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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Welcome to the chat thread for the tenth Base Class Competition for D&D 5e. If you wish to say anything about the competition which is neither a submission nor a vote, then it belongs here. You do not need to be a contestant to post here. You are allowed to critique a competitor’s work and offer suggestions on how to improve their homebrew through this thread, but it is preferred if you do so through that class’ specific thread (if applicable).

    Current Contest: Blast from the Past

    Spoiler: Former Competitions
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    1st contest: Who Needs Swords or Sorcery?, won by WarrentheHero with the Inventor

    2nd contest: Expect a low Margin of Terror, Won by Mourne with the Sleepwalker

    3rd Contest: The Elements, and not the Periodic Ones (Probably?), won By Pygmybatrider with The Shaman

    4th contest: Does Not Meet Expectations, won with a tie by Molemage with the Destined and Pygmybatrider's Mesmer

    5th contest: Time to Chill out, won by Molemage with the Wintreborn

    6th contest: The Monster Mash, won with a three-way tie by Molemage with the Golem, theVoidWatches with the Lycanthrope, and daemonaetae with the Elemental Scion

    7th contest: Remix Mastery, won by KOLE with the Ranger Remixed

    8th contest: Contest VIII: Magic Without Slots, won by MoleMage with the Cultist

    9th contest: It's Time for Time, won by MoleMage with the Clockwinder


    Spoiler: Contest Rules
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    1) The class you homebrew should fit the theme. You can interpret the theme as broadly as you like without risk of disqualification, but doing so may reduce your chances of earning votes during the voting period.
    2) You may only create one base class. If you create more than one class then you must choose which one to enter and remove all the others from this thread and the contest (making them invalid) . If you do not specify which one you favor by the time voting begins, all of your content is invalid.
    3) When you submit your class you must create a post on this thread which either has the content or holds a link to it. You may also optionally create one other individual thread for your class on the homebrew design sub-forum. If it is found that you have revealed your class on another site or on another thread than one on the homebrew design sub-forum, your entry will be considered invalid. If you do make a specific thread for you class, please mention its involvement to the competition in that thread. If you use external formatting resources such as Homebrewery, or GMBinder it is recommended that you also create a PDF of the content and share it here.
    4) You may use other homebrew content (such as feats, spells, magical items and monsters) or even features to supplement your class, provided you have permission from the original creator and provide links to the source. Failure to receive permission from the original creation will disqualify you from entry in the current contest.
    5) Your class must have fully completed mechanics and descriptions for it to be valid. Entries are due by 11:59 PM Central Time on the deadline. Any submissions after this point are invalid. No changes can be made to your class while voting is taking place. Failure to comply with the previous rule will result in disqualification.
    6) Any content which has been declared invalid by the rules above cannot be voted for, but you may decide to remove it from the contest and create another class instead. If you are disqualified then you are not allowed to enter any more homebrew for this competition, though you may still vote and later enter the next competition.
    7) Please note that misunderstandings occur, if you break a rule which results in disqualification it might be excused if you can convince the group that it was a result of confusion over the rules.

    Contests stay up for 8 weeks unless an extension is requested by participants. Voting threads then go up for 3 weeks before the next contest begins.


    Spoiler: Suggested Themes
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    Dragons
    Based in Science
    Heroes from Myths
    Partial Casters
    Last edited by MoleMage; 2020-02-26 at 02:49 AM.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.
    My Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    In light of the forum downtime, I'm going to extend this contest an extra three weeks. The new deadline is therefore April 5th.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.
    My Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    First time participant here, so I have a few questions.

    I'd like to recreate the Shaman from previous editions, kinda blending the incarnations in 3e (bargains with nature spirits with power, druidic flavorings) and 4e (summons and commands elemental companions in combat). The end result I have in mind would be a half-caster that can summon allies kinda like a Wildfire Druid's elemental spirits, but somewhat more diverse, and has a couple of nature-themed powers on the side.

    Would that work based on the rules of the contest? I understand it's kind of a loose interpretation of either version of the Shaman, but WoTC has never been very decided on what that should class should look like anyway.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KatsOfLoathing View Post
    First time participant here, so I have a few questions.

    I'd like to recreate the Shaman from previous editions, kinda blending the incarnations in 3e (bargains with nature spirits with power, druidic flavorings) and 4e (summons and commands elemental companions in combat). The end result I have in mind would be a half-caster that can summon allies kinda like a Wildfire Druid's elemental spirits, but somewhat more diverse, and has a couple of nature-themed powers on the side.

    Would that work based on the rules of the contest? I understand it's kind of a loose interpretation of either version of the Shaman, but WoTC has never been very decided on what that should class should look like anyway.
    The general rule is that the adherence to theme requirement is met as long as any amount of justification exists for that class being in the theme.

    Voters usually prefer stronger connections to theme rather than tenuous ones, but in this particular case I think you would be reasonably safe.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.
    My Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    The general rule is that the adherence to theme requirement is met as long as any amount of justification exists for that class being in the theme.

    Voters usually prefer stronger connections to theme rather than tenuous ones, but in this particular case I think you would be reasonably safe.
    Understood. I'll start getting to work. Thanks for the prompt response.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    I couldn't find any 5e base class Soulknife write-ups online, so I think mine qualifies. I was never happy with the original Soulknife either, so this one is also a half "caster" with Psionics functioning like sorcery points. I have no spell list yet, but otherwise it's done; for PEACH purposes, pretend it's limited to enchantment and evocation with a few spells from any school, like the arcane trickster and eldritch knight. I may end up going with that because lazy. I did end up putting together a spell list.

