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    Default The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    A note: I'm aiming for a high tier 3 with this class; it's meant to be powerful, competing with a blaster sorceror in damage dealing capability. In doing so, I've made sure it'll be hard to go TO on the class- no arcane thesis shenanigans, no spellsurge, no arcane fusion. You could call it a duskblade fix; I just think it should be good fun. Yes, it can deal a lot of damage in one round at high levels- yes, 4 maximized orbs of force a round is nothing to sneeze at... but by the time it's doing that, a wizard is already breaking the foundations of reality, and a mailman will use his lesser orb of sonic to vibrate you into a pile of ash. I can't see this ever getting that powerful, unless one did some crazy ubercharger thing with it.


    {table=head]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | Invocations/Max Level | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
    1st | +0 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Armoured Casting | 1/1 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | - | -
    2nd | +1 | +3 | +0 | +3 | - | 2/1 | 3 | 1 | - | - | - | - | -
    3rd | +2 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Channel Invocation | 2/1 | 3 | 2 | 0 | - | - | - | -
    4th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Metainvocation +1 | 3/2 | 4 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | -
    5th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Swift Casting 1/day | 3/2 | 4 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | -
    6th | +4 | +5 | +2 | +5 | - | 4/3 | 4 | 2 | 2 | 0 | - | - | -
    7th | +5 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Invocation Immunity | 4/3 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | - | -
    8th | +6/+1 | +6 | +2 | +6 | Metainvocation +2 | 5/4 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | - | -
    9th | +6/+1 | +6 | +3 | +6 | - | 5/4 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 0 | - | -
    10th | +7/+2 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Swift Casting 2/day | 6/5 | 5 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | -
    11th | +8/+3 | +7 | +3 | +7 | - | 6/5 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | -
    12th | +9/+4 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Metainvocation +3 | 7/6 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 0 | -
    13th | +9/+4 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Full Channel Invocation | 7/6 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 1 | -
    14th | +10/+5 | +9 | +4 | +9 | - | 8/7 | 6 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | -
    15th | +11/+6/+1 | +9 | +5 | +9 | Swift Casting 3/day | 8/7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | -
    16th | +12/+7/+2 | +10 | +5 | +10 | - | 9/8 | 7 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 0
    17th | +12/+7/+2 | +10 | +5 | +10 | Metainvocation +4 | 9/8 | 7 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1
    18th | +13/+8/+3 | +11 | +6 | +11 | - | 10/9 | 7 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1
    19th | +14/+9/+4 | +11 | +6 | +11 | - | 10/9 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2
    20th | +15/+10/+5 | +12 | +6 | +12 | Swift Casting 4/day | 11/9 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2[/table]

    HD: D8


    Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level): Concentration, Craft, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcane, History, Nobility & Royalty), Ride, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device

    Proficiencies: The Battlemage is proficient with light, medium & heavy armours, and simple and martial weapons.

    Spells: A Battlemage casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the Battlemage spell list given below. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time the way a cleric or wizard. To cast a spell, a Battlemage must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Battlemage’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the Battlemage’s Intelligence modifier. Like other spellcasters, a Battlemage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is shown above. In addition, he receives bonus spells for a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–1, page 8 of the Player’s Handbook).

    The Battlemage's selection of spells is extremely limited. A Battlemage begins play knowing two 1st level spells of your choice. He also knows a number of 0th level spells (cantrips) equal to his Intelligence modifier. At every new Battlemage level, he gains two new spells drawn from the Battlemage spell list. These spells must be spells he is capable of casting, so that a third level Battlemage could not learn a 6th level Battlemage spell, but could learn a 2nd level Battlemage spell. Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a Battlemage knows is not affected by his Intelligence score: he learns two spells per level regardless.

    Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third Battlemage level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a Battlemage can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Battlemage "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Battlemage spell the Battlemage can cast. A Battlemage may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

    Unlike a cleric or a wizard, a Battlemage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level.

