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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Dhavaer's Avatar

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    Default Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Spellsword

    Some sorcerers have a more difficult time with their magic than others. It expresses itself rarely and weakly, and even when they gain control of it they can manage only a few of the simplest spells. Some are satisfied with their minor magic - it was free, after all - but some go searching for a way to unlock it and find the key in blood and steel: the way of the spellsword. Spellswords learn to channel their magic through their blades and bodies, never reaching the highest peaks of sorcery but strengthening their bodies and minds with their magic.

    Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known Spells Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
    1st +2 Steel Bond 2 - - - - - -
    2nd +2 Fighting Style, Steel Bond ability 2 2 2 - - - -
    3rd +2 Steel Bond ability 2 3 3 - - - -
    4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3 3 3 - - - -
    5th +3 Extra Attack 3 4 4 2 - - -
    6th +3 Arcane Resistance 3 4 4 2 - - -
    7th +3 War Magic 3 5 4 3 - - -
    8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3 5 4 3 - - -
    9th +4 - 3 6 4 3 2 - -
    10th +4 Eldritch Strike 4 6 4 3 2 - -
    11th +4 Steel Bond feature 4 7 4 3 3 - -
    12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 7 4 3 3 - -
    13th +5 - 4 8 4 3 3 1 -
    14th +5 Bursting of Bonds 4 8 4 3 3 1 -
    15th +5 Steel Bond feature 4 9 4 3 3 2 -
    16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 9 4 3 3 2 -
    17th +6 - 4 10 4 3 3 3 1
    18th +6 Improved War Magic 4 10 4 3 3 3 1
    19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 11 4 3 3 3 2
    20th +6 Steel Bond feature 4 11 4 3 3 3 2

    Class features
    As a spellsword you gain the following class features.

    Hit Dice: 1d10 per level
    Hit Points at 1st level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at higher levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your constitution modifier for every spellsword level after first

    Proficiencies
    Armour: Light armour, medium armour, heavy armour, shields
    Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial weapons
    Tools: None

    Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
    Skills: Choose two from: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion

    Equipment
    You start with either 5d4*10gp or the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

    A martial weapon and (a) a shield or (b) two simple weapons
    (a) Five javelins or (b) two simple weapons
    (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
    (a) scale mail or (b) chain mail

    Cantrips
    At 1st level, you know two cantrips from the spellsword spell list. You learn additional cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the cantrips known column of the Spellsword table.

    Steel Bond
    You know a ritual that forges a magical bond between you and a weapon. The ritual takes 1 hour and can be done over a short rest. You must be holding the weapon throughout the ritual. Once you have bonded with the weapon, you are constantly aware of its precise location as long as it is on the same plane as you. You can use it as an arcane focus, and it is considered a magical weapon for purposes of resistance or immunity while you are wielding it. You can be bonded to only one weapon at a time, other than your unarmed strike which is always considered bonded.

    Spellswords additionally gain various abilities based on the type of weapon they first bonded with. See the Steel Bonds section below.

    Fighting Style
    At second level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. You may choose between Archery, Defence, Dueling or Great Weapon Fighting. See the Fighter class description for more information.

    Spellcasting
    Like a sorcerer, you carry a font of magic inside you, but yours is deeper and restrained, coming out as much in your physical actions as your spells. When you reach 2nd level, it has emerged enough for you to cast spells other than cantrips. See chapter 10 of the Players Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting.

    Spell Slots. Spell slots are shown on the Spellsword table. You regain all your expended spell slots with a long rest.

    Spells Known. At second level you learn two 1st level spells from the Spellsword spell list. As you gain levels you can learn new spells, which may be of any level you have slots for. When you gain a level, you may replace one spell you know with another, which can be from any level you have slots for.

    Spellcasting Ability. Charisma is your spellcasting ability.

    Extra Attack
    At 5th level you can attack twice instead of once when using the Attack action on your turn.

    Arcane Resistance
    At 6th level you gain a bonus to your saves equal to your Charisma modifier as long as you are conscious.

