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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ziegander's Avatar

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    Default The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    The Hexblade



    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: 1d8

    Class Skills (4 + Int modifier): Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Arcane), Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Profession, Swim, and Tumble.

    Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Hexblades are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armors, but with no shields.

    Okay, now from here, since there has been so much dissent over what is appropriate for a Hexblade class and what isn't, I've written a second version of the class, which I think I like better anyway, but I present them both here in the first post, within their own respective spoilers, for your evaluation, comparison, and critique. I hope to hear more feedback soon!

    For reference, I have provided the altered and tweaked Dread Necromancer spell list (from which both Hexblades operate) below.

    Hexblade Reborn Vol.1
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    S. Level
    S. Known
    S. Pool
    1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Blade of Woe, Armored Mage (Light)
    1
    3
    3
    2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 Diehard
    1
    4
    3
    3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 Channel Spell
    1
    5
    3
    4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Dark Companion
    1
    6
    3
    5th +5 +1 +1 +4
    2
    7
    4
    6th +6/+1 +2 +2 +5 Improved Woe
    2
    8
    4
    7th +7/+2 +2 +2 +5 Armored Mage (Medium)
    2
    9
    4
    8th +8/+3 +2 +2 +6 Fear Not the Reaper I
    2
    10
    4
    9th +9/+4 +3 +3 +6
    3
    11
    4
    10th +10/+5 +3 +3 +7 Die Harder
    3
    12
    5
    11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +3 +7 Greater Woe
    3
    13
    5
    12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +4 +8 Dark Harrier
    3
    14
    5
    13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +4 +8
    4
    15
    5
    14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +4 +9 Fear Not the Reaper II
    4
    16
    5
    15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +5 +9 Aura of Unluck
    4
    17
    6
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +10 Terrible Woe
    4
    18
    6
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10
    5
    19
    6
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Deaththroes
    5
    20
    6
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Shadow of Death
    5
    21
    6
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Fear Not the Reaper III
    5
    22
    7

    Spells (Read Carefully): A Hexblade learns and pools arcane spells from the Dread Necromancer spell list. In order to cast a spell a Hexblade must have an Charisma score of at least 10+spell level. The save DCs of a Hexblade's spells are based on his Charisma. A Hexblade's caster level is equal to his class level. Hexblades do not get bonus spells. Hexblades begin play knowing three 1st level spells and learn an additional spell of any level he is capable of casting at every level beyond first level (check the S. Known column in the table above). The highest level spell a Hexblade is able to cast is given in the S. Level column in the table above.

    A Hexblade's spells do not use spell slots like a normal spellcaster. Instead after a 15 minute meditation, a Hexblade fills his spell pool. A Hexblade then may cast any of his known spells spontaneously, and each time he does he reduces his spell pool by 1. When a Hexblade's spell pool reaches 0 he cannot cast any further spells until he has refreshed some or all of his pool.

    Despite similarities to martial initiators a Hexblade does not automatically refresh his spell pool at the start of each encounter (see Blade of Woe).

    At 5th level, and every three levels thereafter, a Hexblade may lose a single spell known, to learn a new spell, of any level, up to the highest level of spells he knows.

    Blade of Woe (Su): The first time an enemy is struck by the Hexblade's melee attack during an encounter that enemy is cursed by necromantic energies and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks for 24 hours, during which time it is unable to regain hit points. At the end of each of the effected creature's turns it may attempt a Will saving throw DC (10+1/2 Hexblade level+Charisma modifier+1/previous failed attempt). If the creature succeeds it removes the curse and is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

    Further, a Hexblade may refresh his spell pool in one of the following ways:

    • At the end of each of the Hexblade's turns, if he is at or below 0 hit points but alive he adds 1 to his spell pool.
    • Whenever the Hexblade hits a cursed foe with a melee attack he adds 1 to his spell pool.
    • A Hexblade may spend an immediate action to fully refresh his spell pool anytime a cursed creature is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, but only if that creature's CR is no less than 1/2 his class level and had more than 0 hit points at the start of the round.


    Armored Mage (Ex): At 1st level a Hexblade ignores the arcane spell failure chance of light armor as well as light shields. At 6th level he ignores the arcane spell failure chance of medium armor as well.

    Diehard: At 2nd level, a Hexblade gains Diehard as a bonus feat whether he meets the prerequisites or not.

    Channel Spell (Sp): At 3rd level, a Hexblade has mastered the ability of combining of melee competence with magical power. As a standard action he may cast a spell and deliver it through a single melee attack without provoking attacks of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less, and regardless of the number of targets it could normally be assigned the spell must target only one creature. Personal spells or spells with an area effect may not be Channeled.

    The Hexblade makes a melee attack roll at his highest attack bonus. If the attack misses his spell is cast but is wasted. If the attack hits, the target of the attack (and only the target of the attack) is subject to the effects of the cast spell as if the Hexblade had succeeded on any attack rolls or spell penetration checks as the spell would normally require. The target of the attack is permitted any saving throws the spell would ordinarily allow.

    Spells that generate multiple touches, or rays, charge the Hexblade's weapon for multiple attacks. Each time he attacks with the weapon, one of the touches/rays is used until all have been used. Missing with an attack in this manner uses up one of the touches/rays. While the Hexblade's weapon remains charged in this way if he chooses to cast another spell with his Channel Spell ability any charges currently held in his weapon are lost.

    Dark Companion (Su): At 4th level, a Hexblade is able to create a shadowy companion out of raw necromantic energy. This companion can take on just about any form and size you wish as long as it is never larger than you are. Once created your Dark Companion stands with you in battle, hindering your enemies' defenses.

    A Dark Companion is an incorporeal Construct with speed equal to your own for movement rate and modes, hit points equal to 1/2 your own, AC and saving throws equal to your own, as well as a deflection modifier to AC and a Resistance modifier to saves each equal to your Charisma modifier. The Dark Companion acts during your turn each round and perfectly follows your commands (a free action).

    A Dark Companion's ability scores are Str , Dex 20, Con , Int , Wis 10, Cha 10. Its Dexterity increases by two points and its Wisdom and Charisma each increase by one point every 3 Hexblade levels you possess beyond 4th.

    Whenever your Dark Companion enters a creature's square and vice versa, the other creature is dealt 1d6 negative energy damage +1d6/five Hexblade levels. Any creature sharing a square with your Dark Companion suffers a -2 penalty to AC and saving throws.

    A Dark Companion may be dispelled or suppressed as if it were a spell effect with a level equal to that of the highest Dread Necromancer spell you are able to cast. A Dark Companion that is destroyed or dispelled rematerializes at your side 1 hour later.

    Improved Woe (Su): Starting at 6th level, the penalty from a Hexblade's Blade of Woe increases to -4 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 1d10 negative energy damage.

    Fear Not the Reaper I (Su): Starting at 8th level, a Hexblade is immune to fear and all curse effects and may be healed by negative energy as well as positive energy.

    Die Harder (Su): Starting at 10th level, a Hexblade is able to withstand hellish wounds that would slay other men. He does not die when reduced to -10 hitpoints, instead he dies when is reduced to negative hitpoints equal to 10+(Charisma modifier times 1/2 Class Level), or 10, whichever is higher. Further, while between 0 and -10 hitpoints, he may choose to act normally instead of disabled as the Diehard feat.

    Beyond -10 hitpoints may choose to act, however, if he does, he is considered disabled, and while taking strenuous actions he damages himself 1d4 points. During any round in which the Hexblade is below -10 hit points, if he acted that round he suffers a -2 penalty to saving throws and cannot regain hit points.

    Greater Woe (Su): Starting at 11th level, the penalty from a Hexblade's Blade of Woe increases to -6 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 3d10 negative energy damage.

    Dark Harrier (Su): Starting at 12th level, creatures that share a space with your Dark Companion cannot make attacks of opportunity and always provoke attacks of opportunity from threatening creatures for movement even when they use Tumble checks, 5ft steps, or the Withdraw action. Your Dark Companion always follows such a creature when it takes a 5ft step (this doesn't deal the creature additional negative energy damage).

    Further, the penalty to AC and saving throws bestowed by your Dark Companion is increased to -4.

    Fear Not the Reaper II (Su): Starting at 14th level, a Hexblade is immune to death and paralysis effects as well as ability damage or drain, and takes no penalties from being resurrected.

    Aura of Unluck (Su): Starting at 15th level, all foes within 60ft of the Hexblade must roll twice when making an attack roll, skill check, or ability check and must take the worst result.

