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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    I love gishes--from the old 2E elven fighter/mage to the 3.5E duskblade to the 4E swordmage. Many of us have been looking for 5E gish options which more equally mix spellcasting with martial combat. Awhile ago, I wrote up a Swordmage class as a 5e half caster arcane martial class which, after much feedback from the community had a pretty good reception. However, that was before SCAG came out, which turned the whole gish game upside down with new cantrips and the Bladesinger archetype.

    Since them, I rethought the class to take full advantage of the SCAG cantrips as part of the base design, with subclass options similar in flavor to old school Duskblades and Swordmages. I know there are millions of these in homebrew but thought I'd try and put my own take.

    So here it is -- The Spellsword (5e base class).

    Let me know what you think! Would appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    This is pretty nice
    Skully boyfriend's lead to skully wendigo weddings.
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    linklele you have brought a beautiful and favorite character of mine as well as fluffy to life i wanted to thank you. i may never again switch my avatar

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Some notes...

    First of all, I love it!

    HD should probably be d8s. Perhaps the shielding archetype could gain +1 hp per Spellsword level to show they are tougher (much like dragon sorcerers).

    Lore Seeker... I think when it comes to lore about forgotten civilizations or arcane organizations the check would always be history or maybe arcana. You could just give advantage on those rolls. This would allow it to always be useful but not OP.

    (Note: I mechanically hate expertise even if I know how strong it is)

    Cantrip: You should limit their cantrip to 2. One weapon cantrip and one of their choice. This shows their dual martial/arcane outlook but also keeps things a bit more consistent with the PHB (half casters like thr Paladin gain no cantrips... But I think that's silly).

    Fighting Style: like it

    Spellcasting: like it

    Spellsword Strike comes online at 6, I like that you didn't give this class extra attack AND this feature as your cantrip will be giving out weapon attacks and you will be using your action to cast spells or cantrips so extra attack would be wasted somewhat.

    Spellsword Tactics: This is counter-5e fiddly +1s will turn people off. It isn't that I don't like it, it's just seems out of place in this game. Honestly, should just take the EK feature and go with it in some way. It is simpler and works nicely.


    Intelligent Blademaster: I was hoping to see this.

    ====

    I don't play past level 10-ish so I won't review the rest of the class.
    Last edited by Deleted; 2017-02-04 at 08:34 AM.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Thanks for the comments from both of you =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    HD should probably be d8s. Perhaps the shielding archetype could gain +1 hp per Spellsword level to show they are tougher (much like dragon sorcerers).
    I thought about this, but this is a frontline fighting class and most of the d8 classes are second-line or full casters. So I felt justified with the d10 HD. I'm comparing primarily against Paladin and Revised Ranger for balance. I removed some other stuff to compensate on the Spellsword (e.g. no martial ranged weapons, no 5th level ability besides 2nd level spells, no extra attack).

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    Lore Seeker... I think when it comes to lore about forgotten civilizations or arcane organizations the check would always be history or maybe arcana. You could just give advantage on those rolls. This would allow it to always be useful but not OP.

    (Note: I mechanically hate expertise even if I know how strong it is)
    So just to be clear, the feature does not provide Expertise (2x prof). It does provide the equivalent of bard's "Jack of All Trades" (1/2 prof for non-proficient skills) just for intelligence ability checks, and one advantage per long rest on Int skills.

    I see your point about it perhaps being too broad in scope though. How about the following: You can gain advantage on a Arcana, History, or Investigation check once per short or long rest? Those are the three that really fit in line with the idea of seeking out lore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    Cantrip: You should limit their cantrip to 2. One weapon cantrip and one of their choice. This shows their dual martial/arcane outlook but also keeps things a bit more consistent with the PHB (half casters like thr Paladin gain no cantrips... But I think that's silly).
    That's a good point. I think I'll lower to 2 cantrips + 1 gained at 10th level. That way you can end up with a decent mix of combat and utility cantrips.

    I also think it's rather silly that Rangers and Paladins don't get even utility cantrips. There's been enough deviation in Unearthed Arcana (e.g. Artificer as a 1/3 caster base class) that I feel comfortable making some minor shifts away from PHB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    Spellsword Strike comes online at 6, I like that you didn't give this class extra attack AND this feature as your cantrip will be giving out weapon attacks and you will be using your action to cast spells or cantrips so extra attack would be wasted somewhat.
    Thanks. Single most necessary design choice for this class IMO. Also differentiates from Fighter who ends up with 4 attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    Spellsword Tactics: This is counter-5e fiddly +1s will turn people off. It isn't that I don't like it, it's just seems out of place in this game. Honestly, should just take the EK feature and go with it in some way. It is simpler and works nicely.
    Sigh yeah having trouble with this one. My intent is to promote mixing it up with melee and spellcasting. I didn't want to just copy the EK ability straight up though. I'm open to other ideas that aren't "fiddly bits" style.

    Here's one thought: "If you successfully hit a creature with your bonded weapon, when you cast a spell against that creature before the beginning of your next turn, you may choose to either gain advantage on the spell attack roll or your opponent suffers disadvantage on the spell saving throw."

    It differs from EK in that you get more choice, but you can't use it on the next turn (so no attacking multiple people and then setting up an AOE spell next round). It's more about focusing on a single opponent in the moment.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Thanks for the comments from both of you =)



    I thought about this, but this is a frontline fighting class and most of the d8 classes are second-line or full casters. So I felt justified with the d10 HD. I'm comparing primarily against Paladin and Revised Ranger for balance. I removed some other stuff to compensate on the Spellsword (e.g. no martial ranged weapons, no 5th level ability besides 2nd level spells, no extra attack).



    So just to be clear, the feature does not provide Expertise (2x prof). It does provide the equivalent of bard's "Jack of All Trades" (1/2 prof for non-proficient skills) just for intelligence ability checks, and one advantage per long rest on Int skills.

    I see your point about it perhaps being too broad in scope though. How about the following: You can gain advantage on a Arcana, History, or Investigation check once per short or long rest? Those are the three that really fit in line with the idea of seeking out lore.



    That's a good point. I think I'll lower to 2 cantrips + 1 gained at 10th level. That way you can end up with a decent mix of combat and utility cantrips.

    I also think it's rather silly that Rangers and Paladins don't get even utility cantrips. There's been enough deviation in Unearthed Arcana (e.g. Artificer as a 1/3 caster base class) that I feel comfortable making some minor shifts away from PHB.



    Thanks. Single most necessary design choice for this class IMO. Also differentiates from Fighter who ends up with 4 attacks.



    Sigh yeah having trouble with this one. My intent is to promote mixing it up with melee and spellcasting. I didn't want to just copy the EK ability straight up though. I'm open to other ideas that aren't "fiddly bits" style.

    Here's one thought: "If you successfully hit a creature with your bonded weapon, when you cast a spell against that creature before the beginning of your next turn, you may choose to either gain advantage on the spell attack roll or your opponent suffers disadvantage on the spell saving throw."

    It differs from EK in that you get more choice, but you can't use it on the next turn (so no attacking multiple people and then setting up an AOE spell next round). It's more about focusing on a single opponent in the moment.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    I have no clue how to break up quotes but...

    HD: Either way can be fine, this class has a bit more spell versatility than the Paladin which is why the HD stood out to me. Like the ranger and rogue this class is more of a balance between multiple things (or can be). I don't mean to make this sound like a big deal or anything XD.