    War Magic
    As the Eldritch Knight ability.

    Eldritch Strike
    As the Eldritch Knight ability.

    Bursting of Bonds
    At 14th level you can use your action to get an additional saving throw against an ongoing effect that is affecting you. You may still use this ability if the condition prevents you from taking actions, but you may only use it on your turn, and doing so consumes your action, bonus action, reaction and movement. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1). Uses refresh on a long rest.

    Improved War Magic
    As the Eldritch Knight ability.

    Steel Bonds
    The bond between a Spellsword and their bonded weapon is a deep one and strongly affects the manifestation of their magic. You gain different abilities based on the weapon you bond with at first level.

    Mage-Knight
    Spellswords who first bond with melee weapons are known as Mage-Knights, and their magic manifests mostly strongly in the thick of battle as they cut down their foes.

    Blade Bond
    As long as the melee weapon you are bonded with in within 30 feet of you, you can call it to your hand as part of your movement, an attack action or casting a spell.

    Arcane Strike
    Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee attack with your bonded weapon you can expend one spell slot to deal force damage in addition to the attack's normal damage. The extra damage is 1d8 plus 1d8 per level of the spell slot, to a maximum of 5d8.

    Reaving Strike
    Starting at 3rd level, when an attack which you have used your Arcane Strike or Improved Arcane Strike ability on hits a creature other than an undead or construct, you gain 1d4 hit points. If it kills the creature, you gain an additional 1d4 hit points per level of the spell and become one day younger. This age reduction cannot reduce a character below the age of maturity for their race.

    Improved Arcane Strike
    At 11th level, all your melee attacks with your bonded weapon deal an extra 1d8 force damage. This counts as using Arcane Strike for the purposes of your Reaving Strike ability, and stacks with the extra damage from Arcane Strike.

    Arcane Charge
    At 15th level you can use your Arcane Strike ability before making your attack. If you do so, you may teleport 10 feet per level of the solt your expended before attacking.

    Forceful Strike
    At 20th level, if you use your Arcane Strike ability before making your attack, you add your Charisma modifier to the attack roll.

    Arcane Archer
    Spellswords who bond to ranged weapons are known as Arcane Archers. Their sorcery manifests most strongly when they stay back from the fray, tracking their targets with a keen eye.

    String Bond
    When you draw back your bowstring, your magic leaps into it, forming an arrow of eldritch energy. Your bonded weapon does not require ammunition.

    Arcane Shot
    Starting at 2nd level, when you make a ranged attack with your bonded weapon you can expend one spell slot to deal force damage in addition to the attack's normal damage. The extra damage is 1d8 plus 1d8 per level of the spell slot, to a maximum of 5d8.

    Arcane Ordnance
    Beginning at 3rd level, when you use your Arcane Shot ability, instead of making a ranged attack you can target a point within the maximum range of your weapon. All enemies within 20 feet of this point must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC or take force damage equal to your Arcane Shot damage. Enemies who save take half damage.

    Improved Arcane Shield
    At 11th level, all your ranged attacks with your bonded weapon deal an extra 1d8 force damage. This counts as using Arcane Shot for the purposes of your Arcane Ordnance ability, and stacks with the extra damage from Arcane Shot.

    Forceful Shot
    At 20th level you add your Charisma modifier to the attack roll of attacks you make with Arcane Shot and to the damage when you use Arcane Ordnance.

    Witchplate Channeler
    Spellswords who bond with their armour instead of a weapon are known as Witchplate Channelers, who wield their magic most strongly when their foes crowd around them, battering hopelessly against their steel.

    Plate Bond
    You can don your bonded armour with one action and doff it with a bonus action. Its weight does not count against your carrying capacity while you wear it and it weighs 10 times its normal weight for anyone else.

    Arcane Rebuke
    Starting at 2nd level, when an enemy hits you with a melee attack and you are wearing your bonded armour you can expend one spell slot to deal force damage to them. The damage is 1d8 plus 1d8 per level of the spell slot, to a maximum of 5d8.