    Terrible Woe (Su): Starting at 16th level, the penalty from a Hexblade's Blade of Woe increases to -8 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 6d10 negative energy damage.

    Deaththroes (Su): Starting at 18th level, the first time each encounter that the Hexblade is brought to 0 or fewer hitpoints, he unleashes a horrible wave of negative energy dealing 1d6 negative energy damage per class level to all living foes within 60ft as well as causing a Wail of the Banshee effect within the area as the spell. Living allies in the area are unaffected, but undead allies in the area are healed by the negative energy.

    Shadow of Death (Su): Starting at 19th level, as long as the Hexblade is at -10 or fewer hitpoints, he may spend a swift action and 1 spell pool to produce a shadow double of himself. In effect, this grants him an extra full-round action, taken by the Shadow. The Shadow has hitpoints equal to 1/2 the Hexblade's total hitpoints, and continues to grant extra actions until it is slain, or for up to 5 rounds. The Shadow itself is immune to all effects that do not deal hitpoint damage, however it is subject to any effects that the Hexblade himself is subject to.

    Fear Not the Reaper III (Su): Starting at 20th level you no longer fear the reaper because you are the reaper! Anytime you make an attack of opportunity against a foe treat that foe as helpless and as if you were making a Coup de Grace.

    Further, by spending a swift or immediate action and 1 spell pool you may assume the form of a Greater Shadow for 1 round.


    Hexblade Reborn Vol.2
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    S. Level
    S. Known
    S. Pool
    1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Armored Mage (Medium), Hexblade's Curse
    1
    3
    3
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Blade of Woe (10)
    1
    4
    3
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Channel Spell
    1
    5
    3
    4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Fell Weaken
    1
    6
    3
    5th +5 +4 +1 +4
    2
    7
    4
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Blade of Woe (20)
    2
    8
    4
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Improved Curse
    2
    9
    4
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Fell Drain
    2
    10
    4
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6
    3
    11
    4
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Blade of Woe (30)
    3
    12
    5
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Greater Curse
    3
    13
    5
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Fell Animate
    3
    14
    5
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8
    4
    15
    5
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Blade of Woe (40)
    4
    16
    5
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Dire Curse
    4
    17
    6
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Fell Channel
    4
    18
    6
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10
    5
    19
    6
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Blade of Woe (50)
    5
    20
    6
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Irresistible Curse
    5
    21
    6
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Black Blade of Disaster
    5
    22
    7

    Spells (Read Carefully): A Hexblade learns and pools arcane spells from the Dread Necromancer spell list. In order to cast a spell a Hexblade must have an Charisma score of at least 10+spell level. The save DCs of a Hexblade's spells are based on his Charisma. A Hexblade's caster level is equal to his class level. Hexblades do not get bonus spells. Hexblades begin play knowing three 1st level spells and learn an additional spell of any level he is capable of casting at every level beyond first level (check the S. Known column in the table above). The highest level spell a Hexblade is able to cast is given in the S. Level column in the table above.

    A Hexblade's spells do not use spell slots like a normal spellcaster. Instead after a 15 minute meditation, a Hexblade fills his spell pool. A Hexblade then may cast any of his known spells spontaneously, and each time he does he reduces his spell pool by 1. When a Hexblade's spell pool reaches 0 he cannot cast any further spells until he has refreshed some or all of his pool.

    Despite similarities to martial initiators a Hexblade does not automatically refresh his spell pool at the start of each encounter (see Hexblade's Curse).

    At 5th level, and every three levels thereafter, a Hexblade may lose a single spell known, to learn a new spell, of any level, up to the highest level of spells he knows.

    Armored Mage (Ex): At 1st level a Hexblade ignores the arcane spell failure chance of light and medium armor as well as light shields.

    Hexblade's Curse (Su): Hexblades are creatures inflicted with a terrible necromantic curse that fills their bodies with negative energy, steals their humanity from them, and perverts their existence. Humanoid Hexblades have their type changed to Monstrous Humanoid, Undead Hexblades' types are unchanged, and all other Hexblades' types are changed to Aberration. Though this change in type indicates a certain strangeness acquired, leaving the Hexblade somewhat paler, somewhat gaunter, somewhat feral, the character also becomes eerily alluring.

    The body of a Hexblade is unable to regain hit points from natural healing and receives only half the benefit of effects that would restore the hit points of living creatures (such as Cure spells). On the other hand, a Hexblade may regain hit points from negative energy the way an Undead would and regains a number of hit points every 24 hours equal to their Charisma modifier.

    Hexblades are specially vulnerable to divine damage, such as derived from the Flame Strike spell and may be harmed by Holy Water or similar substances and effects. Positive energy does not damage a Hexblade but leaves it sickened for 1 round.

    At the beginning of any round in which the Hexblade is at 0 hit points or below but still alive he adds 1 to his spell pool.

    Being filled with necromantic power and energy, a Hexblade is able to use their affliction as a weapon, channeling curses into their foes and siphoning dark forces to cast and replenish spells. As a Hexblade gains levels he learns additional, more powerful ways to harness their curse.

    At 1st level a Hexblade may channel their curse through a melee weapon such that the first time an enemy is struck by the Hexblade's melee attack during an encounter that enemy is cursed by necromantic energies and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks for 24 hours, during which time it is unable to regain hit points. At the end of each of the effected creature's turns it may attempt a Will saving throw DC (10+1/2 Hexblade level+Charisma modifier+1/previous failed attempt). If the creature succeeds it removes the curse and is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

    If a Hexblade hits a cursed foe, whether by Hexblade's Curse or another curse effect, he adds 1 to his spell pool.

    If a cursed creature within 60ft of the Hexblade is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, and that creature had more than 0 hit points at the start of the round and has a CR no less than 1/2 the Hexblade's level the Hexblade's spell pool is fully refreshed automatically.

    Blade of Woe (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a Hexblade develops a thirst for blood and carnage, thriving on the pain and fear of his enemies. He gains a pool of blood points to which he adds any damage he deals to his enemies to a maximum of 10 points. A Hexblade only accrues blood points for damage he deals to creatures with a manufactured or natural melee weapon and whose CR is no less than 1/2 his class level. He may spend these points at any time to produce special effects, additional curses, or riders upon his attacks. Every four levels beyond 2nd, a Hexblade's maximum pool of blood points increases by 10. He is able to spend these points for the following effects:

    Fell Charm - As a swift action he may spend 10 points to cause a single, non-hostile creature within 60ft that can see the Hexblade to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Hexblade level+Charisma modifier). If the save fails that creature's attitude improves by up to two steps (to a maximum of Helpful).

    Red Wine - The Hexblade feasts on the blood of his foes as a standard action, spending any number of points to regain an equal number of hit points. For every 5 points spent this way he gains a +1 enhancement bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (max +6) which lasts 3 rounds.

    Channel Spell (Sp): At 3rd level, a Hexblade has mastered the ability of combining of melee competence with magical power. As a standard action he may cast a spell and deliver it through a single melee attack without provoking attacks of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less, and regardless of the number of targets it could normally be assigned the spell must target only one creature. Personal spells or spells with an area effect may not be Channeled.

    The Hexblade makes a melee attack roll at his highest attack bonus. If the attack misses his spell is cast but is wasted. If the attack hits, the target of the attack (and only the target of the attack) is subject to the effects of the cast spell as if the Hexblade had succeeded on any attack rolls or spell penetration checks as the spell would normally require. The target of the attack is permitted any saving throws the spell would ordinarily allow.

    Spells that generate multiple touches, or rays, charge the Hexblade's weapon for multiple attacks. Each time he attacks with the weapon, one of the touches/rays is used until all have been used. Missing with an attack in this manner uses up one of the touches/rays. While the Hexblade's weapon remains charged in this way if he chooses to cast another spell with his Channel Spell ability any charges currently held in his weapon are lost.

    Fell Weaken (Su): Starting at 4th level, a Hexblade may spend 10 blood points as a swift action to cause a struck foe to suffer a -4 penalty to a single ability score for 3 rounds. At the end of the third round the foe must make a Fort save (DC 10+1/2 Hexblade level+Charisma modifier). If this save fails the ability penalty is converted to ability damage.

    Improved Curse (Su): Starting at 7th level, when you channel your Hexblade's Curse into a foe the penalty increases to -4 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 1d10 negative energy damage.

