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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I'm borrowing sengmeng's feedback response format. I like it a lot more than what I had planned. Sorry in advance for the huge reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Ah yes, the warlock-fighter-wizard-cleric. The fact that this class occupies such a clear thematic space but needs to be compared to four different classes from baseline D&D suggests that its niche is fully necessary. I don't know how to interpret this. I feel like there is subtext there but I don't understand it. I just dont understand subtlety without body language and tone. It has left me wondering if I did something wrong or if I am reading too much into it. Safe bet is to assume that what has been said is literally what was meant and hope for the best. In that case - Thanks?

    • The class table shows 1 Technique at 1st level, but you don't get the feature that gives you techniques until 2nd level. I missed that. I will get it on the next editing pass. Thanks!
    • That's a lot of features for 1st level. The cantrips probably don't need to be on the class table though, since they're included in the spellcasting description already. Good call on the cantrips. I will remove the redundant table entry. As for the features Storage and Bonding Ritual are really part of the same feature. I did question if the storage needed to be limited such as increasing amounts per class level since a player could get a lot of nice stuff with a 1 level dip. The fireless forging is just a flimsy ribbon so it can be moved anywhere. I'm not sure what to do here. Any suggestions?
    • Enchanting refers to "Full Round Action". 5e just has Action or Bonus Action. It also uses per day terminology, while 5e tends to prefer "you can do X Y number of times. You regain all expended uses on completing a [short/long] rest." (Magic items often instead use "regain charges at [specific time of day]"). My 3.5e beginnings are pretty obvious aren't they. I can change the per day to per long rest on the next editting pass. (Yay notepadd++ and find and replace) Full round action is much harder to replace. D&D 5e only has a few spells with a casting duration of longer than 1 action. All of these spells are measured in minutes. I wanted it to be possible to create an enchantment in combat but risky. The only things I had to fall back on was full round action from 3.5 where you cannot move and must spend the whole round until the beginning of your next turn concentrating on the enchantment or it will fail. Enchantments are supposed to be used before well before combat and then activated during combat to gain an upper hand on the enemy. I'll try to come up with something but I would appreciate any suggestions.
    • Enchantment usage limits seem to also be "per-weapon". This means that the Knight-Enchanter functionally has no limit on enchantment use provided they can keep providing weapons to enchant. I would make it instead work similarly to spell slots, where the Knight-Enchanter can activate X enchantment Y times, split across all enchantments of that level. I wasn't clear enough on this. Each enchantment learned may be cast the number of times per long rest indicated. For example: You learn the flaming enchantment at level 1. At level 1 apprentice enchantments may be each be cast 1 time per long rest. So you can cast it once before your next long rest. Not once per weapon. Once. Once you reach level 7 in the class and can learn and cast Adept enchantments that flaming enchantment can be cast twice per day. You can also pick the same enchantment more than once if you really wanted to be able to cast it more often. The casting for the class is supposed to ramp up as you gain levels to prevent it being taken as a dip class. Levels 7 and 14 are big steps up in power due to the large increase in enchantments they can cast at each of those levels because the previous tiers of enchantments gain an additional use per long rest. It doesn't seem like much but at level 1 the knight enchanter can make the 1st enchantment they learn permanent on the first weapon they get because why wouldn't they. Any weapon with a d8 weapon dice will now be doing slightly more damage than a greatsword. As it turns out I picked the GP limit on bonded weapons at character creation at 50 because that is precisely the cost of a greatsword. So the player can choose to have a mix of weapons or an individually powerful one. Enchanting really works best when you cast enchantments on party members equipment especially party members who have extra attacks later on or when you plan to use an enchantment with an area of effect technique since the technique hits with the effect of the enchantment as well as its base effects. At higher levels, such as when master enchantments have been learned, the effects of this can be devastating.
    • Can techniques be swapped out on level-up like Invocations, or are they locked in like Fighting Style? I hadn't thought about it but yes they could be retrained at level up. I'll add it.
    • Animate Weapon says it can attack, but does not say what type of action is required to make it attack. Does the weapon get its own initiative? Does it attack on your turn with no action required? Does it attack only when you take the attack action? Do you command it with a bonus action? It seems I've missed a few details here. Commanding it is a bonus action. One or both at higher levels. Each animated weapon acts on its own initiative which occurs immediately after your turn. They each have a bonus action, action, and move. The exception is the piercing blade level 14 feature which I didnt describe well enough and needs to indicate that it is only possible when the knight enchanter and each weapon are all adjacent to the same enemy at which point they attack simultaneously. Might have to re-describe it as a reaction that prevents an attack action on their subsequent turn. Another thing to add to the next editing pass.
    • I recommend adding some paragraph breaks in Enchanting and Animate Weapon. The actual wording seems clear enough to me but I lost my line a couple times trying to read through it. I wasn't sure I was wall-o-texting but now that you've confirmed it I will fix on the next edit. Thank!
    • Masterwork Forging's example "Lighter" treats One-handed, Light, and Finesse as a spectrum, but Light and Finesse are actually two separate weapon traits. A weapon can be both (Short Swords, Daggers, Scimitars), just Light (Hand Axe), just Finesse (Rapier), or neither. The other examples seem fine, though I'm worried about Custom Fitting balance-wise, as it would allow a higher armor class than any other armor type when combined with medium armor. You're right on the lighter not sure what I was thinking. I was probably late when I wrote that feature. Lighter will get re-worked to remove the heavy property from two handed weapons (more options for small fries, like halfling party members) and Custom Fitting will have the Dec mod increase reduced to 1.
    • Quick Binding in each subclass refers to a "Full Round Action". I was stuck on Full Round Action. It can be reduced to an action. I will make a note that it is impossible to do under duress such as in combat.


