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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    I really like the figher/mage concept, and I was very happy with the spellsword archetype in the basic game, however, there's also the other side of the coin in the fighter/mage concept, the battlemage archetype. He is basically a mage who may or may not wear light armor over his robes and that complements his spellcasting with some martial ability, and is prepared to cast spell in the middle of battle instead than from the back rank.

    I'm gonna create a battlemage subclass for the wizard in my games, and was actually trying to imagine some abilities. Of course I can create my own, but I love doing a little brainstorming with other designers first.

    The basis of my idea is something not too different from the valor bard; martial weapons, a single rank of better armor (in this case, light armor), a second attack, etc. But what else would you guys use? I'm inclining to allow something like somatic weaponry or chaning cantrip damage to the same type as the weapon you're holding and other interesting but small things like this for the first levels, but I really have no idea what to use for the later levels.

    I don't know what F.R.U.I.T. would be better here, so please humor me. (LIME? Looking for Ideas Masterfuly Explained?)
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Have you looked at some of the prestige classes from 3.5? I tend to get a lot of random inspiration from them but I only use it after weighing its class features against the feel of 5e. I was honestly thinking of race specific Wizard subclasses based no the race specific prestige classes from 3.5
    I would really like some input on this 5e Homebrew
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...mebrew-on-GitP

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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Arcane Tradition: Battlemage

    Battlemage Savant: Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, you gain proficiency with light armor and one martial weapon of your choice.

    Defensive Arcana: Beginning at 2nd level, whenever you cast a spell you may add the spell's level to your AC against melee attacks until the start of your next round.


    Battlemage Savant: Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, you gain proficiency with one weapon of your choice.

    Defensive Arcana: Beginning at 2nd level, whenever you cast a spell you can shield yourself with residual arcane energies. Your AC becomes 10 + your Dexterity modifier + the spell's level until the start of your next round.

    War Caster: Starting at 6th level, you can use any weapon you are proficient with as a spell focus, allowing you to cast spells with somatic components while wielding it. Whenever you spend your action to cast a cantrip, you can spend a bonus action to make one attack with a weapon you are wielding.

    Spell Strike: Starting at 10th level, all weapons you wield are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance. Also, whenever you cast a damaging spell you can imbue a weapon wielded by you or an ally within 5 feet with arcane power, changing its damage type to match one of the spell's damage types as long as you concentrate.

    Spell Storing: Starting at 14th level, as an action you can cast any spell that requires an attack roll and store its energy in a weapon or piece of ammunition you are wielding instead of attacking a creature with it. The next time the weapon strikes a creature or object the spell is discharged, automatically hitting. The spell dissipates harmlessly if not used in the next hour, or if you spend an action to store another spell.

    EDIT: I don't like PEACH either. :P
    Last edited by Thomar_of_Uointer; 2014-10-02 at 08:18 PM.
    "...I worry that modern gaming is gradually shrinking the wide spectrum of gameplay mechanics into a single narrow red bar with "KILL" written on it sideways. Exploration, navigation, puzzles, platforming, all gradually shrinking away until only one thing remains, being taken by the hand from room to room, moving on only when nothing remains alive in each one." - Yhatzee Crosshaw

    Check out our zombie survival sandbox video game!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomar_of_Uointer View Post
    Defensive Arcana: Beginning at 2nd level, whenever you cast a spell you may add the spell's level to your AC against melee attacks until the start of your next round.
    I think that this one is simultaneously overpowered and under-useful. It's overpowered because it scales in a way that 5E just isn't built for. At low levels, +1 or +3 to AC is pretty good, but at high levels +1 or +3 to AC is still pretty good. +7 or +9 to AC is always, always going to be incredibly, madly powerful.

    At the same time, in 5E spellcasters get a lot of use out of their cantrips, and generally speaking class abilities that interact with spells try to invite cantrips to the party because they are supposed to remain relevant long after the first few levels. With this version of Defensive Arcana, though, cantrips are much less useful because they don't trigger it at all.

    The first problem is, I think, more relevant than the second. I could see a case to be made that Defensive Arcana is meant to reward the use of an actual spell slot, which is a limited resource, rather than cantrips which you can spam all day. I'd have to run the numbers to see where I fell on that issue, but it's at least an argument worth considering. I don't think anything that gives the wizard +7 or even +9 AC should really be seriously considered.