    Fell Drain (Su): Starting at 8th level, by spending a swift action and increments of 10 blood points, for every 10 points a Hexblade spends he may cause a struck foe to suffer 1 temporary negative level. After three rounds the foe is entitled to a Fort save (DC 10+1/2Hexblade level+Charisma modifier) to remove the negative levels. If the save fails the negative levels are removed, but replaced with actual level losses.

    Greater Curse (Su): Starting at 11th level, when you channel your Hexblade's Curse into a foe the penalty increases to -6 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 3d10 negative energy damage.

    Fell Animate (Su): Starting at 12th level, a Hexblade may spend 30 blood points as a swift action to force a struck foe to succeed on a Will save (DC 10+1/2Hexblade level+Charisma modifier) or be raised as Undead under the Hexblade's control upon being slain. This otherwise works as the Fell Animate feat.

    Dire Curse (Su): Starting at 15th level, when you channel your Hexblade's Curse into a foe the penalty increases to -8 and at the end of the effected creature's turn, unless it successfully removes the curse with a saving throw, it is dealt 6d10 negative energy damage.

    Fell Channel (Su): Starting at 16th level, a Hexblade may spend 40 blood points and attempt his Channel Spell ability against all foes within 60ft as a full round action. He makes his melee attack roll as normal, but compares it to the AC of all foes in the area, even if he doesn't threaten them. For each AC he meets or exceeds, he strikes the foe, dealing damage as if via a melee attack and afflicting the foe with the cast spell as normal.

    Irresistible Curse (Su): Beginning at 19th level, whenever a foe is cursed by your Hexblade's Curse ability it no longer gets a saving throw to remove the curse at the end of each of its rounds.

    Black Blade of Disaster (Su): Starting at 20th level, a Hexblade may spend 50 blood points as a swift action to convert any held melee weapon into a Black Blade of Disaster as the spell except that you hold it, and using your own attack bonus you may make as many attacks with it per round as your base attack bonus allows. You may release the blade causing it to attack a target once per round on its own as per the spell's normal usage. This effect lasts for 3 rounds.


    Dread Necro Spell list
    Spoiler
    Show

    0 - Chill Touch, Detect Magic, Detect Undead, Gentle Repose, Hide From Undead, Inflict Minor Wounds1, Lesser Confusion, Undetectable Alignment

    1 - Bane, Bestow Wound, Command Undead, Death Knell, Doom, Inflict Light Wounds*, Kelgore's Grave Mist, Lesser Shivering Touch2, Ray of Exhaustion, Reduce Person, Polar Ray, Protection from Chaos/Evil, Scare, Spectral Hand, Summon Undead I

    2 - Augury, Cone of Cold, Crushing Despair, Darkness, Dead Mens' Tales3, Desecrate4, False Life5, Gaseous Form, Ghoul Touch, Inflict Moderate Wounds*, Nightmare, Rigor Mortis, Summon Swarm, Summon Undead II, Touch of Idiocy, Vampiric Touch, Waves of Fatigue

    3 - Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Confusion, Death Ward, Dispel Magic, Fear, Greater Shivering Touch6, Inflict Serious Wounds*, Magic Circle Against Chaos/Evil, Slow, Speak With Dead, Stinking Cloud, Summon Undead III, Symbol of Pain

    4 - Arcane Eye, Contagion, Black Tentacles, Call Forth the Beast, Dimensional Anchor, Enervation, Giant Vermin, Inflict Critical Wounds*, Mass Inflict Moderate Wounds*, Mind Poison, Poison, Summon Undead IV, Symbol of Fear, Unhallow

    5 - Blight, Cloudkill, Dismemberment7, Feeblemind, Freezing Sphere, Greater Dispel Magic, Insect Plague, Lesser Planar Ally, Mass Inflict Serious Wounds*, Oath of Blood, Slay Living, Summon Undead V, Undeath to Death, Waves of Exhaustion

    6 - Acid Fog, Antilife Shell, Astral Jaunt8, Chain of Sorrow, Circle of Death, Control Undead, Create Undead, Eyebite, Harm, Mass Inflict Critical Wounds*, Power Word Blind, Prying Eyes, Symbol of Weakness

    7 - Binding, Destruction, Horrid Wilting, Energy Drain, Imprison Soul, Pact of Return, Planar Ally, Power Word Stun, Symbol of Death, Vile Death

    8 - Astral Projection, Clone, Create Greater Undead, Greater Prying Eyes, Power Word Kill

    9 - Greater Planar Ally, Mass Harm, Plague of Undead, Wail of the Banshee, Soul Binding9

    *Spells of the Cure and Inflict line have a range of Medium (100ft +10ft/level) rather than Touch. When either is used to restore hit points the spells use d12s but when used to deal damage they use d8s. The Mass versions have a range of Long (400ft +40ft/level) rather than Short and omit the phrase "no two of which may be more than 30ft apart" from the target entry.
    1 - Inflict Minor Wounds deals 1d3 damage rather than just 1 or 1d8. It can't be used to restore hit points.
    2 - Lesser Shivering Touch inflicts a penalty to Dexterity equal to 1d6+1/caster level (max 1d6+5) and lasts for 1 round per caster level. Each round on the victim's turn it's dealt 1d6 cold damage.
    3 - Dead Mens' Tales works like Divine Insight granting a bonus to a chosen skill check equal to +5, +1 per caster level (max +15) for 1 hour.
    4 - Consecrate and Desecrate respectively deal 1d6 positive or negative energy damage to undead in the area at the start of each round. The area of each spell is 20ft per caster level.
    5 - False Life grants 1d10 temporary hit points +1 per caster level +1d10/three caster levels beyond 3rd.
    5 - Greater Shivering Touch inflicts a penalty to Dexterity equal to 3d6+1/caster level (no max) and lasts for 1 minute per caster level. Each round on the victim's turn it's dealt 1d6 cold damage.
    7 - Dismemberment. Components: V, S, DF. Casting Time: 1 standard action. Range: touch. Target: creature touched. Duration: instantaneous. Saving Throw: fort halves. Spell resistance: Yes. Effect: deals 4d12 untyped damage +1 per caster level as well as 1d12 dexterity damage, 1d12 strength damage, and 1d12 Constitution damage (save halves all damage).
    8 - As Ethereal Jaunt except that you travel to the Astral Plane alone.
    9 - As Soul Bind, but also you may expend a 9th level spell slot as a standard action to summon the form of the trapped soul as it was in life, an effect which lasts 1 round/caster level. This does not consume the trapped soul or destroy the imprisoning black sapphire gem. While summoned in this way, the form has all memories of it's life and access to all of its former abilities, but answers to your commands (a free action).
    Last edited by Ziegander; 2015-04-22 at 02:49 PM.
    Homebrew


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    Special Thanks: Kymme! You and your awesome avatarist skills have made me a Lore Warden in addition to King of Fighter Fixes!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Silva Stormrage's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (a Work in Progress)

    Very interesting can't wait to see what the spell casting is like. As a suggestion though, you might want to not do Dread Necromancer because it has a very focused spell list and you might not want to use it alone. Maybe add necromancy wizard spells to that spell list but doesn't really matter.

    Armored casting: Very interesting

    Channel Spell: You might want to just copy paste the paragraph so ppl don't have to go to another page.

    I like die harder as well it seems like it would give a lot of HP though at later levels, maybe make the penalties stack up until he stops acting for a round?

    I think the capstone needs work though

    Overall a nice fix for Hexblade, I don't really think it boosts its power by that much though. Probably still in tier 4.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazuki View Post
    ...Silva, you are a scary person.
    Awesome Avatar by Derjuin

    My Homebrew: Here
    The Necromantic Codex: A collection of necromancy classes, items and monsters.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hyudra's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (a Work in Progress)

    I think it's a damn shame the Hexblade doesn't get a Familiar, as it (was) one of the classes best able to make use of that particular class feature (since familiars inherit saves, BAB, some hp, skills from the master). One of my favorite characters to date was a hexblade with a winter wolf improved familiar.

    Dead levels aren't fun.

    I'm reading the class and to be 100% frank, I'm feeling like it's somewhat underpowered. The core issues of the base Hexblade persist (you're fairly mediocre at melee and mediocre at spellcasting, with a few decent bits besides), but you're actually losing stuff.
    • You have less HP per HD.
    • You don't get Mettle.
    • You don't get arcane resistance.
    • It's far easier to spend spells than to regain them. As you, RAW, don't get spells refreshed for a full night's rest, you'll eventually be put in a situation of willingly being brought under 0 hp and kept there to regain your spells, then healing up after, because it's the only reliable way to refresh 'em.
    • I'd suggest listing a move speed and size for the dark companion, lest players give it an Ancient Wyrm's form and extrapolate the wyrm's space & move speed to be the Dark Companion's.