    Techniques:
    • I'd like to see more variety of techniques, though given how few the class learns you probably don't need more than one or two additional techniques. I'm working on it... Ninjas! Oh god!
    • Techniques with scaling damage cap out at level 10, which seems too early. I had the scaling cap early due to those techniques delivering the weapon enchantments' effects over a large area. Maybe it should scale to 14 instead. Any scaling past that point would probably be to overpowered due to some of the BS you can pull with AOE techniques and master enchantments such as Phantasm. Your thoughts?
    • Field of Blades and Sweeping Slash occupy the same usage space. The only difference is the shape of their damage. I would rather see more unique options like Dispelling Slash. I'm working on it... Ninjas! Oh god!
    • Storm of Blades: it's good to have a per-enemy limitation, but I think the technique would be cleaner if it just had a flat damage instead of being based on the number of weapons in your storage.Ya in the current version its not too god. I wanted something that was could be imagined as visually impressive. I had another idea a day or two ago but I wanted to see some feedback first before I made a change. The new version would have reduced damage (10d6) but would be maintained by concentration for 1 minute dealing that damage at the beginning of your turn.



    Enchantments:
    • Some enchantments refer to "enhancement bonus". 5e doesn't have bonus types, it just specifies (a +X to attack and damage rolls) and usually indicates whether or not the effect is cumulative with similar effects (typically not). More 3.5 habits to break. I'll get them swapped in my next edit pass.
    • Overall, the limits you've placed on enchantments (max 3 active, the short durations for non-permanent, the hard limit on number placed on a given weapon/armor) seem to be pretty good. Other than my concerns raised in the actual Enchanting feature above, I don't have anything to add here (actually looking at most of them, it seems like the class is dependent on enchants to keep up with other classes, so the "no upper limit on enchantment activations" thing may be something of a non-issue). I'll add more clarity to the enchantment section and break up the paragraphs to make it easier to read. There are no activation limits on enchantments. Non-permanent enchantments can be activated once. Permanent enchantments can be activated or de-activated as needed. There is a hard limit to how many enchantments that can be cast per long rest that increases, at times by quite a bit, as you level up.


    Overall, this is a fun-looking class. Other than some readability edits and a couple of terms that snuck in from 3.5e I don't have any major changes I would recommend. It's a good class (and if you've read through some of the contests you missed you'll know I'm a sucker for new subsystems).
    Thank you for the feedback! I hope you don't take offense to my not understanding what you meant in your first sentences. I'll get to work on editing my class soon and if you're okay with it I will list you in the credits section as a contributor based upon your feedback.

