View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Red Mage Base Class (PEACH, first attempt at making a full base class!)

2018-03-16, 10:11 PM

This is my first attempt at making a homebrew base class. As such, I'd like any feedback on if any parts of the class are overpowered or underpowered. I'm mostly worried two things: Having dead levels as I intend for them to get something each level like a Monk does in addition to spells but that might be too much so I've left some levels with no features, and the Rune Knight being too weak versus Mystic Knight, which I intend to be something of a more consistent but less powerful smiter. The amount of spells known is high, yes, but unlike a Paladin's, they aren't preparation casters, and they still only can get up to level five spells. Speaking of spells, they might need a bigger list at later levels. Finally, I'm aware that the document is a bit unprofessional and text isn't quite in line with 5e's in places, and I hope to address that later if it makes it hard to follow. In any event, I look forward to criticism on this.

2018-03-17, 06:18 PM
Is that a table of spells known at the right-hand side of the class table? I'm guessing their spell slots are standard for paladin/ranger progression?

2018-03-20, 10:01 AM
I've added a few more spells to the spell list. I don't know how well some fit the Red Mage but I thought it'd be good for there to be competition for spells known at later levels.

2018-03-20, 04:13 PM
Hello, may I first suggest putting that information in a document similar to this (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/BJbzBplGib)? Homebrewery is a super easy to use tool that will help you make more professional looking homebrews.

Getting down into it, I highly recommend reading through this guide (https://www.reddit.com/r/UnearthedArcana/comments/73sfp1/class_design_101_a_fundamental_guide_to_5th/) as it is extremely helpful in creating a class that is balanced and in line with existing unseen rules of the current 5e classes.

This class seems to break some well established conventions when it comes to features. For example, ASI for each class is 4, 8, 12, 16, 19. Casters generally have less features due to gaining a new spell slot level being as powerful as it is. Classes also have certain levels where they hit Tier upgrades, this class gains two separate tier upgrades one after the other

Expertise: I don't really understand why this class has this feature. It seems like this is an anti-magic caster but is also has really solid skills. It doesn't fit the theme that seems to be present IMO.

Fighting Styles: This feature is fine but I question why the class needs ever fighting style to chose from. It seems like dual wielding and archery don't quite fit the theme of the class.

Spellcasting: This is fine, however, I think the spell list provided is a bit much. It seems there is no limit to what this class can do here.

Dualcast: Metamagic should be left to the sorcerer, this is his thing and it should be kept that way.

Jack of All Trades: Like expertise, this doesn't seem to fit the theme that has been previously established.

In The Red: I don't see any issue with this

War Magic: This is fine as well though I feel like this should replace both Dualcast and Extra Attack and be moved to the level 5 feature. This feels like it defines what this class is about much more than both of those combined.

Actively Timed Battle: This is fine but it doesn't feel quite right with the established theme. Overall it seems well enough.

Red Master: Level 20 abilities are hard to decide on whether or not they are too strong but I'm not a fan of this one. Maybe if it was like once a short/long rest.


Rune Knight
Runic: This doesn't seem so bad as it is limited to long rests.

Bonus Cantrip Sure

Harbor Rune: Do you choose the element upon getting the feature, or do you choose each short rest? Does the the resistance fade after expending the features uses? Why not give yourself advantage against the save instead of posing disadvantage on the spell? Giving yourself advantage would all you to better resist spells that don't directly target you with attack rolls.

Improved Runic: Store spells? This was never mentioned in Runic

Masterful Runic: Store spells? How long does that stored spell last? What has to be done to use the stored spell?

Mystic Knight
Spell-Blade: This ability directly clashes with War Magic and is pretty much redundant as the base class already grants something similiar, even though it is at a later level. This also is far less potent in comparison. I'd recommend removing one or the other to make this archetype stand out more. I also think you should remove the bonus damage to keep things simple.

Bonus Cantrip: Sure

Magic Shell: Should this be spells that target you? What if the spell is AoE? Would it then reduce the damage for everyone?

Improved Spell-Blade: Holy power spike batman, the power spike isn't all bad but I don't think the bonus damage should be a thing.