    Repulsion
    Starting at 3rd level, when you use Arcane Rebuke, the enemy must make a Strength saving throw against your spell save DC or be knocked back 10 feet plus 10 feet per level of the spell slot you expended.

    Improved Arcane Rebuke
    Starting at 11th level, whenever an opponent makes a melee attack against you and you are wearing your bonded armour they take 1d8 force damage. This counts as using your Arcane Rebuke for the purposes of your Repulsion ability.

    Adaptive Armour
    When you take damage and are wearing your bonded armour, you may gain resistance against that damage type. This lasts until the end of the encounter or you gain a different resistance from this ability.

    Force Armour
    When you use your Arcane Rebuke or Improved Arcane rebuke, they affect all enemies within 10 feet of you.

    Spoiler: Spellsword Spell List
    Show

    Cantrips
    Blade Ward
    Control Flames
    Dancing Lights
    Fire Bolt
    Frostbite
    Gust
    Light
    Mage Hand
    Mending
    Mold earth
    Prestidigitation
    Shape Water
    Thunderclap
    True Strike

    1st Level
    Catapult
    Detect Magic
    Earth Tremor
    Expeditious Retreat
    False Life
    Feather Fall
    Heroism
    Jump
    Magic Missile
    Shield
    Thunderous Smite
    Thunderwave
    Witch Bolt
    Wrathful Smite

    2nd Level
    Alter Self
    Blur
    Darkvision
    Dust Devil
    Enhance Ability
    Enlarge/Reduce
    Earthbind
    Gust of Wind
    Hold Person
    Levitate
    Magic Weapon
    Maximilian's Earthern Grasp
    Mirror Image
    Misty Step
    See Invisibility
    Shatter
    Spider Climb
    Warding Wind
    Web

    3rd Level
    Blink
    Counterspell
    Daylight
    Dispel Magic
    Elemental Weapon
    Erupting Earth
    Fear
    Fly
    Gaseous Form
    Haste
    Lightning Bolt
    Protection from Energy
    Slow
    Wall of Water
    Water Breathing
    Water Walk

    4th Level
    Banishment
    Dimension Door
    Staggering Smite
    Stoneskin
    Storm Sphere
    Watery Sphere

    5th Level
    Banishing Smite
    Control Winds
    Destructive Wave
    Hold Monster
    Telekinesis
    Last edited by Dhavaer; 2020-03-31 at 03:47 AM.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

    I keep my stories in a blog. You should read them.

    5E Sorcerous Origin: Arcanist

    5E Class: Spellsword

    5E Spells: Alternate Damage Cantrips

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Dhavaer, your ideas are like candy from the sky, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Wow. Badass without being flashy and showy, attractive while remaining classy. Bravo Dhavaer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    ...Why do I imagine you licking your lips and rubbing your hands together?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Dhavaer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    I first made this class a very, very long time ago, and it was missing archetypes. I've finally gotten around to thinking some up, so here they are. I haven't been keeping up with 5e at all, so please let me know if there have been any big changes that invalidate anything.

    I am a bit concerned that the Abjurant Champion's Arcane Shield is much more powerful than Reaving Strike. Possibly I should remove the requirement for Reaving Strike to kill? Or change the wards to be more powerful, but make them an alternative to the Arcane Strike damage rather than an add-on.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

    I keep my stories in a blog. You should read them.

    5E Sorcerous Origin: Arcanist

    5E Class: Spellsword

    5E Spells: Alternate Damage Cantrips

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Dhavaer, your ideas are like candy from the sky, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Wow. Badass without being flashy and showy, attractive while remaining classy. Bravo Dhavaer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    ...Why do I imagine you licking your lips and rubbing your hands together?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Toxic Avenger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    I haven't delved into 5e yet though I have been tempted to start since my younger son recently started playing it with his friends, so I can't offer much in helpful criticism yet. Nevertheless, I like what I see of what you've done here.