    With the enchantments I clarified how they function above but didn't discuss any changes to the system as it stands. The quote was already kind of wall-o-texty and I didnt want this part to be hard to read. With the clarifications do you think the enchantment system is fine as it stands or should it be modified to be more max number of spell slots for enchantments per long rest per tier and you can cast any you know using those slots? My goal with the system as it stands was to make each choice matter and be something to consider because you have a limited use of each choice you make within the system. This change above would have the benefit of having smaller jumps in spell progression and smaller leaps in power at certain level ups. I feel like swapping to a more spell slot oriented system would take some of the difficulty and impact out of each choice especially at higher levels. Master enchantments are really meant to be one per long rest leaving the player to have to decide if they want to specialize and have more uses of a specific enchantment or diversify and have access to more master enchantments and thus have more tools in their toolbox.

    Additional thoughts on the enchantment spell type. I envisioned them as buff spells like I said before but I also put in fluff like activation words or phrases to encourage roleplay in a party by having the player need to do something to get it to work. I also wanted it to encourage people to name their weapons. Saying, "Kin Guardian, Burn bright!" or something similar sounds epic and corny and can help new players break the ice and get into the roleplaying aspect of the game. It also lets knight enchanters be vindictive when say the party barbarian sneaks a skunk lure into your backpack by setting the command phrase to for example a Titan enchantment on the barbarians weapon to, "Who wants fluffy bunny snuggles!"
    Last edited by Crim the Cold; 2020-08-10 at 03:45 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Crim the Cold View Post
    I'm borrowing sengmeng's feedback response format. I like it a lot more than what I had planned. Sorry in advance for the huge reply.



    Thank you for the feedback! I hope you don't take offense to my not understanding what you meant in your first sentences. I'll get to work on editing my class soon and if you're okay with it I will list you in the credits section as a contributor based upon your feedback.

    With the enchantments I clarified how they function above but didn't discuss any changes to the system as it stands. The quote was already kind of wall-o-texty and I didnt want this part to be hard to read. With the clarifications do you think the enchantment system is fine as it stands or should it be modified to be more max number of spell slots for enchantments per long rest per tier and you can cast any you know using those slots? My goal with the system as it stands was to make each choice matter and be something to consider because you have a limited use of each choice you make within the system. This change above would have the benefit of having smaller jumps in spell progression and smaller leaps in power at certain level ups. I feel like swapping to a more spell slot oriented system would take some of the difficulty and impact out of each choice especially at higher levels. Master enchantments are really meant to be one per long rest leaving the player to have to decide if they want to specialize and have more uses of a specific enchantment or diversify and have access to more master enchantments and thus have more tools in their toolbox.

    Additional thoughts on the enchantment spell type. I envisioned them as buff spells like I said before but I also put in fluff like activation words or phrases to encourage roleplay in a party by having the player need to do something to get it to work. I also wanted it to encourage people to name their weapons. Saying, "Kin Guardian, Burn bright!" or something similar sounds epic and corny and can help new players break the ice and get into the roleplaying aspect of the game. It also lets knight enchanters be vindictive when say the party barbarian sneaks a skunk lure into your backpack by setting the command phrase to for example a Titan enchantment on the barbarians weapon to, "Who wants fluffy bunny snuggles!"
    Don't read too much into my first lines. Ultimately they were just a compliment.

    As for making enchantments possible, but difficult, to do in combat, you'll have to get a little creative with the wording. Something like "As an action, you can begin to apply a temporary enchantment. Applying a temporary enchantment requires concentration, as if concentrating on a spell, and it is also interrupted if you move on your turn. At the start of your next turn, the enchantment is applied and can be activated by its command word, as normal."
    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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  3. - Top - End - #33
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Don't read too much into my first lines. Ultimately they were just a compliment.

    As for making enchantments possible, but difficult, to do in combat, you'll have to get a little creative with the wording. Something like "As an action, you can begin to apply a temporary enchantment. Applying a temporary enchantment requires concentration, as if concentrating on a spell, and it is also interrupted if you move on your turn. At the start of your next turn, the enchantment is applied and can be activated by its command word, as normal."
    I’ll try and help there:

    “At the beginning of your turn you can reduce your speed to 0 until the beginning of your next turn and use your action to begin applying a temporary enchantment. Your temporary Enchantment requires concentration as if concentrating on a spell. The Enchantment effect does not manifest until the beginning of your following turn.”

