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Thread: Shadowcraft Assassin, a rogue archetype

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    jiriku's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Shadowcraft Assassin, a rogue archetype

    WOW! So much feedback and so many questions. Thank you! I'm really excited to get this much input on the class. You really helped with the magus of blades and I'm hoping to bring this class up to that same standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Can this be turned off if you run into something immune to psychic?
    No. It's always psychic damage. This class is descended from the 3.5 soulknife, and doesn't have training in precision attacks. Rather, it's a character who can conjure a magic sword and charge it with psychic energy. So this is not "I'm gonna hit you where it hurts" but "I can kill you with my brain." Hmmm, maybe I ought to restrict it to only performing psychic strike with shadowcrafted weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    So... I can make shadowcraft poison? Healing potions? Gauntlets of Ogre Power? +1 weapons? Ooh, I know-- how 'bout a Wand of Magic Missile for a guaranteed 9d4+9 points of burst damage? Or an Elemental Gem. Why yes, I would like to summon three CR 5 minions every day, thankyouverymuch.
    At 13th level you acquire the ability to make three magic items per day. If you want to have three potions or three hours of a CR 5 minion or three one-round bursts of 29 average damage, sure, you can do any of those things. Is that excessive for 13th level? My experience with high-level play in 5e is fairly limited. Maybe I should require that they be different items just to encourage some basic creativity. I was rather expecting that the common application would be a really cool magic sword. Up until 8th level you can only have one magic item a time so there's significant opportunity cost to your magic item choice. And the root impulse of the class is the soul knife, famously called Mr. "I have a magic sword as a class feature."

    I hadn't really made up my mind on poisons. My thought is that since the poison disappears after 1 round and can't be created as an attack, you can't use ingested or inhaled poisons and most injury or contact poisons are severely nerfed. Plus, if you've never encountered it you can't manifest it. Alternately, you could conclude that except for the basic poison listed in the PHB, poison is not a mundane object and can't be manifested. I suppose I could explicitly restrict to "items on the PHB equipment tables, and other items with DM permission."

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I highly recommend not letting you make magic items, or at least limit them to a specific list. They're... really not balanced by rarity at all, doubly so when you can replace consumable items every morning. Not only that, but the sheer power of the ability overtakes everything else-- you're going from "a Rogue who sometimes makes stuff out of shadows" to "hi, I'm the party artificer." I'd rework this to be more "I can make this useful tool" and less crafting.
    I get where your concern is coming from. I want to present this as balanced when played alongside core class options. At the same time, the sheer power of the ability is supposed to overtake everything else because the core class mechanic is "soulknife imagined more expansively." What could we do to make it work? Is this an issue like the first draft of the magus of blades where the subclass just doesn't have enough power budget for anything meaningful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Also: where do conjured items wind up? Do they have to be in your hand? Adjacent? Within 30ft? I see that they disappear in one round if you're not touching them, but that's long enough to, say, block a door from across the room...
    "A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or at your feet."

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Minor quibbles: I don't see "object interaction" as an official action very often; might be easier to default to bonus.
    My specific reasoning is that object interaction is the kind of timing trigger required to draw a weapon. Manifesting your magic sword takes the same amount of time as drawing a sword would.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Also, a medium-sized cart?
    Have you ever been to a theme park and seen the vendors with those little carts selling ice cream or hot dogs? Those would definitely fit in a five-foot square.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    More and bigger stuff is cool; more powerful magic, not so much.
    I guess my question is how much power is a class feature worth, and how much is a magic item worth? For example, if I wrote a feature that let you heal someone for 2d4+2 damage once per long rest, that wouldn't seem very good. A feature that lets you create (but not give away) a potion of healing good for 2d4+2 is essentially the same. A feature that let you glow on command and deal 2d6 fire damage with each attack would be pretty solid -- and that's about what you get if you manifest a flame tongue sword.

    Hmm, I had a thought. I think what I'm hearing from you is that the power of magic items scales much faster than the power of class features. Have I got that right? In that case, my features that add both more magic items and increase the maximum rarity for all items is excessive. Going from one uncommon item at 3rd level to two rare items at 8th level is a big deal. Getting three very rare items at 13th level is an even bigger deal. What if 3rd level gives you one item that is uncommon, 8th gives you one rare, 13th gives you one very rare, and 17th gives you one legendary? This greatly reduces the snowball effect of more and more powerful magic items.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    At this point I'd suggest some rules about trapping people in conjured cages and the like.
    "You cannot make an attack by manifesting an item (for example, by trying to drop the item on someone)"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    How does "your immediate possession" work when you're making a mansion? The bigger these things get, the more I think there needs to be some sort of usage limit.
    The DM would decide, but my expectation would be that you materialize the mansion around you, or you materialize it with yourself directly at the front door. The "immediate possession" requirement can conflict with the "cannot make an attack" requirement -- the latter always trumps the former, and if you do not have room to manifest a shadowcraft without effectively attacking someone with it, then you can't manifest that shadowcraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Overall, I adore this idea. It's a lot for a D&D character, but it looks like it would be incredibly fun to play. And... possibly overshadow other players? I have a feeling you'll feel more like a superhero than a mage... it might be better to focus on making more complicated smaller things (shadow horses, animated weapons, cloaks that help you hide, etc) than really big things.
    Players who have played this class in my 3.5 games have loved it. As the DM I love it too, because players are always doing clever stuff with it that I didn't anticipate. I really, really want to make this class work in 5e. And I am 100% OK with a superhero feel -- we do a lot of that around the table. My last character was a warlock in a suit of transformable Gundam armor (you can do that in core, btw). We play big epic characters in big epic games where nations and worlds are at stake.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2018-11-14 at 08:30 PM.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
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