    Perhaps you could make the bonus equal to half their proficiency bonus, and have it go off whenever the battlemage casts any arcane spell?

    The rest of your battlemage looks pretty cool! I'll have to hit the books to see how they compare to what other wizard subclasses get (I'm still digesting all the PHB options), but at a glance they look to be pretty solid.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Mirror View Post
    I think that this one is simultaneously overpowered and under-useful. It's overpowered because it scales in a way that 5E just isn't built for. At low levels, +1 or +3 to AC is pretty good, but at high levels +1 or +3 to AC is still pretty good. +7 or +9 to AC is always, always going to be incredibly, madly powerful.

    At the same time, in 5E spellcasters get a lot of use out of their cantrips, and generally speaking class abilities that interact with spells try to invite cantrips to the party because they are supposed to remain relevant long after the first few levels. With this version of Defensive Arcana, though, cantrips are much less useful because they don't trigger it at all.

    The first problem is, I think, more relevant than the second. I could see a case to be made that Defensive Arcana is meant to reward the use of an actual spell slot, which is a limited resource, rather than cantrips which you can spam all day. I'd have to run the numbers to see where I fell on that issue, but it's at least an argument worth considering. I don't think anything that gives the wizard +7 or even +9 AC should really be seriously considered.

    Perhaps you could make the bonus equal to half their proficiency bonus, and have it go off whenever the battlemage casts any arcane spell?
    Yeah. It's only as useful as the wizard makes it, which is actually a really cool way to reward a wizard for being smart while in melee combat. Best-case scenario, the wizard will use his high-level spells as a resource to keep him alive when he wades into melee combat. However, those are daily resources and the wizard has to be smart about their use.

    What if instead it works like mage armor, changing the wizard's AC to (10 + Dex mod + spell level)? This might be the best fix for it, since it will prevent you from dipping fighter or taking armor proficiency feats and stacking it will full plate. I like this change the best and I've added it to my first post.
    Last edited by Thomar_of_Uointer; 2014-10-02 at 08:17 PM.
    "...I worry that modern gaming is gradually shrinking the wide spectrum of gameplay mechanics into a single narrow red bar with "KILL" written on it sideways. Exploration, navigation, puzzles, platforming, all gradually shrinking away until only one thing remains, being taken by the hand from room to room, moving on only when nothing remains alive in each one." - Yhatzee Crosshaw

    Check out our zombie survival sandbox video game!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Man, this thread is about a year old now. On the one hand, I signed up to this forum because of this thread, on the other, I dunno if anyone's ever gunna see what I write and reply. Suppose I can anyway.

    So ... Im about to get a DnD campaign underway and Im building a Homebrew. It's Battlemage, complete with how the OP described it. I want him to avoid wearing armor, wading through the battle and casting his magic while also serving as something of a tank. Ive worked on a lot of ideas. I even went to Reddit recently to get feedback, worked with my GM on a few ideas and Ive basically been trying to get them looked at and scrutinzed by anyone and everyone I can. The more feedback the better. The ideas in here inspired me with some directions I can go in. Still, I felt like maybe I could deposit my ideas here in case they inspire someone to revisit this thread and continue work on the tradition.

    A few notes about what Ive written so far - the Battlemages of my campaign are also self-appointed Arbiters of magic. Not quite as zelous as Dragon Age Templars, but they investigate magical crimes, hunt magic criminals and regulate magic where necessary, so the intent with my ideas was to have some anti-magic flavor as well. Also, the campaign is themed heavily greco-roman, so the names reflect that.

    BATTLEMAGE

    Body and Mind
    Beginning when you select this tradition at 2nd level, you get mage armor added to your spellbook for free if you don't already have it. Whenever you are affected by the spell Mage Armor, you gain a bonus to your AC that equals your Intelligence modifier (Minimum +1).

    Strategem Praesidium
    Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ritual Arma Vinculum, which takes up to one hour to conduct. When you conduct the ritual, you select one melee weapon in your possession to magically attune to your life force, bonding its fate to yours and becoming your Telum Magicus. Whenever you wield this weapon in combat, It shields you with a Vigilant Ward, protecting you during combat. Should you fall unconcious or die with an active Telum Magicus, the weapon will shatter beyond repair. Should you perform the ritual of Arma Vinculum on another weapon while still in possession of a Telum Magicus, your active Telum will disintigrate into smoke and cease to be.