    If Batman can disarm a nuke while its flying, the enchanter can finish their enchanting if they get shoved.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I think I will remove the casting time description from each enchantment and replace it with a block of text before the enchantment descriptions describing casting time there since the casting time does not vary between enchantments. It will also save space on the document and prevent unneeded repetition in the enchantment description.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Feedback, pt. 2! This should cover the rest of the currently written classes. I'll get the proposed classes as quickly as I can after they go up.

    Spoiler: Enlightened Martial Artist
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    Really this feels like what the monk should have been, thematically. They use so much internal magic that not giving them even a spell slot subclass feels like a missed opportunity.

    • First level they look pretty much like a monk, though they get Ki a level earlier. You could swap Spellcasting and Ki by giving them Artificer spell progression (half round up) instead of Ranger.
    • Empowered Blow is their only new use of Ki, and it's odd in that its functional cost is 0, but it requires you to have at least one point of ki to gain the benefit. I'd like to see them drop Flurry or Step of the Wind for a ki feature that specifically buffs spellcasting, also (to really lean into that hybrid nature).
    • Spellcasting. You could give them the unique feature of using their own body for spellcasting focus. It would fit the theme. Other than that, considering how much versatility ki and flexible casting give, I think spells-known was a good choice.
    • Flexible Casting: Tying this to a short rest resource is risky. It's basically coffeelock all in one class, mitigated only by their lower spell levels. Requiring the ki points to be used directly to cast a spell instead of creating a slot would fix that concern, since they wouldn't be able to store up slots.
    • Metamagic. You should specify how many ki points each metamagic effect costs, though I assume it's meant to be 1:1 with sorcery point costs.
    • Mystic Style. I've always wanted to write a class with this format, but I've never really pulled it off. The closest I came was a half-baked 3.5 spellcasting overhaul where domains worked this way, but I did not get many domains written. This looks like a clean way to do it, kudos.
    • Evasive Mysticism: It's weird to me that this doesn't have a feature specifically for spells. This is a spellcaster-martial-artist, they should be one of the best classes for resisting magical effects (IMO). I would swap the attack one out for a spell one.



    • Dragon Stance with a Longsword allows three attacks at 1d10 + Wis when flurrying. Other than that it seems okay.
    • Djinn Style: Ah, you hid the spellcasting features in subclasses. I understand now. That actually works better, since you can pick how much to specialize in spellcasting.
    • Djinn Stance: Free Action isn't a term in 5e. "Without using an action" is typically how such features are worded.
    • Djinn Mastery says "You can use Elemental Mastery without being in Dragon Stance."
    • Two-Headed Strike doesn't specify that it requires Hydra Stance. Hydra Mastery suggests it should.
    • Does Beholder Stance hover allow you to move up and down or is it just side to side?



    Overall, the class looks really fun to play but I'm concerned about how powerful the stances are, considering that you get a free stance each time you roll initiative and there's no way to force you out of stance.


    Spoiler: Feral
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    Why wasn't there already a barbarian who pummels things option? You're filling a traditional fantasy archetype by making this.

    Body Hardening: I would just make this 10+Wis+Con instead of 10+Wis/Con+Proficiency. Also Unarmored Defense is a feature with some specific interactions; you should keep the name or at least note that the feature counts as Unarmored Defense (this only matters for multiclassing though).
    Putting Maximum Spell Slot on the table would clear up a lot of the wording for spellcasting.
    Putting the Archetype and Extra Attack in the feature descriptions is traditional (we all know what they are without it though).
    Evasion in 5e also reduces the damage you take on a failed save to half damage (like 3.5's Improved Evasion).
    Sight Beyond Sight: Active invisibility sight and true seeing is pretty cool. It might encourage players to actually Search in combat.
    Swift Recovery: Regaining Limit Break might be a bit much here. The class is already crazy hard to kill with just this feature.
    Brooding Demeanor feels a little weak; expertise in Persuasion as a level 11 feature is pretty underwhelming. I'd swap its position with Swift Recovery; that lines Swift Recovery up with Barbarians' Relentless Rage also.