    I do like the concept of the Dark Companion, though it scales poorly. It needs to gain damage steadily enough to stay relevant (2d6 is pretty poor at high levels).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    Very interesting can't wait to see what the spell casting is like. As a suggestion though, you might want to not do Dread Necromancer because it has a very focused spell list and you might not want to use it alone. Maybe add necromancy wizard spells to that spell list but doesn't really matter.
    Good point. I'll have to look at the spell list again, but I'm not sure it's a big problem. I remember it having several potent options for Channel Spell.

    Channel Spell: You might want to just copy paste the paragraph so ppl don't have to go to another page.
    I will eventually. This is just a thread started, a work in progress, to make sure I didn't forget what I was doing.

    Now, @Hyudra: I'll try to remain civil, but it's almost like you didn't read the class thoroughly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    Dead levels aren't fun.
    At each of the "dead" levels he learns a higher level spell than he had before. Not dead.

    You have less HP per HD.
    And yet with Diehard and Die Harder you have a HUGE number of "virtual" hp.

    You don't get Mettle.
    You don't get arcane resistance.
    No you don't, but in return you do get a VASTLY more powerful version of Hexblade's Curse a more powerful version of Dark Companion and several very useful immunities.

    It's far easier to spend spells than to regain them. As you, RAW, don't get spells refreshed for a full night's rest, you'll eventually be put in a situation of willingly being brought under 0 hp and kept there to regain your spells, then healing up after, because it's the only reliable way to refresh 'em.
    You realize that the Spells section is perhaps 20% complete, right? It is going to have a spell granting mechanic that is somewhat similar to the Swordsaint, but with some differences. This means that it will very likely be able to spend 15 minutes to refresh its spells.

    I'd suggest listing a move speed and size for the dark companion, lest players give it an Ancient Wyrm's form and extrapolate the wyrm's space & move speed to be the Dark Companion's.

    I do like the concept of the Dark Companion, though it scales poorly. It needs to gain damage steadily enough to stay relevant (2d6 is pretty poor at high levels).
    Argh. I had the speed listed earlier, but I deleted it because I had strange plans for it, that I also changed, and then I never put the speed back in. It should be equal to your movement speed and movement modes. The size is listed though, as in any size your size or smaller.

    Earlier it dealt 1d6 negative energy damage +1d6/five Hexblade levels. Does that seem more appropriate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    At each of the "dead" levels he learns a higher level spell than he had before. Not dead.
    Depends on your definition of 'dead level', then. I generally (and IIRC WotC did as well, in their online supplements to address dead levels) interpreted it as being a level where you didn't get a new class feature. Spells are a class feature you got at level one.

    But getting away from semantics, I'll just say that I wouldn't look forward to taking the 5th level in the class. I get a second level spell, standard BAB and save progression? Same idea for 9th, 13th and 17th levels. It's not enticing, especially drawing from the (limited in scope) DN spell list. One may well have party members with a half dozen or more 3rd level spells already.

    Hybrids are hard, really. I was confronted with that hard fact when I tried my hand at the Storm Giant monster class (Bruiser/caster). The designer admitted he made a lot of mistakes with the original Hexblade and that WotC's attempts to redo it and make it relevant with the Duskblade still fell short of what it should've been.

    Look towards the Duskblade for a better Gish. The Duskblade tries to handle the gish bit by having you cast spells and attack in the same action. Which is great. The Ziegander Hexblade, by contrast, can only do one or the other, and though you've got a good curse and dark companion debuffing enemies, your attacks themselves and the spells are lackluster by virtue of your split focus. I feel that leaning on the (gimped in selection/progression/# known) spells on their own as a class feature may be doing the Ziegander Hexblade a disservice.

    And yet with Diehard and Die Harder you have a HUGE number of "virtual" hp.
    I'm not 100% sold. Yes, it's a 10hp buffer (which is equivalent to the +10 hp you'd have, on average, from 10 levels with a d10 HD vs. a d8 HD). But Die Harder, as I'm reading it, doesn't let you futz around when you're at -30hp. You go below -10 and you're dying as normal... so yeah, if that's the case you've got a bit of elbow room should you fall first in battle with allies willing to cover you, but if you don't have such someone's just going to come along and coup de grace you, maybe a few times.

    No you don't, but in return you do get a VASTLY more powerful version of Hexblade's Curse a more powerful version of Dark Companion and several very useful immunities.
    Well, I don't know that I'd say ~vastly~ improved. While Blade of Woe offers more potential uses a day and slightly better scaling, it's also a lot more effort to pull off. A standard Hexblade can use it as a free action. A Ziegander Hexblade needs to hit the enemy. Depending on how high your overall stats are, this may wind up being less rounds of effective cursing over the course of an adventuring day.

    I mean, assume your initiative isn't all that (you're focusing str, some con, some wis to keep your save up, some cha for your DCs, you've only got some left for dex for AC/reflex/initiative). You go towards the middle-end of combat, you've got to pass on casting spells, close in and successfully hit, then the enemy gets to make a saving throw. The enemy you most want to curse may well be inaccessible (the cleric of Nerull standing behind a wall of undead) All that besides, a round or two later combat may well be over.

    Compare to the Hexblade that can use the curse as a free action at the onset of combat, on the target of her choice.

    What I'm getting at is that yes, you do offer some better scaling and more potential uses a day, (and you offer some gravy (the damage 1 round after the curse takes effect), which is good) but there's some tradeoffs that offset that, and that's on top of losing mettle & arcane resistance, which were nice.

    You realize that the Spells section is perhaps 20% complete, right? It is going to have a spell granting mechanic that is somewhat similar to the Swordsaint, but with some differences. This means that it will very likely be able to spend 15 minutes to refresh its spells.
    No I did not realize you hadn't finished it. Something to watch out for, anyways.

    Earlier it dealt 1d6 negative energy damage +1d6/five Hexblade levels. Does that seem more appropriate?
    That seems just a mite low. Depends on how much emphasis you want to place on it though.

    Overall, not bad. I don't know if it fits my personal idea of what a Hexblade is or how one operates, but I'm biased as my longest running and favorite character I ran with was one. That said, you did a good job of giving it a distinct feel, separate from other classes, and you've done well at giving it strong flavor.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2011-05-10 at 01:12 AM.

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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    Personally, I've never been a fan of spellcasting on the Hexblade - it never really 'felt' right, even though it did on your Paladin re-write. Feel free to pillage ideas from my Hexblade rewrite (see siggy) if you need inspiration, incidentally.

    I don't have much more specific to add, except that I agree in large part with Hyudra's comments.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    Dang you guys both posted right before I made the final edits to the Hexblade's mechanics. The Hexblade now casts easily recoverable spells spontaneously and gets some very powerful abilities as he gains levels.

    Hyudra your major points seem to be (correct me if I'm wrong)

    1) This Hexblade doesn't get free action or ranged Hexblade's Curse.

    and

    2) "The Ziegander Hexblade, by contrast, can only do one or the other [attack or cast spells]"

    But remember, this Hexblade gets spells at 1st level. Spontaneous, recoverable spells, including Bane for something of a standard action Hexblade's Curse, Mass. It also gets Channel Spell at 3rd level, allowing it not only to do exactly what you weren't yet aware it could do (because of the link I assume you just missed it from skimming too quickly), but allowing it to play the whole "cast spells and attack in the same action" game MUCH better than the Duskblade (other than it doesn't get the full attack option at later levels).
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    Eh, you've got some wording cleanups to make on the current setup, but I honestly don't like it. The Dark Companion feature (and its dependent features) don't really seem to fit well for me, and they taste bad when I turn 'em over in my head. Woe and its improvements come across as underwhelming; your Fear Not the Reaper feature comes across as kinda boring. Honestly, Zie, the entire class fails to grab the attention, and that's bad - players shouldn't yawn playing it. The dead levels continue to be a problem, and gaining spells or new spell levels doesn't help alleviate that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Eh, you've got some wording cleanups to make on the current setup[...].
    What is possibly the only relevant comment here. Where do have wording errors? I usually have a bunch when I write a class. My brain fixes errors for me when I read over something, so I always need someone to point them out.

