guideline. It is a short rest ability and you want it to have less uses than your total number of spell slots. Start with 1 use per short rest and bump it up to 2 uses between levels 3 and 6.

    Now, the entire "Counts as an attack action" in your original version is unnecessarily confusing, and adds a ton of mechanical baggage to the feature.
    So I use my action to cast a spell, and use my bonus action to make a weapon attack, and then have the original action trigger an extra attack?

    No, just, keep it simple, and add features as the class advances. Besides, the last thing you need right now is more nova.
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    The best way to make that whole clause make sense would be to have Battle Magic count as a weapon attack from the start "When you hit with a melee weapon attack on your turn you can use your bonus action to have it deliver a spell..." and that just doesn't feel right to me. It makes it less unique and gives the player the feeling that casting spells is something you can do reactively in a split second, instead of simply using your weapon as a conduit. It just doesn't match the flavor you are going for.


    T"1st level spell or higher" clause is an important change to clarify how Battle Magic is intended to be used. It's supposed to be your big gun ability, with limited uses. Using it with booming blade does actually less damage than just using your action to use booming blade. Don't give trap options to your players.

    Now, having done all this you can replace the extra attack feature with "Starting at Xth level, you can cast a cantrip of your choice in addition to making a single melee weapon attack when you take the Attack action"

    I think it's the core idea of this class to not have to decide whether to cast a spell or make a weapon attack; you can just do both. This keeps your entire class cleaner and makes it progressively more dynamic as you gain levels. You could specify that this doesn't work with booming blade or greenflame blade and have it come in early, between levels 3 and 5 as a bonus action. Then remove the bonus action requirement between levels 6-8.

    Attack surge is exactly what you say, a merged and downpowered version of Extra Attack and Action Surge, and I thinked it considering that the spellblade is not a warrior strong as a Fighter but he's still a warrior. Your cantrip variant is pretty cool, but maybe i prefer use it in place of Improved or Superior Combat Magic, what do you think?
    My options right now as a Spell blade are:
    Use my Action to cast a spell (limited to spell slots)
    Use my Action and Bonus action to cast a spell and deal bonus damage (limited uses)
    Use my Action to make one melee weapon attack and cast booming blade (unlimited uses)

    The first and second one scale with spell slots, and the third one scales with character level. I don't know if you need any of the additional scaling granted by the Fighting Style, Improved Combat Damage or Extra Attack (2) features. You have full caster progression, so you have a LOT of spell slots.

    You have to remember that spell slots scale and the wizard spell list is the best in the game. There's a reason why a wizard doesn't gain a new class feature until 18th level. He just has Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Ability Score Increases and a Subclass. Despite all this, they still thought he needed to have the worst defense stats in the game to compensate for the power of these few features.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-13 at 06:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    I think the entire feature warrants rewriting in terms of phrasing, just to make sure everything is clear. I mean, if I had to read it, rewrite it, and a few separate questions, it probably isn't clear enough.

    Battle Magic

    Starting at 1st level, when you cast a spell of 1st level or higher on your turn you can choose to deliver it using your weapon. Instead of the attack roll normally associated with the spell make a melee weapon attack. If the attack hits the spell is delivered and deals bonus damage equal to your weapon's damage dice. You don't add your ability modifier to the bonus damage, but any other damage bonuses that normally apply to a weapon attack still apply. This feature does not replace any saving throws normally associated with the spell.

    This feature has a number of uses based on your Spellblade level as shown in the Combat Magic column of the Spellblade table, and you regain all expended uses at the end of a long or short rest.

    When writing the table for this consider using a percentage of your total spell slots as a guideline. It is a short rest ability and you want it to have less uses than your total number of spell slots. Start with 1 use per short rest and bump it up to 2 uses between levels 3 and 6.

    Now, the entire "Counts as an attack action" in your original version is unnecessarily confusing, and adds a ton of mechanical baggage to the feature.
    So I use my action to cast a spell, and use my bonus action to make a weapon attack, and then have the original action trigger an extra attack?

    No, just, keep it simple, and add features as the class advances. Besides, the last thing you need right now is more nova.
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    The best way to make that whole clause make sense would be to have Battle Magic count as a weapon attack from the start "When you hit with a melee weapon attack on your turn you can use your bonus action to have it deliver a spell..." and that just doesn't feel right to me. It makes it less unique and gives the player the feeling that casting spells is something you can do reactively in a split second, instead of simply using your weapon as a conduit. It just doesn't match the flavor you are going for.


    T"1st level spell or higher" clause is an important change to clarify how Battle Magic is intended to be used. It's supposed to be your big gun ability, with limited uses. Using it with booming blade does actually less damage than just using your action to use booming blade. Don't give trap options to your players.

    Now, having done all this you can replace the extra attack feature with "Starting at Xth level, you can cast a cantrip of your choice in addition to making a single melee weapon attack when you take the Attack action"

    I think it's the core idea of this class to not have to decide whether to cast a spell or make a weapon attack; you can just do both. This keeps your entire class cleaner and makes it progressively more dynamic as you gain levels. You could specify that this doesn't work with booming blade or greenflame blade and have it come in early, between levels 3 and 5 as a bonus action. Then remove the bonus action requirement between levels 6-8.



    My options right now as a Spell blade are:
    Use my Action to cast a spell (limited to spell slots)
    Use my Action and Bonus action to cast a spell and deal bonus damage (limited uses)
    Use my Action to make one melee weapon attack and cast booming blade (unlimited uses)

    The first and second one scale with spell slots, and the third one scales with character level. I don't know if you need any of the additional scaling granted by the Fighting Style, Improved Combat Damage or Extra Attack (2) features. You have full caster progression, so you have a LOT of spell slots.

    You have to remember that spell slots scale and the wizard spell list is the best in the game. There's a reason why a wizard doesn't gain a new class feature until 18th level. He just has Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Ability Score Increases and a Subclass. Despite all this, they still thought he needed to have the worst defense stats in the game to compensate for the power of these few features.
    Ok, i will keep in mind all of this suggestions. To be clear, you suggest to limits the uses of Combat Magic only at spells prepared using a slot of level 1st or higher and to add a new feature at X level that allows to use cantrips with a melee attack instead of an extra attack feature? I'm not pretty sure about that, considering that even a valor bard have an extra attack and i feel that a melee combatant need it. I need to think about that.

    In a few day i will regain possession of my PC and then i will apply this changes!

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    Ok, i will keep in mind all of this suggestions. To be clear, you suggest to limits the uses of Combat Magic only at spells prepared using a slot of level 1st or higher and to add a new feature at X level that allows to use cantrips with a melee attack instead of an extra attack feature? I'm not pretty sure about that, considering that even a valor bard have an extra attack and i feel that a melee combatant need it. I need to think about that.

    In a few day i will regain possession of my PC and then i will apply this changes!
    Yes, of course! All just suggestions!