    Wild Child: Lick Wounds does not say what you gain proficiency in.
    Wild Soul Techniques has a sentence fragment at the end of the first line.
    Prey's Stillness seems out of place listed with the Techniques, since it doesn't seem to be an active ability or require Limit Break.
    Ragdoll should specify how much damage an improvised person-bludgeon does (I assume Living Weapon damage).
    Heart of the City seems a lot more directly impactful than One with the Wilds.


    Spoiler: Herald of Ragnarok
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    Needs more Ratatoskr.

    • Miracle points are an awesome way to handle spellcasting, but I do have a concern about ritual-casting healing spells. Limited healing isn't as big a deal in 5e as it was in previous editions, but it is still important that you get worn down over the course of a day.
    • Other classes which grant Channel Divinity offer two choices for what to use it on. If you're only allowing one you could just give the feature its own resource (though doing it this way does have impact on multiclassing).
    • Some of the fighting styles (Great Weapon Fighting and Two-Weapon Fighting especially) are incompatible with Blessed Weapons, Holy Armaments, Divine Arsenal. Adding Maul and Greataxe would fix the GWF part, though there aren't good martial options for Light weapons for TWF to fill that role. Maybe allow them to choose between dual wielding Blessed Weapons and gaining versatile property with 1 hand for them? The Dual Wielder feat also fixes the TWF and technically stacks with the current version of Blessed Weapons, which is strong but probably still not on the level of GWM/Sharpshooter.
    • See the Unseen's duration should probably be shorter (it's Darkvision AND see invisibility AND blindsight; a minute is plenty even with the class only getting one Channel).


    I actually don't have a lot about this that I would change, which is why my list is shorter than customary. I think it's got a really clear theme and it sticks to it, it has enough new mechanics to stand out without requiring someone to learn a whole system like most of my brews. It isn't very generic as far as setting integration, but that's okay; after all it's homebrew, not a system proposal.


    I think that's everyone. If I missed you it's because I'm scatterbrained, not because I skipped you on purpose. Let me know and I'll correct it.
    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 Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Thank you for the feedback!

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Really this feels like what the monk should have been, thematically. They use so much internal magic that not giving them even a spell slot subclass feels like a missed opportunity.
    I know, right? Like, not even a 1/3 caster subclass? Come on.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post

    • First level they look pretty much like a monk, though they get Ki a level earlier. You could swap Spellcasting and Ki by giving them Artificer spell progression (half round up) instead of Ranger.
    I think you're right that that's the way to go. Artificers getting spells at 1 instead of 2 is odd for a half-caster (as is them getting cantrips when no other half-caster does) but it's precedent that I can use.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Empowered Blow is their only new use of Ki, and it's odd in that its functional cost is 0, but it requires you to have at least one point of ki to gain the benefit. I'd like to see them drop Flurry or Step of the Wind for a ki feature that specifically buffs spellcasting, also (to really lean into that hybrid nature).
    Point. I think I'll drop Step of the Wind. Ki features that benefit spellcasting, however, fall into Metamagic - which admittedly comes one level later, but I don't want to give access to that sooner than sorcerer's get it.

    And yeah, Empowered Blow is a little odd, I admit. It's supposed to be their equivalent of making a single unarmed strike as a bonus action, since I cut that from their normal Martial Arts, so I wanted it to be free-ish. You're still spending Ki to do it, it's still explicitly a beyond-badass-normal thing, but it's something you can keep doing forever, as long as you don't spend your last point of Ki. That's the idea, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Spellcasting. You could give them the unique feature of using their own body for spellcasting focus. It would fit the theme. Other than that, considering how much versatility ki and flexible casting give, I think spells-known was a good choice.
    Good idea. Added.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Flexible Casting: Tying this to a short rest resource is risky. It's basically coffeelock all in one class, mitigated only by their lower spell levels. Requiring the ki points to be used directly to cast a spell instead of creating a slot would fix that concern, since they wouldn't be able to store up slots.
    Also a good idea. I'll edit so that the spell slot you create vanishes at the beginning of your next turn - that way you can make a slot for a reaction spell as well as one you use on your turn, but not save them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Metamagic. You should specify how many ki points each metamagic effect costs, though I assume it's meant to be 1:1 with sorcery point costs.
    Added.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Mystic Style. I've always wanted to write a class with this format, but I've never really pulled it off. The closest I came was a half-baked 3.5 spellcasting overhaul where domains worked this way, but I did not get many domains written. This looks like a clean way to do it, kudos.
    Thanks! I'm still messing around with the exact formatting for this to make it clear and readable, but I think it came out well, build-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Evasive Mysticism: It's weird to me that this doesn't have a feature specifically for spells. This is a spellcaster-martial-artist, they should be one of the best classes for resisting magical effects (IMO). I would swap the attack one out for a spell one.
    Excellent point. I'll change the Dex save into "a saving throw against a spell" and switch the attack one to "a spell attack".

