View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Spelldancer Class (PEACH)

2016-10-20, 11:06 AM

Spelldancer! This idea came to me when I was mulling over the concept of a spellcaster that couldn't speak. What I ended on was a way to use dance to combine the verbal and somatic components of a spell. The class is designed to be a squishy, high damage dealing melee spellcaster that is very momentum-based. The problem with a momentum design is the fact that fights are supposed to last 3 turns, so it's been a difficult thing to tune. That said, I'm pretty happy with where it is now so I thought I'd put it out there for some feedback.

Thanks for your time and you input!

Changelog 10/21

Removed Athletics and Intimidation from starting skill list
Ceaseless Dance now works with light or thrown weapons (forgot thrown != light)
Spellcasting Focus now added
Aerodancers can wield spears and quarterstaffs in 2h and still get ceaseless dance* bonuses
Secondary + stats from Ceaseless Dance for path features now always-on and half prof
Breeze Walk, Tremor Step and Tidal Strike features updated to give characters the option to reduce their stacks of Ceaseless Dance instead of using a bonus action for the same effect
Ferocity feature completely reworked

Changelog 10/20

Ceaseless Dance damage bonus clarified to stack off weapon attacks and spelldancer cantrips. Damage bonus maximum is now determined by Spelldancer level
The Show Must Go On now adds Cha mod to Con saves vs concentration for spelldancer spells
Fluster now stacks spelldancer Ceaseless Dance damage if the advantaged attack hits
Climax now limited to spells of lvl 4 or lower (may drop to 3)
Poison Spray, Ray of Sickness, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, and Mislead removed
Absorb Elements, Haste, and Slow added

2016-10-20, 01:46 PM
I won't hop into the subclasses just yet because I'll need to look at them for a longer amount of time. So I'll just run through the main abilities, I'm AFB so it'll be hard for me to give numbers. This is all just general impressions.

Ceaseless Dance:
This offers quite a lot of boon. The extra attack on the dodge action is fine, seen that implemented plenty of times before and it fits the class well.

The second part however is a bit of a problem, skill checks are notoriously easy to beat in 5e if you really want to push yourself to do it and this class gives you incentive to do so. Since Charisma isn't really much of a secondary stat, (I'd call dex the secondary stat on this one) I can potentially get +5 damage on each attack roll. And you may be saying to yourself, "But Quackers, combat usually ends in 3 rounds so that's not a problem you big dork and I hate you for even suggesting it is!" ah my young padawan but here is the problem. This is a 1st level ability so it has become fighter dip bait. Since fighters can make 4 attacks per round I can add up to +4 damage to each of my attacks. You might say, "But Quackers, Charisma isn't a primary stat for Fighters so I disagree with that assessment and I hate you even more than before." Then I would argue that by 5th level I'll get extra attack, this means I can potentially get +4 damage within 2 rounds of combat. That's still better than any magic weapon, if it doesn't add to your chance to hit. Not to mention that this class has such great synergy with the Valor Bard it makes me want to wet myself.

Oh gosh, now I don't even have to lose any damage in a round to cast a spell as a bonus action on top of my already super good damage? And you might be saying to yourself, "BUT QUACKERS, IT'S ONLY A CANTRIP YOU BIG JERK, IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL." Aha, but what if I were to dip two levels of Warlock? All of the sudden I can make amazing melee attacks because of my super damage buff AND use Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast and it's an intelligent dip because Warlocks also use Charisma as their primary casting stat. This is a super powerful ability for level 2.

Unarmored Defense:
Par for the course, although you have made Bladelock much more enticing with two levels of this class.

Once again par for the course.

This situation doesn't really come up enough often for this ability to be a big deal, so it's fine.

The Show Must Go On:
Yikes, this class is really SAD (Single Attribute Dependent) already, at this point overloading Charisma is really easy to do and it affords me numerous benefits.

I don't generally like to reward people for missing their attacks, but it's essentially just using the Help action as a bonus action with a caveat attached. It seems kind of underwhelming for a 14th level ability.


This is too much, I shouldn't be able to Cast a 5th level spell as a bonus action after making two melee attacks already that round, especially since it requires no trade offs. All I have to do is hit people and I get huge bonuses just for being Charismatic.

Final Verdict:
This has some numerous problems (excluding the subclasses, which I didn't look at, that need to be addressed immediately. I would encourage you to keep multiclassing in mind when designing any class even if it is only an optional rule and be very wary of handing out + anything bonuses for what is essentially just making attacks.

2016-10-20, 02:46 PM
On phone so can't quote but here goes:

How good is it as fighter dip bait if it restricts you to a single 1h light weapon and no shield or armor? Also 4 attacks is 20 iirc so max of 3 stacks per turn if you dip. Your first six swings in an encounter, if all hit, are for +0/1/2/3/4/5. By the time your Cha can hit 20 you're looking at other class features that give +2 dmg per swing or even 1d8 (avg 4.5) per swing. And again this is only if you never miss (unlikely) and unlike most static damage bonuses it can be reset under myriad circumstances. I honestly am not familiar with valor bards so I'll have to read into that. I'm ok with this being a skill check though vs a straight up CHA check. I want players to make it real hard to drop if they want since it's such a focal point of everything else they do.