    Anyway...a question:

    Can the age reduction from Reaving Strike reduce it below the character's actual age, or does it only remove unnatural aging?


    (Also: Hi, Dhavaer! (Very, Very, Very, Very) Long time, no see! I hope all has been well for you!)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Dhavaer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Hi Toxic! It's good to see you again too! Everything is going well for me, I bought a house and my partner and I both have new jobs.

    I'll edit the aging ability to clarify.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

    I keep my stories in a blog. You should read them.

    5E Sorcerous Origin: Arcanist

    5E Class: Spellsword

    5E Spells: Alternate Damage Cantrips

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Dhavaer, your ideas are like candy from the sky, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Wow. Badass without being flashy and showy, attractive while remaining classy. Bravo Dhavaer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    ...Why do I imagine you licking your lips and rubbing your hands together?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Toxic Avenger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Elizabeth approves of the clarification on the aging ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    I am a bit concerned that the Abjurant Champion's Arcane Shield is much more powerful than Reaving Strike. Possibly I should remove the requirement for Reaving Strike to kill? Or change the wards to be more powerful, but make them an alternative to the Arcane Strike damage rather than an add-on.
    I'd lean toward removing the kill requirement for Reaving Strike with respect to the additional hit points. As for the age reduction, it may make more sense if that only occurs upon a kill. Or at least, that's what Elizabeth tells me, and I typically defer to her expertise on such matters.


    I'm glad all is well for you. I have the same house and family here, they're just all about ten years older since we last chatted. I got a job much closer to home about seven years ago though, for a worker-owned company that is much more appreciative of its employees. My previous employer was owned by a faceless and soulless corporation from over one thousand miles away.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Overall design issue:
    1) Make the subclass a level 1 thing.
    2) Drop the fighting style at level 1. That is the Fighter's domain. And leaves more power for the subclass feature. And makes them more magical at level 1.
    3) Have subclasses vary in armor types. At least one that uses an arcane shield and wears next to no armor.

    Rogues get Sneak Attack, Barbarians get Rage, Monks their Martial Arts, Rangers Favored Enemy (and this sucks, which is one problem with Rangers), Paladins get Lay on Hands.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    I know what you want out of this class but, I donít think it is unique enough. You did a good job at re-skinning many of the paladin abilities but, thatís all you did you just re-skinned the paladin.

    Perhaps take a step back and think what you want your spell sword to be. It may be better for you to create some kind of arcane oath for the paladin instead. The paladin already makes a good swordmage if you simply ignore the non-mechanical lore that surrounds it.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Hi Dhavaer
    Times ago I've tried to build a "blue paladin" too, with a mechanic that, IMHO, is intended to be simple but original. The results are weird and probably unbalanced, but if you want to take a look the links are in my signature.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Dhavaer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Changes!

    Completely reworked the subclasses. Arcane Archer needs an ability at level 15, any suggestions?

    Fighting Style moved to second level, as suggested. Ranged style added to support the Arcane Archer.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

    I keep my stories in a blog. You should read them.

    5E Sorcerous Origin: Arcanist

    5E Class: Spellsword

    5E Spells: Alternate Damage Cantrips

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Dhavaer, your ideas are like candy from the sky, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Wow. Badass without being flashy and showy, attractive while remaining classy. Bravo Dhavaer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    ...Why do I imagine you licking your lips and rubbing your hands together?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    3 levels of features from a subclass isn't ideal.

    Move fighting style to level 3, combine level 2 and 3 features of your subclass?

    I would also make this an Int caster; there are too many Cha classes already.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Spellsword [Arcane Half-caster class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    I would also make this an Int caster; there are too many Cha classes already.
    I second this! While Charisma may seem to fit fine, there is already a Charisma=based melee caster (the Hexblade Warlock).

    Other than that, it seems fairly balanced. Not so strong as to overshadow other martials, at least in early levels, and getting cantrips at level 1 as a half-caster is fun, I don't know why Ranger and Paladin don't.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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