    The Dark Companion feature (and its dependent features) don't really seem to fit well for me, and they taste bad when I turn 'em over in my head.
    k.

    Woe and its improvements come across as underwhelming; your Fear Not the Reaper feature comes across as kinda boring.
    k.

    Honestly, Zie, the entire class fails to grab the attention, and that's bad - players shouldn't yawn playing it. The dead levels continue to be a problem, and gaining spells or new spell levels doesn't help alleviate that.
    The class may fail to grab YOUR attention, that much is clear, but luckily for me you aren't the only critic here.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    Regarding the Dark Companion: incorporeal creatures only have fly speeds. Have its fly speed be equal to your base land speed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Regarding the Dark Companion: incorporeal creatures only have fly speeds. Have its fly speed be equal to your base land speed.
    You're probably right in that printed incorporeal creatures have only fly speeds, but I don't see a rule in the SRD stating that incorporeal creatures have only fly speeds. I just re-read the Incorporeal Subtype entry to be sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    The dead levels continue to be a problem, and gaining spells or new spell levels doesn't help alleviate that.

    Out of all of that, thats the only thing I agree with, and strongly suggest some fun fluff to fill those in. Perhaps a passive ability that helps you because you have learned to curse better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    The class may fail to grab YOUR attention, that much is clear, but luckily for me you aren't the only critic here.
    That doesn't mean he's not the only one that shares that opinion. The Hexblade, as presented in the CW supplement, didn't really had more of a necromantic feel than a dark or shady feel. The curse and the aura were meant to be an unsettling presence. In this case, the unsettling presence is replaced by a difficulty to die, which while unsettling isn't really unnerving enough (maybe for a warrior, but the Wizard won't have much trouble taking you down in any case).

    Even the spells were meant to be unsettling; it's mostly necromancy since most of the fear effects are there, alongside some transmutation for the buffs, but it also had enchantment and illusion spells to play with the enemy's minds. Notice that it has buffs (it's a melee character, of course) and various utility spells (Magic Aura, Light, Alarm, Identify) to make it useful. The Dread Necro spell list has too much of a focus on necromancy spells: of 1st level, only Detect Magic, Detect Undead, Hide from Undead and the Summon Undead spells (4 out of 12 spells) are non-Necromancy; Darkness, Summon Swarm and Summon Undead II for level 2 (3 out of 12 spells); Crushing Despair and Summon Undead III for level 3 (2 out of 8 spells); Dispel Magic, Evard's Black Tentacles, Giant Vermin, Phantasmal Killer and Summon Undead V for level 4 (5 out of 12 spells, with Death Ward repeated in levels 3 and 4); Cloudkill, Fire in the Blood, Greater Dispel Magic, Insect Plague and Lesser Planar Binding for level 5 (5 out of 15 spells). While most of the necromancy line of spells is unsettling enough, it sacrifices far too much; it's meant for a debuffing spellcaster and not a gish, which could use some defensive and self-buffing spells. Compare the original Hexblade spell list, which has a few gems (Invisibility, Mirror Image, Rage, See Invisibility, Greater Magic Weapon, Phantom Steed, Resist Energy, Stinking Cloud, Slow, Break Enchantment, Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility, Solid Fog, and those are actually from the CW spell list; they get more support on other supplements) and you can notice that the focus on spell list doesn't really improve the Hexblade but weakens it. Consider working with a larger spell list, offering several options per level and reducing certain spells from their respective levels (such as placing Dispel Magic on 2nd level) to help them, because half of your power will be mostly unused if facing an enemy that has Death Ward (no, really!). That reduces the unsettling presence of your Hexblade, and makes it less interesting than going full Dread Necromancer (which gets all of the mentioned spells faster, has great resilience towards many effects, and eventually becomes a Lich if you go all 20 levels, not to mention that you can reinforce your spell list with Sand Shaper if you want and probably end up as a Dry Lich in exchange, thanks to the Sandstorm supplement).

    The other thing is the immunities. Some time ago, when working on homebrew, I asked a few people how to deal with immunities. The best answer was "give them none if your saving throws are high enough"; that means immunities should have a reason to exist, but if you're almost already immune then there's no reason why to work it out. First thing I notice is that your Fortitude is really, really, really weak for a melee warrior that dabbles in spellcasting; that is really bad, because you'll be stopped by many things that stop wizards but won't have the immunities against them. Second, the first set of immunities comes a bit too late, and it really doesn't offer that much (Will immunities, striking your highest saving throw); then, at level 14, you get Fortitude-based immunities a bit too late (when the Fortitude saves are unbearably high). Lacking the Arcane Resistance ability of the Hexblade is equally bad, because that could offer at least some safety against enemy spells, which is what causes most of the saving throws in first place. This contrasts a lot with the perception of the class of being "nigh-indestructible", what with Die Harder making you a relentless warrior; the fact that you can't resist most of the spells you'd be expected to resist as a warrior really leaves a bad taste on the mouth. What's worse, the hit dice (d8!? On a melee warrior!? I know the Ranger has it, but it has a few other nice things; but a melee warrior!? Really!?) and the armor proficiency make you pretty weak. The chassis behind it is all wrong, because it's almost like having a Dread Necromancer with full BAB replacing half the spellcasting ability (and even more; I'd estimate a 60-70% really) and the ability to turn into a lich for...abilities meant to make you more resilient. And the spells it receives don't really provide lots of defense, so it approaches a one-hit wonder status really, really fast. Consider that a fighter can probably one-hit the Hexblade with not much effort: assume a DC 15 from Charisma 18 against a reasonable +5 Fortitude save bonus, and you have 50% of landing your attack; by the moment you pull that off, the Fighter will probably land one hit with a two-handed weapon for +5 to attack, and probably +6 to damage, against your 8-12 HP and probably an AC of 16-17 at most, that means 40-50% chance to hit and then a >50% chance of one-hitting you, and that's without Power Attack active. As you gain levels, the poor HP and reliance on light armor (or Mithral medium armor) will make your AC suffer, and since you lack proper illusive defenses (Blur, Mirror Image), you'll be hit pretty quick. Then, anything that affects your Fortitude will likewise affect you real quick, and you'll be out for the count real, real fast (I'd worry if the chances of a Monk to land a successful Stunning Fist with little optimization exceed 50%). So, please consider offering better HP and Fortitude saves to up its resilience. It will make those 7-13 levels before you get the immunities much, much better and it may potentially preclude the need for immunities at all (though if you wish to give it to them, then fine!).

    I gather that what Gareth says is simple: there's a lack of options for your Hexblade to play, because it's pretty focused in what it can do: curse with melee attacks, channel attack spells and hope they can recover their spells fast enough, and...well, hope they don't die. How you do your melee attacks is how you may differ, and probably which spells you can work with, but aside from that you'll be mostly similar to other builds of the same class AND doing the same tricks as well. If your melee attack fails (and there are many ways to do so), you can't curse them; if you can't land your attacks, you can't land your spells either and that controls you. If you get blinded (and most saves vs. blindness are Fortitude-based), nauseated, stunned, dazed or even held (again, most of them Fortitude based), you're out of the game and you can't even use your spells to block that out. The lack of toys to play with is what makes it boring; an enemy with high Fortitude will take pretty much 80% of your tricks off the table, and monsters are notoriously high on Fortitude. Add AC, and then you'll be constantly behind because you don't even have a proper damage input option to work with. It does mostly a few things (debuffing and attacking) and does them poorly (you need to debuff before attacking, and most of your debuffs can be resisted rather easily), which isn't really a good thing.

    So go for a radical improvement. Make Fortitude important once again, improve the spell list so that it really becomes useful, add non-AC defenses and consider raiding the old Hexblade list for proper spells, reduce the level of a few spells and consider raising others so that you can take advantage of Channel Spell, and allow it some utility as well, so that it can help outside of battle as well as inside.

    Oh, and notice how the dead levels are positioned. You can provide the Hexblade with an ability that starts at 5th level and progresses every 4 levels, because it really sets up for that. Even Advanced Learning works fine, because it expands your spell list, which needs some improvement. I'd prefer that you reconsider what you wish to do with your class (whether you want to make it a melee Dread Necro or a melee warrior that's nearly unbeatable and just keeps going even if you take him down) before you make any enhancements, because right now, it offers really little.
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    Everything Oskar just said is what I woulda said if I wasn't falling over from exhaustion at the time, with the following added rider: the Dark Companion class feature feels deeply and intensely wrong on this class to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    I wouldn't be opposed to giving it a good Fort rather than good Will. It was a snap decision and not a part of the class that I'm attached to. Even giving it Good Fort AND Will isn't out of the question. Also the Fort save on Blade of Woe is an easy to change to a Will save if it comes to that. I went with Fort only because of the imagery that popped into my head as I wrote the ability and thought of the Hexblade's dark energies worming their way through a foe's veins.