    On Lore Seeker my issue isn't that it is expertise or that it will be too powerful. My issue is that practically speaking it will never be used or offer such a small bonus that people won't remember it. practically speaking the person with the highest modifier will roll a check and if you don't have prof in something then someone else will (or have a higher Int mod... Int for this class is mostly a second or third ability score). All the checks Lore Keeper applies to are Arcana and History and very rarely would they be just a plain Int check... So I would just give them advantage on Arcana and History checks. Really, in this situation Expertise could also work as Arcana and History aren't combat skills. The reason Jack of All Trades is amazing is that it works on initiative checks.

    Spellsword Tactics: I like your change.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    I have no clue how to break up quotes but...

    On Lore Seeker my issue isn't that it is expertise or that it will be too powerful. My issue is that practically speaking it will never be used or offer such a small bonus that people won't remember it. practically speaking the person with the highest modifier will roll a check and if you don't have prof in something then someone else will (or have a higher Int mod... Int for this class is mostly a second or third ability score). All the checks Lore Keeper applies to are Arcana and History and very rarely would they be just a plain Int check... So I would just give them advantage on Arcana and History checks. Really, in this situation Expertise could also work as Arcana and History aren't combat skills. The reason Jack of All Trades is amazing is that it works on initiative checks.

    Spellsword Tactics: I like your change.
    Yeah, that totally makes sense. I reworked Lore Seeker to apply advantage to Arcana/History/Investigation skills once per short rest, which is better in keeping with the theme and provides a more situationally useful bonus. Also replaced Spellsword Tactics with the proposed change.

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    Default Re: Miburo's Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Yeah, that totally makes sense. I reworked Lore Seeker to apply advantage to Arcana/History/Investigation skills once per short rest, which is better in keeping with the theme and provides a more situationally useful bonus. Also replaced Spellsword Tactics with the proposed change.
    You really don't need to restrict it to once per short rest. Not only does that imply that they aren't very good at lore (counter to the fluff) but for the most part Int checks for Arcana or History relating to the subject matter won't be a very common roll. So leaving it as always advantage would still make it situational but fit with the fluff.

    Plus if they fail an int check, it isn't like they can keep trying until they pass.

    Advantage is worth about a +3.3333333 on a roll but it feels awesome to roll that extra die.

    You can leave it at 1/short or long rest but I dont think it would be too powerful or anything if you just gave them advantage on those rolls. It is certainly less powerful than expertise (broken mechanic) but still useful and most importantly feels useful to the player.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Gotta say, I like it, its simple and clean in a lot of neat ways. I've been working on my version of a 5e duskblade for a couple of years now. I'm still working out the kinks and unintended design synergy. But for the most part you seemed to know exactly what it is you wanted the class to do. It does feel like the class doesn't have much in the way of non-combat related versatility, so the d10 HD is pretty solid. Even though its an arcane 1/2 caster, it seems to have significantly less magical influence than my attempt (not a bad thing). I may have overstuffed my idea as well though, so I'm constantly trimming the fat off.

    I did note that your spellblade feature has a "per day" limit instead of a per short or long rest or per long rest.

    Overall it feels more like a mage-knight than the EK did, and that's pretty satisfying. The EK always felt like it was some dude who hit stuff with metal, but occasionally entertained for birthday parties.

    The spell list is a fine grab bag of boom mixed with utility. But I do feel that the class would benefit from a 5th level feature. Not specifically extra attack, but something just as handy. As a whole it has all the right parts and pieces to be a great class, I just can't help but feel like it's lacking. But I can't seem to put a finger on where or what it is.

    I did have an idea for a blink happy and defender archetypes, and your path of shielding has some neat features that I'd like to adapt if you are ok with it.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    So the new UA came out and has some things you may want to take a look at, specifically the Stone Sorcery archetype.

    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do...rUA020617s.pdf

    Might be some feature there that you can mix into your subclasses. They actually put the 4e Swordmage into the sorcerer class -_- (Aegis).

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Gr7mm Bobb View Post
    I did note that your spellblade feature has a "per day" limit instead of a per short or long rest or per long rest.
    Fixed to be per long rest. Thanks for the catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gr7mm Bobb View Post
    The spell list is a fine grab bag of boom mixed with utility. But I do feel that the class would benefit from a 5th level feature. Not specifically extra attack, but something just as handy. As a whole it has all the right parts and pieces to be a great class, I just can't help but feel like it's lacking. But I can't seem to put a finger on where or what it is.
    That's a fair point. I think it could use some more out of combat utility, but I couldn't think of what exactly. Maybe something at 5th level that builds off of Lore Seeker? Alternatively move Spellsword Strike to 5th level, and then "ribbon" feature at 6th level (ribbons being things that add flavor and character to a class). Open to any suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gr7mm Bobb View Post
    I did have an idea for a blink happy and defender archetypes, and your path of shielding has some neat features that I'd like to adapt if you are ok with it.
    Feel free to grab parts if you'd like for your own class. Actually one of the archetypes I would like to do would be super focused on warping around the battlefield, sorta like Noctis from Final Fantasy XV or Minato from Naruto. Maybe some day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleted View Post
    So the new UA came out and has some things you may want to take a look at, specifically the Stone Sorcery archetype.

    Might be some feature there that you can mix into your subclasses. They actually put the 4e Swordmage into the sorcerer class -_- (Aegis).
    Whoa. It's pretty cool, though at first glance seems rather overpowered to me. Straight damage reduction for a 1-3 characters, followed by reaction attacks with scalable damage, and with no limit on uses

    Though--what do you think about trying to make the Spellblade and Aegis archetype abilities more at-will? Would probably require some tweaking.

    For Spellblade, could make at-will but requiring a bonus action to charge up, so you couldn't use it together with Spellsword Strike. Thus it becomes a single hit with a rider effect (poison, reduce speed, etc.), with scalable damage as you level.

    For Spellsword Aegis...I'm not really a fan of how UA Sorcerer Stone Aegis protects a character--I prefer having the Aegis marking an opponent, which is more like the old Swordmage and more tank-ish anyways. So a couple of options:

    A) Keep Aegis as is.
    B) Make the Aegis twice per short rest for a bit more uses (like bladesinging), but otherwise leave as is.
    C) Aegis becomes at-will. Ensnarement maybe goes away because too powerful for at-will.

    Also thinking whether to give Aegis of Assault scalable damage to the attack. I'm thinking no, because spellsword has enough abilities that grant bonuses to an attack (intelligent blademaster, spells like magic weapon or elemental weapon, etc.).

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    For Spellblade, could make at-will but requiring a bonus action to charge up, so you couldn't use it together with Spellsword Strike. Thus it becomes a single hit with a rider effect (poison, reduce speed, etc.), with scalable damage as you level.
    I like that idea. Rather than being an occasional boost to your regular attack - like a Battlemaster's Superiority Dice - it ends up being a reliable tactical choice. I'd suggest perhaps one Spellblade effect just being purely damage-focused, to make their subclass abilities still useful even when just hitting something.

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    C) Aegis becomes at-will. Ensnarement maybe goes away because too powerful for at-will.
    I also agree with that one, again for the increased tactical reliability.

    Also, I'd suggest giving the Spellsword the ability to spend spell slots to enhance their Aegis or Spellblade, so they have an alternative to the Paladin's Smite. While a Smite might be better just for damage the Spellsword's abilities have more tactical effect, and so even out a bit better.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post

    Whoa. It's pretty cool, though at first glance seems rather overpowered to me. Straight damage reduction for a 1-3 characters, followed by reaction attacks with scalable damage, and with no limit on uses

    Though--what do you think about trying to make the Spellblade and Aegis archetype abilities more at-will? Would probably require some tweaking.

