View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Shadow Operative (Rogue Mage/Assasin)

2015-03-29, 01:15 AM
After lots of conversation about sneak attacking with spells I pulled together this quick and dirty sub-class. The concept is for covert assassins that need to kill quickly, efficiently and quietly with magic more than weapons.

Spellcasting: 1/3 caster like EK fighter or AT rogue. The Shadow Operative uses Charisma as their casting stat (flavored as an extension of their dark intent) and draw their spells from Evocation and Necromancy from the Sorcerer and Warlock spell lists.

This gives access to Warlock spells like Eldritch Blast and Hex. I don't consider this a problem for niche protection or balance considering the warlock spell list isn't the greatest. It does mean this class has pretty spectacular boons for dipping into Warlock, but what class doesn't?

Precision Spell: At 3rd level Shadow Operatives can deal a portion of their Sneak Attack damage with spell. Once per turn, in place of a Sneak Attack, you can deal 1/2 (rounded up) your Sneak Attack dice to one target you hit with a spell attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. You don't need advantage on the spell attack if another enemy of the target is withing 5 feet yada yada.

Dealing full SA damage on cantrips early in the game is a lot of extra damage. The 1/2 dice keeps it pretty well in check. Allowing the dice to round up means you get a new SA dice on your spells every 4 levels until 17th level.

Cunning Awareness: At 9th level you can use your bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to use the Search action. Additionally, checks you make to find a hidden creature whose presence you are aware of have advantage.

I'm not exactly sure how useful the "whose presence you are aware of" line is. The intent of the ability is if you see someone cast invisibility or if a goblin or another rogue tries to hide mid fight you have an easier time spotting them. Its a situational benefit that I feel is pretty well in line with the other rogue sub-class 9th level features.

Shadow Casting: At 13th level you have learned to manipulate shadows to hide you and assist in your spellcasting. When you use the Hide action while in an area of dim light or darkness you become invisible until you make an attack, cast a spell or are in an area of bright light. While invisible in this way you can ignore vocal and somatic components on spell you cast.

The first half of this is ripped off pretty directly from the Way of Shadow Monk and the One with Shadows invocation of the Warlock. The second half is a situational use of subtle spell metamagic. I think the flavor is perfect, but It seems pretty powerful for a 13th level feature. It means at night you can always use your bonus action to cast spells subtly.

Perfect Precision: At 17th level you master the art of applying sneak attacks with spell. you use your full sneak attack dice when you hit with Precision Spells.

As already stated, full SA dice on spells is super powered, specifically on cantrips. However, compared to the other 17th level rogue sub-class features it deals better "at will" damage in long fights, but lacks the upfront burst. I think it fits the flavor well without overbalancing what everybody else gets at such high levels.

2015-03-29, 01:29 AM
as for arc type idea looks solid
edit correction for my proper post