    Have you decided which features you want to move to the subclasses in order to make more design space, or what archetypes you want the subclasses to represent? If you find your damage not to be too insane, maybe packing a defensive feature into each and everyone of them, perhaps one using your reaction in different and creative ways, might be a good way to separate them.

    Yeah I suggest that since combat magic is a limited resource it might feel weird to pair it with a cantrip. But since you have a chance to playtest it, maybe it works out different in practice. I must admit, I too love the extra attack feature. Since it is not immediately apparent I recommend specifying "a spell using an appropriate level spell slot or one cantrip" in the Battle Magic description. The good thing about allowing cantrips with Combat Magic is that you never have any leftover uses. Based on the scaling you are likely to have uses of Battle Magic when you don't even want to commit a spell slot, so being able to deplete your recharge-able resources every fight without having to compromise your long rest resources is definitely a benefit, especially at lower levels when you have less spell slots to go around. At a certain point however you probably won't need more Battle Magic. 2 uses per encounter is basically a hard cap. Everything above that is likely to result in too many charges, which is not a good feeling. Rather leave a player wanting more than having too much. With around 2 encounters per short rest, it feels like 4-6 uses per short rest is a good pre-capstone end point. You can use either the Barbarian Rage or simply your proficiency bonus as guidelines. Having the additional uses land on levels where your spellcasting level increases might be smart, since those are the levels that give the biggest number of additional spell slots.

    If you still intend on "single weapon attack" to be interchange-able with "cast a spell" you should have that specified specifically under the Extra Attack Feature "When you take the attack action to make a melee weapon attack you can make one additional attack or cast one spell as a part of the attack action". This way your Combat Magic's trigger of "When you cast a spell" works with your extra attack feature.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-13 at 01:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Yes, of course! All just suggestions!

    Have you decided which features you want to move to the subclasses in order to make more design space, or what archetypes you want the subclasses to represent? If you find your damage not to be too insane, maybe packing a defensive feature into each and everyone of them, perhaps one using your reaction in different and creative ways, might be a good way to separate them.
    Actually, i think to remove the Attack Surge feature to make room for a subclass feature, and maybe change the text of the Improved Combat Magic in something like "if you use Combat Magic when casting a cantrip you don't spend uses of this feature". For the subclasses i think to start with something very simple, like some "themed" sets of not fighting spells that can receive some enhanchement, like being learned automatically, bonus slots or casting at will, but i have to study it a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    Yeah I suggest that since combat magic is a limited resource it might feel weird to pair it with a cantrip. But since you have a chance to playtest it, maybe it works out different in practice. I must admit, I too love the extra attack feature. Since it is not immediately apparent I recommend specifying "a spell using an appropriate level spell slot or one cantrip" in the Battle Magic description. The good thing about allowing cantrips with Combat Magic is that you never have any leftover uses. Based on the scaling you are likely to have uses of Battle Magic when you don't even want to commit a spell slot, so being able to deplete your recharge-able resources every fight without having to compromise your long rest resources is definitely a benefit, especially at lower levels when you have less spell slots to go around. At a certain point however you probably won't need more Battle Magic. 2 uses per encounter is basically a hard cap. Everything above that is likely to result in too many charges, which is not a good feeling. Rather leave a player wanting more than having too much. With around 2 encounters per short rest, it feels like 4-6 uses per short rest is a good pre-capstone end point. You can use either the Barbarian Rage or simply your proficiency bonus as guidelines. Having the additional uses land on levels where your spellcasting level increases might be smart, since those are the levels that give the biggest number of additional spell slots.

    If you still intend on "single weapon attack" to be interchange-able with "cast a spell" you should have that specified specifically under the Extra Attack Feature "When you take the attack action to make a melee weapon attack you can make one additional attack or cast one spell as a part of the attack action". This way your Combat Magic's trigger of "When you cast a spell" works with your extra attack feature.
    Yhea, i think too that 4-6 uses are enough for Combat Magic, and the progression of the Proficency Bonus could be the right one. I just don't know if to change the text of Superior Combat Magic in something like "at level 20 you don't need to spend uses of this feature anymore". I'm afraid it could be too OP, and sadly i don't have a playtest at this level for trying.

    By the way I will surely specify in the text of the Extra Attack feature that it can be used with Combat Magic too.

    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Level 20 shouldn't have any balance, tbh. It's the point where your character gets demi-god status, and usually the last level played in a campaign, effectively being your last chance to fulfill any crazy fantasies your players might have. A genasi becoming a living fire god, a thief being able to steal insubstantial things like memories or dreams and druids having unlimited HP. 20 is the highest fantasy allowed in the game, so go nuts with it.

    If cantrip-battle-magic doesn't use a charge, why not give it as a separate feature in order to give the player a better feeling of progression? It would give the player another chance of going "oh, cool, I get this feature" as he levels up, as well as making the playstyle dynamic between levels and introducing the mechanics of the class slowly to give a player more time to grow accustomed to them.

    Anywho, I think I've said my piece. Good luck with the rest :)
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-13 at 03:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Level 20 shouldn't have any balance, tbh. It's the point where your character gets demi-god status, and usually the last level played in a campaign, effectively being your last chance to fulfill any crazy fantasies your players might have. A genasi becoming a living fire god, a thief being able to steal insubstantial things like memories or dreams and druids having unlimited HP. 20 is the highest fantasy allowed in the game, so go nuts with it.

    If cantrip-battle-magic doesn't use a charge, why not give it as a separate feature in order to give the player a better feeling of progression? It would give the player another chance of going "oh, cool, I get this feature" as he levels up, as well as making the playstyle dynamic between levels and introducing the mechanics of the class slowly to give a player more time to grow accustomed to them.

    Anywho, I think I've said my piece. Good luck with the rest :)
    You are right, there is the risk of not giving the right progression feeling. By the way i just don't like the idea of a class that can make a melee attack to an enemy and then cast a completely unbound spell to another target, like the valor bard or the eldritch knight. Thats why i started to develop this class! ^^ But it could be interesting anyway!

    I hope to have time to write this changes in the next days, and maybe think about subclasses. I will give you updates!

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    I'm back!
    I finally found some time and went back to work on the class. I made several changes, building on what was said in previous posts. I also tried to develop subclasses ... failing that. I started thinking about what I wanted from a subclass, coming to develop an archetype focused on stealth and one focused on defense. I also tried to develop some new mechanics, trying to fill the gaps due to the lack of the Stun and Taunt mechanics:

    I was thinking of something like that:

    Stun (for the Stealth archetype): when casting the Sleep spell you can chose to make a melee spell attack against an unaware target. If it succeed you must apply all the effects of the spell on the target, considering the maximum value of the dice.

    Taunt (for the Defense archetype): when casting the Charm Person spell you can choose to distort it. If you do, the effect of the spell change and the target, if charmed, will do everything to attack you, ignoring your allies.