    Edit: also be brutal. I'm not entirely happy with it myself and expect major revisions.
    Last edited by sengmeng; 2020-02-27 at 09:18 PM.
    My Homebrew (Free to use, don't even bother asking. PM me if you do, though; I'd love to hear stories).

    Avatar done by me (It's Durkon redrawn as Salvador from Borderlands 2).



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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Spoiler: The Mystic
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    Not surprised that 2/3 so far posted are based on 3.5 psionics. Let's take a look-see.

    • I was never really fond of Mystic as the title of the "generic" psionic class. To me, a mystic is someone who is highly spiritual and a psion is someone who uses their mind as a lever to pull on the forces of the universe. Both involve a lot of introspection, true, but one is much more abstract. However, 5e has established it as the name so I can't blame you for using it again.
    • Artificer progression strikes me as an odd choice for the primary psionics user. The class doesn't have a huge amount of baseline to support that progression rate. The subclasses make up for it somewhat, but if you're going to use that progression rate I would recommend giving additional features even when you do get a new spell level. Alternately, you could create an accelerated variant of ranger/paladin progression (much like artificer uses an accelerated version of eldritch knight progression) for the class to use (see Psionic Discovery below).
    • Psi point progression could be smoothed out across the class. Partial spellcasters only get one new spell slot every couple levels, but that's because that's the smallest unit of progression they can get. Jumping 4 points every couple levels just doesn't feel as natural as gaining 2 points every level, and the overall progression comes out the same.
    • I would either list Signature Talent as a Discipline feature or give it a description in the base class block. Listing it as a main feature when it is only in subclasses is a little confusing.
    • Mental Interference should be more limited. While it mimics Evasion in a lot of ways (and seems to be balanced against it), it has some unique benefits that evasion doesn't: first, it applies to two saves. I'm willing to let this slide because Int saves are fairly rare. The second is more concerning: it allows you to negate such spells for other people just by being in the area of effect. Finally, most Wis and Int saves fully negate effects, so even if your target makes their saving throw you probably shrug off the effects of their spell completely with your advantage. Making this cost a couple psi points would be fine (2 would be plenty I think), or making it otherwise limited per rest would also work.
    • Quickened Recovery: This drastically changes the way the class is played but comes pretty far into the class. I would move this back to 5th or 6th level personally (to line up with Font of Inspiration or similar features). This may require a slight decrease in number of psi points through the middle levels to compensate, but would feel better as a player.
    • Psionic Discovery is pretty weak for what amounts to a class capstone. Unless the Psion has some really nice exclusive 5th level spells, it isn't going to feel impactful, and even if they do, you can get to those spells 8 levels earlier by playing a bard, and cast them more frequently to boot. I'd rather see 5th level spells baseline in the class and some unique ability here.


    Soul Knife:
    • I like your approach of modifying existing weapons. It aligns very neatly with 5e's mechanics, and allows the soul knife to customize their options more. My only concern is that psychic damage is one of the most commonly resisted types; often by the very creatures you'd like to deal magical physical damage to no less. I'd make the psychic damage optional, or maybe make it additional damage on top of the base damage (with scaling for higher damage amounts).
    • Hone the Blade does not list a duration, nor specify whether the additional damage is available on multiple hits or only the first hit. If it is intended to only apply to one hit, it is too weak, as it does one die less than "smite" effects in other classes (though this is probably compensated for by the sheer availability of psi points starting at level 11).
    • Consumtive Blade: I would change the wording to "reduce a creature to 0 hit points", to align with similar features such as Dark One's Blessing (Fiendlock). It could probably stand to be a little bit stronger too, considering the aforementioned feature is available at level 1 with fewer conditions for triggering and a greater number of THP provided.
    • Phantom Blade should be "until the [start/end] of your next turn". It also isn't clear whether it targets a creature or affects all your attacks against any creature (I lean towards the latter as an interpretation, but the wording could be cleaned up).
    • Shattering Strikes: Wow. That's an impressive capstone. My biggest concern here is not how powerful it is as an effect (though that is a concern as well), but how invalid it makes the rest of the subclass's features look. While Phantom Blade might still see occasional use on high AC targets or in the event the soul knife is using a weapon that doesn't match their stats, Hone the Blade becomes completely obsolete because Shattering Strikes does more damage than Hone the Blade even if the target succeeds on their save and outright kills them if they fail. I would rework this feature to be a big chunk of damage and a severe condition (like paralyzed or stunned on a failed save, and a smaller chunk of damage and no condition on a successful save. As long as the failed save is less damage than Hone the Blade could produce for 7 psi points, there is still a reason to use Hone the Blade (more straight/reliable damage), making it feel like psi points spent on Hone were not wasted.