    For Spellblade, could make at-will but requiring a bonus action to charge up, so you couldn't use it together with Spellsword Strike. Thus it becomes a single hit with a rider effect (poison, reduce speed, etc.), with scalable damage as you level.

    For Spellsword Aegis...I'm not really a fan of how UA Sorcerer Stone Aegis protects a character--I prefer having the Aegis marking an opponent, which is more like the old Swordmage and more tank-ish anyways. So a couple of options:

    A) Keep Aegis as is.
    B) Make the Aegis twice per short rest for a bit more uses (like bladesinging), but otherwise leave as is.
    C) Aegis becomes at-will. Ensnarement maybe goes away because too powerful for at-will.

    Also thinking whether to give Aegis of Assault scalable damage to the attack. I'm thinking no, because spellsword has enough abilities that grant bonuses to an attack (intelligent blademaster, spells like magic weapon or elemental weapon, etc.).
    The stone sorcerer really would only be a problem if the DM let it be a problem (see sig of a party that would be a problem).

    UA aegis is a bit troublesome and I'm not a fan of the math involved for protection.

    I'm a huge fan of at-will and short rest abilities, though I'm not a fan of how short rests are set up in 5e (they either don't happen enough or happen too often).

    C) At-Will Aegis!

    I think you don't need to add any extra damage to the Aegis, your Spellsword should be keeping up in that department.

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    A spellsword that doesn't get any spells or even magic at level 1 seems wrong. Or is the chart just in error?

    ---

    You should be casting spells and meleeing as early as possible. Spellsword Bond should permit somatic components using your bound weapon.

    ---

    Sword and Sorcery meh. Something flashier.

    ---

    Some text says cantrips at level 1, the table says level 2.

    Not having spells at level 1 is dissappointing.

    ---

    If you don't want actual spellcasting at level 1, you could grant them a spellbook and spells known and ritual casting.

    ---

    The d8 HD is an interesting idea.

    Make it d8, but give them a Ward. The Ward is 1+Spellsword Level temporary HP, and can be refreshed with an Action.

    The shielding swordmage can have a double strength ward, and maybe the ability to refresh it sometimes as a Bonus Action.

    ---

    Spellblade runs into a bonus action shortage.

    The "default" action is cantrip, basic attack as bonus via spellstrike.

    Spellblade uses its bonus action to charge a basic attack with +1-4 d6. But it loses its cantrip.

    Basically all Spellblade abilities conflict with each other. They are "either-or".

    One or more of them is likely to be optimal, and the rest discarded as useless. Doesn't really matter which.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    I like that idea. Rather than being an occasional boost to your regular attack - like a Battlemaster's Superiority Dice - it ends up being a reliable tactical choice. I'd suggest perhaps one Spellblade effect just being purely damage-focused, to make their subclass abilities still useful even when just hitting something.
    All right. Based on above, Deleted, and Gr7mm Bobb's comments, made some ability changes:

    - Non-combat: Changed Lore Seeker to at-will advantage on one of Arcana, History, Investigation. Moved Strength of Mind to 5th level to fill the empty spot, because it will scale decently based on your Int mod. At 15 level, added a new ability, Roads Scholar, which upgrades Lore Seeker to be advantage on all Int ability checks. If fits the fluff of training a keen mind and picking up a lot of knowledge over time. Frankly if a player stuck it out that long they deserve the utility upgrade...

    - Spellblade: At-will, takes a bonus action to charge, works on one melee attack, doesn't work if you cast a spell. Changed the fire ability to have a save vs. dealing more damage next turn, so there's always a persistent damage option. That's tentative though--honestly if you want damage, probably better to use Spellsword Strike instead...

    - Aegis: Now At-will, removed Ensnarement to keep power creep down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    Also, I'd suggest giving the Spellsword the ability to spend spell slots to enhance their Aegis or Spellblade, so they have an alternative to the Paladin's Smite. While a Smite might be better just for damage the Spellsword's abilities have more tactical effect, and so even out a bit better.
    As cool and fitting as the spell slots enhancement might be, it just feels like it's treading too much on the Paladin's territory. If you let the Spellsword spend the slot after the attack hits it is just like Paladin Smite, and if you do it before it could be a waste of the slot (or easily gamed with things like Devastating Spellblade).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    A spellsword that doesn't get any spells or even magic at level 1 seems wrong. Or is the chart just in error?

    Some text says cantrips at level 1, the table says level 2.

    Not having spells at level 1 is dissappointing.

    ---

    If you don't want actual spellcasting at level 1, you could grant them a spellbook and spells known and ritual casting.
    The text was in error, should have been cantrips at level 2. That was to align with the Paladin and Ranger classes. The class gets some magic at level 1 in the form of the bonded weapon (teleport to hand, and what is basically a light cantrip).

    That said, it's not out of the question to give just the cantrips at level 1, and the rest of spellcasting at level 2. It doesn't align very well with other 5E classes though, and it might make it a bit too easy for other classes to dip 1 level and gain cantrips, d10 HD, and weapon/armor proficiencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post

    You should be casting spells and meleeing as early as possible. Spellsword Bond should permit somatic components using your bound weapon.
    Well, that's exactly what the Warcaster feat is for. Just like with EK or Sorcadin builds, I imagine most Sword-and-Board Spellswords will end up taking that feat.

    Though--if Spellsword is changed to provide cantrips are at level 1, it would be possible for a Variant Human to take the Warcaster feat at level 1. (It's kinda silly that a Paladin or Ranger can't take warcaster at level 1). So worth considering that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Sword and Sorcery meh. Something flashier.
    Do you have suggestions for this?

    IMO the point of a fighting style is not to be flashy, it's to provide a slight bonus that accommodates that style (though some UA styles like Tunnel Fighter do buck this trend). My goal with this style was to accommodate gish archetypes who like to wield a weapon in one hand and nothing in the other. The Spellsword Tactics ability also provide more flashy abilities around this fighting style, so didn't want to tread too much on what that ability does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post

    The d8 HD is an interesting idea.

    Make it d8, but give them a Ward. The Ward is 1+Spellsword Level temporary HP, and can be refreshed with an Action.

    The shielding swordmage can have a double strength ward, and maybe the ability to refresh it sometimes as a Bonus Action.
    This is actually more powerful than d10 HD. 1d8 vs 1d10 is on average +1 HP, which is refreshed on a long rest or by healing. The ward gives you that same amount of HP that is refreshed on an action. That's really powerful, and also very similar to what the Abjuration archetype for wizards already gets. Would rather keep to d10 HD as it it is simpler and doesn't tread on other classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post

    Spellblade runs into a bonus action shortage.

    The "default" action is cantrip, basic attack as bonus via spellstrike.

    Spellblade uses its bonus action to charge a basic attack with +1-4 d6. But it loses its cantrip.

    Basically all Spellblade abilities conflict with each other. They are "either-or".

    One or more of them is likely to be optimal, and the rest discarded as useless. Doesn't really matter which.
    I'm not sure I understand. The intent is indeed to replace using Spellsword Strike. Either you do attack + spell, or you use Spellblade. Spellblade does some extra damage (but less than attack + cantrip, intentionally), and includes a rider effect of for tactical versatility. Also I don't get what you mean by the abilities conflict with each other. You can only use one ability a turn, none of them lasts longer than a turn, and they all serve completely different tactical purposes. Some of them require saves because they are more powerful, others don't.