    But while I was working, I realized that these solutions lacked personality, adding nothing to a class that is already quite characterized and versatile, thanks to spells.
    So I decided to abandon (at least for now) the development of subclasses, perfecting the current base class. These are the changes I made:

    • Modified some feature names
    • Modified the limits of uses of Arcane Smite (aka Combat Magic) in a number of uses/rest equal to the actual Proficiency Bonus.
    • Moved Battle Surge (aka Battle Emanation) from 5th to 2nd level (i prefer it here for a fair distribution of features).
    • Modified Extra Attack, specifying that it can be used together with Arcane Smite.
    • Added Carve Spells at level 11th, very similar to the Sculpt Spells of the Evocation wizard, but without the complete damage reduction. Do you think that with the complete damage reduction could it be too strong?
    • Modified Improved Arcane Smite (aka Improved Combat Magic) which now no longer consumes uses when casting a cantrip.
    • Added Dissonant Strike at 17th level, very similar to the Eldritch Strike of the Eldritch Knight (learned at 14th).
    • Modified Superior Arcane Smite (aka Superiore Combat Magic) thanks to which you no longer have limits on the number of uses of the Arcane Smite feature.


    About Carve Spells i'm afraid that with only a partial damage reduction it could be useless, as long the spell must be casted centered on the Spellblade who will probably find himself fighting side by side with allies, and with a complete reduction it could be too strong. Maybe i can introduce a limit of uses, like Int Modifier/long rest, or limit the complete reduction only for spells under a certain level. What do you think?

    Besides the doubt about Carve Spells I am quite satisfied, but i want to know your opinion!

    D&D WIKI: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Spellb...ant_(5e_Class)
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-25 at 07:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Alright!

    Looking much cleaner and much more sparse, which is a good thing for a class with a full spellcasting progression!

    I think it's finished enough to go into my houserule document and present to my players as an option. Thank you for your work :D

    Arcane Smite
    I love what you've done with the feature! I vote removing the 'ranged or melee' down to notes, since it again managed to confuse me xD
    You should rewrite this as an action, in order to be able to say "Taking this action counts as taking the attack action for triggering effects like the extra attack class feature".

    Battle Surge
    You have to account for splash effect spells, that have a single target but deals damage in a "splash". I'd recommend "You can exclude yourself from the effects of any spell you cast, either normally or through the Arcane Smite class feature. "

    I love all the other changes, and I'm not really familiar enough with level 10 to provide any insight worth listening to.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Alright!

    Looking much cleaner and much more sparse, which is a good thing for a class with a full spellcasting progression!

    I think it's finished enough to go into my houserule document and present to my players as an option. Thank you for your work :D
    Wow, i'm honored!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Arcane Smite
    I love what you've done with the feature! I vote removing the 'ranged or melee' down to notes, since it again managed to confuse me xD
    You should rewrite this as an action, in order to be able to say "Taking this action counts as taking the attack action for triggering effects like the extra attack class feature".
    Ok, it should be more clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Battle Surge
    You have to account for splash effect spells, that have a single target but deals damage in a "splash". I'd recommend "You can exclude yourself from the effects of any spell you cast, either normally or through the Arcane Smite class feature. "
    mmm, actually i don't mind if a handful of spells become more difficult or impossible to use, I like the idea that the player should think differently than usual. Anyway, maybe I could rewrite the feature like that:

    Battle Surge

    A spellblade can release the power of spells directly from his body.

    Once you reach 2nd level, you can cast area-effect spells without suffering from instantaneous effects even if you are within range. To do so the spell's origin must be centered on yourself, or, if required, you must be the target of the spell.


    More than anything else consider that, as far as I know, the only spell that exploits such mechanic is Chain Lightning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I love all the other changes, and I'm not really familiar enough with level 10 to provide any insight worth listening to.
    Ok, so remain the problem of the Carve Spells feature... I think that for now I will modify it in order to make it absorb all the damage, however opinions are welcome!

    Thankyou again for all the help!
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-25 at 08:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Ok guys, I thought a bit about a possible solution to the problem of Carve Spells.

    First of all, is this a problem? My doubts derive from the fact that Scultp Spells is one of the strongest and most characteristic features of the Evocation Wizard,and I have doubts about putting it in another class that can get to abuse it without having the right background. I think that the possibility to cast Fire Ball (or even Meteor Swarm!) in a crowded room without having to worry about allies can be excessive.

    On the other hand, an Evocation Wizard learns this feature on the 2nd, while the Spellblade learns on the 11th, and unlike the Wizard he is more likely to fight side by side with the allies, without the possibility of positioning the origin of the spell, and therefore risks doing more damage than anything else.

    Then probably the problem does not exist!

    However I tried to write the feature differently, trying to weaken it. But honestly, I'm afraid it has become too complicated, and perhaps not even resolving a problem that maybe doesn't even exist ^^

    It can be something like that:

    Beginning at 11th level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your spells. On your turn, you can declare a spell you have prepared and focus on a number of squares around you, up to 1 + the spell level. In your next turn if you cast that spell using your Battle Surge feature, you can choose in which of those square do not apply the effect of the spell. Any creature located on one of those squares automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

    Or, even better, like that:

    Beginning at 11th level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your spells. On your turn, you can focus on a number of squares around you, up to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). In your next turn if you cast an Evocation spell using your Battle Surge feature, you can choose in which of those square do not apply the effect of the spell. Any creature located on one of those squares automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

    Or, alternatively, I could add a limit of uses, but I don't see it as an real solution.

    Last but not least, I thought of something like that:

    Beginning at 11th level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your spells. When you cast an Evocation spell using your Battle Surge feature, you can choose a number of creatures equal to 1 + the spell's level, that are positioned no more than 10 feet from you. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

    Which is perhaps the simplest solution.

    What do you think? Do you think I'm seeing problems where they don't exist? Or do you like one of these solutions? Or maybe you have something else to propose?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Right, Old Harry has asked me to take a look at this class, so...

    Quick observations:
    • A class shouldn't have two weak saves; it should have one weak and one strong. The strong saves are Dex, Con and Wis.
    • The dead levels (10 and 18) are poor form. Carve Spells should come in at 10th and Dissonant Strike should move to 18th. Or I guess you could put in subclass features at those levels...
    • Honestly? I'm not a fan of full casting + Extra Attack in a base class. It just feels wrong, even at level 6. I assume I can't persuade you to change that now, though.
    • Where are the exploration and interaction features? Or indeed, defensive features? You can't have a whole class be all offensive combat power, all the time. And I know there are utility spells on the wizard list, but there's no guarantee a player will pick them when you've got a limited number of spells known.
    • I don't have time to run the numbers on the DPR. There's nothing glaringly overpowered, so it's probably fine.
    • Subclasses? Hard to evaluate the base without at least some idea of what they'll be like.
    • Finally, I'd suggest a general switch towards gender-neutral language. It's not 1985 any more.

    To answer your lingering questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    the problem of Carve Spells.