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    • Dragon Stance with a Longsword allows three attacks at 1d10 + Wis when flurrying. Other than that it seems okay.
    I'll adjust so you can make one of the flurry attacks with a weapon instead of both.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Djinn Stance: Free Action isn't a term in 5e. "Without using an action" is typically how such features are worded.


    • Djinn Mastery says "You can use Elemental Mastery without being in Dragon Stance."
    • Two-Headed Strike doesn't specify that it requires Hydra Stance. Hydra Mastery suggests it should.


    Fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post


    • Does Beholder Stance hover allow you to move up and down or is it just side to side?
    Intended to be in any direction. I'll adjust the wording.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Overall, the class looks really fun to play but I'm concerned about how powerful the stances are, considering that you get a free stance each time you roll initiative and there's no way to force you out of stance.
    Thank you!
    You're probably right about that. I'll drop the free stance from rolling initiative and make it cost 1K and your bonus action to enter at all times. As for being forced out of it... maybe a note that you can't maintain the stance if you're unable to take actions? That means anything that incapacitates you, like being Stunned or Paralyzed, knocks you out, and it fits with it being a fighting style. Being unable to move would work as well, but that's way too easy to exploit, so unless entering is free... I think I'll stick with incapacitation ending a stance.
    Hi, you can call me Void. I prefer she/her or they/them pronouns, please. Yes, "they" is a singular pronoun. I write a superhero webserial called Paternum - check it out!



    PEACH My 5e Homebrew, including...

    Yet Another Warlock Rewrite (on GiantITP) Playtested Once!

    Lycanthrope Base Class (on GiantITP) Contest Winner!

    Vampire Base Class (on GiantITP) Full Class!

    Inspiration Domain (On GiantITP) In Playtest!

    Skinwalker Ranger Subclass (on GiantITP) Silver Medalist!

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Alright, for space reasons, I won't be posting all of the Witch alchemical formulae in the submission thread, but the link has 32 out of 72 finished. Of the remaining ones, only 13 are new; the rest are being copied over and reformatted from Alchemist. The class features and the subclasses (5 of them!) are all complete now, and the spell list is coming after I finish fixing formulae.

    I'm curious what people think of the class so far. Once I get it all the way finished I'll make a PDF and edit the link so it's stable again.
    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 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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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    Feedback Pt. 1. Since Crim started with the first entry, I'll start with the last and work my way backwards so that everyone gets a review.
    Spoiler: The Occultist
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    It fills an excellent niche, and also works as a witchhunter/mage breaker type class (I'll use magic, but I'm not a magic-user).

    • A class table would be nice. There are some pre-formatted example tables in this thread that you can copy and paste, editing only necessary details.
    • Is the occultist limited to ritual magic only, or do they get actual spell slots as well? It seems based on theme like it might be the former, but it isn't explicitly stated. If they get slots, what is their progression? (As Paladin seems the best fit).
    • Warding Preparation. I thought initially that making the weapon count as magical for that attack as well would be good, but thinking on it more that would basically create situations where there are no creatures immune to it, since very few things are immune to magical weapon damage.
    • Channel Occult: Is this the only non-ritual way to cast an occultist spell? If so, can you upcast spells once you have access to higher levels, or is it limited to the spell's base level only?
    • Use Magic Device: It's such a cool feature that it makes me sad to say this, but I think an extra Ambition feature might belong here instead. There's a huge gap between Ambition Spells/Channel at 3 and the next ambition feature at 10.
    • Ambitions: I'd like to see your Ambition features get their own names and be formatted as a base features. The Ambition spells seem fine.



    Looking forward to the rest of the ambition features and the spell list. I feel like this class just fits into its own place without stepping on any toes, despite drawing on fighter and wizard to exist.


