Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
WOW!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.
That's a good idea--otherwise you run into the question of "why do they suddenly forget how to do normal sneak attack?"

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."
At 13th level some minor magic items are probably fine, but as far as I can tell the ability comes online at 3rd, and scales up rapidly-- it seems like it'll be a very defining characteristic of the class, rather than the occasional neat augment.

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."
Either way, I'd specify.

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?
The Rogue has a decent amount of design space, I think-- enough to fit in the Green Lantern style constructs, at least. I don't think it can fit both incredibly powerful abilities you're using here.

"A shadowcraft item always manifests either properly equipped on your person, in your hand, or at your feet."
Gotcha.

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.
Fair.

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.
True enough, just seems weird as an example.

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.
The issue is twofold, I think:
  • First, magic items aren't assumed in 5e. In 3.5, you're really just expanding on something everyone gets, but in 5e you might well be the only person in the party with reliable access to magic items. It's a massive spike in versatility and power-- especially since you can make them on the fly. "The temple is flooding? Let me just shadowcraft a scroll of Water Breathing. Invisible things? Hang on, lemmie make a Lantern of Revealing."
  • Secondly, you're using rarity as a gateway to availability, which it... really isn't well balanced as. Look at Uncommon Items, for example-- you've got everything from fluffy garbage like Wind Fans and Brooches of Shielding to game-changers like Brooms of Flying and Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Rare items can be as minor as a Folding Boat and as major as a Wand of Fireballs. I worked on an artificer type class (which I really should revise one of these days), and I wound up having to go through the list item-by-item to determine when it would be appropriate.


I honestly don't think the ability is necessary; making figments is just that good. If you want to include it, I'd suggest structuring it more like this:

Shadow Infuse: At 3rd level, you may use an action to infuse one of your figments with extra magic. For one hour, it gains the one of following effects. Once you have used this ability three times, it may not be used again until you've completed a long rest.
  • Dark Flames: You may set a figment weapon ablaze, adding 1d6 fire damage to your melee weapon attacks with it. If your sneak attack damage applies to the attack, it may be fire instead of psychic.
  • Cloak of Shadows (Prerequisite: Level 9): You may cause a figment cloak or shirt to blend into the darkness. When in an area of dim or no light, you may use an action to become invisible until you attack or cast a spell.
  • Wings of Night (Prerequisite: Level 13): You sprout a pair of shadowy wings, enabling you to fly at a speed of 40ft.



"You cannot make an attack by manifesting an item (for example, by trying to drop the item on someone)"
"But I'm not making an attack, I'm just making a cage. It's not even coming close to them, look!" I'd like to see some rules for this sort of thing because it helps make the class even more creative-- and because players are 100% going to try to figure out how to use figments in combat.