View Full Version : 5th Edition Homebrew Class: Shaman

2015-06-24, 03:17 PM
Spent a lot of time developing this class. Put in some play test time in a campaign before the character died at lv 8. Wanted to post it up and see what people thought of the class and if you had any suggestions. I tried to keep working as close to the original books as possible. If you have any questions or if something is unclear, feel free to ask, mby do some play testing yourself i you like.The link to the Class Description is below.


2015-06-25, 12:37 AM
Seems pretty interesting, only 2 issues to critique really. 1 is the at will use of 1st level spells. At will use of burning hands and entangle etc. Is extremely powerful and immediately out classes other casters of the same level who have very limited spell resources at this level. At will powers should be kept cantrips, maybe firebolt for fire, freezing ray for water, acid splash for earth etc. The rest of the class seems pretty fairly balanced if not a little under powered with the exception of the wrath of elements capstone. Basically all of your spells critical every time now, and with unlimited casts of some spells that's a lot of criticals. It would be more balanced to say something like your elements ignore resistance and a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier per day you can make a spell of your elemental type critical automatically or something along those lines.

2015-06-25, 07:03 AM
Thanks for the input Ramshack! I spoke to a few of my fellow gamers last night about this as well. They also said the capstone didn't seem to fit with the flavor of the character. They recommended this.

Wrath of the Elements:
The Shaman’s connection to nature has reached its pinnacle. All effects causing Acid, Cold, Fire, or Lightning damage have a 19-20 critical range and ignore resistance.

This is unique to the class, as no other class has spells that can critical on anything but a natural 20. This keeps to the idea that your elemental spells are more potent. They also recommended the resistance ignore. The laughs of a fire elemental being "burnt" for the first time in his life came up and we had a good laugh.

Another point they came out with was to expand the spell list. I told them it was a very limted spell list because I only allowed access to spells with elemental flavor. They told me of the 5th ed book "Elemental Evil" Which has something like 200 pages of new spells, most of which are nature oriented and I could pick and choose from.

As for the at will 1st level spells, I would be wiling to turn those down to cantrips, but aren't cantrips already unlimited use per day? Regardless, I wouldn't mind doing that, but I would then want to give the 1st lv spells back, maybe in the form of (5/use) day? Thoughts? The idea is that if you go Invoker, you are sapost to be the best caster of the level of spells of that element. That is what the thought process behind that is but I can see the use of unlimited spells being a small problem. As for the "slightly under powered" my friends said the same thing. They said that since the shaman is very wisdom dependent if he goes Invoker, and would need at least 2 stats and feats to complement these stats if you go Totem Master for melee, perhaps give more Stat Increase levels, similar to the fighter but to a lesser extent. Every 3 levels instead of every 4 starting at 4th level. (levels 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19).

In addition, it was recommended that all places that read (DC = 8 + Shaman Wisdom Modifier) or (DC = 8 + Proficiency Bonus) be just changed to the standard (DC = 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Wisdom Modifier) for consistency with game rules and to give the Shaman a bit of a UMPH.

Also, I had to point out to my friends who missed it so perhaps others will too. The ability for Invokers to reshape their spells from say a 100ft line to a 60ft cone is really strong and no other class gets this ability. Just think about that lightning bolt (100ft line), whos drawback is the line aspect, changing to a 60ft cone or 30ft cylinder. It seems really strong to me, but I might be biased to the class so other's eyes would be nice :)

Thoughts? What would you add to give the Shaman a edge and not be underpowered? When designing things I like to keep them on the under powered side and gradually increase their power rather than be overpowered and game breaking and then try to correct it.

2015-06-25, 11:10 AM
Did you delete it? Link doesn't work.

2015-06-25, 11:31 AM
I think these are good changes in the right direction. However 5x spells per day and 3x spells per day etc don't really fit the design principles of the rest of 5e. If you don't mind I had some ideas on the class based off your core concepts that might work.

A few things I think the 20 cap stone now is a little too weak. I think ignoring resistances and a 19-20 crit range are great ideas but they come awfully late in the game compared to when other classes get things. For instance Elemental adept feat can be taken at 1st level or 4th level depending on your race and ignore elemental resistances. Fighters get a 19-20 threat range at level 3. I think this could be built into the totems themselves. For instance while within the radius of a fire totem your fire spells ignore resistance to fire and have a 19-20 crit range. I think this would be more appropriate.

Additionally for bonus spells instead of x amount per day I would create a resource system similar to sorcerer points or the monks ki points and you can call it like elemental points or something. Shaman gains 1 point per level, When in range of a fire totem you can spend 1 elemental point to cast burning hands, 2 elemental points to cast scorching ray, 3 elemental points to cast fireball these spells do not count use spell slots and do not need to be prepared. The shaman automatically knows these spells when selecting a totem. You can then choose other appropriate spells for the other elemental totems.

For a Cap Stone I think it might be better to say ignore immunity to your chosen elements. When within the radius of an elemental totem, Any creatures with immunity to that corresponding element is considered to have resistance instead. You cannot bypass this resistance through any feat or shaman ability. Additionally your elemental spells have a crit range of 18-20 while within the radius of your totem.

Other things to bring the class up to par, since your shaman only gets 5th level spells I would grant it the second attack feature and a fighting style (if you haven't already) similar to the ranger and paladin.

And as a side note I thought it would be fun to an additional ability to commune with your spirit animal. You can choose the form of your spirit animal and while communing with it you go to the astral plane and can speak to it normally. The spirit animal is able to answer basic questions about the environment around you. Where food or water is located, what direciton is north, any strange creatures or activity in the area. At higher levels you can cast astral projection and bring your party members to the astral plane with you and they too can communicate with your spirit guide.

Just an idea andbrings some out of combat utiltiy to the class.

These are all just ideas i had while driving today. Feel free to take as much or as little from it as you like. I think you have a neat class and I don't want to take away from that just trying to provide some positive critiques and alternate ideas to help bring it to life.

Additionally the link is broken right now.


2015-06-25, 03:53 PM
Alright. Updated the link. Not sure why it broke but I updated it.

Changes made as of 06/25/15:

[Levels where uses of Ancestral Weapon are gained, decreased]
[Levels where uses of Second Nature are gained, decreased]
[Capstone changed to Natures Avatar]
[Added ability Wrath of Elements at lv6]
[Added Fighting Style at Lv2]
[Added Extra Attack at lv 5]

Let me know what you think!

2015-06-26, 11:40 AM
Changes look pretty good to me. Only one nit picky detail. You have two primary Saves chosen.

The way Classes work in 5e is every class gets a Primary Save and Secondary Save.

Primary Saves are: Wisdom, Dexterity and Constitution
Secondary Saves are: Strength, Intelligence, Charisma

So you have Con and Wis selected. Maybe Wisdom and Strength is more appropriate, but it's totally up to you.

Otherwise it seems like an interesting class. I hope you have fun playing it.