    The Flame Blade is a work in progress, because if you really want more damage, you probably should just use Spellsword Strike. Also the +1d6 to +4d6 amounts could be changed--my DPR theorycraft is probably not as strong as others around here.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Made a couple of changes here, mainly to Spellblade ability. I crunched out the math on DPR and Yakk was right, it didn't make a lot of sense to have Spellblade use a bonus action + action when compared to the another cantrip such as Booming Blade + attack. The damage and tactical benefit of each elemental infusion are roughly on part with what Booming Blade and Greenflame Blade provide (a little more versatility, but as an archetype's primary ability that should be ok).

    To accommodate for this, I converted into a cantrip-style class ability so it can be combined with Spellsword Strike. Also changed Devastating Spellblade; now it takes a bonus action to charge, but gives advantage on the Spellblade strike and maximizes elemental damage dice. DPR wise it comes out roughly the same as Spellsword Strike, but with increased chance to hit from Advantage. This maintains the tactical decision of the previous version--you can strike-and-cast, or if you want to do one all-out precise strike (and layer on Great Weapon Master or something).

    Side note--new Hexblade patron for Warlocks looks pretty cool. Didn't really change my designs much (I don't like the idea of giving casting stat to weapon attack rolls), but at least glad to see Pact of the Blade finally getting some love.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    This looks great. I love the concept of the Gish, and this is a great take on it.

    Also, I completely agree with the Stormwind Fallacy in your sig. A character I am playing right now uses that. Ironically, his last name is Stormwind.
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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Love the class, great work. I know I'm a bit late reading this, but was wondering about some of the design choices.

    1. Is the class supposed to favor a Str or Dex melee fighter? If Dex, the heavy armor will make the character far too MAD. If Str, Polearm, SM and GWM can't benefit as much from the bonus action attacks, as Spellsword Strike already uses it. Not a major thing, was just wondering if it was intentional.

    2. HD - I think d10 is appropriate, fitting with the other frontlines like EK or Paladin. For a bit more flexibility, was wondering how an unarmored type feature might go? eg: +1Hp/level, and mage armor at-will. The extra HP would bring the average up to be close enough to d10, and the mage armor would help out the Dex spellswords(and fits the theme). Str guys could still make use of the heavy armor.

    3. Spellblade - At level two you're highly encouraged to take Booming Blade and/or Greenflame Blade. They have their rider initially, then both primary attack and rider rise in damage. Spellblade seems like a versatility feature over a damage feature, so was wondering why you broke from this sort of formula that would help balance? You've also broken from the standard progression(5/11/17), which makes it feel really odd. Instead of choosing an option purely for its rider, with damage basically remaining the same, this makes some more/less powerful at various levels. At level 3, Spellblade cantrips win on primary target damage. Levels 5 and 6, BB/GFB win, and the rider also gets a damage boost. Level 7 Spellblade back in the lead, level 11 BB/GFB etc.
    The Spellblade riders all feel balanced, the stronger ones requiring a saving throw.
    Also, I'm assuming the components for these new cantrips are VM like BB/GFB?

    4. Arcane Fury - Up until this point, it seems like the channeller is about honing his own skills, and building on his Spellblade infusions. Where did the party buff come from?
    One round, once per day, seems very weak, and I don't like that the pinnacle of the channeller actually locks you out of its primary feature. If it's a once per day big fury, I'd rather see it like a form, eg. "You can attack the target twice when you use a Spellblade cantrip, and it has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against that cantrip. You have advantage on all athletics and acrobatics checks while arcane fury lasts. Duration 1 minute. Once per long rest."
    Or target two with any cantrip.

    5. Arcane vs Elemental - Where is the force damage option? It all seems elemental based. The acid has the poison rider, but where are the other non-elemental arcane types. Fire Bolt, but no Chill Touch for example. I'm not suggesting Spellblade should cover all arcane damage types, but the class as a whole probably should. Was it just to help limit the selection of spells?

    6. Spell List - Maybe its metagaming, but when I think of an arcane melee caster, I think of using magic to supplement attack and shore up defence(outside of this classes exploration vibe). Hard to hit if you can't see. Hard to hit if you can't reach. You've got things like Light and Flame Blade, but I thought spells like See Invisible and Freedom of Movement should make an appearance. Would that make the list too big?

    7. Would it be too much let Adroit Explorer also ignore difficult terrain?

    I haven't got through the Path of Shielding yet. You're probably hoping I don't :P

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    I would argue that, referring to the 3.5 prestige class, spellsword shouldn't have proficiency with shields.
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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Love the class, great work. I know I'm a bit late reading this, but was wondering about some of the design choices.

    1. Is the class supposed to favor a Str or Dex melee fighter? If Dex, the heavy armor will make the character far too MAD. If Str, Polearm, SM and GWM can't benefit as much from the bonus action attacks, as Spellsword Strike already uses it. Not a major thing, was just wondering if it was intentional.

    2. HD - I think d10 is appropriate, fitting with the other frontlines like EK or Paladin. For a bit more flexibility, was wondering how an unarmored type feature might go? eg: +1Hp/level, and mage armor at-will. The extra HP would bring the average up to be close enough to d10, and the mage armor would help out the Dex spellswords(and fits the theme). Str guys could still make use of the heavy armor.

    3. Spellblade - At level two you're highly encouraged to take Booming Blade and/or Greenflame Blade. They have their rider initially, then both primary attack and rider rise in damage. Spellblade seems like a versatility feature over a damage feature, so was wondering why you broke from this sort of formula that would help balance? You've also broken from the standard progression(5/11/17), which makes it feel really odd. Instead of choosing an option purely for its rider, with damage basically remaining the same, this makes some more/less powerful at various levels. At level 3, Spellblade cantrips win on primary target damage. Levels 5 and 6, BB/GFB win, and the rider also gets a damage boost. Level 7 Spellblade back in the lead, level 11 BB/GFB etc.
    The Spellblade riders all feel balanced, the stronger ones requiring a saving throw.
    Also, I'm assuming the components for these new cantrips are VM like BB/GFB?

    4. Arcane Fury - Up until this point, it seems like the channeller is about honing his own skills, and building on his Spellblade infusions. Where did the party buff come from?
    One round, once per day, seems very weak, and I don't like that the pinnacle of the channeller actually locks you out of its primary feature. If it's a once per day big fury, I'd rather see it like a form, eg. "You can attack the target twice when you use a Spellblade cantrip, and it has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against that cantrip. You have advantage on all athletics and acrobatics checks while arcane fury lasts. Duration 1 minute. Once per long rest."
    Or target two with any cantrip.

    5. Arcane vs Elemental - Where is the force damage option? It all seems elemental based. The acid has the poison rider, but where are the other non-elemental arcane types. Fire Bolt, but no Chill Touch for example. I'm not suggesting Spellblade should cover all arcane damage types, but the class as a whole probably should. Was it just to help limit the selection of spells?

    6. Spell List - Maybe its metagaming, but when I think of an arcane melee caster, I think of using magic to supplement attack and shore up defence(outside of this classes exploration vibe). Hard to hit if you can't see. Hard to hit if you can't reach. You've got things like Light and Flame Blade, but I thought spells like See Invisible and Freedom of Movement should make an appearance. Would that make the list too big?

    7. Would it be too much let Adroit Explorer also ignore difficult terrain?

    I haven't got through the Path of Shielding yet. You're probably hoping I don't :P
    Thanks for taking a look at this. I saw that you built out a Swordmage class based on mine and I'm quite flattered Let me see if I can answer some of your points:

    1. The intent was to not favor either Str or Dex but provide options for both. It's true there are some compromises which is just an unfortunate part of 5E action economy. Both Polearm (Str) and Shield Masters (Str or Dex) get affected the most; GWF isn't quite as bad as you still get the -5/+10 benefit.