Masterful Spell-Blade: This is fine but I think you should remove the bonus damage.

I'm not sure what class(es) you used for inspiration are but this class is extremely powerful in my opinion. When making you a class you need to consider what the class is good at and what it is bad at. Right now your class is pretty good at everything and not really bad at anything.

If this class was available during character creation, I cannot see myself ever picking a different class due to the sheer power this thing has. Please take a look at the links I posted and attempt to tone things down a bit. I think this class has a lot of potential but right now it is just too powerful.

2018-03-20, 06:49 PM
-snip- thank you for this feedback! I still need to look at Homebrewery but I modified the Google document to remove and add a few features. I think it looks a bit better now, but I worry it might have too many class resources for different abilities. Maybe I could use some sort of point system like Sorcery Points and call them Red Points? For example, Spell in a Pinch and Limit Break could both have a set point cost, and those points could be equal to half the Red Mage level and are regained on short or long rests? Compounding this is that it lacks flavor abilities and the spell list might be a bit unbalanced as you had said, but I think the spells chosen are okay as it gives competition for spell selection. As for the main "point" of this class, I intend it to be a balanced class just like the Final Fantasy Red Mage, with average health, light and medium armor, simple and a decent number of martial weapons. It also has casting, but only half-casting, as most Red Mages have access to both Black and White Magic (i.e both damage/status and healing/buffs) but aren't specialized. Basically, I intend it to be decent at a lot of things but not especially great at most of them. Finally, the subclasses are also based on Final Fantasy classes. Rune Knight is based on Celes Cher from Final Fantasy VI, as she has the power to absorb spells and convert them to MP. Mystic Knight is based off the class from the same name from Final Fantasy V, and they have the ability to add elemental damage bonuses to their swords. Some class abilties are taken from Bravely Default (Final Fantasy "spinoff" of sorts) and modified a bit, like Spell In A Pinch and In The Red. Actively Timed Battle is a reference to the Active Time Battle system used in many Final Fantasy titles. In any event, I'm hoping I did an okay job with the feedback given. If needed, I'll change the class more later on.

2018-03-20, 09:16 PM
It seems like you had taken a look at the guide as the class looks much better and the theme is far more concise compared to before. The class looks much improved but I have a couple of suggestions that may help.

-7th level should have some type of feature. You shouldn't have levels where nothing is gained. You want the player to always have something to look forward to and right now 7th level doesn't feel rewarding in any way.

-I think you should move Red Path back to level 2 as all half-casters obtain their archetype at 2nd level. In the end you gain 3 features at 2nd level, spell casting, an archetype rock feature, and an archetype ribbon feature. Then just push Actively Timed Battle to level 3. It should be noted that by 2nd level you character should be fully realized and playing with all of the things that define who they are. The following features should be further pushing that narrative is some way or another.

-Now that storing spells has been explained a bit, how long can you store a spell? I'd imagine that the spell would eventually dissipate after some period of time. Can you hold more than one at a time? I wouldn't imagine so as the magic would possibly conflict with each other causing undesirable circumstances.

-You had mentioned looking at using some type of system. It depends on where you are looking to apply that system. Would it be the class as a whole? Or would it be for only one archetype? I'm guessing you might be referring to Rune Knight due to the spell absorption. You might consider looking at the Way of the Four Winds monk archetype and have absorbing spells give you points towards casting spells through that resource as opposed to holding onto spells and possibly spitting them back out.

-Finally, the spell list should reflect your hybrid status if that is the case. If I'm not mistaken the White and Black mages will always have access to the highest level spells of their category while a red mage just has the weaker version at later levels. I think you should consider the Paladin spell list when looking at white style spells for a red mage. I've always felt they fit the bill pretty well.

These are just my opinions and how I see what you've described to me thus far. Keep up the good work!

2018-03-20, 09:56 PM
I think I cleared it up a little more from there. Also, at L7 I added Jack of All Trades to make the Red Mage feel a little more well-rounded, like they're meant to be the Final Fantasy games. With that aside, is there anything else I can do to improve the class other than rewording, fluff, and putting the class on Homebrewery?