    What I am attached to is the Dread Necromancer spell list. Yes, this rewrite is supposed to be making the Hexblade into the melee Dread Necro. However, I will be taking your comments on fiddling with the spell list some into consideration. I was already planning on looking it over, tweaking some of the existing spells and lowering/raising some spell levels like I did with the Warmage spell list and the Priest spell list, so no worries there. I already have some ideas for additions and tweaks to the spell list, I just haven't had the time to get to this yet.

    It is intentionally not the front line bruiser that the Mageknight and Swordsaint both are. It is intentionally more fragile because it can disrupt enemy defenses in ways that neither of those classes could come close to matching. It's a delicate balancing act. At 1st level, yes, the class is very fragile, but it also has strong debuffing capabilities and spontaneous casting of its spell pool to spam even more debuffs, something the other gishes in this series cannot do. Raising the HD to d10s is something I'm not 100% opposed to, but from an aesthetic standpoint I'm not in the mood for it.

    The thing about "lack of differences in build" or the class being "boring" is that the class is intentionally designed to be quick and easy to play. I've never been a huge fan of classes that offer twenty different choices of class feature every level such as with Szatany's Ultimate classes. They just aren't my cup of tea. I don't go around in threads of such classes and tell them that their classes are too busy. My design philosophy, at least for this particular class, is directly opposed to that philosophy, but neither is right or wrong.

    Things to remember: Though the Hexblade's attack bonus isn't going to be as high as a Strength SAD character's, he also has quite a large supply of summoned undead it his disposal for a +2 flanking bonus and even a 1st level Hexblade is capable of trickery and ranged combat not only in the form of simply firing bows, but also with spells like Bane and skills like Hide, Move Silently and Tumble.
    Last edited by Ziegander; 2011-05-11 at 01:18 AM.
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    While I can understand not wanting options to the extent that, say, Jarian's WoW classes do (holy walls of text sometimes), the cold stark fact remains that making a character is supposed to be about customization, and as Oskar has pointed out, your Hexblade not only has only one niche, they're really bad at filling that niche. 3.5 is not a system that rewards playing defensively (such as with your Die Hard line of abilities), it's a system that rewards comprehensive attack. Thing is, again as Oskar pointed out, most of your debuffs aren't going to fire off correctly and so many of your spells are necro that if you're fighting undead or constructs or enemies with Tomb-Tainted Soul or whatever you're essentially fighting helpless. I've done the debuff dance before with base class design (see my Hexblade rewrite or my Witch Doctor - actually, please just see my Witch Doctor anyway, he needs some PEACH and Brew ideas pretty badly) and I've gotta tell you, your Hexblade doesn't come across as being able to do his job.

    I'm also going to reiterate a previous theme in my statements that seems to be being ignored; this doesn't feel like a Hexblade to me. This feels like a poor man's Bone Knight, like a Blackguard with a college education and asthma (for the low hit points). Minions? Incorporeal constructs made of negative energy? The Dread Necro spell list? Where's the curses, man? Where's the terrible banes and draining of fortune, the soul-chilling arrogance as he strides through the carnage that is his Court and his throne? If you're gonna make a melee dread necromancer, why not name it something else (in addition to the various mechanical concerns, mind)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    I'm about 75% decided that I'm moving the HD to d10s (this is a solid flip-flop on my part) and I'm changing the mechanics of Blade of Woe back to my original intention (I can't remember why I changed it in the first place). It'll probably also get a good Fort and a good Will save. Once I get around to tweaking/adding to the spell list most of the concerns over the functionality of the class should be well-addressed.

    I haven't made a class that was this intensely disliked since Frank Trollman reviewed my Runelord 1.0 at least 5 years ago (probably more)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    m also going to reiterate a previous theme in my statements that seems to be being ignored; this doesn't feel like a Hexblade to me. This feels like a poor man's Bone Knight, like a Blackguard with a college education and asthma (for the low hit points). Minions? Incorporeal constructs made of negative energy? The Dread Necro spell list? Where's the curses, man? Where's the terrible banes and draining of fortune, the soul-chilling arrogance as he strides through the carnage that is his Court and his throne? If you're gonna make a melee dread necromancer, why not name it something else (in addition to the various mechanical concerns, mind)?
    I ignored that comment because it's one man's opinion. This is a reimagining of the Hexblade concept, which to me seems simply to be "melee warrior that can cast some spells and curses his foes." This class still does all of that. Where are his curses? What are spells like Bane or Doom or Ghoul Touch or Slay Living, etc, etc if not curses? What is Diehard/Fear Not The Reaper if not "soul-chilling arrogance" with less flowery description?
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    Just speaking for myself, I don't intensely dislike it, per se. I don't think I'd play it, but you have some good ideas here.

    That said, it's disappointing that you've done a rework of a a tier 4 class with some design issues and turned it into... a tier 4-5 class with some design issues. If you'd sold this as the Dread Knight or such rather than a reworked Hexblade, I think the reception might be different. It doesn't feel like a hexblade.
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    I wouldn't say intensely disliked, but you should consider that if there's a few people unhappy with it, you should be glad; sometimes, the harsher critique is the best critique. The idea is that the critique helps define your concept to a point where it improves the final product, not weaken it. Right now, it caused you to define what you want with the hexblade; make it a melee version of dread necromancer. We can part from that point.

    For starters; Bane is probably the only "curse-like" ability of the three spells you mentioned. Chill Touch is a spell that has only a limited lasting effect with the Strength damage, it's less of a curse (a magical effect which has a lasting, punishing effect) and more of an attack spell (consider it deals two types of damage and no penalties). Slay Living isn't a curse; it's a death spell. If the character couldn't be revived because you devoured its soul or something, it MAY be closer to a curse but not even then (the barghest's ability to feed on creatures' souls isn't really a curse but a direct attack on the creature's essence, such that it can't recover). Other such spells work under the same guidelines; all Inflict spells deal damage, Animate Dead and Command Undead deal with the "reanimation" focus of necromancy and the few spells from other lines don't really focus on curses in any case. Fire in the Blood and Oath of Blood are probably two that really work with the idea of cursing. It makes for a nice Dread Necro, but a poor class whose idea is debuffing people into submission.

    Second, the Dread Necro spell list is intentionally limited, and it's not limited in a nice way either. It has a few gems on its spell list (namely the Dispel Magic line), but it limits you as a character. The Dread Necro by itself does a decent melee character for many reasons; Charnel Spell allows for self-recovery, they get a decent choice of armor and weapons, and roughly decent BAB. However, as they progress, they slowly focus on their spells, and specifically on how they can combine their Rebuke Undead ability with their animation abilities to create powerful undead units. Basically, if looking at the Necromancer handbook (you're free to Google it if you like), the Dread Necro can work quite well as a Necromancer focused on the enfeebling spells or on the army-building line of spells. The Hexblade, as postulated, offers only half the options, and never gets to make proper use of one of them (the army-building line) because it doesn't get access to the higher-level spells and gets access to Animate Dead far too late (plus no Rebuke Undead, so...); yet, when you go to the enfeebling line, you find yourself cut short by the list of the Dread Necro itself, because nearly half of the DN spell list deals with the undead, not with enfeebling. And much less, with a melee character. That's why I told you "look at the original Hexblade spell list"; the spells I mentioned all have strong utility not just for the Hexblade, but for a melee character with limited spellcasting. You can do a phenomenal melee Dread Necro by adding transmutation spells (not only benefits you, but any undead you manage to control or create with your spells), illusion spells (for non-AC defenses) and even a few more Abjuration spells (because the last thing you want is to have you, or your undead, suffer from energy damage), as well as expanding the list of spells that cause enfeebling. Stuff like Feeblemind, Mind Fog and other Enchantments work phenomenally as curses. However, you need to define exactly what of the Dread Necro is in play.