    My doubts derive from the fact that Scultp Spells is one of the strongest and most characteristic features of the Evocation Wizard,and I have doubts about putting it in another class that can get to abuse it without having the right background.
    shrug Personally I don't think it's a problem. It's not unique to the evoker (Careful Spell does a very similar job) and it's necessary to make this class function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    However I tried to write the feature differently...
    I don't like any of those re-writes. They're all too complicated, fiddly to use and might even introduce new exploits.
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Right, Old Harry has asked me to take a look at this class, so...

    Quick observations:
    • A class shouldn't have two weak saves; it should have one weak and one strong. The strong saves are Dex, Con and Wis.
    • The dead levels (10 and 18) are poor form. Carve Spells should come in at 10th and Dissonant Strike should move to 18th. Or I guess you could put in subclass features at those levels...
    • Honestly? I'm not a fan of full casting + Extra Attack in a base class. It just feels wrong, even at level 6. I assume I can't persuade you to change that now, though.
    • Where are the exploration and interaction features? Or indeed, defensive features? You can't have a whole class be all offensive combat power, all the time. And I know there are utility spells on the wizard list, but there's no guarantee a player will pick them when you've got a limited number of spells known.
    • I don't have time to run the numbers on the DPR. There's nothing glaringly overpowered, so it's probably fine.
    • Subclasses? Hard to evaluate the base without at least some idea of what they'll be like.
    • Finally, I'd suggest a general switch towards gender-neutral language. It's not 1985 any more.

    To answer your lingering questions:

    shrug Personally I don't think it's a problem. It's not unique to the evoker (Careful Spell does a very similar job) and it's necessary to make this class function.

    I don't like any of those re-writes. They're all too complicated, fiddly to use and might even introduce new exploits.
    I agree with all of this, especially the lack of non-offensive features. I suggested a rewrite of the Arcane Smite and Extra Attack features in a PM.

    Suggested rewrite:

    Arcane Smite: You can replace spell attacks required by your Spellblade spells with weapon attacks using your wielded melee weapon. When you do so, you add the appropriate modifier to the damage dealt by the spell. You can use this ability a number of times equal to 1 + your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). You regain all uses of this ability after you complete a long rest.

    Extra Attack: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make two attacks instead of one. Alternately, you can make an attack with a melee weapon and use Arcane Smite.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2019-08-27 at 02:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Thankyou guys for the answers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Right, Old Harry has asked me to take a look at this class, so...

    Quick observations:
    • A class shouldn't have two weak saves; it should have one weak and one strong. The strong saves are Dex, Con and Wis.
    1) Ok, good to know! I think i will change them in Str and Dex.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • The dead levels (10 and 18) are poor form. Carve Spells should come in at 10th and Dissonant Strike should move to 18th. Or I guess you could put in subclass features at those levels...
    2) Ok, but this will destroy the simmetry! Jokes aside, you refers to the Tiers of Play (pag.15 PHB)? Okay, I'll keep that in mind. I will probably use these levels for subclass features...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • Honestly? I'm not a fan of full casting + Extra Attack in a base class. It just feels wrong, even at level 6. I assume I can't persuade you to change that now, though.
    3) That's right! Personally I think it is necessary to give the feeling of a melee class, and regarding the flavor seems to me that is within the context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • Where are the exploration and interaction features? Or indeed, defensive features? You can't have a whole class be all offensive combat power, all the time. And I know there are utility spells on the wizard list, but there's no guarantee a player will pick them when you've got a limited number of spells known.
    4) Ok, it's clear. I'm just afraid of ruining the balance. Can you tell me some existing feature of those type? Just to have clear what you have in mind. (See also point 6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • I don't have time to run the numbers on the DPR. There's nothing glaringly overpowered, so it's probably fine.
    5) Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • Subclasses? Hard to evaluate the base without at least some idea of what they'll be like.
    6) Actually i have got problems writing subclasses, because the class is ideally a fighter that use wizard spells like maneuvers, and, IMHO, both fighter and wizard are the two classes with less flavour in the game. So my actual (but not definitive) idea was to not develop subclasses, considering the whole class already as the sum of a class plus a subclass. Unfortunately, due to the class mechanics, it would also be impossible to convert it into a sub-class of an existing class, unless you create an ad hoc progression of spells or a feature that says "from this level, you forget how to cast spells to their natural range ".

    Anyway considering what you tell me in point (4) I can start to think something about.

    Probably the best thing would be to create features that, depending on the archetype chosen (which I will probably call trainings), automatically teach certain utility or defense spells, and maybe partially alter their use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    • Finally, I'd suggest a general switch towards gender-neutral language. It's not 1985 any more.
    Hahahahaha, you are right!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post

    To answer your lingering questions:



    shrug Personally I don't think it's a problem. It's not unique to the evoker (Careful Spell does a very similar job) and it's necessary to make this class function.



    I don't like any of those re-writes. They're all too complicated, fiddly to use and might even introduce new exploits.
    Perfect so then!

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I agree with all of this, especially the lack of non-offensive features. I suggested a rewrite of the Arcane Smite and Extra Attack features in a PM.

    Suggested rewrite:

    Arcane Smite: You can replace spell attacks required by your Spellblade spells with weapon attacks using your wielded melee weapon. When you do so, you add the appropriate modifier to the damage dealt by the spell. You can use this ability a number of times equal to 1 + your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). You regain all uses of this ability after you complete a long rest.

    Extra Attack: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make two attacks instead of one. Alternately, you can make an attack with a melee weapon and use Arcane Smite.
    Hi Phoenix, I answered the PM asking you if I understood your problem. I'd got it right?

    This is how I changed the feature:

    You can channel your arcane power through the weapon you holds.

    When you wield a melee weapon and you cast a spell or a cantrip with a casting time of an action, that requires a spell attack roll, you can choose to use the modifier of the weapon instead of the Intelligence modifier. If you do, you spend also your bonus action and you add the weapon damage to the effects of the spell. Using this feature counts as an Attack action in order to use the Extra Attack feature.

    You can use this feature a number of times equal to your actual Proficency Bonus. You recover all the uses spent when completing a short rest.


    This should avoid misunderstanding.

    Thanks again to everyone!
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-28 at 03:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    (I sent this message as a PM but maybe it's better if we talk about it here ^^)

    I'm here to ask you again for assistance, to try to unravel the problem of subclasses once and for all ... Forgive me, but I have a kind of writer's block ^^

    I believe that the main problem is in the nature of the class itself. As already mentioned, the feeling of the class is of a fighter who uses spells as maneuvers. However, if I analyze the fighter class, it does not have many skills out of combat.

    Therefor, reading the wizard, I have identified these possible solutions:

    (First of all, keep in mind that I don't mind creating new features, but if I manage to insert features that already exist in other contexts, perhaps with some slight modifications and name changes, I'm more satisfied and sure not to unbalance things.)

    Abjuration Training: School of Abjuration
    • 3rd level: A new feature + extra learn of 2 Abj spells.
    • 10th level: Improved Abjuration, as the one of the wizard + extra learn of 2 Abj spells.
    • 18th level: Spell Resistance, as the one of the wizard + extra learn of 2 Abj spells.