    I'll get the rest of the currently-posted classes reviewed tomorrow. This is a great turnout already. So many different ideas blended in.
    Thanks for the feedback! Yeah it is missing some parts.

    The idea is no actual spell slots.

    Yeah, I was afraid making the weapons magical as well would make it to strong, so left them non-magical.

    Channel Occult and the once per long rest spells from the ambitions can cast spells directly. The idea is that it was that it would be upcast similarly to the warlock I guess, but I haven't really decided.

    Use magic device feels way to important to the class to cut so will see what I can do about that. The subclass feature became super-spread out once I dallied out the main class feature, I mean the gap between 10-20 is huge as well. I can probably add a ribbon or so around 6-7. Will continue to tinker with it.

    Thanks again for the feedback! And will start fixing the ambitions this week.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I finished the subclasses of the Occultist. It is still lacking some flavour text and such. Will add it when I get time to do so.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Finished the first round of edits, at least.
    "Come play in the darkness with me."
    Thanks for the avatar, banjo1985!

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    I guess I'm a Neutral Good Human Wizard (4th Level)
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    Take the 'What D&D Character am I?" Quiz!


    Somehow I doubt the veracity of this quiz :P
    Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I've got an idea for a warlock/paladin, with the flavor of a paladin who sought evil powers to fight other evil. Do the contest rules allow me to ask for help coming up with a name that doesn't sound too edgelord-y?
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Absolutely. I'll start.

    Invoker
    Pactknight
    Ironbound/Ironblood
    Heirophant
    Sentinel
    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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    Daemon

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Bound Champion
    Mageknight
    Lockadin
    Arcaknight
    Templar
    Eld Knight
    Eldritch Champion
    Arcane Zealot
    Eldritch Zealot

    and more I'm sure.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Partizan
    Stalwart
    Zealot
    Eerie Legionnaire
    Dark Knight
    Black Knight
    Shadowwatcher
    Shardblades
    Unforgiven
    Wyrdwatcher
    Depthseeker
    Lost Herald
    Last edited by Fnissalot; 2020-08-17 at 12:33 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    If you were thinking about throwing in some necromantic effects like life drain or possess some undead traits as it levels up you could call it The Wightguard.

    It invokes two different paladin type names (Whiteguard and Nightguard) but also makes a clear reference to the use of normally evil tactics.

    Another thought occurred Pact Templar or (and these are a bit edgy) Occult Apostle or Soothslayer.
    Last edited by Crim the Cold; 2020-08-17 at 05:23 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Been working on putting together an entry for this competition. Had a lot of fun over on the subclass competition, so I thought I'd give this a shot even though I'm a little late into the running. Haven't tried my hand at a full base class homebrew yet, but got to take the first leap before I can get better at it. I should be able to put up a rough entry within the next couple days.

    I'm looking at trying to create a class that captures the essence of sword wielding protagonists that appear in many xianxia/xuanxia novels/manga/anime by blending Fighter+Monk+other stuff. Energy blades, flying on your sword, flashy moves, cultivation techniques, and gaining an understanding of the hidden rules that govern nature. hopefully I'll do it justice...

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I'm adding a week to this deadline, because I'm not going to be able to set up voting next week due to a family emergency. I should be back by the time the extra week is up.
    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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    Sorry to hear that, take care!

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I decided to write some commentary about my decisions when making the Fallen Champion. I'm not sure how much sense it makes, since I wrote it piecemeal over the entire time I was tinkering with the class, but here it is.

    Spoiler: Flavor Concept
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    There are a bunch of ways to fluff your paladin/warlock multiclass, but most of them are much more character-specific than the PHB classes. Which I guess is inevitable to some extent in homebrew, but I wanted to think of a concept which fits the hybrid notion but also works as generally as possible.

    The paladin and warlock are almost flavor opposites. Paladins serve (usually) good beings, following their patron’s creed above their own goals...well, the patron is optional, but the creed isn’t. Warlocks serve (usually) evil beings, following their own goals while being directed by their patron’s...well, the direction is optional, but the patron isn’t.

    Which leads to an obvious conclusion: This hybrid is a paladin who “fell” and became a warlock. But not completely (otherwise you would play a warlock with a couple levels of paladin), which means that the essential paladin creed needs to be maintained in some way.