    Third, customization vs. accessibility. I'm on the line of thought that a class has to be customizable enough to allow for many builds; this is a far cry from my starting stance of "easy to play, but with lots of new toys". The Healer, for example (the Miniatures Handbook Healer) is VERY easy to play, but it offers nothing much more than healing, the unicorn companion and probably Gate at 17th level if you're lucky. However, if an enemy casts Life Ward on one of your allies (or worse, all of them through a Chained Life Ward), you're effectively out of the battle because your main line of spells is blocked. You can attempt to use Dispel Magic, but that risks dispelling your ally's buffs, so it's a double-edged sword. If the Healer had something else to back off, such as a series of spells that s/he could use offensively, then you'd have something else to play with and that increases your utility in battle. The Healer is VERY hard to work with as a homebrewer, if only because its very name mentions its specialty; healing. Unless you offer a variety of options to the class that allows it to do something else other than healing, the Healer will still have the same problem; however, go TOO far and you'll be making a nerfed Cleric. It's entirely possible to pull off a worthwhile Healer class, but it requires knowing how to deal with the class so that it doesn't become boring or it treads too far on the Cleric's line of work. On the other hand, look at the Cleric; it's very simple to play a Cleric, but very easy to customize as well. You can make a battle Cleric (with DMM Persist or without it), a proper healbot/buffbot, or even a Cleric that thinks s/he's a blaster, and even one that can dabble in skulduggery and legerdemain as a Rogue does, but without the sneak attacks. And the Cleric, again, is pretty easy to play; it's hard to master, sure, but easy to play. That's what makes it at least Tier 2, but as you know, Cleric is Tier 1 because it's spell list allows it to do practically everything.

    Now, let's return to your Hexblade. Your class offers two options that are linked to each other: debuff and melee attack. You can gain limited healing with Tomb-Tainted Soul or becoming a Necropolitan (or just waiting a few levels for Fear Not the Reaper), but in the end, the core concept is debuffing and attacking. I already mentioned why the Hexblade is poor at attacking; Channel Spell is nice, but the Hexblade has poor resilience, and if you get one-shot during battle you aren't helping your group. If they see you with a sword, a shield and armor, standing in the frontlines trying to debuff, your group will urge you to be on the frontlines and withstanding damage. If you have poor AC and Fortitude and you get downed a lot, your party won't want to help you anymore because they'll be often missing one party member in combat. However, your claim is that your perceived fragility is countered by its ability to debuff in many ways. Again, if you don't have a phenomenal Charisma, there's a good chance you won't be capable of debuffing as you'd like; you need at least one good Fortitude and one good Will-based debuff spell at each level, and one that doesn't consume your turn or that could be used by another party member while you could be routing them into your area and crushing them down with your sword or hammer or whatever weapon you wield. Your resilience options come a little late, and by that moment you'll be facing enemies whom may bypass your best debuffing ability (Blade of Woe), making your subsequent debuffs weaker in comparison. Read this a bit closer; as you increase in levels, you'll find yourself unable to pull off your best debuff, and probably rely on other debuffs, while your enemies gain improvements to their saving throws which eventually may cause them to do virtually nothing in battle and relying on your other team-mates which could probably use their spells a bit more effectively. You know, teamplay. Once you get those two things down...what remains is a character who can do Bluff and Intimidate well. And maaybe good at having summoned/created minions, but the minions will never be at the same level as a Cleric or Dread Necro, nor with the buffs to make them competitive. Again; small niche, and not very good at those niches. If I remember the Tier system correctly, that would make this Hexblade Tier 5; not an improvement over the original.

    Just addiing Advanced Learning and bonus feats from the Fighter help the class immensely. With some leverage from the feats, you can create a better melee attacker by adding stuff like Power Attack and Leap Attack to make a phenomenal melee attacker, or maybe dabble in Weapon Style, Tactical or Combat feats, and still have enough feats to reinforce your Necromancer line (maybe add Spell Focus [necromancy] and GSF [necromancy] so that your spells are harder to resist, and Ability Focus [Blade of Woe] so that your main debuff becomes stronger); it introduces diversity, but it doesn't make it any harder to play. As well, a better, more robust spell list with buffs for melee characters (which you may eventually use on your minions if you want to) and Advanced Learning applying to a wide variety of spells (Abjuration, Conjuration, Enchantment, Illusion, Necromancy or Transmutation) allows the Hexblade (as a melee Dread Necro) to diversify its spell list a bit, so that it always has something useful to do in battle (whether it is to buff itself a bit, buff and heal his minions while they shoot at your enemy, or gain even more curses to play with); again, diversity without difficulties in play. Just those two changes offer a lot to the Hexblade, more than its immunities. Heck; Rebuke Undead and allowing the Hexblade to take divine feats as bonus feats offers even MORE diversity without making the class difficult to play. All three are simple additions, additions that a melee character or Dread Necro would appreciate, and that don't make the class overwhelming to play. I can't say if that will increase the class one or even two Tiers, but it will do wonders to the options you can work with your character without making it any more difficult to play with. That way, you make your class stronger but fit your original idea of "easy to play with", and breaks with the monotony of "Blade of Woe at 1st turn, then spells at 2nd, then attack at 3rd to recover spell list, then spells at 4th" which can be interrupted at any time leaving you without options. And again, it doesn't make you any more or any less of a bruiser than your Mageknight (whose power is based on Channel Spell and using Evocation spells) or your Swordsaint (whose maneuvers cover for a lot of things), only just as useful.

    Finally; everyone has its opinion of a class. For example; in my case, I can't divorce a Paladin from the idea of self-buffing through divine magic. Opinions are divided on that (even on D&D you have four "divine warrior" classes, one of them offering divine magic, the other psionics, the other incarnum and the last one, and preferred by many, maneuvers with a divine, tank or buffing flavor), and I'll find people that say "that's not my idea of what a Paladin should do!" Yet, I discern on what is a real concern ("look at this ability, it really doesn't fit the Paladin because you're going on this concept and this belongs to another") and what is mostly opinion ("look at this ability, it doesn't really fit the Paladin because I've never used such an ability"). In the case of Hexblades, all three of us (Gareth, you and me) have different opinions; Gareth sees the Hexblade as a melee warrior capable of delivering excruciatingly punishing curses without the limitations of arcane spellcasting; your concept is that of a melee warrior that curses and casts spells, and mine is a concept of a warrior who defies fate for its curse, and gains a modicum of arcane spellcasting, abilities that offer localized areas of misfortune (whether as small as a person or as wide as the battlefield itself) and strong combat capabilities. All three are similar, but the method in which we deal with them are strikingly different. Both Gareth and I speak of our own experiences on 'brewing Hexblades, and part of our speech will reflect our personal tastes (but with differing degrees of pressure). Both of us have concerns over the class, because we perceive it as weak, and we use our experience dealing with the class to help. Gareth's concerns are closer to a flavor feel (he doesn't feel this as a Hexblade but as a "poor man's Bone Knight") while I tackle this through a mechanical concept (what I can do with this class to survive the first 6 levels, then work appropriately between levels 7-14, and providing a reason to exist within the party at levels 15 and higher).

    As an addendum: have you considered making the Hexblade's capstone turn him into a Death Knight without the LA? Maybe remove the Arcane Fire class ability but provide the remainder of the options spread through the levels, much like the Dread Necro becomes a Lich as the capstone?
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    I ignored that comment because it's one man's opinion. This is a reimagining of the Hexblade concept, which to me seems simply to be "melee warrior that can cast some spells and curses his foes." This class still does all of that. Where are his curses? What are spells like Bane or Doom or Ghoul Touch or Slay Living, etc, etc if not curses? What is Diehard/Fear Not The Reaper if not "soul-chilling arrogance" with less flowery description?
    Curses are sorta defined by being acts of cruelty; Ghoul Touch and Slay Living and, indeed, the vast majority of Necromancy spells are weapons of execution, not methods by which you make your enemies suffer. Additionally, I still feel strongly that you've gone way too far with the Necromancy connection, which I might have been willing to forgive in the class - might - if Necromancy was actually worth a damn, which it's not. Getting worse, the Hexblade you've presented here has very limited resources with which to make a fight end in their favor. Mind you, this was a problem with the original Hexblade, but hey, if the original was perfect we wouldn't have remakes.

    As for Diehard/Fear Not the Reaper, no. I'm not getting that chill arrogance from those features whatsoever. What I get from those features is 'grit' and 'necromancy'. Oskar's points about the immunities still stand, and frankly the entire Fear Not the Reaper line comes up as being kinda banal; your class has a lot of passive abilities and not a lot of active ones, which makes them boring to play.