2018-03-20, 09:59 PM
Slight correction: half casters get their subclass/archetype at 3rd level. Both the PHB half casters get spellcasting and fighting style at 2nd, and paladins get smite to boot.

2018-03-20, 10:38 PM
Slight correction: half casters get their subclass/archetype at 3rd level. Both the PHB half casters get spellcasting and fighting style at 2nd, and paladins get smite to boot.

Indeed. Seems like I had spell casting in mind instead of archetype.

2018-03-20, 10:44 PM
So, it's the half-caster arcanist. I see so many problems.
First, I should say that it's cool in concept, but there's so little that gives me the FF vibe from this class. It honestly just seems like a vaguely bad wizard.

Jumping right into it, from the top;
Point 0(Conceptual Problem)-
The Red mage doesn't have a clear identity. There's no clear tie between how the red mage should work; For instance, all Fighters have the overarching idea of a Threat Manager or Survivor type of class. All Paladins have a bent towards heavy melee damage. All Wizards have a bent towards back-line casting. Etc.
The red mage isn't like that, though. It's core feature seems to be that it can cast spells, but it's only a half-caster. It has d8 health, so it could operate anywhere, depending on their con modifier. They don't get any particularly good skills for melee, or for spellcraft, or for range. It leads to just being identity-less, with no good way to actually play the class.

Point 1-
It's odd to get pre-determined cantrips. It's odd to get them before you're considered a spellcaster. It's odd to get fighting style at 1st level. Are those necessarily problems? No, but they're very odd.

Point 2-
Having Actively Timed Battle being the only thing you get at third level is bad design. All classes have sort of "lull" levels where they get nothing or basically nothing, but happening at level 3 is bad. Especially when the Red Mage doesn't seem to have a clear identity.(See point 0 again)

Point 3-
Having a once/rest bonus action cantrip is terrible at 5th level. This is supposed to be on par with Extra Attack, or at least the Bard's inspiration thing, but it sets a new bar for weak 5th level features. Coupled with half-casting and point 2, this class shapes up to be weaker than anything else in the PHB, even more so than the original beastmaster ranger(At least they got good spells and couldn't miss an arrow).

Point 4-
Jack of All Trades doesn't really fit. I guess the Red Mage is supposed to be a "well-rounded" type, but it just has no connection to anything else with the class. Nothing else about Red Mage implies it should have a bonus to skills, and there's not really an overarching skillmonkey theme, like the Bard or Rogue.

Point 5-
In the Red is literally almost useless. Technically, it does nothing for the numbers, because it doesn't operate like advantage. Since you're forced to take the second roll, the first means nothing, and the average damage stays the exact same, and, in fact, can go lower. That makes my count 3 next-to-useless features in 10 levels, without looking at the subclasses.

Point 6-
I feel like an ability labelled "Limit Break" should be cooler, for starters. It basically constitutes an extra 1-4d6 or so, once per long rest... And that's it. It's not as bad as the abilities mentioned in points 2, 3, and 5, but it's not good, either.

Point 7-
Spell in a Pinch, unlike Limit Break, is actually worthless, though. At 18th level, when the wizard gets a 1st and 2nd level spell as At-Will spells, you get an extra 1st level spell slot, which you can only use after suffering most of your health in damage. Utterly worthless. Count: 4.

Point 8-
Red Master isn't bad, it's certainly better than a lot of other 20th level abilities, but it's still not great. That's partially because I weigh 20th level abilities against "Infinite Health" for the druid, though.

Points 9.x, the Rune Knight Saga-
The cantrip can slide as just being a little weird, but that level 2 feature... OPAF, really. At level 2, the Rune Knight is hit by a Meteor Swarm cast by Vecna himself. They absorb the effect, survive, and get a 9th level spell slot, as the effect never specifies it needs to be a level you can cast. Level 2. Bravo.

Harbor Rune is fine, but it's strange it only includes those three types of damage. Acid, Thunder, and perhaps even Force, seem like they would be a part of the Red Mage's repertoire.