    2. Unarmored characters can make use of Mage Armor which is on the spell list. I didn't want to overly favor Dex by offering more inbuilt abilities for unarmored characters.

    3. The reason Spellblade gained benefits at those levels was because those are also levels that archetypes get benefits. In retrospect that's not really necessary, it could easily be done at 5th, 11th and 17th levels to line up with cantrips. I might just change that actually. Spellblade is explicitly not a standard cantrip because I didn't want it to be something that another class could just dip into at 3rd level and gain the later level benefits without taking the class, like Warlock's Eldritch Blast. It should be V,M components as the other SCAG cantrips, I will correct that.

    4. I never thought of the Channeling Archetype as solely focusing on themselves but I guess that's true; I had envisioned more as simply an offensive archetype, and thus buffing allies offensively with Arcane Fury. I like a group buff there so I think I'll keep it. It really doesn't make sense that it locks you out of the Spellblade ability though, so will change that.

    That said, I really liked your part about using the cantrip attack twice. I've been pretty dissatisfied with the 20th level Spellsword ability as being too derivative, but double spellcasting fits much more thematically as a 1 minute buff.

    5. There is a Force damage option in the form of the Sword Burst cantrip. There are some force damage spells or effects (Magic Missile, Wall of Force) as well. I didn't really homebrew any spells but that would be easy enough to do.

    6. I tried to keep the spell list tight for balance reasons. See Invisibility is good but it doesn't really fit the theme of combat/exploration, it's more of a full caster utility spell. Freedom of Movement does make sense for the class theme. Actually it probably makes a lot more sense then, say, Wall of Fire. I might just switch it out.

    7. I think the ability is powerful enough as it is. As it stands Adroit Explorer and Eternal Sentry are a bit uninspired though. My original version of Eternal Sentry was +5 bonus to passive perception which fit the theme better. Adroit Explorer could be about ignoring difficult terrain then, although I wonder if on it's own that is too weak. Need to think through that.

    And please feel free to provide feedback on the Shielding Path, I'm always looking to improve the class design!

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    I would argue that, referring to the 3.5 prestige class, spellsword shouldn't have proficiency with shields.
    Although the class is title Spellsword it isn't necessarily based on the 3.5 class, it's an opinionated take on the "gish" type modernized for 5e playstyle. Also although the 3.5 Spellsword didn't get shields, it was a prestige class and thus you almost certainly started with a base class that did get shields (like Fighter).

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Thanks for taking a look at this. I saw that you built out a Swordmage class based on mine and I'm quite flattered Let me see if I can answer some of your points:

    1. The intent was to not favor either Str or Dex but provide options for both. It's true there are some compromises which is just an unfortunate part of 5E action economy. Both Polearm (Str) and Shield Masters (Str or Dex) get affected the most; GWF isn't quite as bad as you still get the -5/+10 benefit.

    2. Unarmored characters can make use of Mage Armor which is on the spell list. I didn't want to overly favor Dex by offering more inbuilt abilities for unarmored characters.

    3. The reason Spellblade gained benefits at those levels was because those are also levels that archetypes get benefits. In retrospect that's not really necessary, it could easily be done at 5th, 11th and 17th levels to line up with cantrips. I might just change that actually. Spellblade is explicitly not a standard cantrip because I didn't want it to be something that another class could just dip into at 3rd level and gain the later level benefits without taking the class, like Warlock's Eldritch Blast. It should be V,M components as the other SCAG cantrips, I will correct that.

    4. I never thought of the Channeling Archetype as solely focusing on themselves but I guess that's true; I had envisioned more as simply an offensive archetype, and thus buffing allies offensively with Arcane Fury. I like a group buff there so I think I'll keep it. It really doesn't make sense that it locks you out of the Spellblade ability though, so will change that.

    That said, I really liked your part about using the cantrip attack twice. I've been pretty dissatisfied with the 20th level Spellsword ability as being too derivative, but double spellcasting fits much more thematically as a 1 minute buff.

    5. There is a Force damage option in the form of the Sword Burst cantrip. There are some force damage spells or effects (Magic Missile, Wall of Force) as well. I didn't really homebrew any spells but that would be easy enough to do.

    6. I tried to keep the spell list tight for balance reasons. See Invisibility is good but it doesn't really fit the theme of combat/exploration, it's more of a full caster utility spell. Freedom of Movement does make sense for the class theme. Actually it probably makes a lot more sense then, say, Wall of Fire. I might just switch it out.

    7. I think the ability is powerful enough as it is. As it stands Adroit Explorer and Eternal Sentry are a bit uninspired though. My original version of Eternal Sentry was +5 bonus to passive perception which fit the theme better. Adroit Explorer could be about ignoring difficult terrain then, although I wonder if on it's own that is too weak. Need to think through that.

    And please feel free to provide feedback on the Shielding Path, I'm always looking to improve the class design!
    As you know I've been looking at this a lot harder lately, so my initial critique has changed a bit

    2. I didn't see it as favoring Dex, more just leveling the playing field without a spell tax. Like a barbarians Unarmored Defense, you can wear armor or not, depending on your build/flavor(although this isn't around Dex). The point being, the barbarian has a feature that he may not use - dealers choice. An Unarmored Defense option that either Str or Dex based characters could use is what I was after(I used 13+Int). Plate armor is restricted to Str 15, so Dex needs something that can level the playing field imo. I think something based on Int would therefore stay neutral.

    4. Changed my mind about the group buff aspect, it still fits the Channeling vibe.

    5. Not necessarily spells, but effects. I liked the 4e Swordmages shielding ward. If you are using a one-handed weapon, +3 AC, two-handed weapon, +1 AC. The feature adapted to the user. They were also leather armor only. I prefer a class that has the option to build to your playstyle, using a common flavor(sword and spell). So a 4e Swordmage(light armored, Dex, one-handed weapon) could be a valid option, or a big plate wearing, halberd swinging arcane knight.

    6. Yes, spell list needs to be limited, we just disagree on what fits combat/exploration

    7. Uninspired, I like that term I'm having the same issue.

    8. I keep seeing Spellsword as a remake of Swordmage, I think its clouding my judgement The different "Paths" were secondary roles to tanking, and I liked that structure. Channelling is the versatile control option, Aegis of Shielding is a great protection path, and Aegis of Assault was the damage path(usually a two-handed weapon). For that reason, having Shielding and Assault in the same path feels a bit strong.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    As you know I've been looking at this a lot harder lately, so my initial critique has changed a bit

    2. I didn't see it as favoring Dex, more just leveling the playing field without a spell tax. Like a barbarians Unarmored Defense, you can wear armor or not, depending on your build/flavor(although this isn't around Dex). The point being, the barbarian has a feature that he may not use - dealers choice. An Unarmored Defense option that either Str or Dex based characters could use is what I was after(I used 13+Int). Plate armor is restricted to Str 15, so Dex needs something that can level the playing field imo. I think something based on Int would therefore stay neutral.

    4. Changed my mind about the group buff aspect, it still fits the Channeling vibe.

    5. Not necessarily spells, but effects. I liked the 4e Swordmages shielding ward. If you are using a one-handed weapon, +3 AC, two-handed weapon, +1 AC. The feature adapted to the user. They were also leather armor only. I prefer a class that has the option to build to your playstyle, using a common flavor(sword and spell). So a 4e Swordmage(light armored, Dex, one-handed weapon) could be a valid option, or a big plate wearing, halberd swinging arcane knight.