    I can sympathize with wanting to make a "pull a zipper and play" class, my friend, but this is kinda going a bit far in the pursuit of that goal. Even the initiating classes, which is about as close to the idea as published classes get, offer players meaningful choices that affect how they play the game. Your remake should do the same.

    Just my two cents, of course, but I like to think that being around the block for a little while makes 'em mean something.

    EDIT: Oskar Swordsage'd me with his post, but he did hit one thing on the money - my most strenuous objections are all fluff, pure and simple. That was my objection to Oskar's Bez-Kizmet as well (which was mechanically solid - I just hate half casters). The difference here is Oskar's creation still felt like a Hexblade, even if I happened to dislike the spellcasting aspect; yours feels entirely different, and is more similar in concept to, say, ErrantX's stellar Ebon Initiate base class.
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2011-05-11 at 09:38 AM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (Complete, PEACH!)

    Well, I thought I had at least commented on this, but I guess even the comment didn't go through. I tried to edit some of the mechanics, but my internet connection was getting really spotty. Anyway, I'm strongly considering taking a second look at the class features. My original concept is a tricky one to pull off, a lightly-armored tricky fighter supported by supernatural power rather than physical might or agility. Something like how a vampire becomes supernaturally fast, strong, and tough, that's the angle I wanted to go with in this Hexblade.

    While the diehard line was supposed to represent this supernatural toughness (and I think it so well) and the Don't Fear the Reaper abilities reinforced the concept of being supported by necromantic energy, I feel like I want to get rid of them for more active abilities. Indeed, before the class was finished there were other directions I'd thought to go in, which were much more curse-like, but they simply wouldn't fit into 20 levels.

    At first I didn't like the idea of Advanced Learning. Mostly because the Mageknight and Swordsaint don't get it (and this Hexblade and those two classes are part of a series of "duskblades" I'm writing). But the more I think about it, those two classes are both more melee brute centered than tricky magic centered, but the Hexblade is about tricky magic at least as much as being in melee. So it's something for me to think twice about.

    Quick Cast was likewise eliminated from the Hexblade for no real good reason I can recall. I think at some point I decided that the Hexblade wasn't as focused on his magic as the Mageknight or the Swordsaint, which just doesn't make sense given that the Hexblade's magic is supposed to be where a solid 50% of his "curses" come from.

    Anyway, I have a couple quick tweaks to make before I proceed with any large revisions. The new (original) version of Blade of Woe works like this:

    Blade of Woe (Su): The first time an enemy is struck by the Hexblade's melee attack during an encounter that enemy is cursed by necromantic energies and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks for 24 hours, during which time it is unable to regain hit points. At the end of each of the effected creature's turns it may attempt a Will saving throw DC (10+1/2 Hexblade level+Charisma modifier+1/previous failed attempt). If the creature succeeds it removes the curse and is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
    Last edited by Ziegander; 2011-05-13 at 01:05 PM.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    Okay, so I completely redesigned a Vol.2 Hexblade Reborn based on a lot of my original design principles. I had to cut some of the concepts I thought were important to Vol.1's design in order to create a tighter more cohesive class the second time around.

    I've included Vol.2 alongside Vol.1 in the original post, and I've reworked the Dread Necro spell list along similar lines as my reworked Warmage spell list. So far I should have three Tier 3 full casters with new spell lists as well as three Tier 3 "duskblades" working with recoverable spell mechanics and using their respective full casters' spell lists. I'm liking the system so far, but this means I have one to go - The Beguiler. I'm expecting to rework the Beguiler spell list, maybe even some of it's class features, and then work on some kind of Spellthief Reborn to take advantage of the Beguiler spell list and using recoverable spells.

    And we're off! Please take a look at the new Hexblade in the original post and the new spell list!
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    Okay, so I completely redesigned a Vol.2 Hexblade Reborn based on a lot of my original design principles.
    You'd you mind terribly sharing the original design priciples you began with, please? It seems relavant and I'm very curious as to the thought that went into various implementations here. Thanks

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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight_v View Post
    You'd you mind terribly sharing the original design priciples you began with, please? It seems relavant and I'm very curious as to the thought that went into various implementations here. Thanks
    Sure, sure.

    Before I had written either v1 or v2, I was finishing up the Mageknight and the Warmage. My goal was to offer useful Tier 3 casters to my playgroup that covered most of the bases. After that, I realized that I didn't have a divine caster so I'd need to brew up a Tier 3 version of the Cleric. It was then I realized that between the Mageknight and the Swordsaint I'd now created two "duskblade" classes that were flavorfully the warrior-mage incarnations of the Warmage and Cleric. Since I had already decided to use the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer I began planning to create warrior-mage concepts for each of those caster classes. I arrived at Spellthief and, because Necromancy is heavy on cursing spells, the Hexblade.

    In my early thought processes about the Hexblade I just went over what I liked about the original. Which, to be honest, was just the Dark Companion ACF. The curses were much, much too few uses per day, even the aura was based on uses per day. And since I've never liked the half caster level, 1st-4th spell casters, the Hexblade's spell casting didn't appeal to me either. So then I thought, well, if he's using the Dread Necro spell list, let's fill him up with necromantic energy which will end up substituting his Charisma for his "toughness" stat instead of Constitution. And then I thought, "well, hey, he's a Hexblade why not throw in some curse type stuff based on his weapon?" but I couldn't think of a good way to do it, other than to transfer the iconic Hexblade's Curse to melee attacks. Which I liked a good bit because it allowed the Hexblade to potentially curse every enemy he encountered in a day, rather than, say, 4 of them. I started to feel like the Hexblade was being pulled in too many different directions, so I tried to reign some things in, but still, the final product of v1 has several different themes including: curse via melee, spellcast via melee, dark companion, I don't die because I'm filled with negative energy, I have immunities because I'm filled with negative energy, and at high levels I unleash awesome negative energy powers. That's kind of schizophrenic really, but at the time I was satisfied with it.

    Then we get to the commentary I received after I posted it, and since A LOT of it was opinion-based I just soundly ignored it, but slowly the feedback became much more mechanical in nature, and criticism became more constructive, and I began to see some flaws in the original. I don't think these flaws are as pronounced as some have argued, but still, the flaws are there.

    So, when I set out to design v2, I tried to return to the biggest principle left out from the first one - I'm filled with necromantic power, and using my weapon, I channel that power into my enemies. I had thought of a simply and easy way to do it, I had gone back to the original, and more powerful, version of Hexblade's Curse, and once I started filling out a level progression I realized that there wasn't much room for anything else, which was okay to be honest. All the stuff about getting super tough, or summoning a dark companion, that was either off-flavor for the Hexblade anyway or just ancillary to the concept, and if it meant making the more central concept of the Hexblade more powerful and playable then losing these things wasn't a big deal at all. So what we have here is a Hexblade, cursed with necromantic energies coursing through his veins, who is able to use his weapons to transfer a portion of this curse to his foes by wounding them. He can become stronger/faster/tougher through damaging his foes and he can wither the most stalwart enemies through layers and layers of debuffing. I like the simplicity and clarity of the second version's mechanics and flavor. Actually cursing the v2 Hexblade was purely a flavorful flourish on my part, and not one I even feel will be particularly well-received, but I feel like it pulls the whole concept together mechanically and I personally enjoy it.
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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    I see. Well the fact that you are actually happy with it is what's important. I find that the most opinion you got was something along the lines of "Thats not what a duskblade is" I hope you didn't take offense at that or even dismiss it as totally out of hand. Its a beloved class if poorly executed. I do think of it as a duskblade.
    I think people really wanted the hexblade as is but tob efficient. Which maybe difficult to adjucate at times.
    I've seem a few version that were Warrior branches of the warlock as well, and while we recieved the people who did complain that the spellist was not equalled by the invocation list.
    I am however a fan of expanding the Hexblade spellist to the duskblade list.
    Wholesale giving them the dreadnecro list makes them something else. Something I'd PLAY mind you but I'd call it something else when I did it.

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    Default Re: The Hexblade Reborn (V.2 is up, needs feedback!)

    Midnight's point is not lost; one should consider one's audience when creating a class. Getting even more specific, fluff often translates directly into mechanics, so one's fluff can often have a very significant effect on one's class - as we saw with your original revamped Hexblade. Objections to the fluff can often mean that the critic has an underlying dissatisfaction with the mechanical aspects of the work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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