View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Something I'm working on: Magical being meta-class

Grizl' Bjorn
2017-05-08, 05:25 PM
So I've got a few things I'm juggling simultaneously at the moment (the ring of many places + cityworld project) but there's one more I haven't introduced yet, and I'd like to get some commentary on it in its very preliminary stages. I'm sorry I don't have more to present for critique, but I'd love to get some thoughts early on.

Some background first so I make sense: Two classes I really like in concept are the warlock and the monk, especially the warlock. I like the warlock and the monk because you play as a character that doesn't so much do magic, as embody it through access to supernatural abilities. I like the warlock in particular because it is massively customisable character design without feeling overwhelming in the way 3.5 did. You get to choose invocations, pact, patron, spells and so on.

One class that I've always wanted to write is the magical being class. The conceit of the magical being class is that your character is a magical being of some sort- for example a dhampir, a changeling, a half-devil or a half-celestial (you still pick a racial template to represent your more mundane heritage). As you level up you develop powers that reflect this nature. My initial thought was that the best way to do this was a standard chassis: class features granting spell like abilities + half caster status, with various archetypes representing different supernaturals.

Now however I'm going down a different path. Basically you get a power each level and you're expected to pick powers that suit your character concept- so the dhampir player might pick an invocation which grants flight, but probably shouldn't pick an invocation which summons angels. Some power have prerequisites, which could be other powers or a certain character level. It's kind of like the warlock except no spell slots, no pact boon and no archetype features, but loads of invocation like abilities. Really it's a lot like the 3.5 warlock in particular.

Obviously the class will come with a list of powers, and hopefully that list will be broad enough to portray many types of supernatural being. The reason I call this a 'meta-class' is that it effectively selects its own class features, in lieu of something like having spells. This gives it the flexibility to represent many different kinds of character concepts. Here's some of the powers I've written up so far:

Sample Powers

Motion: Requires level 9

When you select this power, choose one of the following options:

A) You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
C) You gain a burrowing speed equal to your walking speed.
D) You may use gaseous form at will.

Or up to two of the following options:

B) You gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.
D) You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed and may breathe under water.
E) You gain the ability to cast jump at will.
D) Your movement increases by ten feet.

You may select this power multiple times. As flavour you are encouraged to describe what form your additional movement options take, for example, if you choose the fly option does your character gain wings? Do webs grow between your fingers when you swim? What does your gaseous form look like.

Unarmed might

Your unarmed strike does damage as per the monk unarmed strike table by level. You may select this option again. If you do so, your unarmed attacks become magical and you may use flurry of blows as bonus action like a monk a number of times per short rest equal to half your magical being level.

Implacable resilience

Select one of the following options when you choose this power:

A) You gain proficiency in intelligence and wisdom saving throws.
B) You gain proficiency in strength and constitution saving throws.
C) Once per day when you are reduced to 0 hitpoints you may instead choose to be reduced to 1 hitpoint.

You may take this power multiple times, if you do, pick different options.

Extra attack: Requires level 5

When you use the attack action you may attack twice. You may only select this power once.

Preternatural resistance

If your AC cannot be lower than 10 plus your charisma and dexterity modifiers.

Preternatural skill

You gain two proficiencies of your choice.

Shifting visage

You may use disguise-self as an action. At level 15 you may expend a power point to cast alter-self instead should you prefer.

Mystic sight

As per the Devilís sight warlock invocation.

At level 12 and above you may choose to have blind-sight instead of dark vision.

Ethereal path

As a bonus action, you give up your movement to teleport an equal distance.