    Divination Training: School of Divination
    • 3rd level: Portent, as the one of the wizard or a new feature + extra learn of 2 Div spells.
    • 10th level: The Third Eye, as the one of the wizard + extra learn of 2 Div spells.
    • 18th level: Greater Portent, as the one of the wizard or a new feature + extra learn of 2 Div spells.


    Enchantment Training: School of Enchantment
    • 3rd level: Hypnotic Gaze, as the one of the wizard or a new feature + extra learn of 2 Enc spells.
    • 10th level: Instinctive Charm, as the one of the wizard + extra learn of 2 Enc spells.
    • 18th level: Split Enchantment or Alter Memories, as the one of the wizard + extra learn of 2 Enc spells.


    These can be a quick and simple solutions, which may not overbalance the DPR and make the class richer and more versatile out of the fight.

    I can't imagine more personalized solutions without going to characterize the class in ways that don't satisfy me.

    However I also created this table where I divided the spells into types that can be used as a basis for subclasses.

    spell lv stealth defense survival utility tool support interaction
    0 Minor Illusion Light Message Mending
    1 Disguise Self
    Fog Cloud
    Silent Image
    False Life
    Protection from Evil
    Shield
    Feather Fall Alarm
    Detect Magic
    Identify Jump
    Longstrider
    Protection from Evil
    Charm Person
    Comprehend Languages
    2 Invisibility Blur
    Mirror Image
    Alter Self
    Spider Climb
    Locate Object
    See Invisibility
    Arcane Lock
    Knock
    Darkvision Detect Thoughts
    Suggestion
    3 Nondetection Protection from Energy Tiny Hut
    Water Breathing
    Dispel Magic
    Sending
    Clairvoyance
    Glyph of Warding
    Haste
    Remove Curse
    Water Breathing
    Protection from Energy
    Tongues
    4 Greater Invisibility Fire Shield
    Stoneskin
    Private Sanctum Arcane Eye
    Locate Creature
    Fabricate
    Stone Shape
    5 Mislead
    Seeming
    Passwall Legend Lore
    Scrying
    Telepathic Bond
    Creation
    Telekinesis
    Teleportation Circle
    Dominate Person
    Modify Memory
    6 Programmed Illusion Contingency Guards and Wards True Seeing Instant Summons True Seeing Mass Suggestion
    7 Etherealness Magnificent Mansion Symbol Plane Shift
    Sequester
    8 Mind Blank Antipathy/Sympathy

    For example, can the "tool" column be applied to a military engineer subclass?

    What do you think about it?

    Thanks again for the help!

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    First off, apologies if this sounds harsh. I honestly can't think of a gentler way to put this...

    Personally, I think copying the wizard subclasses is a terrible idea. Especially if it means granting rafts of extra spells known, that's an enormous power boost, which you don't have the capacity for. This class is already verging on "why would anyone play a wizard (or ranger, tbh) if this is on the table" and bringing in features like Portent would definitely push it over the edge.

    On a more fundamental level, I always consider it a big red flag if a new base class doesn't immediately suggest three or four solid subclass ideas. It makes me think "could this concept be better implemented as a subclass for an existing base class". And for me, the answer here is clearly "yes". In fact, I'd argue that it's already been implemented in the official material. 'Decent melee fighter with powerful spells' is what the valour bard and blade-pact warlock are for; the rest is just fluff. On a meta level, I assume you're angling for 'frontline DPR that can tank pretty well too'? Kinda stepping on the fighter's toes there, I think.

    I know that isn't especially constructive advice, but it's hard for me to offer anything more helpful when I don't really buy into the premise of the class (incidentally, that's why I didn't comment when the thread first sprang up). Sorry!
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    First off, apologies if this sounds harsh. I honestly can't think of a gentler way to put this...

    Personally, I think copying the wizard subclasses is a terrible idea. Especially if it means granting rafts of extra spells known, that's an enormous power boost, which you don't have the capacity for. This class is already verging on "why would anyone play a wizard (or ranger, tbh) if this is on the table" and bringing in features like Portent would definitely push it over the edge.

    On a more fundamental level, I always consider it a big red flag if a new base class doesn't immediately suggest three or four solid subclass ideas. It makes me think "could this concept be better implemented as a subclass for an existing base class". And for me, the answer here is clearly "yes". In fact, I'd argue that it's already been implemented in the official material. 'Decent melee fighter with powerful spells' is what the valour bard and blade-pact warlock are for; the rest is just fluff. On a meta level, I assume you're angling for 'frontline DPR that can tank pretty well too'? Kinda stepping on the fighter's toes there, I think.

    I know that isn't especially constructive advice, but it's hard for me to offer anything more helpful when I don't really buy into the premise of the class (incidentally, that's why I didn't comment when the thread first sprang up). Sorry!
    I have to agree with this, especially the bold part. Archetypes/subclasses are fundamental to 5e's design--if it's already too narrow (or too powerful) to have subclasses...it might not work well.

    This sounds like all the best parts of valor bards (attacking and full casting), eldritch knight (heavy armor), paladins (burning spell slots for extra power), and wizards, all stapled together.
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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    First off, apologies if this sounds harsh. I honestly can't think of a gentler way to put this...

    Personally, I think copying the wizard subclasses is a terrible idea. Especially if it means granting rafts of extra spells known, that's an enormous power boost, which you don't have the capacity for. This class is already verging on "why would anyone play a wizard (or ranger, tbh) if this is on the table" and bringing in features like Portent would definitely push it over the edge.

    On a more fundamental level, I always consider it a big red flag if a new base class doesn't immediately suggest three or four solid subclass ideas. It makes me think "could this concept be better implemented as a subclass for an existing base class". And for me, the answer here is clearly "yes". In fact, I'd argue that it's already been implemented in the official material. 'Decent melee fighter with powerful spells' is what the valour bard and blade-pact warlock are for; the rest is just fluff. On a meta level, I assume you're angling for 'frontline DPR that can tank pretty well too'? Kinda stepping on the fighter's toes there, I think.

    I know that isn't especially constructive advice, but it's hard for me to offer anything more helpful when I don't really buy into the premise of the class (incidentally, that's why I didn't comment when the thread first sprang up). Sorry!
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I have to agree with this, especially the bold part. Archetypes/subclasses are fundamental to 5e's design--if it's already too narrow (or too powerful) to have subclasses...it might not work well.

    This sounds like all the best parts of valor bards (attacking and full casting), eldritch knight (heavy armor), paladins (burning spell slots for extra power), and wizards, all stapled together.
    Don't worry guys, I've been on the forums long enough to know when someone writes harshly and when not. ^^

    Besides, I can also understand your points.

    I do not deny that this class is born from the desire to develop its mechanics, rather than its flavor, and I also find that, at least personally, one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating homebrew content is the tuning process to make it usable and fun.