    Cantrips:
    Spoiler
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    Caltrops, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Guidance, Light, Message, Resistance


    Level 1:
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    Enlarge Person, Expeditious Retreat, Grease, Magic Weapon, Obscuring Mist, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Shield, True Strike


    Level 2:
    Spoiler
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    Bear's Endurance, Blur, Bull's Strength, Darkness, False Life, Fog Cloud, Glitterdust, Mirror Image, Protection From Arrows, Resist Energy, See Invisibility, Web


    Level 3:
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    Blink, Displacement, Fly, Haste, Heroism, Keen Edge, Greater Magic Weapon, Protection From Energy, Rage, Sleet Storm, Stinking Cloud, Wind Wall


    Level 4:
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    Black Tentacles, Mass Enlarge Person, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Solid Fog, Stoneskin, Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice


    Level 5:
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    Cloudkill, Mind Fog, Mirage Arcana, Overland Flight, Telekinesis, Transmute Mud to Rock, Transmute Rock to Mud, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone


    Level 6:
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    Acid Fog, Antimagic Field, Control Water, Mass Bear's Endurance, Mass Bull's Strength, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Heroism, Move Earth, Repulsion, Transformation, True Seeing, Wall of Iron


    Invocations: The Battlemage uses different invocations than a warlock; his are more akin to spell like abilities. At first level, and every even level thereafter, the battlemage chooses one direct damage spell of a spell level equal to his class levels/2, rounded down, as displayed on the table above. He may cast this spell as a Spell Like Ability at will as a standard action, or may cast it iteratively as a full attack action, according to his BAB. During a full attack, he may combine invocations he knows however he pleases, and may even attack multiple targets. Invocations requiring a ranged attack receive the according attack bonus, while invocations that do not require a ranged attack roll take a cumulative -3 penalty to their DCs. All spells that allow SR use the according iterative attack bonus instead of the Battlemage's caster level to overcome the SR.
    Example:
    Spoiler
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    Val'Taagh is a 6th level battlemage. Thus, he knows 2 invocations up to 1st level, 1 invocation up to 2nd level, and one invocation up to 3rd level. Let's say he knows magic missile, lesser orb of fire, melf's acid arrow and fireball. As a full attack action, he might cast a fireball for his first attack at orc #1 and lesser orb of fire (with only +1 to the attack from BAB) at orc #2. He might also cast the lesser orb of fire (now with +6 from BAB) and then magic missile (here with only +1 to overcome spell resistance) at illithid #7 in this quite overpowering encounter.


    Acceptable Invocations:
    Spoiler
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    In general, Invocations are single-use, immediate direct hitpoint damage spells. While spells with a lasting duration are acceptable (such as Acid Arrow), spells like Acid Fog are right out. When in doubt, stick to Evocations. Acceptable choices for invocations are shown below; this list may be expanded by DM fiat, upon request.
    Level 1: Burning Hands, Chill Touch, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp
    Level 2: Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray, Sound Burst
    Level 3: Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Searing Light, Vampiric Touch
    Level 4: Shout
    Level 5: Blight, Cone of Cold, Flame Strike, Slay Living
    Level 6: Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, Flesh to Stone, Freezing Sphere
    Level 7: Destruction, Finger of Death
    Level 8: Polar Ray, Greater Shout, Sunburst, Horrid Wilting
    Level 9: Meteor Swarm


    Armoured Casting: In learning to compensate for the heavy armour he wears, any spells cast from the Battlemage spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action is increased to 1 full action, and the Battlemage may not cast defensively; because of this, he does not take Arcane Spell Failure into account when casting spells from the Battlemage spell list, even in the heaviest of armours.

    Channel Invocation: Beginning at 3nd level, the Battlemage may use a standard action to cast an invocation he knows and deliver it through a melee attack. If the melee attack is sucessful, the damage is dealt normally, then the invocation is resolved.
    At 13th level, he may do the same as a full attack action, combining invocations at will. Each attack may be delivered with a separate invocation.

    Metainvocation : The Battlemage may choose one +1 metamagic feat; it may be applied to any invocation he knows that is appliciable. This raises the spell level of the invocation, which may not exceed his maximum invocation spell level known (for example, a level 12 battlemage may not use a +1 metainvocation on, say, chain lightning). At subsequent levels the Battlemage may choose higher level metamagics, as shown on the table above.

    Swift Casting: A limited number of times per day, the Battlemage may cast a spell he knows as a swift action.

    Invocation Immunity: The Battlemage becomes immune to his own invocations; this comes particularly in handy when, say, channeling a fireball spell.



    Feats:
    Spoiler
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    Battlemage Edge [Battlemage]
    All Battlemage invocations deal an additional amount of damage equal to the Battlemage's Intelligence modifier.

    Extra Invocation [Battlemage]
    The Battlemage gains an extra invocation of a level at least one less than his maximum invocation spell level.

    Extra Metainvocation [Battlemage]
    The Battlemage adds a Metainvocation to his repertoire of no greater a level than his most recent metainvocation.

    Invocation Focus [Battlemage]
    The Battlemage's Invocations gain +1 DC.