    Wu Jen
    Maybe it's because my first exposure to the Wu Jen was in Complete Arcane (3.5), but it's odd to me that it has become associated with psionics.
    • Effortless Arcana: do all the cantrips have to come from the same spell list, or can each come from different spell lists?
    • Signature Talent: This is a very worthwhile use of psi limit. Do you have to choose to use this before rolling or does it replace the lowest dice after a roll? I recommend the former, but it's probably workable with the latter owing to psi limit.
    • Excess Arcana: Cantrips don't have a psi point cost. This means that you can functionally twincast cantrips all day long.
    • Influence Arcana: what limitations on damage types? Can any damage type convert into any other damage type? Any damage type into one of the types allowed by signature talent? Only those damage types into another from the same list?
    • Arcane Affinity: Like with Quickened Recovery above, this feels too iconic to come this late into the subclass. A class should have its identity features early on. I recommend moving the choice of affinity to an earlier level (even as early as Signature Talent) and leaving the cost reduction here as an upgrade.
    • Psionic Drain: Is the psi limit per spell or per creature? Either way, you have the "bag of rats" problem here (namely, could this feature be reliably triggered by carrying around a bag filled with small animals). Burning hands cast using 3 psi points (2 for 1st level, 1 to maximize one die) does 6 + 2d6 damage (minimum 8, average 13, maximum 18), which is enough to reliably kill any CR 0 animal that could be stuffed into a bag. You get back 7 psi points each time you do so (or in the long odds that they make their save, still get 4 back minimum), which improves to 8 at level 17, allowing you to gain more psi points back than you put into the effect.
    • Willpower: This is fine. Honestly it might be more expensive than it needs to be; with psi limits in place you can really only realiably use this on lower level spells, and you'd probably get a better return by upcasting them and/or using signature talent.
    • Master Psion: Double proficiency in attack rolls and saving throws is probably not a great idea. Combined with the Int boost, the class now has a +19 to hit with spells and a DC 27 saving throw. Even CR 20+ monsters are now failing their saves 50% of the time or more (barring legendary resistance), and in order to reduce spell hit chance below 50% would require an armor class of 30 or higher, which very few things in the monster manual will have (even the tarrasque, nominally a CR 30 monster, only boasts a 25 armor class and has its best saves at +10, requiring an 17 or higher to succeed). I would leave the Int boost in (it already allows the class to exceed normal boundaries for saves/attacks) but replace the double proficiency with an expanded psi point pool, psi limit, or both.




    Spoiler: Sengmeng's Soulknife
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    • I feel like the soul knife deserves a third skill proficiency. It could probably also have a wider skill list to go with it. The 3.5 version was after all the psionic equivalent of a skill monkey.
    • The weapon list should be expanded to include some iconic martial weapons. Short swords especially.
    • Your starting equipment options include a shield, but the class does not receive shield proficiency outside of subclasses. Clerics receive expanded proficiencies at first level, and use the wording X (if proficient) or Y for their equipment.
    • Mind Blade: Bread and butter for any soulknife conversion. The actual mechanics of summoning and stats are fine, but it needs a damage type (or specify that the creator can choose a damage type).
    • Mind Blade Collapse: This is fine, it gives the class something to be doing/managing. I would split it out under it own name though to make it more noticable. The only odd thing here is that this has negative synergy with two-weapon fighting (something the class traditionally was good at).
    • Archetypes in general: I suggest moving them to 3rd level or giving them all a proper feature at 1st level. Expanded proficiencies are nice but they need some identity when selected.
    • Psionics: Do you have specific reasons for choosing this cost progression? If not, aligning them with the Spell Point Variant rules (DMG 288) would be my recommendation. My only caveat is that as a half-caster, you should smooth the progression through off-levels (instead of going 4, 4, 6, go 4, 5, 6).
    • Fighting Style: I would drop protection. You can add it back in as a choice for Psychic Knight along with GWF, but since the base class doesn't get shields, this shouldn't be a choice.
    • Swap the position of Energy Blade and Precise Strike, in my opinion. Precise Strike is nice but not reliable, while Energy Blade is a continuous damage boost more suitable for a tier upgrade.
    • Thought Shield does nothing, as the class gets Wisdom saving throws as a base saving throw proficiency.
    • Psychic Insight: I would use a minimum intelligence score or language capacity instead of the terminology you have but I like this as a feature.
    • Dual Blade: Underwhelming. A damage increase for collapsing or an entirely new feature would be better here (what about creating a whirling storm of mind blades around your person, or allowing thrown mindblades to stick in targets dealing ongoing damage instead of dissipating, or being able to teleport every time you collapse a blade?). Give them something flashy or alternately a resource refreshing ability.



    • Psychic Warrior: It's missing a 6th level feature. Overall, it's balanced but not attractive. Give it more ways to expand the options of the class instead of small boosts to effectiveness.
    • Pureblade: Psionic Smite is less efficient than other smite options (which do Spell Level + 1 dice of damage). War Psionics is a good example of what I'd like to see for Psychic Warrior (expanding the options for how to spend a round of combat). The 14th level feature should probably require either the power point or the reaction, but not both.
    • Lurk: Assassinate is a better version of the Assassin Rogue feature. I'm guessing based on the name you wanted to more-or-less copy that feature? Precise throw gives a non-standard range of 40/120 (30/120 is the existing range). Psychic Skate is very cool as a feature, but the name is a little misleading (the original Skate power let you slide across surfaces, moving faster downhill and on level ground but slower uphill).


    I think you have a lot of good bits in here it doesn't feel very cohesive as a class at the moment. My recommendation is to go back and break down your class goals again from the beginning. Once you've done that, it'll be easier to spot which features need to be replaced or changed.