    I don't want to go into details, but I think it's a professional deformation. ^^

    However, I believe there are many points to play on to nerf and correct the class, as well as fun calculations and hours of betatesting to verify everything, especially now that I am developing the subclasses.

    I thank you anyway for the advice and patience!

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    I also find that, at least personally, one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating homebrew content is the tuning process to make it usable and fun.
    I don't want to go into details, but I think it's a professional deformation. ^^
    However, I believe there are many points to play on to nerf and correct the class, as well as fun calculations and hours of betatesting to verify everything, especially now that I am developing the subclasses.
    -----------------

    I mean, I've seen three youtube videos about musicians trying to make music without hearing it. Creating an inherently overpowered class, and figuring out a way to balance it, just sounds like bunch of fun to me!

    I honestly thought only being able to cast spells with the target of self or range of 5 feet was limitation enough. Guess I was wrong :/

    I feel as it stands the 5-foot-range, arcane smite and battle surge are the holy trinity that make up this class. These three mechanics just sound so much fun to use together. As long as these mechanics stay relatively unchanged, the rest of the class is pretty free to be mold around them.

    The first thing I'd to as an attempt to reduce the class' power would be spells known.
    You've got a gifted fighter and a spellcasting prodigy; but he still had to divide his time between his two disciplines. He doesn't master his fighting style until 9th level. The spellblade uses the 4-5-6 spells know progression, the sorcerer uses 2-3-4.

    With a 2-3-4 progression, the new Arcane Smite, Extra Attack at 6th level and 5-foot range on spells. I think we have created enough design space to create some cool subclasses. I think it's a good idea to make the class less powerful then you want it to be, and then bump the power back up with the subclass features.

    Edit: Would banning SCAG cantrips help with balancing? I personally don't use them in my games, I think they're all kinds of stupid, but I think they are especially broken with this class.

    ---------------

    This class has little to no flavor, but that's just because it lacks subclasses. Look at the Inquisitive Rogue, the subclass IS the flavor, while still being mechanically 'meh'.


    Ear for Deceit: Oh, wow, a skill check bonus, but cool flavor.
    Eye for Detail: Oh, wow, two skill check bonuses, but cool flavor.
    Insightful Fighting: Nice, I get more consistency with my AT WILL class feature. At least the flavor is cool
    Steady Eye: Oh, wow, a skill check bonus, but cool flavor.
    Unerring Eye: Now THIS is a feature. See through illusions is BADDASS.
    Eye for Weakness: Now THIS is a combat feature. 3d6 damage per turn is BADDASS.

    If this is a guideline for a subclass we should have not problem throwing something together.

    Spellblade: Shadowblade
    Those who adhere to this archetype are diverse: hired killers, spies, bounty hunters, and even specially anointed priests trained to exterminate the enemies of their deity. The shadows around you help you eliminate your foes with deadly efficiency.

    Art of the Shadow:
    You command the shadows to condense around you, pad your step and even conceal your scent. At 3rd level, you gain advantage on stealth checks made when in dim light or darkness.

    Attack from the Shadow:
    Starting at 9th level, in the first round of a combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against any creature you surprised.

    One with the Shadow:
    At 13th level, you learn to mold into the shadows around you as you wait for your prey. When you take the Hide action you also become invisible until you move more than 5 feet, make an attack or cast a spell.

    Be the Shadow
    At 17th level you maintain the invisibility granted by your One with the Shadow feature, as long as you end your turn in dim light or darkness.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    It's not particularly thematic, but you can see how it can be made to work. The Rogue has the TINIEST subclasses. They give you flavorful, fun and thematic features, and it works. The Inquisitive is a fun archetype, and its baddass.

    The main problem is being creative. Since the flavor of the subclass has to hold up the entire class, the flavor needs to be special. How about making the blade of each spell blade different? Like, infused with a certain type of magic? Is there something from the Swordmage we could steal? I mean, there's the swordbonding and the shield bonus when you have a free hand (ARCANE SHIELD), but apart from that they were also kinda flavorless...
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-29 at 05:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    -----------------

    I mean, I've seen three youtube videos about musicians trying to make music without hearing it. Creating an inherently overpowered class, and figuring out a way to balance it, just sounds like bunch of fun to me!

    I honestly thought only being able to cast spells with the target of self or range of 5 feet was limitation enough. Guess I was wrong :/

    I feel as it stands the 5-foot-range, arcane smite and battle surge are the holy trinity that make up this class. These three mechanics just sound so much fun to use together. As long as these mechanics stay relatively unchanged, the rest of the class is pretty free to be mold around them.

    The first thing I'd to as an attempt to reduce the class' power would be spells known.
    You've got a gifted fighter and a spellcasting prodigy; but he still had to divide his time between his two disciplines. He doesn't master his fighting style until 9th level. The spellblade uses the 4-5-6 spells know progression, the sorcerer uses 2-3-4.

    With a 2-3-4 progression, the new Arcane Smite, Extra Attack at 6th level and 5-foot range on spells. I think we have created enough design space to create some cool subclasses. I think it's a good idea to make the class less powerful then you want it to be, and then bump the power back up with the subclass features.
    This should surely be a solution, although the progression of the sorcerer could be a bit too cautious. I would still give the opportunity to learn extra spells through features at every level of the archetype, or through a separate progression, choosen from a list of themed spells or a specific school. This would force the player to learn utility spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    Edit: Would banning SCAG cantrips help with balancing? I personally don't use them in my games, I think they're all kinds of stupid, but I think they are especially broken with this class.
    Probably yes, but consider that they can't be used togheter with Arcane Smite, as they require to make a melee attack and not a spell attack roll, so they shouldn't be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    ---------------

    This class has little to no flavor, but that's just because it lacks subclasses. Look at the Inquisitive Rogue, the subclass IS the flavor, while still being mechanically 'meh'.


    Ear for Deceit: Oh, wow, a skill check bonus, but cool flavor.
    Eye for Detail: Oh, wow, two skill check bonuses, but cool flavor.
    Insightful Fighting: Nice, I get more consistency with my AT WILL class feature. At least the flavor is cool
    Steady Eye: Oh, wow, a skill check bonus, but cool flavor.
    Unerring Eye: Now THIS is a feature. See through illusions is BADDASS.
    Eye for Weakness: Now THIS is a combat feature. 3d6 damage per turn is BADDASS.

    If this is a guideline for a subclass we should have not problem throwing something together.

    Spellblade: Shadowblade
    Those who adhere to this archetype are diverse: hired killers, spies, bounty hunters, and even specially anointed priests trained to exterminate the enemies of their deity. The shadows around you help you eliminate your foes with deadly efficiency.

    Art of the Shadow:
    You command the shadows to condense around you, pad your step and even conceal your scent. At 3rd level, you gain advantage on stealth checks made when in dim light or darkness.

    Attack from the Shadow:
    Starting at 9th level, in the first round of a combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against any creature you surprised.