    Greater Invocation Focus [Battlemage]
    Prerequisite: Invocation Focus
    The Battlemage's invocations gain an additional +1 DC
    Last edited by Gorgondantess; 2010-06-22 at 09:02 PM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Interesting idea; will require a fair amount of DM judgment on the invocations, but that's probably not the end of the world. You have a typo in the first feat: you call it "balltemage edge", heh.

    Other than that, why on earth would Full Channel Invocation have to wait until 13th level if you could just cast the invocations as a full-round action anyway as soon as you have iteratives?

    Also, the way the DC's and SR penetration work is somewhat confusingly worded. I figured it out after a bit, but you might rewrite that, I think.

    Other than that, I like this. It's definitely unique, and I think it works.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Typo in table at 12th level "Matainvocation" should be "Metainvocation."

    Regarding the invocations, I'm a little worried that it can be broken too easily. n particular, the orb line of spells seem like they fit as invocations but will do substantially more damage than most other options.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    How does metainvocation work? Do you have to know the feat in question, or qualify for it? Is the choice made permanently upon level up? Is the enhanced version of the invocation usable at will, or only on a limited basis?

    If it's intended the way it seems, you're probably generating overly large numbers. For example, say a 12th-level battlemage puts an Empower on his orb of fire. With iterative attacks, he can throw three empowered orbs of fire per round, dealing (12d6*1.5*3) 54 to 324 (average 189) damage per round, plus forcing three saves against daze for anyone who miraculously survives the damage. I play some pretty high-optimization games, but I don't know many characters who can reliably deal 200 damage per round with ranged touch attacks at level 12, and I know of even fewer level-appropriate challenges that can take those kinds of hits.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-06-21 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    How does metainvocation work? Do you have to know the feat in question, or qualify for it? Is the choice made permanently upon level up? Is the enhanced version of the invocation usable at will, or only on a limited basis?
    No, you don't have to have the feat. It's permanent upon levelup. At will, so long as you can afford the level adjustment.

    [spoiler]If it's intended the way it seems, you're probably generating overly large numbers. For example, say a 12th-level battlemage puts an Empower on his orb of fire. With iterative attacks, he can throw three empowered orbs of fire per round, dealing (12d6*1.5*3) 54 to 324 (average 189) damage per round, plus forcing three saves against daze for anyone who miraculously survives the damage. I play some pretty high-optimization games, but I don't know many characters who can reliably deal 200 damage per round with ranged touch attacks at level 12, and I know of even fewer level-appropriate challenges that can take those kinds of hits.[/QUOTE]
    Note that it'll be using the iterative BAB- one with +7, one with +2. So long as the enemy doesn't have a massively low touch AC, that last one is probably going to miss. And if your DM doesn't forsee this by throwing at you an encounter with no fire resistance OR a decent touch AC (Even 15 would do the trick), then he isn't doing his job right. A 12th level sorceror arcane fusion-ing 2 arcane thesis'd lesser orbs of fire, then probably throwing out a quickened lesser orb of fire just for good measure, should be doing at least as much damage as the Battlemage, and more accurately. It can't do it more than a few times per day, but it makes up for that by having much, much more versatility than the Battlemage.

    Typo in table at 12th level "Matainvocation" should be "Metainvocation."

    Regarding the invocations, I'm a little worried that it can be broken too easily. n particular, the orb line of spells seem like they fit as invocations but will do substantially more damage than most other options.
    Thanks. Fixed.
    As for the orb line of spells... yes, they're a very good choice, but unbalanced? Hardly. They're good at dealing a reliable amount of damage to 1 target, and with 11 invocations known by level 20, you'll likely want an invocation to do that. Likewise, you'll want an invocation like fireball to do damage over an area, or magic missile to take out the pesky incorporeal enemies. Each spell serves its own purpose.

    Interesting idea; will require a fair amount of DM judgment on the invocations, but that's probably not the end of the world. You have a typo in the first feat: you call it "balltemage edge", heh.

    Other than that, why on earth would Full Channel Invocation have to wait until 13th level if you could just cast the invocations as a full-round action anyway as soon as you have iteratives?

    Also, the way the DC's and SR penetration work is somewhat confusingly worded. I figured it out after a bit, but you might rewrite that, I think.

    Other than that, I like this. It's definitely unique, and I think it works.
    Well, full channel invocation allows you to tag them onto a melee attack... and I was really afraid someone might dip into lion totem barbarian, a few levels of fighter for bonus feats, then this and become some kind of crazy powerful ubercharger. This just makes that a lot harder.