    Some specific things that stood out as being out of place in my mind:
    • Obviously the mind blade is important, but is it merely an iconic feature of a class that mostly boasts innate power with strong subclasses (like Fighter's Action Surge) or is it a core function that everything else builds off of both in the main class and in subclasses (like Ki Points)? Is it something the Soul Knife uses nearly every turn (like Cunning Action) or only when they want to make a big impact (like Rage)?
    • The class as you have built it is a spellcaster at half progression (or equivalent). What does this add to the class? What could you give them instead? If it is important to their identity as a psionic class, what can you do with their spell list or features that use psi points to make them stand out from other spellcasters?
    • Each subclass feels like it has a weak identity of its own. The Psychic Warrior is basically Champion Fighter, the Trueblade is basically Paladin, and the Lurk is basically Assassin Rogue). Trueblade and Lurk have good individual features (as I mentioned above), but overall this is probably the biggest point where the class could be improved (in fact, if you lean into subclass identity really hard, you'd only need to fix one or two things in the main class). If you haven't already tried it, I'd suggest giving the archetypes a compelling category name and building them into the class lore (like Cleric Domains or Paladin Oaths, where the character makes a conscious choice to pursue it, instead of like Fighter or Rogue Archetypes where the subclass is almost purely mechanically driven). I find that classes whose archetypes are separated by lore are more compelling and easier to write for than classes whose archetypes are separated by mechanics.


    One other idea that occured to me while reading this:
    • 3.5 offered a wealth of psionic feats which were best used for martial or otherwise non-manifesting classes. Combining the 5e Eldritch Invocation model with those feats and some original creations could give the Soulknife an interesting method of customization outside of traditional spellcasting. You can ignore this if it doesn't align with your goals for the class.



    I hope this helps. I really enjoy the souknife as a class and I think you have the 5e translations correct for what you have so far. I look forward to keeping up with the developments on this class!


    Alright, some psionics reviews are up. I'm looking forward to the Shaman/Spirit Shaman blend, and also am curious about feedback on the Totemist (core features and slightly more than a third of melds are written so far), if anyone has the time to sift through my increasingly-characteristic enormous wall of text class.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.
    My Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KatsOfLoathing View Post
    I'd like to recreate the Shaman from previous editions, kinda blending the incarnations in 3e (bargains with nature spirits with power, druidic flavorings) and 4e (summons and commands elemental companions in combat). The end result I have in mind would be a half-caster that can summon allies kinda like a Wildfire Druid's elemental spirits, but somewhat more diverse, and has a couple of nature-themed powers on the side.

    Would that work based on the rules of the contest? I understand it's kind of a loose interpretation of either version of the Shaman, but WoTC has never been very decided on what that should class should look like anyway.
    I did a 5e Shaman a few...years (?) ago, and your description would almost work for what I'd ended up with (mine was a full caster, to be fair). In my case, I'd say the concept is pretty much what I'd expect from an update, so I personally think you're good (and if I remember to vote).
    DM's Guild Work

    5e Homebrew: The Circle of Progress, a druid circle about becoming a transformer - Winner of 5e Subclass Contest 1 - "It's Technical"

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    "Sengmeng's Soulknife"
    • I feel like the soul knife deserves a third skill proficiency. It could probably also have a wider skill list to go with it. The 3.5 version was after all the psionic equivalent of a skill monkey. Done, conditionally.
    • The weapon list should be expanded to include some iconic martial weapons. Short swords especially. Done
    • Your starting equipment options include a shield, but the class does not receive shield proficiency outside of subclasses. Clerics receive expanded proficiencies at first level, and use the wording X (if proficient) or Y for their equipment. No longer relevant.
    • Mind Blade: Bread and butter for any soulknife conversion. The actual mechanics of summoning and stats are fine, but it needs a damage type (or specify that the creator can choose a damage type). Now it's psychic, slashing, or Piercing.
    • Mind Blade Collapse: This is fine, it gives the class something to be doing/managing. I would split it out under it own name though to make it more noticable. The only odd thing here is that this has negative synergy with two-weapon fighting (something the class traditionally was good at). Done, though collapse no longer costs an action, a definite boost in power
    • Archetypes in general: I suggest moving them to 3rd level or giving them all a proper feature at 1st level. Expanded proficiencies are nice but they need some identity when selected. Moved to 3rd, given proper features and proficiencies. First level now has a separate option which determines their manifesting stat. Also no more Pureblade. Screw him.
    • Psionics: Do you have specific reasons for choosing this cost progression? If not, aligning them with the Spell Point Variant rules (DMG 288) would be my recommendation. My only caveat is that as a half-caster, you should smooth the progression through off-levels (instead of going 4, 4, 6, go 4, 5, 6).Progression is now equal to level, with each archetype having different ways to snag a few extra power points along the way
    • Fighting Style: I would drop protection. You can add it back in as a choice for Psychic Knight along with GWF, but since the base class doesn't get shields, this shouldn't be a choice. Dropped entirely.
    • Swap the position of Energy Blade and Precise Strike, in my opinion. Precise Strike is nice but not reliable, while Energy Blade is a continuous damage boost more suitable for a tier upgrade. Did so much revision that I don't know if I did this or not because I no longer remember where these sat
    • Thought Shield does nothing, as the class gets Wisdom saving throws as a base saving throw proficiency.Gone. Saves adjusted altogether
    • Psychic Insight: I would use a minimum intelligence score or language capacity instead of the terminology you have but I like this as a feature. I don't remember what this did and I think it's gone now.
    • Dual Blade: Underwhelming. A damage increase for collapsing or an entirely new feature would be better here (what about creating a whirling storm of mind blades around your person, or allowing thrown mindblades to stick in targets dealing ongoing damage instead of dissipating, or being able to teleport every time you collapse a blade?). Give them something flashy or alternately a resource refreshing ability. 100% gone.