    6. Yes, spell list needs to be limited, we just disagree on what fits combat/exploration

    7. Uninspired, I like that term I'm having the same issue.

    8. I keep seeing Spellsword as a remake of Swordmage, I think its clouding my judgement The different "Paths" were secondary roles to tanking, and I liked that structure. Channelling is the versatile control option, Aegis of Shielding is a great protection path, and Aegis of Assault was the damage path(usually a two-handed weapon). For that reason, having Shielding and Assault in the same path feels a bit strong.
    You've got a good point on the warding part, I liked the old 4e warding ability a lot too. I really wanted to make it work but it's hard to offer a feature geared towards one-handed weapon-no-shield users in a class that overall tries to offer (relatively) equal options for other weapon types. Originally I had my "Sword and Sorcery" fighting style add AC but someone pointed out that makes it strictly better than the "Defense" fighting style, so that was out. The other problem (as I mentioned in your thread) is that adding the swordmage warding ability makes it the class an extremely attractive 1 level dip for wizards. That wasn't a problem the way 4E multiclassing worked, but does prove problematic in 5e.

    Aegis of Shielding and Assault might be strong for a single archetype, true. The Stone Sorcerer basically does that too though, so I don't feel too bad.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    You've got a good point on the warding part, I liked the old 4e warding ability a lot too. I really wanted to make it work but it's hard to offer a feature geared towards one-handed weapon-no-shield users in a class that overall tries to offer (relatively) equal options for other weapon types. Originally I had my "Sword and Sorcery" fighting style add AC but someone pointed out that makes it strictly better than the "Defense" fighting style, so that was out. The other problem (as I mentioned in your thread) is that adding the swordmage warding ability makes it the class an extremely attractive 1 level dip for wizards. That wasn't a problem the way 4E multiclassing worked, but does prove problematic in 5e.
    The idea of the warding, is to make up for a lack of something as opposed to granted something extra - in this case a shield. 4e it was shield and armor heavier than Leather. As long as its limited to replacing a shield, it should work fine.
    The strength of the Defense fighting style, aside from +1 AC, is the broad stroke - any armor. I like the Mariner fighting style, which gave +1 AC and climb speed, but limited the bonus to medium armor. As long as it has a limited and not a crazy benefit, it should work.
    Multi-classing makes balancing very difficult, because you tend to either have to tone down the ability making it less attractive to a straight class, or lock the abilities to the class. I prefer locking abilities to the class if multi-classing can be abuse. Some things are ok, like wizards multiclassing to get armor/shields if thats what they choose. Other things designed to work on a Spellswords limited spell selection, can be abused by a wizard, so need to be locked.

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Aegis of Shielding and Assault might be strong for a single archetype, true. The Stone Sorcerer basically does that too though, so I don't feel too bad.
    I made up a mountain dwarf Stone Sorcerer for our level 8 game, and it was just OP(Str>Con>Cha). Con boosts HP, AC and concentration checks. Cha was an afterthought.
    If you just focused your spell slots on Shield/Absorb Elements, and Twin Spell Booming Blades, you are a living thunder thumper who has little need for Cha. I rarely got hit because of Shield(+AC18 from Stone's Durability), I was protecting our "tank" with aegis, if they attacked our tank they'd get a lovely thunder-juiced battleaxe thump out of nowhere, and on my turn it was a twin thunder thump(Booming Blade x2 for 1 sorc point). I was out-tanking, out-damaging the battlemaster, and if the enemy tried to gather up and form a line, Fireball. Sure my spell DC wasn't flash, but half damage to a bunch of enemies is still solid. The only thing he couldn't do was heal, but a 1 level dip to bard would sort that out quick fast and in a hurry. My long winded point is, I wouldn't be balancing homebrew against that thing
    Last edited by Ugganaut; 2017-08-14 at 09:42 AM.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Based on the creative work from Ugganaut and additional feedback from others, I decided to take another look at the Spellsword class and figure out how it can better fit the old gish type a bit more uniquely. I've also been meaning to add another archetype, Path of Shadows, based partially on the old 4e Umbriri Swordmage. Whereas Channeling is a bit of a minor controller and Shielding provide defense potential, the Shadow Spellsword is more about single target damage.

    So, I present to you Spellsword 2.0!

    Changelog:

    Base Class:
    - 1st: Spellsword Bond removed the grab a weapon from your hand as it was the exact same as the EK ability. Instead, granted a spellsword SCAG cantrip at 1st level to give the class some magical ability as people had requested. Removed shield proficiency (See Sword and Sorcery next level)
    - 2nd: Removed Fighting Style and doubled down on Sword and Sorcery to differentiate more from the paladin. This provides a way to run the class with weapon in one hand and nothing in the other which is thematic for a gish, but also still provide benefits to someone who wants to do great weapon fighting (or using a shield if you multiclass). Also removed Ritual Casting as someone pointed out this is something that really only full casters get.
    - 10th: Based on feedback, limited Spellsword Tactics to only # of times per day = to Int modifier (min 1).
    - 20th: Changed Spellsword Mastery to be a short rest ability that allows you to cast spells and then use a spellsword cantrip as a bonus action for 1 minute per short rest. This more specifically builds on top of the previous Spellsword abilities while not being too unlimited in utility.

    Path of Channeling:
    3rd: Spellblade follows other cantrips for damage now with +1d8 at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels. Easier to follow and track as a cantrip.
    7th: Adroit Explorer has been redesigned to be more flavorful.
    14th: Devastating Spellblade now gives a consistent damage boost rather than force a decision choice on bonus action (which was at odds with action economy for Spellsword Strike)
    18th: Arcane Fury no longer requires a bonus action as that unnecessarily limited damage potential

    Path of Shielding
    7th: Eternal Sentry has been redesigned to be more useful and focused around Perception.

    Added a brand new archetype, Path of Shadows! Focus is on single target damage and darkness-related abilities. Also trimmed the overall spell list to remove things that weren't really about combat or exploration.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Expanded the original Swordmage I did into a broader gish, its a hard thing to balance. The number crunching is not my strong suit, so keep that in mind with the following comments

    Spellsword Strike: At level 5, I think its superior to Extra Attack. A Battlemaster or a Paladin for example can add limited amounts of d8's, but Spellsword Strike is getting +1d8 from its cantrip at the cost of a bonus action. If its a TWFighter or Polearm Master, things are different. I won't compare Sharpshooter/GWM -5/10, because I think they are a bit broken.
    I think things start evening out the higher you go, especially with a Fighter's Extra Attack 2/3 and Paladin's increased spell slots, so its not a huge issue on its own.

    Intelligent Blademaster: I think this might be a bit too much. The issue I had was the 4e version was to scale damage. In 5e the weapon cantrips are already gaining in power at lvl 11(+2d8), it seems like a bit much. Its like two normal attacks with a 2d8+Int boost, which is more than a third attack. I could definitely have missed something here.

    Spellsword Mastery: 1 minute each short rest?

    Ice Blade: +1d6 extra dmg at level 1 is high with a rider as well.

    Devastating Spellblade: I like it.

