View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Daggerspell Shaper?

2015-10-11, 12:14 AM
Hi, here's my shot at building my first Archetype. I'd really appreciate it if you could offer your critique on the general power level of this :D

Daggerspell Shaper
Roguish Archetype

starting level 3, use progression for Arcane Trickster, but draws from Ranger class and uses Wis to determine DC and attack bonus.

you learn three cantrips from the druid spell list. You learn another druid cantrip of your choice at 10th level

you can cast a spell with the somatic and the material components even while holding a dagger in each hand.

Wild Shape:
starting at level 3, treat Rogue's level - 2 (minimum 2) to determine effective Druid level for the purpose of available shapes

Druidic: you learn Druidic

Delayed Sneak Attack: you only apply 1/2 Daggerspell Shaper level (rounded down) to determine Sneak Attack dice.

Dagger Claws:
from level 9, a Daggerspell Shaper replaces her attack bonus derived from proficiency and any magical properties of daggers she is holding into the natural weapon attacks of her new form. One dagger corresponds to one natural weapon attack, so maximum of two natural weapon attacks (if any) can be modified in such a way if the Shaper was holding two daggers upon shifting.

e.g. 10th level Daggerspell Shaper (Proficiency Bonus +4) wildshapes into a Brown Bear while holding a single dagger. She chooses to use her dagger to modify one of the bear's Claws. She now possesses the following natural attacks:

Bite: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target, hit (1d8+4) piercing damage
Claw: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target, hit (2d6+4) slashing damage
Claw- Dagger Claws: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target, hit (2d6+4) slashing damage

Daggerspell Flurry:
beginning at level 13, when you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one dagger attack as a bonus action.

True Daggercast:
at 17th level, you can perform the somatic and the verbal components of a Ranger spell while in a beast shape, but you aren't able to provide material components. This ability may be used to activate daggerspell flurry using the natural weapon modified by dagger claws.

>> Build Notes <<
On Wild Shape:
-Wild Shape progression is as Druid of the Land (albeit 2 levels slower). So you do get to be a wolf at level 3, but you won't get to be a crocodile until level 6 and a brown bear well until level 10.

-Dagger Claws is more or less of a personal 'fix' to current iteration of Wild Shape, where the old shapes with low CR stay relevant through Proficiency Bonus being applied to one to two natural weapon attacks of your choice.

-since wild shape, modified in such a way, provides a highly efficient offensive capacity, Daggerspell Shaper's Sneak Attack progression is halved (rounded down). And since most natural weapon attacks aren't finesse, unless you're in a form that does use Dex to its attack (most birds and weasels, and funnily enough, the wolf), it won't proc.

-the DCs to resist any special attacks (like a wolf's trip) stays the same as the animal stat block.

On Spellcasting:
-as Arcane Trickster, but use Ranger spell list and you don't have the luxury of going into other 'schools of spell' (probably Druid spell list) at 8th/14th/20th level. This bit is replaced by Daggercast

-since Ranger spell list lacks cantrips, you get the druid cantrip

-getting access to Beast Spell one level ahead of the druid seem dubious, but since you can only cast up to 4th level Ranger spells, I think it's a decent trade-off balancewise. The purpose of this capstone really is to let you use Flurry of Daggers while wildshaped.

I'm suspecting that Dagger Claws might put it at least on par with Druid of the Moon, which might be a tad too powerful(?) but tell me what you think!

Did a quick playtest with a friend to DM for me and man, it's just terrible pre-10 where you get the brown bear form. Afterward it seems passable but still made of glass.

2015-10-12, 04:18 AM
On paper, I think this looks like too much. Perhaps your playtest experience says otherwise, but having 1/3 Spellcasting and full Wildshape on top of the already-solid rogue chassis just strikes me as a lot of power and flexibility.

If I were designing this class, I would have changed the 'equivalent druid level' thing to 'half of your rogue level' (but starting at 3 instead of 4). So the steps are at 3, 8 and 16.

I would also preserve the full Sneak Attack progression. I think that is where you're going wrong. I know that was a thing in previous editions, but I don't think it works within 5e's design philosophy. Sneak Attack is the central feature of the rogue. The class doesn't function without it.

So basically, what I'm saying is that this archetype's Wildshaping should be a non-combat/support feature. Sneak Attack and Spellcasting are your frontline combat features - as per the Arcane Trickster. Wildshape is a cool utility thing, like Mage Hand Legerdemain, until you get to high levels, at least.

Also, nitpick: Dagger Claws needs to be re-worded. I can tell what you mean, I think, but it's really garbled and unclear. And limiting it to the number of daggers you are holding is confusing and unnecessary. I'd just allow the player to replace the beast's prof. bonus with the character's and call it good.