View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Ace Arcanist (Card-Thrower Class)

2017-05-05, 11:43 PM
Hello everyone. This is my first post on these forums, so before anything else I'd like to ask your forgiveness for any egregious breach in posting etiquette that might arise.
I'm here chiefly because I wanted some feedback on a home-brew class I created that was heavily inspired by the Card Dealer home-brew class as seen on the D&D wiki (I haven't used the forums enough to be able to post links, so my apologies).
The direction I went with was a class that has access to a deck of 54 playing cards (the 4 suits and two jokers we all know and love), and can draw a card from this deck each turn. The suit and number/face of the card drawn grants bonus abilities, and the card can either be burned (discarded) or thrown as an attack (default 1d4+Dex mod piercing) to gain these abilities.

As an example of some of the cards;
A 2 may be thrown at an ally to heal both the Ace Arcanist and that ally for the AA's spell modifier (Int+Prof)
A 5 may be burned to check the next 5 cards of the deck; if a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, Full House, or Royal Flush is revealed, all 5 cards can be thrown at a single target (without activating the card's abilities)
A 7 may be thrown as a default attack and allow a teleport to any visible, unoccupied spot within 20ft
A king may be thrown as a default attack with advantage, and grants advantage to other allies that attack that target until the beginning of your next turn.

The idea behind the class is that they draw cards which are individually somewhat weak (1d4+Dex damage at level 1 is basically a dagger, but has some minor bonus effects) that don't scale with level in damage, but can use many more in later levels to gain a flurry-of-blows style increase in power. However, I've had some issues with late-game scaling; at level 15, by the rules I've come up with so far, an Ace Arcanist would draw 3 cards per turn, and be able to throw all 3 as three separate attacks (effectively the Fighter's Extra Attack class feature); however, since the cards themselves don't scale in damage much past increases in the Arcanist's Dex modifier, even 3 cards for an average damage of 21 per turn plus some cantrip-level effects doesn't scale too well at 15th level.
Save becoming a dex-fighter at higher level, and using the cards mainly as cantrip abilities rather than damage abilities, or being able to find entirely different decks with different rules, play styles, and damage levels, I'm a little low on ideas about how to ensure the class stays relevant late game.
I was wondering if anyone else on the forum had tried to do something in the past with a card-based class, or has any insights on how I might ensure the class has at least some late game relevance, whether it's becoming a Party Face that gambles their way through interactions, or some other crazy idea invoking the randomness of gambling.

As a side note, I'd like to add that I've never played a class into any 'late-game' section of the game, so if my idea of damage and ability requirements for characters to fight at these levels is completely off, please don't hesitate to correct me on it.:smallsmile:
If you feel you need any more information to make a suggestion don't hesitate to ask; there's about 5 pages including a class feature list that I've come up with so far, but I didn't want to swamp the first post too much.