    • Psychic Warrior: It's missing a 6th level feature. Overall, it's balanced but not attractive. Give it more ways to expand the options of the class instead of small boosts to effectiveness.
    • Pureblade: Psionic Smite is less efficient than other smite options (which do Spell Level + 1 dice of damage). War Psionics is a good example of what I'd like to see for Psychic Warrior (expanding the options for how to spend a round of combat). The 14th level feature should probably require either the power point or the reaction, but not both.
    • Lurk: Assassinate is a better version of the Assassin Rogue feature. I'm guessing based on the name you wanted to more-or-less copy that feature? Precise throw gives a non-standard range of 40/120 (30/120 is the existing range). Psychic Skate is very cool as a feature, but the name is a little misleading (the original Skate power let you slide across surfaces, moving faster downhill and on level ground but slower uphill).


    Almost entirely revamped. The non standard range is kept, though, as that was simply doubling the short and long ranges

    I think you have a lot of good bits in here it doesn't feel very cohesive as a class at the moment. My recommendation is to go back and break down your class goals again from the beginning. Once you've done that, it'll be easier to spot which features need to be replaced or changed.

    Some specific things that stood out as being out of place in my mind:
    • Obviously the mind blade is important, but is it merely an iconic feature of a class that mostly boasts innate power with strong subclasses (like Fighter's Action Surge) or is it a core function that everything else builds off of both in the main class and in subclasses (like Ki Points)? Is it something the Soul Knife uses nearly every turn (like Cunning Action) or only when they want to make a big impact (like Rage)?
    • The class as you have built it is a spellcaster at half progression (or equivalent). What does this add to the class? What could you give them instead? If it is important to their identity as a psionic class, what can you do with their spell list or features that use psi points to make them stand out from other spellcasters?
    • Each subclass feels like it has a weak identity of its own. The Psychic Warrior is basically Champion Fighter, the Trueblade is basically Paladin, and the Lurk is basically Assassin Rogue). Trueblade and Lurk have good individual features (as I mentioned above), but overall this is probably the biggest point where the class could be improved (in fact, if you lean into subclass identity really hard, you'd only need to fix one or two things in the main class). If you haven't already tried it, I'd suggest giving the archetypes a compelling category name and building them into the class lore (like Cleric Domains or Paladin Oaths, where the character makes a conscious choice to pursue it, instead of like Fighter or Rogue Archetypes where the subclass is almost purely mechanically driven). I find that classes whose archetypes are separated by lore are more compelling and easier to write for than classes whose archetypes are separated by mechanics.


    One other idea that occured to me while reading this:
    • 3.5 offered a wealth of psionic feats which were best used for martial or otherwise non-manifesting classes. Combining the 5e Eldritch Invocation model with those feats and some original creations could give the Soulknife an interesting method of customization outside of traditional spellcasting. You can ignore this if it doesn't align with your goals for the class. Done, called Meditations. Looking to expand the list before the contest ends



    I hope this helps. I really enjoy the souknife as a class and I think you have the 5e translations correct for what you have so far. I look forward to keeping up with the developments on this class!
    Thanks for prompt and extensive feedback. You gave me a lot to think about, and I basically answered those questions about my goals with "whatever is most interesting." I have almost entirely redone the class. It's probably too powerful as is, but I like how it would function and I kind of like starting at overpowered and trimming.
    Last edited by sengmeng; 2020-02-29 at 04:35 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    The chassis and class features for the Shaman are complete, now all that's left is the subclass features, the spell list (probably mostly Druid spells with some stuff removed/added), and the stat blocks for the class's nature spirit allies. I'll be posting what I have (and hopefully giving reviews for the other classes) soon.

    Currently I'm storing all my work on Google Docs; are there any recommendations for putting it on GM Binder vs. Homebrewery? I'm not really familiar with either site and am open to suggestions.

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KatsOfLoathing View Post
    Currently I'm storing all my work on Google Docs; are there any recommendations for putting it on GM Binder vs. Homebrewery? I'm not really familiar with either site and am open to suggestions.
    My experience has been that GMBinder is more reliable when viewed by people using different browsers/resolutions/zoom levels. In the past people have also used Google Docs to share their classes and that usually works out pretty well also
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Just updated my Totemist post with a fresh link and the intro blurb. The base class and subclasses are all written, and I've got 26 out of 39 planned melds written as well. I should definitely have the rest of the melds finished by the deadline, but I'm interested in feedback on what I have so far (especially opinions about the core mechanics).
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    Would hombrew of prior editions count?

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanth Sor View Post
    Would hombrew of prior editions count?
    If you mean homebrew for 5e based on homebrew for prior editions that's fine with me. Just provide a source and make sure you have permission if the original wasn't yours.
    Last edited by MoleMage; 2020-03-27 at 12:52 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Alright ya'll, quick poll: Gonna throw my hat in the ring here.