The two Runic abilities, besides the first, relate to a specific absorbed spell. This isn't how Runic works, however. Perhaps it was in a previous draft, perhaps not. Even if I am interpreting the previous draft poorly, however, it's still terrible. "I just absorbed a 5th level spell! Instead of casting it back at them, I'll make a single attack as a bonus action!" Professional Red Mage, dalies and mentlegen.

Points 10.x, the Mystic Knight Saga-
Spell-Blade isn't bad, but it's redundant. It takes a bonus action, and then you use your action to attack. Of course you won't cast spells other than cantrips on your turn, you don't have an action to spare. And the cantrip weirdness, but oh well.

Magic Shell gets my little pass. It's not great, but it's far from garbage.

The other two Spellblades are bad; not terrible, but bad. The most you'll get out of them are 2d10 damage, and those make up 3/4 of your subclass abilities. It should be worth far, far more.

Bonus Round, Blizzard Spell-
Sure. A bit weak, but oh well, it's fine.

2018-03-20, 11:54 PM
I've changed it up some, again, and I worry that it's still not enough to make the class worth playing, or that it's too strong now. I was trying to avoid being overpowered or stepping on someone else's toes (I had intended to give a few metamagics for Dualcasting but that can make Sorcerers feel less valued) but I suppose I went to far the other way. It's a bit late in my timezone to modify much more at the moment, but I look forward to more feedback and plan to further alter the class as suggestions come in when I have the time.

2018-03-22, 12:25 AM
Sorry to heap on, but the class just feels like it's all over the place. If you really want to go for a FF feel, then Id'd suggest running a slightly different mechanic and straight up introducing the classic spells. For example, I would add Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, Cure, Raise, and Antidote. Set him up with his own resource for casting spells, aka Mana, and then base the archetypes off the pre-existing FF classes. Quick Example.

Launch a fire attack at a single enemy within 60 ft. If the target is not wearing armor add +4 to the damage roll. It deals spell damage. (Spell Damage would be a 1d8 at 1st and would progressively increase with class level.)
Launch a lightning attack at a single enemy within 60 ft. If the target is wearing armor you have advantage on the spell attack roll. It deals spell damage.

Use Mana to cast and empower spells. The most Mana you can spend a single spell is equal to your proficiency bonus. Red Mages have Mana equal to their Class Level, Intelligence Bonus, and Proficiency Bonus added together.
Group Casting, +2 Mana
Cast your spell on a group. They must all be within 15 ft of each other.
Enhanced, +2 Mana
Roll all relevant dice twice when casting and take the better result.
Magic Strike, +1 Mana
Cast the spell as you make a melee attack. If the attack is successful, you have advantage on the damage roll of the spell.

Like the Cleric, your archetype should decide what your character is primarily good at.
Black Mage
Would increase spell damage with Fire, Thunder, and Blizzard, along with an improved version of Group Casting.
Would receive the option of a fighting style and have more self-support style stuff, like gaining uses of Magic Strike for free and casting cure on self as a bonus action instead of standard.
White Mage
Would obviously heal more damage, but also get access to better healing spells like Full Cure and Remedy.

These are just suggestions, but the real thing to remember is to balance number of tools with effectiveness.

2018-04-02, 11:32 AM
This class hasn't been updated in a bit, and its because I've decided to redo it at some point in future.

2018-04-02, 11:54 AM
Use Mana to cast and empower spells. The most Mana you can spend a single spell is equal to your proficiency bonus. Red Mages have Mana equal to their Class Level, Intelligence Bonus, and Proficiency Bonus added together.
Group Casting, +2 Mana
Cast your spell on a group. They must all be within 15 ft of each other.
Enhanced, +2 Mana
Roll all relevant dice twice when casting and take the better result.
Magic Strike, +1 Mana
Cast the spell as you make a melee attack. If the attack is successful, you have advantage on the damage roll of the spell.

At that point it may just be worth it to make it a Sorc origin and then do something similiar to the Barbarian's Totem Spirit archetype and have multiple features that stress either Black, White, or whatever else.