    Yeah, I know it is... that's why I provided the example. I'm really bad at wording these things.

    And, thank you.
    Last edited by Gorgondantess; 2010-06-21 at 05:49 PM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Invocations should definitely have a maximum level, because even if they are only pure dps spells (which they aren't, because 4 spells per round for free just screams fell drain magic missile), and are as such unoptimized choices. it makes no sense that this class can cast a 6th level spell twice per day, but can reliably throw 4 meteor swarms per round (and that isn't even starting to optimize what this class could do with all the metamagic it gets). Plus, this gives it a simply ridiculous amount of dps.

    It doesn't matter if an optimized wizard can do more, the average blaster can't even come close to this guy's dps. He can probably kill anything in 1 round. Heck, even if it was only 1 spell per round, unlimited 9th level slots with is tiny spell selection and metamagic is already gamebreaking.

    Penalties to iterative spells only matter if the spell has a save or needs an attack roll, and their is absolutely nothing to stop this class from simply using spells with no saves of attack rolls.

    In the end, this class is simply ridiculously huge numbers. Yes, it can absolutely destroy anything in 1 round, but that is all it does. And it isn't remotely balanced, because it forces the Dm to give all encounters immunity to all elemental and force damage if they are to have a chance to so anything.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    Note that it'll be using the iterative BAB- one with +7, one with +2. So long as the enemy doesn't have a massively low touch AC, that last one is probably going to miss. And if your DM doesn't forsee this by throwing at you an encounter with no fire resistance OR a decent touch AC (Even 15 would do the trick), then he isn't doing his job right. A 12th level sorceror arcane fusion-ing 2 arcane thesis'd lesser orbs of fire, then probably throwing out a quickened lesser orb of fire just for good measure, should be doing at least as much damage as the Battlemage, and more accurately. It can't do it more than a few times per day, but it makes up for that by having much, much more versatility than the Battlemage.
    You're very correct about the optimized sorcerer hijinks. But didn't you want to benchmark against Tier 3 classes? Which DPS-oriented Tier 3 class would you say is approximately equal in damage output to an off-the-shelf battlemage? Which Tier 3 DPS classes could co-exist in a party with the battlemage and not feel like the battlemage makes them insignificant?
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    It can do pretty much as much damage as a duskblade can do on a full attack, with full channel invocation- it gets higher level spells, but duskblade is open to metamagic hijinks. It can do it more than a duskblade- infinitely- but generally that isn't a problem, as evinced by that other invocation using class.

    It's a high tier 3- that's what I was going for. And it scales very, very powerfully- I tried to have the scaling competitive with a fullcaster. Yeah, it'll outshine other DPS classes at higher levels. So does any fullcaster worth his salt. So, maybe it's low tier 2. Great. Is there anything wrong with that? Yeah, at level 16-20 it should be able to annihilate most enemies, but that's at the point where most combats last 1-3 rounds anyways, whether it's a warblade or a fullcaster. At level 1-10, I'd say it's easily balanced against any tier 3, and will outshine stuff like fighters and barbarians, but that's a matter of course, isn't it?
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    At level 1-10, I'd say it's easily balanced against any tier 3, and will outshine stuff like fighters and barbarians, but that's a matter of course, isn't it?
    No, even at those levels it is still ridiculously overpowered. It gets unlimited use fell drain magic missiles usable twice per round at level 8 (3 times at level 11), and from that point on, it simply wins against anything that doesn't have ridiculous spell resistance (but then that can easily be overcome). It isn't remotely near to the power level of any tier 3 classes, but can't be tier 2 because it is still a one-trick pony (although some metamagic abuse and 4 spells per round turn it into a one-trick thermonuclear bomb).

    It is quite simply a broken class. It's damage output is simply that ridiculous (an optimized wizard has trouble doing the amount of damage this guy does every round, and to come close, the wizard must waste all his versatility).

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Obamarama View Post
    No, even at those levels it is still ridiculously overpowered. It gets unlimited use fell drain magic missiles usable twice per round at level 8 (3 times at level 11), and from that point on, it simply wins against anything that doesn't have ridiculous spell resistance (but then that can easily be overcome). It isn't remotely near to the power level of any tier 3 classes, but can't be tier 2 because it is still a one-trick pony (although some metamagic abuse and 4 spells per round turn it into a one-trick thermonuclear bomb).