    One with the Shadow:
    At 13th level, you learn to mold into the shadows around you as you wait for your prey. When you take the Hide action you also become invisible until you move more than 5 feet, make an attack or cast a spell.

    Be the Shadow
    At 17th level you maintain the invisibility granted by your One with the Shadow feature, as long as you end your turn in dim light or darkness.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    It's not particularly thematic, but you can see how it can be made to work. The Rogue has the TINIEST subclasses. They give you flavorful, fun and thematic features, and it works. The Inquisitive is a fun archetype, and its baddass.

    The main problem is being creative. Since the flavor of the subclass has to hold up the entire class, the flavor needs to be special. How about making the blade of each spell blade different? Like, infused with a certain type of magic? Is there something from the Swordmage we could steal? I mean, there's the swordbonding and the shield bonus when you have a free hand (ARCANE SHIELD), but apart from that they were also kinda flavorless...
    You damn right! Everything you've written is interesting. First, I would identify the topics of the subclasses. I was thinking of one focused on defense, one on interactions and one on stealth.

    As a starting point we could use the drafts of the training I wrote in the previous post (Abjuration Training for defense, Enchantment Training for interaction and maybe an Illusion Training for stealth), adding some skill checks, removing any damage combat features, and choose some bonus spells to teach.

    For exemple, in the defense one, could be cool add a bonus to the AC until the spellblade don't move, like the defense stance of the 3.5e Dwarven Defender. How many times a day can use this feature? Does he have to spend spell slots? How does the feature change depending on the spell slot spent?

    I'll try to write something and post it in the next few days!

    Feel free to contribute as you wish!

    PS: Bjarkmundur, your PM repository is full ^^

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    I would still give the opportunity to learn extra spells through features at every level of the archetype. This would force the player to learn utility spells.
    100% Agreed! With a limited pool of spells know its all just going to be Ice Knives, Shields and Absorb Elements. Complementing a tight list of spells known with 'domain spells' focusing on the other pillars of play is a perfect direction to go. You could also just specify a couple of spells for the base class, like detect magic or identify, since the opportunity cost for choosing those spells is very high. Gaining access to 40 new spells, and only being able to chose three of them before you unlock the next level is very tight. So yeah

    Idea #1
    1-2-4 progression, this grants bonus spells known whenever you gain access to higher level spells
    Specific and thematic spells from subclasses (such as disguise self, darkness, invisibility, shadow blade or blur for a shadow subclass). Just make sure you don't cherry-pick the spells.

    Idea #2

    1-2-3 progression.
    Specific and thematic spells for class AND subclasses (such as Magic Weapon, Identify and other Swordmage-y spells, in addition to subclass spells)

    This allows you to create a spellcasting class with a lot of spell, but since YOU choose some of the and not the player, the power level is more easily managed.

    Probably yes, but consider that they can't be used together with Arcane Smite, as they require to make a melee attack and not a spell attack roll, so they shouldn't be a problem.
    Oh, right, of course ^^

    First, I would identify the topics of the subclasses. I was thinking of one focused on defense, one on interactions and one on stealth.
    I think we already have a problem. You can't have a subclass focused on combat strength. It'll be too much of the good stuff and simply overshadow the other subclasses. Giving him more tools is good, but increasing the power of his existing tools is probably going to overbalance the class.

    As a starting point we could... ...adding some skill checks, removing any damage combat features, and choose some bonus spells to teach
    I think that's a perfect place to start. Remember to play into the player's wants. Like, what are the types of character a player will try to bring to life using the Spellblade? Is Green Lantern one of them, or magneto? Is Thor? I know people would love the spooky, shadow-wielding sneakblade, but what else? Once you've established the demand, you can meet it through your subclasses. You could go for some pretty drastic thematic changes simply by modifying the tools already granted by the class, similar to how many subclasses do with things like Channel Divinity or the Bard Feature. You can turn the base presumptions people have about the class on their head with the flavor of the subclass. You see this as an arcane warrior at first, a blue paladin. But what if you read the flavor of a Mindblade subclass which turns it into a wise and cautios veteran, using wisdom skills and divination spells to end fights rather than win them? A Spellshield who instead of going in first, jumps around the battlefield to aid his allies using a reaction, using his spells not for himself but to protect his team. The Shadowblade who instead of the shiny and blue magics uses finesse weapons and lighter armor to do recon and covert missions. You can even go full 180° and reinvent the Arcane Archer, allowing the Arcane Smite to be delivered with a ranged weapon, but lose his medium and heavy armor proficiency.

    So yeah, I guess the subclasses will be based around a strategy and a complementing skillset rather than strict power boosts. "I like to sneak, and then fight" - "I like to protect my allies" - "I like to fight from range" - "I only fight when I have no other choice" etc.

    .. or maybe something completely different. I don't know, I'm just some guy on the internet. Whatever you choose, I know you'll create something fun, cool and definitely worth playing :D

    PS: Bjarkmundur, your PM repository is full ^^
    Oh, right. Thanks :D
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-29 at 12:18 PM.

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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    100% Agreed! With a limited pool of spells know its all just going to be Ice Knives, Shields and Absorb Elements. Complementing a tight list of spells known with 'domain spells' focusing on the other pillars of play is a perfect direction to go.
    Not more than 4, so that the final number of known spells is a middle ground between those of the sorcerer and the bard, but limiting the possibility of choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I think we already have a problem. You can't have a subclass focused on combat strength. It'll be too much of the good stuff and simply overshadow the other subclasses. Giving him more tools is good, but increasing the power of his existing tools is probably going to overbalance the class.
    You are right. Not defence on itself, but support to the allies, inside and outside combat. We need someone who knows Detect Magic, and casts Shield on a near allie other then on self!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I think that's a perfect place to start. Remember to play into the player's wants. Like, what are the types of character a player will try to bring to life using the Spellblade? Is Green Lantern one of them, or magneto? Is Thor? I know people would love the spooky, shadow-wielding sneakblade, but what else? Once you've established the demand, you can meet it through your subclasses. You could go for some pretty drastic thematic changes simply by modifying the tools already granted by the class, similar to how many subclasses do with things like Channel Divinity or the Bard Feature. You can turn the base presumptions people have about the class on their head with the flavor of the subclass. You see this as an arcane warrior at first, a blue paladin. But what if you read the flavor of a Mindblade subclass which turns it into a wise and cautios veteran, using wisdom skills and divination spells to end fights rather than win them? A Spellshield who instead of going in first, jumps around the battlefield to aid his allies using a reaction, using his spells not for himself but to protect his team. The Shadowblade who instead of the shiny and blue magics uses finesse weapons and lighter armor to do recon and covert missions. You can even go full 180° and reinvent the Arcane Archer, allowing the Arcane Smite to be delivered with a ranged weapon, but lose his medium and heavy armor proficiency.

    So yeah, I guess the subclasses will be based around a strategy and a complementing skillset rather than strict power boosts. "I like to sneak, and then fight" - "I like to protect my allies" - "I like to fight from range" - "I only fight when I have no other choice" etc.
    Totally agree.