    Which would you prefer to see: a 5e Witch, or a 5e Gunslinger?
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    Alright ya'll, quick poll: Gonna throw my hat in the ring here.

    Which would you prefer to see: a 5e Witch, or a 5e Gunslinger?
    I'd like to see a Witch myself, provided you can make it feel sufficiently distinct from Warlock and Wizard. 5e needs more Intelligence-keyed options.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Vague, probably unhelpful feedback:

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    I never played a 3.5 incarnum class, but this looks like one as far as I remember. I can say that it stays on theme and looks interesting and I would want to playtest one, but I really can't figure out how it will play or how balanced it is. I'd really like to try one though, so that's a positive.


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    This one is hard to evaluate because it steps so heavily on my own entry's toes, so every place we differ, I question which of us is wrong. It is eery how some of it went more or less the same. I'll be looking at my own with some consideration of changing to be more in line with yours, and I'd recommend you to do the same. I'd probably like to playtest this to see how it works. I will say that I'm unsure of the subclasses; they change the feel and flavor so much that they don't seem to belong on the same chassis. That's just my opinion though, and I have more than once had vastly different subclasses in my own homebrew.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Question:

    To do this properly, we'd probably have to build subclass mechanics into the class, because that's what 5E classes do. So when we submit, should the class come with a default subclass?

    Also, what about spells? The core 5E spell list isn't exactly extensive.

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mk333 View Post
    Question:

    To do this properly, we'd probably have to build subclass mechanics into the class, because that's what 5E classes do. So when we submit, should the class come with a default subclass?

    Also, what about spells? The core 5E spell list isn't exactly extensive.
    To answer succinctly, the more complete and in line with 5e's existing mechanics, the better, though new spells and new subsystems are welcome.

    However, be aware that voting is just people on the forums who can pick their favorite using whatever criteria they want. You don't "need" to do anything, but I don't think you'll be a contender for winning with no subclass or even a single subclass if all the other entries have two or more and actually look like play-ready classes. On the other hand, if all you want is feedback, that's okay too and no one will be mad if you don't do subclasses or don't want to add spells back in from 3.5
    Last edited by sengmeng; 2020-03-29 at 07:03 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mk333 View Post
    Question:

    To do this properly, we'd probably have to build subclass mechanics into the class, because that's what 5E classes do. So when we submit, should the class come with a default subclass?

    Also, what about spells? The core 5E spell list isn't exactly extensive.
    Most class submissions come complete with two or more subclasses, though on occasion someone will make a class with just one subclass. As for me, completeness is one of my top priorities when I am voting at the end of a contest, and I consider the inclusion of subclasses to be a part of that. As far as spells go, you can add more if you like, but unless they are central to a class's identity I don't think anyone will comment on their loss.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Since we have renewed interest with only a week to go, and since sengmeng is the only one with a fully complete class so far, how do we feel about an extension? Obviously this contest has been running for a long time but we did lose some of that while the forums were down.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Im coocking something up and while I could finish it in the deadline it would be really nice to get an extension to have some time to refine things

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    I've decided to push the contest up an extra two weeks. That puts the deadline at April 19th. I won't be pushing this contest any further, so newcomers and old hats alike should get their edits/entries in before then!
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    I'm glad of the extension, 'cause I forgot to subscribe when the contest was started and just came across it again.

    I've got two different ideas, both from 3e:

    1) The Eidolon (Ghostwalk), turning you into a ghostly badass with various ghostly powers. Subclasses are the Poltergeist (telekinesis, debuffs, and ectoplasmic construction), Haunt (fear, possession, and better incorporeality), and Eidoloncer (bit of a jack of all trades).

    1) The Martial Adept (Tome of Battle), being to the Battlemaster what the Battlemaster is to the Champion. Subclasses are the Crusader (tankiness), Swordsage (breadth), and Warblade (offense).

    Which would folks like to see more?
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    I vote Martial Adept, myself. I'm fond of subsystems.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    I just updated to making the Vampire of 4e Heroes of Shadow. Please let me know if there are any major issues with mechanics.

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Yesterday I added the Cavalier, from waaaaaaay back in the day.

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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    Feedback again!

    Spoiler: Vampire
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    I hadn't realized there were monster classes in 4e. I slightly regret missing that, but not enough to go back and play 4e instead of Pathfinder during that era.

    • This class gives so much stuff right at level one. I know that a lot of those are essential to the vampire of it all, but you could space them out over the first three levels or so. Undeath and Vampire Weaknesses could be rolled into one feature called Vampire Nature.
    • On the subject of Vampire Weaknesses, I think it would be cooler if they were spread out across the whole class, so the vampire gaining powers comes with an equal tradeoff.
    • Virile Soul is probably too strong for such an early level, even considering the lack of healing. The other classes that get regeneration effects don't get them until the high teens at least.
    • Life Blood Healing's health gained from excess hit dice should be moved to Vampiric Consumption, since Vampiric Consumption is the source of the extra hit dice.
    • Deceptive Power's Charisma to melee damage is probably not necessary, as the Vampire can afford to focus on Strength or Dexterity. I would also improve the damage of unarmed strikes to 1d4 or 1d6 here.
    • Vampiric Reflexes could be named Unarmored Defense, to line up with the Monk and Barbarian features (and multiclassing rules).
    • Savage Lash: I would suggest making the bonus damage effect 1d12 instead of 2d8, because I like abilities to use only a single die size.
    • I suggest moving Strength of Blood to level 5 so it isn't at the same level as an ASI. This isn't a big deal though, Monks and Clerics get features on ASI levels.
    • Put the Shapechange improvements on the class table.
    • Noble Vampire's secondary effect is unclear to me. Do you get just one hit die, or if you roll 12 damage and the target has a d6 hit die do you get 2?
    • The Vampiric Powers all look about right; though Nightwalker Form is basically mandatory for level 20. You could remedy that by putting a couple other level 20 powers that are comparable to it. I look forward to seeing the rest.
    • Velkyr: Glorious Predation's effect is difficult to follow.