    It is quite simply a broken class. It's damage output is simply that ridiculous (an optimized wizard has trouble doing the amount of damage this guy does every round, and to come close, the wizard must waste all his versatility).
    A: the warlock, as a tier 4 class, proved unlimited uses isn't broken.
    B: Okay, it gets fell drain magic missile. So does any fullcaster, and a sorceror could pull off something like that (and more) with arcane thesis chesse, or just arcane fusion, or hell even just a metamagic rod. Note that it has no way of actually increasing SR penetration, and subsequent magic missiles take a hit to SR.

    Example: a duskblade, at level 16, can make a full attack with a maximized polar ray (with a simple maximize rod, a mere 54000 gp- pricey, but worth it), dealing melee damage+384 cold damage. Does anyone say that a duskblade is broken? No, not really. At high levels, pretty much anything can pump out massive damage- an arrow-spamming ranger, a shock trooping barbarian, a blaster sorceror.... this one just has a different mechanic for doing so, one that starts out powerful, yes. In an unoptimized party it'll outshine everything, but that's fine- so will a warblade.
    It's also certainly not a one-trick pony, with access to up to 6th level spells, it can also pull out buffs, battlefield control, etc.

    However, even if you're wrong- or even if I'm wrong- I do realize that its damage potential might scare a lot of people, so I'll just reduce it to 3/4 BAB. Thus, its SR-penetrating should be rather pathetic, and it'll max out at 3 meteor swarms a round. Sound good?
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Reducing the base attack progression limits the multi-casting somewhat, and that moves this toward better balance. I also agree that the warlock isn't a balance concern (in fact, it really needs more invocations to enhance its versatility).

    I am still concerned. You've provided several examples of builds or combos that can rival the battlemage's damage output, but my concern is that you're comparing apples to oranges. You're comparing battlemage+nothing to duskblade+item or sorcerer + 3-5 feats or barbarian + gear and 3 feats. If you give the battlemage level-appropriate gear and feats, his damage output goes to a whole different level (imagine this guy with arcane thesis, practical metamagic, a rod of maximize, etc, etc).

    Consider for a moment. Lets leave aside particular builds that rely on specific items, spells, or feats. Which classes can:
    1. Cast 3 or more spells/invocations/maneuvers per round?
    2. Cast 3 9th-level spells/invocations/maneuvers per round?

    The answers I came up with were:
    1. Duskblade 13+ (touch spells)
    2. no one

    This suggests to me that you have a delivery system that Tier 1 characters would envy and seek to emulate. But there are alternatives. Consider any of the following:
    • Ditch the ability to cast spells as iteratives. Boost the number of uses per day of swift casting instead.
    • Make Channel Invocation work more like the duskblade's arcane channeling.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    A: the warlock, as a tier 4 class, proved unlimited uses isn't broken.
    B: Okay, it gets fell drain magic missile. So does any fullcaster, and a sorceror could pull off something like that (and more) with arcane thesis chesse, or just arcane fusion, or hell even just a metamagic rod. Note that it has no way of actually increasing SR penetration, and subsequent magic missiles take a hit to SR.
    No, the warlock proves that abilities that are much less powerful than 9th level spells, usable ONCE per round aren't overpowered. You are saying that abilities that are essentially 9th level spells usable 4 times per round at-will aren't overpowered when compared to 9 lvl spells, usable 7 times per day? It doesn't matter if an optimized character can do more, the average sorcerer, or even wizard, can't even come close to this guy, and this guy can just keep on doing it all day. As for SR penetration, assay spell resistance is a 4th level spell, granting +10 on that check. Nothing is stopping you from making an item of it.

    Example: a duskblade, at level 16, can make a full attack with a maximized polar ray (with a simple maximize rod, a mere 54000 gp- pricey, but worth it), dealing melee damage+384 cold damage. Does anyone say that a duskblade is broken? No, not really. At high levels, pretty much anything can pump out massive damage- an arrow-spamming ranger, a shock trooping barbarian, a blaster sorceror.... this one just has a different mechanic for doing so, one that starts out powerful, yes. In an unoptimized party it'll outshine everything, but that's fine- so will a warblade.
    It's also certainly not a one-trick pony, with access to up to 6th level spells, it can also pull out buffs, battlefield control, etc.
    First of all, the duskblade can do that once per day, your class does it all day long. Second, the problem is this class can do the damage with absolutely no investment of resources (feats, spell per days, etc). Third, the problem also lies in what can be added to damage spells with metamagic (like my fell drain example) that make this class into a SoD god or even just let it instagib anything. Finally, why would this class use battlefield control spells when it could instead win the fight in 1 round?