I should have specified the bonus action as a Spelldancer cantrip. I'll reword it when I get home. Otherwise it's mostly a slightly swingier/worse version of a Warcasting for EKs. They always get a cantrip plus swing. This gets 2 swings after 5 and maybe a cantrip. Since the bonus needs to be active when you hit, the only way to cantrip on turn 1 is if both your attacks hit first. I guess it becomes a question of what's better, 3 swings and 3 cantrips or 6 swings and most likely 2 cantrips. When you factor in the fragility of Spelldancers it seems like a decent trade off.

I'd be interested to know what you would suggest as an alternative Concentration booster. It's mostly a worse version of a Bladesinger's bladesong concentration boost.

Fluster might need a little more juice. Mostly it's a way to guarantee no dead turns for the dancer, even if they totally whiff. Maybe it could add a stack to the damage buff so if turn one is a total doughnut, you can still do something useful on turn 2.

Climax seems fine to me. Mandatory +2 bonus means you can't cast your big spell until turn 2 at the earliest (unless you're a Pyrodancers). EKs get their big spells guaranteed every turn of the fight if they want (ok I don't actually remember how many of those slots they have but...) So are 1-2 potential lvl 5 spells better than 3 guaranteed lvl 4 spells? If yes then maybe I'll rethink it.

Thanks for the feedback I'm interested to hear what you have to say to my counterpoints.

EDIT: You're right about me neglecting muliclassing in the specific though. Mostly I assumed the incredibly limited equipment requirements would damper that at least a little bit. I suppose I could make the max bonus tied to Spelldancer level instead. I might do that.

2016-10-20, 02:56 PM
I'm on the mobile but it says attack, not attack action. You gave me extra attack at 5th level, so I can make two attacks and if both hit also cast a 5th level spell as a bonus action.

Warcaster is a 7th level EK ability, this is granted at 2nd level. Additionally the EK ability allows you to make an attack as a bonus action after a spell. Only one attack.

This one can make two attacks and cast a spell.

2016-10-20, 03:17 PM
Right that's what I mean tho. You're right that War Magic is at 7 not 5 like I thought. And you're right that swinging twice, if both hit, you can cast. But that's if both hit which is hardly guaranteed. EKs always get a cantrip and a swing, guaranteed 3/3. Yes, this class can get lucky and get 6/3, but that's hardly going to be the norm. I guess it's more my mistake tho for comparing it to EK. Honestly I'm thinking of the class more as a melee rogue, and the cantrips like sneak attacks except you can't get the SA damage on your first turn until 5 at the earliest. Until 5 you won't be getting your "SA" damage more than once per fight on average.

EDIT: Oh and I went and checked EK spell slots you're right Lvl 5 is too high. I need to review lvl 4 and 3 spells figure out where I want Climax to actually fall.

Sicarius Victis
2016-10-20, 03:35 PM
Since Crescendo says "an attack" as opposed to a weapon attack, and "subsequent damage rolls" as opposed to "subsequent weapon damage rolls", I take it that it's also supposed to apply to spells? Either way, I'd suggest clarifying that.

And if it does apply to spells, I'd also suggest specifying that it's only Spelldancer spells. Otherwise, this makes an AMAZING dip for Blastlocks.

Because EB isn't already broken enough...

2016-10-20, 03:36 PM
Yes to spells at least for now and yes, basically the entire sheet from top-to-bottom needs to indicate spelldancer spells haha thanks.

EDIT: Wait no I was thinking about Ceaseless Dance, Crescendo does indicate weapon attack to trigger the bonus spell already.

2016-10-20, 03:39 PM
I still think youre grossly underestimating how easy to hit creatures. Ill have more to say tomorrow.

2016-10-20, 03:44 PM
Maybe? But no matter how easy it is, hit twice and then also hit a third time to get it is defacto worse than hit once and get it. Also I miss plenty in the games I play.

EDIT: Huh, also it looks like it already says Spelldancer cantrip specifically for Crescendo so I'm not sure where the confusion there came from o_O

2016-11-12, 09:22 PM
It seems like you're giving away a lot of abilities earlier than the core classes give those abilities.

Regarding the Style Schools:
- they clump abilities together in ways that could be more spread out; and
- I feel like the Elemental thing is overdone in 5e.

IMHO a Spelldancer might have subclasses like:
- Elements - dance on water, deal fire damage, flying leaps, earth-shaking stomps, etc. Combat focused.
- Faeries - illusions, invisibility, and psychic damage. Trickery focused.
- Stars - radiant & cold damage, focus on abjuration & negation.

Basically modeled on different types of things that "dance".