    Aegis of Shielding: I having issues with this one in mine, I just can't tell if its balanced or OP - it feels OP. The aegis has a 60ft range, and bonus action to use. If you're a protection toon, which shielding is, then giving up the bonus action attack is not an issue to switch targets. So its very easy to switch to the target that isn't attacking you, to make the aegis trigger regularly. Reducing damage by half each round is very strong. Combined with any form of resistance, and it has to be too strong. You pair a Spellsword and a Barbarian, and the Barbarian is taking 1/4 damage from B/P/S(on one attack per round). I changed mine from "half" to "resistance" so it didn't double up. Also, "half damage" applies to absolutely everything. Weapon attacks, spell attacks, spell saves, breath weapons etc.
    Things like Protection style or Sentinel feat, which have "as long as the other guy doesn't have this", and usually have to be adjacent(meaning the enemy can target you to avoid the nasties).
    So the other issue I have is it has a high potential to outshine other classes that should excel at protection. Sword and Board Protection style Fighters for example.

    Aegis of Assault: Same issues as Shielding, in that you just bonus action switch aegis(switching the second attack from bonus action to reaction), and you're teleporting every round, ON TOP of the option to use Shielding.

    Total Aegis: Strong, but I think it needs more than 1/long. Maybe 2/long. 1/short seems a bit often. Int/long is too many.

    Path of Shadows: Simple but effective, I'd play one.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Expanded the original Swordmage I did into a broader gish, its a hard thing to balance. The number crunching is not my strong suit, so keep that in mind with the following comments

    Spellsword Strike: At level 5, I think its superior to Extra Attack. A Battlemaster or a Paladin for example can add limited amounts of d8's, but Spellsword Strike is getting +1d8 from its cantrip at the cost of a bonus action. If its a TWFighter or Polearm Master, things are different. I won't compare Sharpshooter/GWM -5/10, because I think they are a bit broken.
    I think things start evening out the higher you go, especially with a Fighter's Extra Attack 2/3 and Paladin's increased spell slots, so its not a huge issue on its own.
    Actually Spellsword Strike kicks in at 6th level, mainly because it would've been too much to boost at 5th level (effectively extra attack + cantrip damage). Given this this is the class' main staple, I don't think it's too much of a deal, particularly as the EK gets cantrip damage at 7th level, and then Fighter starts getting ahead with 3rd attack and later 4th attack at higher levels as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Intelligent Blademaster: I think this might be a bit too much. The issue I had was the 4e version was to scale damage. In 5e the weapon cantrips are already gaining in power at lvl 11(+2d8), it seems like a bit much. Its like two normal attacks with a 2d8+Int boost, which is more than a third attack. I could definitely have missed something here.
    Hmm, well Paladins get Improved Divine Smite at level 11 and Fighters get another extra attack. I need to run a DPR calculation and get back to compare if the Spellsword is overpowered in this regard...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Spellsword Mastery: 1 minute each short rest?
    Yeah, effectively one battle per short rest. When you compare to other capstones I don't think it is crazy powerful. If it seems that way could easily knock back down to 1 minute per long rest, though I think that seems underpowered compared to, say, a Paladin's capstone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Ice Blade: +1d6 extra dmg at level 1 is high with a rider as well.
    Whoops, that's a legacy typo. It should be the same +1d8 at 5th, 11th, and 17th to normalize with SCAG cantrips. Fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Aegis of Shielding: I having issues with this one in mine, I just can't tell if its balanced or OP - it feels OP. The aegis has a 60ft range, and bonus action to use. If you're a protection toon, which shielding is, then giving up the bonus action attack is not an issue to switch targets. So its very easy to switch to the target that isn't attacking you, to make the aegis trigger regularly. Reducing damage by half each round is very strong. Combined with any form of resistance, and it has to be too strong. You pair a Spellsword and a Barbarian, and the Barbarian is taking 1/4 damage from B/P/S(on one attack per round). I changed mine from "half" to "resistance" so it didn't double up. Also, "half damage" applies to absolutely everything. Weapon attacks, spell attacks, spell saves, breath weapons etc.
    Things like Protection style or Sentinel feat, which have "as long as the other guy doesn't have this", and usually have to be adjacent(meaning the enemy can target you to avoid the nasties).
    So the other issue I have is it has a high potential to outshine other classes that should excel at protection. Sword and Board Protection style Fighters for example.
    This is a tough one. Compare to the Stone Sorcerer, which gives a bonus action marking (of an ally though, not an opponent), constant DR for S/P/B attacks (no reaction and works on multiple attacks, but likely not as good as half damage and for a limited set of damage types), and the teleport attack also deals extra damage as you gain in level. Of course Stone Sorc is UA and not necessarily fully balanced.

    Also, keep in mind that the Spellsword can only do this against one attack per round from one target. At higher levels that is not really all that great when enemies have multiple attacks, nor all that great against hordes.
    A couple of possible changes that can make this more balanced:

    - Make marking a target with Aegis as a spellcasting action, so you can still make a bonus action Spellsword Strike attack (but still discourages changing marks every turn)
    - Change the reduce damage by half to resistance (that's a good idea to avoid stacking)
    - Make it only work for things that require an attack roll (or just "hits with an attack")

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Aegis of Assault: Same issues as Shielding, in that you just bonus action switch aegis(switching the second attack from bonus action to reaction), and you're teleporting every round, ON TOP of the option to use Shielding.
    Hopefully the action marking proposal from above solves this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Total Aegis: Strong, but I think it needs more than 1/long. Maybe 2/long. 1/short seems a bit often. Int/long is too many.
    Since it is strong, I think 1/long is fine.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Actually Spellsword Strike kicks in at 6th level, mainly because it would've been too much to boost at 5th level (effectively extra attack + cantrip damage). Given this this is the class' main staple, I don't think it's too much of a deal, particularly as the EK gets cantrip damage at 7th level, and then Fighter starts getting ahead with 3rd attack and later 4th attack at higher levels as you mentioned.
    5th or 6th, I don't think there's much to that can be done, it will just be stronger than the others a bit earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Hmm, well Paladins get Improved Divine Smite at level 11 and Fighters get another extra attack. I need to run a DPR calculation and get back to compare if the Spellsword is overpowered in this regard...
    The equivalent of Improved Divine Smite is build into the cantrips, it just cost you that bonus action to get the two attacks with the extra damage(2d8 instead of 1d8 x2). Intelligent Blademaster is again the equivalent of Improved Divine Smite, instead using an average of 4-5(d8) on each hit. Don't know how to do a DPR calculation, so will be interested in the results

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Yeah, effectively one battle per short rest. When you compare to other capstones I don't think it is crazy powerful. If it seems that way could easily knock back down to 1 minute per long rest, though I think that seems underpowered compared to, say, a Paladin's capstone.
    Comparing to a Paladin capstone that does damage like Holy Nimbus, you've got 10 radiant damage an enemies within 30ft which is great, plus a situational advantage vs spells. Spellsword Mastery is basically +3d8 damage to one target per turn(the different between normal attack and cantrip attack). I think you're right that its underpowered for 1/long, but 1/short seems a bit often. Maybe you're right, and this isn't an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    This is a tough one. Compare to the Stone Sorcerer, which gives a bonus action marking (of an ally though, not an opponent), constant DR for S/P/B attacks (no reaction and works on multiple attacks, but likely not as good as half damage and for a limited set of damage types), and the teleport attack also deals extra damage as you gain in level. Of course Stone Sorc is UA and not necessarily fully balanced.
    I made an 8th level dwarven Stone Sorcerer for one of our games, but decided not to play it. If I put that aegis on our barbarian(who has sentinel feat), things got a bit crazy. Could barely hurt the guy, and if both were on the same target, one of us would be getting a reaction attack every round with a big hit. I could protect the barbarian better than the dwarven axe+shield protection style fighter. As a sorcerer. The DM for that game is fairly lenient with UA stuff, as long as we use our discretion on balanced material. That origin is not balanced, and would most likely make our dedicated protection "tank" feel pretty sub-par.
    Stone Sorc was the original inspiration to start looking into a Swordmage conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Also, keep in mind that the Spellsword can only do this against one attack per round from one target. At higher levels that is not really all that great when enemies have multiple attacks, nor all that great against hordes.
    I was comparing it to things like Protection style and Sentinel feat, which I think is about the most common way to play a tank sort - shield ally or punish enemy when ally is attacked. Both use reaction, so only 1 attack per round, both require being in melee, and both require the other doesn't have the same protection feature as you. My personal opinion, is the Protection Fighter should be the benchmark at his job, and others should be balanced against it. I'm probably in the minority there. As resistance is about the same as disadvantage in power level, the one attack per round is on par. But you can also do it at range. And you have the option of a Sentinel feat type retribution, again you can teleport from range into melee to get the attack(and free re-position).