    However, even if you're wrong- or even if I'm wrong- I do realize that its damage potential might scare a lot of people, so I'll just reduce it to 3/4 BAB. Thus, its SR-penetrating should be rather pathetic, and it'll max out at 3 meteor swarms a round. Sound good?
    Like I said earlier, the damage isn't the problem. it's the ease with which it is achieved and the frequency it can be created that is the problem.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    ...And doesn't reducing BAB do just that? It maxes the invocations out at 3/round, and it makes SR penetration pathetic. Hell, until 15th level you're not doing much more than a sorceror with arcane thesis & quicken spell, and after that a sorceror with arcane spellsurge on top of those should easily surpass this class.

    Adding equipment and feats won't do much. You can't reduce metamagic costs, you can't do things like metamagic rods... Which a duskblade can do, or a sorceror, or a gish. I've built classes on the spot that had much, much higher damage potential than this. Granted, they could only do it a few times per day, but that's irrelevant. And I didn't even use arcane thesis cheese- just a good ol' warblade/sorceror gish.
    Yes, it can cast 3 level 9 spells per round. But it's spell selection is limited to meteor swarm (a severely unoptimized spell) or metamagic'd spells. It starts out high, but it ends up at the same place.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    ...And doesn't reducing BAB do just that? It maxes the invocations out at 3/round, and it makes SR penetration pathetic. Hell, until 15th level you're not doing much more than a sorceror with arcane thesis & quicken spell, and after that a sorceror with arcane spellsurge on top of those should easily surpass this class.
    Reducing bab makes it slightly less strong, and as I said earlier SR is a non-issue if you are ready to face it.

    The fact is, more than one 9th level spell per round isn't balanced. It isn't balanced for a wizard or a sorcerer to do it, and as such it isn't balanced for this guy. This class, unless played in a very optimized campaign, absolutely destroys anything. Yes the wizard can do it to, but when the wizard wastes all his 9th level spells, he can't do anything. The wizard of the sorcerer can nova for one, maybe two rounds, while this guy is doing similar damage as a sorcerer nova every round. Worse, you can't even catch this guy by surprise, because he doesn't need to regain his spells.

    Adding equipment and feats won't do much. You can't reduce metamagic costs, you can't do things like metamagic rods... Which a duskblade can do, or a sorceror, or a gish. I've built classes on the spot that had much, much higher damage potential than this. Granted, they could only do it a few times per day, but that's irrelevant. And I didn't even use arcane thesis cheese- just a good ol' warblade/sorceror gish.
    Yes, it can cast 3 level 9 spells per round. But it's spell selection is limited to meteor swarm (a severely unoptimized spell) or metamagic'd spells. It starts out high, but it ends up at the same place.
    Yes, but you can get a continuous item of haste with all the money he didn't have to spend on metamagic rods. Plus the fact that they can only do it a few times per day is completely relevant, because it is the only thing keeping you from doing novas every round.

    Imagine a lvl 20 nova sorceror and a lvl 20 battlemage. At the start of the day, the sorceror regains his spells after an hour (chance of being attacked with no spells) and gets 6 lvl 9 slots. The battlemage doesn't care, because he only needs to regain his spell slots that he will almost never use anyways.
    The sorcerer and the battlemage are using the same spells, because they both have access to some of the better dmg spells, but the sorceror has a limited quantity of spell know and must invest in things like arcane fusion (wasting more spell slots) to keep up.

    First encounter of the day, the sorcerer does one round of nova and, because he doesn't want to waste all his spell slots, than burns through lower level spells. However, the battlemage is novaing all combat long without expanding any ressources.

    Second encounter, the sorcerer might be able to nova again, but if he does he'll have burned through all his higher level slots. The battlemage is still novaing every round.

    From the third encounter onwards, the sorcerer is unable to nova and burns through his lower level spell slots. The battlemage, who hasn't even used one of his spell slots, his still novaing like in the first encounter, and could keep on going for an unlimited amount of time as long as he remembers to use his unlimited item of lesser vigor.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    I think the issue that's confusing us is that you're pursuing two mutually conflicting design goals. On the one hand, you're aiming for "a high tier 3". On the other, you want the class's out-of-the-box damage output to match the game-breaking direct-damage tricks used by the broken classes, while giving it spontaneous casting (from a limited list), versatility of action, and solid fundamentals.