    Once per encounter, you may react to taking damage by activating your Vigilant Ward. If the attack is a physical melee or ranged attack, roll a Constitution Saving Throw (DC 10 + Total Attack Modifier). On a failed saving throw, you take half the total damage, on a success you take none of the damage.

    If the attack is a spell, roll a Constitution Saving Throw (DC 10 + Total Spell Attack Modifier). On a failed saving throw, you take half the total damage, on a success you take none of the damage.

    Strategem Arcanum
    Starting at 6th level, whenever you cast a harmless spell that requires a target, you may siphon off a small portion of the spell's magic into a magic point reserve. For each time this is done, you may increase your reserve by 1. Alternately, whenever you target yourself with a spell, you may choose to spend an additional spell slot of the same level used to cast the spell. If you expend a spell slot this way, you may gain the spell slot's level in magic reserve points. Your maximum possible reserve will always be half your wizard level, rounded down. At the end of combat, any unused reserve points will be lost.

    You may expend magic reserve points to gain the following benefits:
    • For 1 point of reserve spent, you may roll 1d6 and replace your dexterity modifier to AC (If any) with the number rolled.

    • For 2 points of reserve spent, you may reroll a single attack roll, saving throw or ability check before knowing the result of the original roll. You may take the result of either roll. Alternatively, you may increase the duration of the last active spell you cast, increasing its time duration by 1.

    • For 3 points of reserve spent, you may gain focused concentration for the duration of combat, allowing you to add your Intelligence Modifier (minimum +1) as a bonus to concentration checks.


    Improved War Magic
    Starting at 10th level, when you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

    I dont have a 14th level ability yet. I took some inspiration from Bladesinger in some respects, though instead of extra attack I went with improved war magic from Eldritch Knight, I think it better reflects what I wanted my version of Battlemage to do, and spaces out the power progression. Im thinking of rewording some things, and some of the ideas present in this thread are really awesome, so they've certainly inspired. I hope people will still find this topic interesting in spite of Bladesinger being a thing. Id love feedback on what Ive written so far.
    Last edited by SMVegas; 2016-03-06 at 12:18 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Got an idea for a battlemage style tradition ability that I need feedback on. Anyone still remotely paying attention to this thread - I would appreciate if they would look it over.

    Procedural Vigilance
    Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ritual Arma Vinculum, which takes one hour to conduct and may be done as part of a long rest. When you conduct the ritual, you select one melee weapon in your possession to magically attune to your life force, bonding its fate to yours and becoming your Telum Magicus. So long as you are in possession of your Telum Magicus, you are shielded by the Vigilant Aegis. You may roll 1d4 per wizard level and gain the number rolled in temporary hp, re-rolling and replenishing them each time you take a short rest.

    The fate of your Telum Magicus is tied to your own. Whenever you fall unconscious as a result of taking damage, the power of the Telum fades from your weapon, requiring you to perform the ritual of Arma Vinculum again to get it back. Should you perform the ritual of Arma Vinculum while still in possession of a Telum Magicus, your active Telum will dissipate into smoke and cease to be. Finally, should you die with an active Telum and become resurrected, your Telum is destroyed.

    This seems much simpler than what I wrote before, but still feels like it's a worthwhile ability to get for a magic tradition. Im not sure if the wording is clear, but you perform the long rest ritual, then roll the appropriate dice and get the temporary hp. Once you take a short rest, you roll the appropriate dice again and get a new value of temporary hp. I'd be curious to get some thoughts on a mechanic like this, and maybe someone can explain to me exactly how temporary hp work? Do different sources act independently of one another? Or is it all 1 pool of temporary hp you draw from when determining your hp total?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: (Insert Fruit) Ideas for a battlemage subclass

    Well, I feel obligated to take a look now!
    My Homebrew
    5e - The Artificer (of Alancia)
    AGE of Darkness, converting World of Darkness to AGE
    Dungeons & Dark Souls, bringing the Souls universe to your 5e


    My DMs Guild products

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