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    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest VIII Chat Thread

    Okay. Calligrapher is shaping up to be about 20 pages since I have an entirely new magic system to go with the Core class! I'm just about done with the base, now I have to hammer out the Subclasses.

    Do I have to/Should I reformat post the whole thing for the chat tabs here or can I just link a PDF once I have one up and running?

    Here's the gdoc link if anyone wants to take a look


    Picture it: Azed the half-Elf opens an arcane tome on the field of battle, but instead of reading, begins to furiously scribble, the ink from his quill flying across the page. In moments he's scripted the events as he wants them to be, as his companions need them to be. The most archaic version of the Celestial tongue known fills his book, but two words stand out "The orcs advance in the D'LANARA (cube) of the field comes to ISHPET (stop)." The swiftly indited Testament to the events bore the two words written in a language the mortal mind could barely comprehend. The record he'd created was part of the Universe, future generations would read of this day and their collective understanding, informed by Azed's Testament was reflecting back through history to make it be.

    The fields before him become a quagmire, the orcs' advance grinds to a halt, their own axes and arrows halting mid air as they are let fly. The Calligrapher's allies rain fire on the unsuspecting horde and the day is won!

    As I mentioned upthread I took inspiration from Truespeaker, but instead of a whole bunch of discrete effects, this is a whole bunch of discrete effects that you can also Voltron write into bigger crazier effects.

    Mechanics (loose description)

    It's Calligraphy Tool skill based (duh). Just like the old Truespeaker, the more you do in a day, the harder it gets. As is, one Word Testaments are cantrip level(ish), they incur no check to do but do essentially cost 1 silver (see Spellbook below) and raise the future DC of multi-Word Testaments that use those Words. So if you just make FIRE that's no difficulty, but if you later want to make CONE of FIRE, the DC will be 1 higher since you used FIRE earlier. If you use FIRE a dozen times a day, then the DC for a sentence with FIRE will be minimum 23, but if you just want to make the FIRE Cantrip effect, there's no roll other than bad guy saves.

    Your "spellcasting ability" is Intelligence. The Calligraphy DCs to create your Multi-Word Testaments are 10+Calligraphy modifiers. You approach DC 20 around 3 words (most words seem to hover around +3 to the DC) but that's only for your first use, after that the DC of every word you used goes up every time you use them. Expertise is baked in at level 2 so I'm assuming a +17 at level 20 and trying to use that scaling. Really important "I'd use it all the time" words like Lasting (gives a 1 minute duration) are +4 or +5 base DC to discourage constant use.

    As is this is a class that risks accomplishing nothing but wasted money and time. You can manage that by limiting the number of effects you pull off or sticking with Cantrips. A couple of big effects, a bunch of mediums and then you have a bunch of little ones left, but unlike Slots (you're out you're out) you can always swing for the fences and maybe do something ridiculous.


    You have a spellbook, but instead of writing spells in it you write Testaments. A Spellbook has 100 pages and costs 100gp, you can fit 10 Words of Power on a given page. That means a 1 Word Testament takes up a 10th of a page or 1 silver's worth of the book's value. So lots of big effects eat your book faster, but I think the average module wouldn't see nearly a whole book's use, so just have a back up.


    One of the big challenges with this kind of undertaking is spending so much time writing in bread and butter that unique or interesting effects (like Secret Chests or Clones) are left out or avoided. I usually end up putting some of those into a subclass somehow.

    New Subclass Concept for Calligrapher: Scrimshander
    You keep your Testaments carved into the bones or flesh of the fallen. This is a way to backdoor necromancy in since the established 3 don't cover it.
    Last edited by BerzerkerUnit; 2019-08-09 at 12:22 PM.