    The battlemage really is a sweet class, but it is mechanically much more powerful than classes that match its flexibility, and much more flexible than classes that match its power. It is considerably better than a sorcerer. Let's do a quick side-by side comparison of the battlemage and the sorcerer:

    Base Attack: battlemage is superior
    Hit Die: battlemage is significantly superior
    Saves: battlemage is superior
    Class Features: battlemage is dramatically superior, with powerful options like Channel Invocation and Invocation Immunity
    Skill Points: equal
    Class Skill List: battlemage is superior, with in-class UMD providing access to any number of powerful tricks.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: battlemage is superior
    Spells Known: mixed. the sorcerer has a much larger list to choose from, but learns 34 spells, while the battlemage has a fixed list of 65 spells and chooses 11 invocations (I'm ignoring cantrips for this comparison)
    Spells Per Day: close, but i'm going to call this a win for the battlemage. Excluding cantrips, the sorcerer has 54 spells per day plus bonus slots, while the battlemage has 24 per day plus bonuses and infinite invocations, including disintigrate, which has a number of utility purposes aside from its damage-dealing capability. Given the battlemage's iterative invocation casting, in any day where the sorcerer exhausts his spell load, the battlemage is likely to have cast/invoked more stuff.

    You have ensured some resistance to optimization by housing the best casting under the invocation system, which receives little splatbook support. But in a traditional 3-encounter day, a sorcerer would have to pull out all the stops to match the damage output you achieve with raw class abilities. And with modest optimization (human + Educated + Arcane Disciple), I can take Arcane disciple from level 1 and gain immediate access to a broad variety of utility spells that expand the functionality of the character, an option which is unavailable to sorcerers (or duskblades, another similar class).

    This class isn't broken the way the wizard is (I can think of a couple of ways to break the game with it, but not 30 or 40 ways), but again, it's stronger than the classes you want it to run with, and it's more flexible than the classes that match it in strength.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-06-23 at 10:03 PM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    I think you misunderstand what Tier 3 means, jiriku.

    This is a direct-damage-focused class. That is, near enough, all it does. Therefore, it is Tier 3 - it has a few tricks that make it not useless outside of it's particular specialization, but ultimately it is a specialist that has a specific focus. It cannot do anything, and it certainly cannot do everything. Doing "anything" is the definition of Tier 2, and doing "everything" is the definition of Tier 1. So long as this class is doing just direct-damage, it's not a true Tier 2 or Tier 1.

    The Tiers have less to do with power, and more to do with versatility. No matter how high you crank up an uber-charger's damage, it's still Tier 5. This is better than that because it's not shut down as easily as a charger, but pure numbers aren't enough to switch Tiers.


    More importantly, this is a direct-damage specialist designed to play with the big boys - to fit in in a crowd of optimally-played Tier 1's and Tier 2's. That was the stated purpose of the class. If this can't out-damage a Sorcerer or Wizard, then it's failing - Sorcerers and Wizards are not specialists, they can do "anything" or "everything" respectively. This can only do one thing, so it needs to be better at that one thing than a Sorcerer or Wizard, or else why would you bother?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2010-06-23 at 06:48 PM.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Thank you, DW, for putting it in better words (and less) than I could have.

    And I'm not sure it's supposed to fit in with optimally played tier 1s and 2s... but certainly, at the bare minimum, well played. And maybe with tier 3s, but it should fit in with well played tier 3s, and should actually drag behind well optimized tier 3s. It has a big base, but little potential to do truly broken amounts of damage- no more than any decent blaster.
    Last edited by Gorgondantess; 2010-06-23 at 07:56 PM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    Thank you, DW, for putting it in better words (and less) than I could have.

    And I'm not sure it's supposed to fit in with optimally played tier 1s and 2s... but certainly, at the bare minimum, well played. And maybe with tier 3s, but it should fit in with well played tier 3s, and should actually drag behind well optimized tier 3s. It has a big base, but little potential to do truly broken amounts of damage- no more than any decent blaster.
    No, it won't drag behind well optimized tier 3s. Without *anything* added in, it can easily out damage tier 3 classes using only their base features, and with items and feats, this only gets more powerful.

    You're comparing geared and feat using equal level PCs using meta-reduction powers and arcane thesis'ing themselves into only casting one spell efficiently against this class with no feat options, and it still puts out DPS within range of the other casters; give this it's own rod of maximize, or meta-SLA feats, and it deals far more than all but the most meta-cheesing casters. Plus, you know, Save or Sucks that deal direct damage exist, along with the numerous ways you can use direct damage spells to get battlefield control (Wings of Flurry, for one; even with a lower save, three Save or be Dazed in one round is pretty powerful as a mechanic even for casters, again barring absurd meta-cheese, which seems to be your baseline for well played), and of course there's Fell Drain, though I don't know if there's a feat to put that on a SLA or not.