    And obviousy, a necromancer archetype is necessary, to be added to the wicked version of the cleric and paladin. XD

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    Not more than 4, so that the final number of known spells is a middle ground between those of the sorcerer and the bard, but limiting the possibility of choice.
    You are right. Not defense on itself, but support to the allies, inside and outside combat. We need someone who knows Detect Magic, and casts Shield on a near allie other then on self!
    And obviously, a necromancer archetype is necessary, to be added to the wicked version of the cleric and paladin. XD
    AWWWW YEEAAAH!

    And I agree. Having a bunch of spells is okay, if you limit the choices. That's why I suggested 1-2-3 progression, or 1-2-4, and then add specific spells to compensate. It might even do more good for the overall feel of the class than having 4-5-6 spells known. I mean, a spellblade that can't cast Magic Weapon or Identify magic items sounds pretty silly xD

    I mean, try this. Make a 7th level Spellblade with a 1-2-3 progression, picking only the BEST spells, and see just how limited it is. Then go back and add the utility spells that could be handy, but didn't choose because the opportunity cost was too high. Those are the spells you could give for 'free'. Spells like Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Identify, Dispel Magic, Clairvoyance, Magic Circle, Protection from Energy, Arcane Eye, Bigby's Hand, Scrying etc are all very 'Arcane' spells that might not be chosen with a limited pool of spells known. Maybe some of them, I'm not optimizer, but you see what I'm getting at.

    Are you going to use Swordbond, as per the 4e Swordmage? That was a pretty cool thematic feature.

    I like the Spellshield to have an altered use of the Arcane Smite feature: When an ally within 30 feet of you gets hit by an attack, you can use your reaction and one charge of your Arcane Smite feature to teleport to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the attacker and make a single weapon attack against it.

    It doesn't really make the class stronger. Losing one charge for just a single attack is a pretty lateral move. It trades power for a very powerful off-turn repositioning tool. This could be used by many of your subclasses. I mean, Arcane Smite is a short rest resource with 3 uses for the majority of the time playing. Gettting some additional milage out of it that is less powerful and more situational is a pretty cool idea. Also, because you can't deliver saving throw spells normally, you could add that to the subclasses. Allowing a shadowblade to cast Blindness with his Arcane Smite is thematic, not as powerful, but is situational. It gets its strength from being a utility use for what is normally a damage feature, so it doesn't add much strength to the class, but offers a lot of utility.

    You can use your Arcane Smite feature and one 2nd level spell slot to cast Blindness on your target. If your attack hits the target automatically fails its first saving throw. On a miss, the attack is resolved as a regular melee attack and neither the spell slot or arcane smite charge is consumed.

    Or whatever, you know, with correct phrasing. You get the idea.

    Edited my reply, don't know if you saw it.

    I think it's going to be great to not have to limit a player to the thematic-less mess that is the Eldritch Knight. A limited pool of spells known just forces the player to pick the 'best' spells, especially since its not prepared spells. It really opens up a lot of freedom of getting some utility spells for 'free'. There are a couple of things possible with the EK, but they are just heavily discouraged and all require houseruling.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-29 at 01:03 PM.

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

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    AWWWW YEEAAAH!

    And I agree. Having a bunch of spells is okay, if you limit the choices. That's why I suggested 1-2-3 progression, or 1-2-4, and then add specific spells to compensate. It might even do more good for the overall feel of the class than having 4-5-6 spells known. I mean, a spellblade that can't cast Magic Weapon or Identify magic items sounds pretty silly xD

    I mean, try this. Make a 7th level Spellblade with a 1-2-3 progression, picking only the BEST spells, and see just how limited it is. Then go back and add the utility spells that could be handy, but didn't choose because the opportunity cost was too high. Those are the spells you could give for 'free'. Spells like Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Identify, Dispel Magic, Clairvoyance, Magic Circle, Protection from Energy, Arcane Eye, Bigby's Hand, Scrying etc are all very 'Arcane' spells that might not be chosen with a limited pool of spells known. Maybe some of them, I'm not optimizer, but you see what I'm getting at.
    Exactly, utility spells that can distinguish an istintive sorcerer from a trained spellblade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    Are you going to use Swordbond, as per the 4e Swordmage? That was a pretty cool thematic feature.
    I don't know, It is a feature rich in flavor as well as banality. Probably yes. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I like the Spellshield to have an altered use of the Arcane Smite feature: When an ally within 30 feet of you gets hit by an attack, you can use your reaction and one charge of your Arcane Smite feature to teleport to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the attacker and make a single weapon attack against it.

    It doesn't really make the class stronger. Losing one charge for just a single attack is a pretty lateral move. It trades power for a very powerful off-turn repositioning tool. This could be used by many of your subclasses. I mean, Arcane Smite is a short rest resource with 3 uses for the majority of the time playing. Gettting some additional milage out of it that is less powerful and more situational is a pretty cool idea. Also, because you can't deliver saving throw spells normally, you could add that to the subclasses. Allowing a shadowblade to cast Blindness with his Arcane Smite is thematic, not as powerful, but is situational. It gets its strength from being a utility use for what is normally a damage feature, so it doesn't add much strength to the class, but offers a lot of utility.

    You can use your Arcane Smite feature and one 2nd level spell slot to cast Blindness on your target. If your attack hits the target automatically fails its first saving throw. On a miss, the attack is resolved as a regular melee attack and neither the spell slot or arcane smite charge is consumed.
    That's cool, but maybe for the shieldblade i prefer defending somehow the allie instead of making an attack. And i love the idea to use Arcane Smite with certain selected spells that don't have attack rolls like Blindness, or like the "Stun" versione of "Sleep" that i've posted times ago.

    By the way made the uses of Arcane Smite as charges for the features is mandatory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post

    I think it's going to be great to not have to limit a player to the thematic-less mess that is the Eldritch Knight. A limited pool of spells known just forces the player to pick the 'best' spells, especially since its not prepared spells. It really opens up a lot of freedom of getting some utility spells for 'free'. There are a couple of things possible with the EK, but they are just heavily discouraged and all require houseruling.
    I know your feeling, the EK is the main reason i start to write this class. How much potential wasted!
    Last edited by Old Harry MTX; 2019-08-29 at 01:13 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Homebrew Class: Spellblade with custom casting mechanics

    That's cool, but maybe for the shieldblade i prefer defending somehow the allie instead of making an attack.
    Well, defending isn't just blocking. It's putting your enemy in an awkard situation, where no course of action seems optimal:

    Option 1: Attack me, with Shield, Absorb Elements, Heavy Armor and a d10 hit dice.
    Option 2: Attack the rogue, have me teleport up to you, smack you in the face, and suddenly you are outnumbered.

    This is a very offensive way of tanking that most of my players enjoy a lot. Both ideas are valid, of course.

    By the way made the uses of Arcane Smite as charges for the features is mandatory.
    What?

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