    Overall I'm impressed. Some of the wording could be cleaned up, and I am concerned about the front-loading of the class, but this is a good framework and I look forward to seeing more powers and bloodlines.


    Spoiler: Cavalier
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    I'm actually really impressed at how distinct from the fighter this is.

    • Proficiencies: I don't think there's any precedent for proficiency with all Martial Weapons but not all Simple Weapons, or Medium and Heavy armor but not Shields. I don't know that there's a strong need for that; all of the most important class features only work with Strength weapons anyway. I would categorize Chariots under Land Vehicle proficiency.
    • Saves: Strength and Charisma are both traditionally "secondary" saves (along with Int), as opposed to "primary" saves (Dex, Con, Wis). Classes should have one of each.
    • Charging Attack: I like it! It's like Sneak Attack with different conditions.
    • Mount Prowess: I was going to be worried about the class not getting a mount, but you've written all of the features to be usable without a mount.
    • Lead from the Front, Excelsior: These are good leadership abilities that don't step on the toes of Protection Fighting Style.
    • Noble Parry/Riposte: Simple defensive abilities.
    • Knight: Never Give Up. I normally don't like very narrowly defined abilities in 5e, but I think this one works for what it's doing.
    • Knight: By My Command should probably be incompatible with Charging Attack. Basically as it is Charging Attack has no drawback any longer.
    • Knight: Never Surrender. Is this a Galaxy Quest reference?
    • Knight: For Honor and Glory could probably refresh on a long rest.
    • Stormer: Punch Through. The first part seemed a little weak considering the base class already ignores opportunity attacks with any weapon you'd want to use Charging Attack with anyway, but the second part is a pretty nice boost.
    • Stormer: Trample using an unarmed attack is pretty limiting, at most that will do 6 damage, which at level 13 is not a whole lot. However, the rest of the effects of the ability are probably worth it on their own.
    • Stormer: I like Plow the Road as a capstone.
    • Dervish: Proficiencies. Per my note above, I don't know that this is strictly necessary, but if you decide to keep the unusual proficiency layout above this is good.
    • Dervish: Leaping Strike. This is the feature that made me want to play this class, more than any of the previous one.
    • Dervish: Downward Strike. I have the same concern here as I did about Stormer's Trample. An unmodified unarmed strike is just not very strong for a full martial class.
    • Dervish: Sirocco. Can you use Sirocco again if you knock the second target down? If so, does it just chain until you don't knock a target down? That could be a little crazy with a bunch of weaker enemies.
    • Dervish: Arcing Shot is an interesting effect. Odd that it doesn't have an upper limit on duration, but ignoring a shield/cover is situational enough that I'm not going to fuss about it.
    • Dervish: Does Whirling Strike(II) give Charging Attack damage on the extra attacks? As an ability, option 1 is very strong, and option 2 is crazy strong if it allows the charging attack on the extra attacks but okay otherwise.
    • Dervish: Thundering Shot. This kinda pales in comparison to Whirling Strike, but since they are on different resources it isn't exactly competing.


    Very well done. It's a clean class, it has a clear identity and mechanics, and it carves its own niche out quite well.
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    Default Re: D&D Base Class Contest X Chat Thread

    First of all, let me thank you for your quick and extensive feedback. And I'm glad you like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Feedback again!