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    A couple of possible changes that can make this more balanced:
    - Make marking a target with Aegis as a spellcasting action, so you can still make a bonus action Spellsword Strike attack (but still discourages changing marks every turn)
    - Change the reduce damage by half to resistance (that's a good idea to avoid stacking)
    - Make it only work for things that require an attack roll (or just "hits with an attack")
    I like it. I think it should only work on weapon attacks, but spellcasting action, resistance - I think that might even things out more.

    Quote Originally Posted by miburo View Post
    Since it is strong, I think 1/long is fine.
    I was comparing Total Aegis to Arcane Fury. Arcane Fury could be as brutal as your party make-up allows - a massive nova round for weapon attack characters. Unless you're travelling with only wizards(or non-weapon users), there is no fight this wouldn't be really strong. One big guy, smash. Horde, smash. Rogues would want to marry you, and Fighters would have your babies(especially 2WF).
    Total Aegis giving resistance is not as strong. Its awesome against nasty area of effects like fireball and breath weapons, where it could be a real life saver. And if you don't come across those things that day? Its usefulness is directly related to how many allies are getting attacked, that aren't protected by your aegis. Usually its one or two melee guys taking 90% of the hits. Usually. If you're up against a big bad guy, its probably one melee guy taking the brunt of it. The path already lets you dish out resistance to one ally for free every round, so this is doubling up on that, making it not as strong. So outside of AoE, you'd probably use this to protect someone who isn't being attacked by your aegis target. Compare that to Arcane Fury, and its weaker. You could probably go 1/short pretty safely, but to avoid days where every enemy is throwing AoE, 2/long to try and even out against Arcane Fury would be my suggestion.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    So I did a very rough DPR calculation in order to compare Fighter, Paladin, Spellsword, and Warlock. We will compare Levels 2, 6, 12, and 20 to even out the different levels at which each class gets stuff. Of course this could be optimized via multiclassing, Great Weapon Fighting, archetype bonuses, etc. But I chose to use a relatively straightforward case for comparison.

    Fighter - Longsword (avg 4.5 per attack), Dueling Style (+2 per attack), Str +3 at Lvl 1, +4 at Lvl 6, +5 at Lvl 11.
    Paladin - Longsword, Dueling, Str +3 at Lvl 1, +4 at Lvl 6, +5 at Lvl 12, Improved Divine Smite at Lvl 11 (4.5 per attack)
    Spellsword - Longsword, Booming Blade, Str +3 at Lvl 1, +4 at Lvl 6, Str/Int +5/+4 at Lvl 12, +5/+5 at Lvl 20
    Warlock - Eldritch Blast (avg. 5.5 per attack), Agonizing Blast Cha +3 at Lvl 1, +4 at Lvl 6, +5 at Lvl 11

    Fighter gets extra attack at 5, 11, 20. Paladin gets extra attack at 5, Improved Divine Smite at 11. Spellsword gets Spellsword Strike at 6, Intelligent Blademaster at 11. Warlock gets new rays at 5, 11, 17, and 20.

    Here's what the table looks like:

    Level 2 Level 6 Level 12 Level 20
    Fighter 9.5 21 34.5 46
    Paladin 9.5 21 32 32
    Spellsword 7.5 21.5 36 42.5
    Warlock 8.5 19 31.5 42
    Spellsword no IB 7.5 21.5 28 32.5

    Looking at the table, Intelligent Blademaster adds a considerable damage boost for Spellsword that actually puts it slightly ahead of the Fighter at level 12, though it falls behind at level 20. The Paladin falls behind but makes up for it with the nova potential of smites. Warlock has a pretty steady DPR with the benefit of being at range. However, removing IB puts the Spellsword behind every other class with no good way to recoup the damage potential. Not sure what changes to make just yet, if any...

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Interesting, it doesn't include many things, but its a good little snapshot. My main concern with your setup, is Dueling style is skewing the numbers, when its possible for Pal/Ftr/SS to be on even footing using a two-handed weapon, or sword+board for a comparison. Then the rider effect from Booming Blade/GFB can be "evened out" by the fighting style of Pal/Ftr.

    How does Warlock get an extra ray at 20?

    Would half Int modifier for IB work better?

    For this calculation, I don't think Paladin or Spellsword should out damage the Fighter at any stage outside of burst or AoE damage.
    Not sure if IB is guilty of OP or just power creep. It might not be disruptive enough to worry about further changes, but I know my DM wouldn't allow it.

    I just realized Sword and Sorcery gives a +1 AC, but only a +2 AC when using a one-handed weapon. Feels like the difference should be a shield(2), so 0/+2 or +1/+3.

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    Default Re: The Spellsword (5e base class) - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Interesting, it doesn't include many things, but its a good little snapshot. My main concern with your setup, is Dueling style is skewing the numbers, when its possible for Pal/Ftr/SS to be on even footing using a two-handed weapon, or sword+board for a comparison. Then the rider effect from Booming Blade/GFB can be "evened out" by the fighting style of Pal/Ftr.
    GWF style also offers a damage boost, although I believe it averages out to a +1.33 increase instead of +2 like dueling. Also you can totally use Dueling style with sword-and-board (in fact that is the most optimized way to use it). Regardless it's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. The DPR calculation is just a rough sketch anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    How does Warlock get an extra ray at 20?
    Eldritch Blast gets an extra beam at lvl 17. That's four beams total. I actually didn't include Hex in the Warlock DPR calculation which would add even more damage, but that's ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Would half Int modifier for IB work better?
    I think I'd prefer to make IB once per turn instead of half Int on multiple attacks (same rough effect). However, then I would have to change the Blade of Umbra ability for Shadow archetype which is too similar. I think I do want to change that ability because I it's not flavorful enough to just add a flat necrotic damage. More thinking to follow...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    For this calculation, I don't think Paladin or Spellsword should out damage the Fighter at any stage outside of burst or AoE damage.
    Not sure if IB is guilty of OP or just power creep. It might not be disruptive enough to worry about further changes, but I know my DM wouldn't allow it.
    I agree, on average a Spellsword shouldn't out-DPR a Fighter. 5th level spells more than make up for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    I just realized Sword and Sorcery gives a +1 AC, but only a +2 AC when using a one-handed weapon. Feels like the difference should be a shield(2), so 0/+2 or +1/+3.
    This was intentional. Using a one-handed weapon and no shield means you don't need War Caster for somatic casting and have an open hand for emergencies, which is already a huge advantage. I didn't want to add insult to injury by giving a +3 AC bonus. So +2 AC bonus is pretty good as is.

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