    Basically, this won't fit into any reasonable campaign. If everybody is meta cheesing out multiple no save, just dies and contingent casting so they avoid the same, your blasting is never going to be adequate, and if you are in a game where that doesn't matter, you've still got more than enough breadth of options for Save or Sucks even within blasting that you can still force enemies to be status-locked the entire battle while still being significantly stronger than even a Wizard, because, without said meta cheese, nobody can compete with this class. This may be a tier 3 class due to lack of versatility (but it's far more versatile than the relevant specific list casters, and has more options than a Psion, so I contend it could be T2), but it's in such a niche area it's going to be either broken or useless, depending on the campaign.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-06-23 at 08:22 PM.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    I'm sick of defending this, at this point... I've made some solid points, but it seems like I'm obviously wrong. So, fine, it's a broken class.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    I'm sick of defending this, at this point... I've made some solid points, but it seems like I'm obviously wrong. So, fine, it's a broken class.
    The point I'm making is that you are comparing its damage output, at its base, to the damage output of a sorcerer using arcane thesis, arcane spellsurge, and quicken spell to get a similar amount of spells out (three feat plus heavy metamagic investment; three spell levels isn't cheap), or a Duskblade using items that cost a significant portion of his wealth by level to get similar damage... if you give this rods of Maximize or Metamagic SLA feats, it just gets a bigger advantage over other classes, and it's unfortunately best at something that is either nearly useless (three save or dies a round every round is pretty good, even compared to cheese'd out wizards) or completely broken depending on if you're playing a meta cheese level high op game or not.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-06-23 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Yeah, okay, like I said, it's a broken class. Fine.
    And it can't use metamagic rods.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Sorry if I'm upsetting you G. I guess I came across as trashing your work. I apologize.

    Let me phrase this is a different way that hopefully will not result in me putting my foot in my mouth again:

    Your class looks pretty sweet. It elegantly combines invocation-using and spellcasting, which I've never seen before in a base class, and it is extremely well-defined in terms of its role and capabilities. In your enthusiasm to enhance its grooviness, you have even given it some capabilities which set it apart even from very capable classes like wizard, sorcerer, and psion. As a result of those capabilities, you may find that you'd encounter play balance issues if you tried to run this in an actual game. However, I think you could easily resolve that concern by making some minor tweaks to a couple of your class features. With those tweaks, this class would be well-suited for play in many mid-and high-optimization games involving Tier 1 - 3 classes.

    You might wish to consider the tweaks I suggested in post #11.

    Again, please forgive my bad manners earlier. I don't mean to disparage your work or make you regret posting it here on the playground.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-06-23 at 10:14 PM.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Oh, no, you're not disparaging it; you're bringing up the fact that a lot of people will think it's broken. I don't, personally, but I realize that, in fact, most will think it's broken... so, therefore, it's not a very good thing to present to the community.
    As for the suggestions, I feel getting rid of the iteratives would cripple the class, likely dropping it down to high tier 4, and it actually has the exact same arcane channeling as a duskblade; I actually pretty much copypasta'd.
    Thing is, I like the class as it is now. A lot. You don't, and I don't think I'll be able to convince you otherwise, and that's fine. So, by the majority's standards, it's broken, and I'll concede to your... power, I suppose.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Well, if it suits you, then you've succeeded. After all, the point of homebrewing is generally to use what you make; if you'll enjoy using it, you've got a good class.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Well, if it suits you, then you've succeeded. After all, the point of homebrewing is generally to use what you make; if you'll enjoy using it, you've got a good class.
    Oh, I will, but publishing it to the community was a failure... as can be seen by the conversation on this thread.
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    Default Re: The Battlemage [D&D 3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    Oh, I will, but publishing it to the community was a failure... as can be seen by the conversation on this thread.
    Publishing for the community wasn't a failure, it's a chance to see how others may view something you made. If your own group is fine with this class, then by all means use it, but it is always helpful when homebrewing to know how the rest of the world sees a class.

    If the majority thinks it's balanced, than you can assume that any of your players or future players will give it consideration when making a new character. If it's unbalanced, showing it to the community is a good way to bring it up (or down) to par so that it isn't and instant choice or useless.

    Like you said, this class is fine in an optimized game, but in the average game, fighting against standard monsters following the MM CR, this, like all tier 1 and 2 classes, is overpowered. It simply is easier to abuse.

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