    Spoiler: Cavalier
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    • Proficiencies: The class should have read that they had proficiency with shields, but not light armor. That lack, and the Simple weapons, I admit are probably unnecessary and included for flavor. In addition to overly-European historical context, it's also based on outdated Edition mechanics, all of which was hidden behind "It's not like they were going to use them anyhow". The idea of a mounted Cavalier riding into battle at the front of the lines wielding a woodcutter's hatchet didn't feel right, but that's not necessarily reason to outright ban it, either. I might remove those gaps, but also add some new restrictions to the Knight using a club or a Stormer using padded.
    • Saves: I'll be honest, you picked up on what could have been the hardest decision I made designing this class. Baseline Cavaliers have no real reason to have high Dex or Wis. Con made sense, but since Cavaliers are strongly encouraged to wear big armor, big weapons, and melee attacks, Str seemed more important. An option I considered, but eventually ruled out, was making the Knight proficient in Wis, the Stormer gets Con, and the Dervish gets Dex. But that would be three. Or, having them go through levels 1 and 2 with only one save. They all felt wrong. I don't suppose it's okay to "buy" a third, weaker saving throw by sacrificing Simple weapons and Light armor?
    • Mount Prowess: Indeed, once I decided to write up the Cavalier the question immediately rose: what happens when they're on foot? Simply put, the game is called DUNGEONS and Dragons, and a lot of things take place inside. So rather than penalize them for being on foot, it became bonuses while mounted.
    • Knight: It took me a while to decide if you could Charging Attack and also By My Command. In the end, I asked "What would a Rogue/Battlemaster do?" And the answer was "Use Sneak Attack and Commander's Strike constantly." Charging Attack still requires straight-line movement towards your foe, and a lot of battles in D&D devolve into the tank standing there smacking the monster over and over. Simply put, the situations in which the Knight would Charging Attack every round and also use By My Command to burn through the party's available Reactions didn't seem too common, so I decided not to block what few there were. I might change my mind in the next 2 weeks, but I haven't yet.
    • Knight: Never Give Up/Never Surrender. Is 100% Galaxy Quest reference!
    • Knight: For Honor and Glory basically asks for a "flavored" Long Rest. I admit the restriction is probably unnecessary, but I wanted this nearly religious effect to have a different feel. Code of Honor probably means I don't need to do that, so, I'll probably change it.
    • Stormer: Trample. Since Trample is a Bonus Attack, it makes sense to upgrade the attack a little while on foot.
    • Dervish: Proficiencies. The Dervish was my addition for non-European, non-Samurai horsemen. Their focus on ranged weapons suggested a higher Dex and, therefore, Light Armor was a must. As above, they might not need Light Armor handed to them, because it might become baseline.
    • Dervish: Downward Strike. Unlike the Stormer, the Dervish can't use a mount attack here, so I completely see your point. Perhaps both Trample and Downward Strike will get the same flat bonus damage, which again, is not intended to be very high anyhow.
    • Dervish: Sirocco. The intent is a second attack, but that's it. I can clean up the wording to make that more clear.
    • Dervish: Arcing Shot has no duration, because if the target just sits in the same spot, then I see no reason for the effect to end.
    • Dervish: Whirling Strike(II) does not give Charging Attack bonus damage on the remaining attacks. Even for a single-use, that would be excessive. I can clean up the wording to make that more clear.
    • Dervish: Thundering Shot. You didn't mention it, but I suppose I should clean this up too: you can't Thundering Shot and Charging Attack in the same turn. Like Whirling Strike(II) the standard rule is "one Charging Attack per turn" and this doesn't specifically bypass it. You could, however, Thundering Shot, close the gap, then Extra Attack, which like Whirling Strike(II) doesn't seem that bad for a single-use.


    Thanks for the in-depth analysis!
    Last edited by Breccia; 2020-04-03 at 04:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Feedback again!

    I hadn't realized there were monster classes in 4e. I slightly regret missing that, but not enough to go back and play 4e instead of Pathfinder during that era.
    I strongly suggest finding what 4e books you can just for review. Heroes of Shadow was made just before the essentials line. The essentials like had classes more similar to 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    This class gives so much stuff right at level one. I know that a lot of those are essential to the vampire of it all, but you could space them out over the first three levels or so. Undeath and Vampire Weaknesses could be rolled into one feature called Vampire Nature.
    Inherently that makes me hurt. As a designer I agree. The several abilities was an artifact of the 4e class.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    On the subject of Vampire Weaknesses, I think it would be cooler if they were spread out across the whole class, so the vampire gaining powers comes with an equal tradeoff.
    I will think about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Virile Soul is probably too strong for such an early level, even considering the lack of healing. The other classes that get regeneration effects don't get them until the high teens at least.
    The regeneration was included so early, as I have found no core method to heal undead. Personally I find this to be a horrible state of affairs. Now I would be open to suggestions about what level would make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Life Blood Healing's health gained from excess hit dice should be moved to Vampiric Consumption, since Vampiric Consumption is the source of the extra hit dice.
    System artifact. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Deceptive Power's Charisma to melee damage is probably not necessary, as the Vampire can afford to focus on Strength or Dexterity. I would also improve the damage of unarmed strikes to 1d4 or 1d6 here.
    I actually didn't give them die because i gave them charisma. This meant they do roughly average monk damage at later levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Vampiric Reflexes could be named Unarmored Defense, to line up with the Monk and Barbarian features (and multiclassing rules).
    :( But I like the fluff, but your probably right.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Savage Lash: I would suggest making the bonus damage effect 1d12 instead of 2d8, because I like abilities to use only a single die size.
    Seems like a good choice, the ability in 4e has bonus die as 2d8. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    I suggest moving Strength of Blood to level 5 so it isn't at the same level as an ASI. This isn't a big deal though, Monks and Clerics get features on ASI levels.
    I'll look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Put the Shapechange improvements on the class table.
    ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Noble Vampire's secondary effect is unclear to me. Do you get just one hit die, or if you roll 12 damage and the target has a d6 hit die do you get 2?
    The latter, I rewrote it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    The Vampiric Powers all look about right; though Nightwalker Form is basically mandatory for level 20. You could remedy that by putting a couple other level 20 powers that are comparable to it. I look forward to seeing the rest.
    I hope to have 3-5 ready for then.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Velkyr: Glorious Predation's effect is difficult to follow.
    I rewrote it, I think should make more sense now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Overall I'm impressed. Some of the wording could be cleaned up, and I am concerned about the front-loading of the class, but this is a good framework and I look forward to seeing more powers and bloodlines.
    A second bloodline is planned, but more bloodlines are going to be last.
    Last edited by Lanth Sor; 2020-04-04 at 10:07 PM.

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