View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next The Animus - a spell-less shapechanging class! Ver. 0.2 [PEACH]

2017-06-01, 09:40 AM
Hello everyone! Those of you who have been here for a long time may remember my work on an Avatar: The Last Airbender-inspired supplement, which ended up becoming Incarnate: Last of the Lacers (https://www.dmsguild.com/product/191837/Incarnate-The-Last-of-the-Lacers?). The help I got on this forum was invaluable for finally seeing the end of the project, and I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to leave feedback.

I've begun writing again, and I always like to gather as much criticism and critique as possible, so I wanted to get the opinions of the talented people here.

So, this class is called the Animus. I didn't like the current monopoly that druid's hold over Wild Shape. While is plenty of transmutation magic available, I was interested in a class that uses shapechanging as their main combat feature. While this was the crux of combat for the class, shapechanging on its own, I found, wasn't enough to fully support a class with features. So I ended up coming up with a concept I'm referring to as the Trance, which is basically the Force, in that it's a living energy that binds all life.

Just to be clear, this is definitely not a Jedi class. I've simply taken some concepts of the Force as a universal energy that ties living creatures together, and used that as the basis of the shapechanging magic.

The biggest thing I'm worried about right now is the Savage Shape feature, which allows you to become almost any kind of creature, and becoming a creature of a CR up to your level. It only lasts for 1 minute, and uses at least half if not all of your available combat resources, but is the ability just too strong anyway? It is not a spell, so it can't be dispelled, counterspelled, and it requires no concentration. These are the reasons I'm worried that it's too much, despite it only lasting for 1 minute (instead of the 1 hour (concentration) of shapechange).

So please check it out and let me know what you think!

I've left out the subclasses for now as I'm still working on them, right now I'm just trying to ensure that the base class is in a good place.

The Animus - Homebrewery (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/Hy0pdUm-W) - Google Drive PDF (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzhFGMh1zxGHLWVPMW9XTTIwT00)

2017-06-03, 02:09 AM

the homebrewery link doesn't say what the first level ability "Luminous" does.

I'd say for a balance standpoint we should compare this one to the Druid of the moon for obvious reasons.
I can't say to much about the top level as I've no actually gaming experience after level 10 and theory and praxis are not always quite the same.
Now we are comparing one class including its subclass versus just the base class, so obvious the druid has to be way stronger but it should give you a feel for how much weight your subclasses need to pull.

You get the same as the Druid, apart from the metal-restriction.
Identical for weapons, saves.
You have an additional skill.
Therefore you will have less hitpoints (d6 vs d8).

The beast forms are identical and up to level 10 you have the same amount / CR level a Druid does so no worries heres.

Looking at Level 3:
The Animus gets "Luminous" and the Essence, advantage on charisma checks can be strong but is hardly overpowered. Although maybe still put some time limit on unwilling targets? 24h maybe?
The Druid has 6 spellslots, ritual casting and 2 cantrips.
I'd say Druid wins by a lot.

Looking at Level 5:
Now we're talking, Savage Form is definitly strong. But at this level you're, as you said, spending all your short rest resources on it. With level 5 you're still restricted to cr 1 monsters. You should clarify whether the other wildshape restrictions (no flying till level 8) still hold or not.
If they don't you the strongest you could do (combat wise) would probably be a small dragon or a pixie (giving you Polymorph with level 5 while others need to wait till level 7).
If the restriction still applies you won't be able to become either of those and while there are still a lot of strong options I think it's fairly balanced.
Specially if we consider that the Druid at this point still has 9 spell slots going up to level 3!
Oh and with level 10 its weaker than the elemental form (CR 3 vs CR 5) but pulling ahead with level 11 for the flexibility, allthough at a much shorter duration.

The level 7 and 9 abilities are fine.
All in all I think the Animus is so far quite a bit weaker than the Moon Druid, but as we're comparing it without subclasses yet that seems only fair.
I still think you could power it up a little bit more so your subclasses don't neet to pull as much weight. As nearly trying to be on the power-level of "full spellcaster" on a subclass might be to much.

Also the Animus definitly needs something along the line of "Primal Strike" to overcome resistance.
As shapeshifting is such a big deal of this class you should not put it into a subclass but make it part of its base.

Unfortunately I can't command on the levels above 10 for a lack of experience, hope my thoughts were still able to help you.