    Enter the Fallen Champion—a paladin (or knight, or other honorable warrior) who tried to follow their code while also preventing harm. When these directives proved incompatible, they sacrificed the former, turning to dark sources for the power they so desperately needed. After that crisis, they kept going down that path, unable or unwilling to turn back.

    (Warning: The following paragraph contains TV Tropes links.) Is this a case of Law vs. Good? Were they put through a terrible trial and willing to do anything to stop it? Perhaps they fell due to a literall diabolical plot which they now actively seek to prevent, or perhaps they were convinced of their own need for power without considering the consequences. Heck, they might start out with noble intentions but slowly turn into a pawn of villainy, or the opposite. It’s still more specific than the core classes, but there’s plenty of flexibility.

    Spoiler: Mechanical Concept
    Show

    I started the mechanical design of the Fallen Champion with three questions.
    First: What are the Paladin’s defining mechanics?
    Second: What are the Warlock’s defining mechanics?
    Finally: What about these mechanics draws people to the “padlock” build?

    The features which distinguish a paladin from a cleric/fighter include a handful of automatic defensive and support abilities (most notably Aura of Protection, though Lay On Hands might also qualify) and the famed Divine Smite, as well as a spell list excluding most support spells but including a number of unique Aura and Smite spells (plus some unique spells that are kinda like auras and smites but called something else, like Crusader’s Mantle and Destructive Wave). Oh, and you can summon a fancy horse.
    The overall effect is that the paladin is good at “leading” a party in a mechanical sense, self-buffing and smashing into the enemy while providing passive support to their allies. They can blow all their spell slots on smites, divine and otherwise, and still have magic left over to patch up their allies.

    The features which distinguish a warlock from other arcane spellcasters are much simpler: Their invocations and their unusual method of spellcasting. As you know, invocations are a wide array of abilities which warlocks can use (ranging from casting a spell with your slots once a day, to a small but continuous bonus to eldritch blast damage), and warlocks have a very limited number of spell slots which refresh on a short rest rather than a long one. As for the warlock’s unique spells, there aren’t many but all deal damage (with the semantic exception of hex), and the infamous eldritch blast—the best pure damage cantrip in the game, especially when combined with the right invocations—only emphasizes this offensive role.
    The primary effect that this has on the warlock is making them feel more distinct from other spellcasters, with resources refreshing on a different timer. The invocations also give the warlock class more versatility while restricting the versatility of any individual warlock.

    And now for the tricky question...what do people like about the padlock?
    • Obviously, there are the Xanathar’s Guide melee cantrips. What gish doesn’t want to add a few extra dice to every* attack? And speaking of cantrips, who doesn’t like eldritch blast?
    • Hex, a warlock exclusive, is really good for gishes. Because, again, what gish doesn’t want to add extra dice to every attack?
    • The synergy between Divine Smite and Pact Magic should be obvious. By the above logic, adding a whole bunch of extra dice to your attacks is obviously good, even if you can only do it a couple of times per short rest.
    • With the Hexblade “patron,” you get the Hexblade’s Curse, which is separate from and synergistic with hex (if you’re fine eating the extra bonus action). The ability to crit on a 19 or a 20 is awesome on its own, but all the better if you have an ability that lets you add extra dice to your attacks, since those also get doubled.
    • Continuing the focus on single-target burst damage, the Oath of Vengeance lets you expend a use of Channel Divinity to get advantage against a single target for, effectively, the rest of their life. (Devotion improves your accuracy with Sacred Weapon, but Vengeance makes it easier to get those crits—9.75% odds without the Hexblade’s Curse, and 19% with it! The padlock isn’t limited to critfishing, but it’s really good at doing that. (Especially if you do an end run around rolling high and just paralyze the poor fool.)
    • Back to the hexblade, you can use Charisma instead of Strength for your melee attacks, especially if you pair it with the cool shapeshifting magical weapon you get with Pact of the Blade. This makes it easier to optimize spellcasting and melee damage without, say, having weaknesses in the common saves.
    • The paladin’s defensive abilities (and slightly larger hit die) make a hexblade tankier than they otherwise would be. Perhaps chief among these abilities is heavy armor proficiency, though Aura of Protection is pretty significant, too.
    • If you like overkill, combine Divine Smite with the Eldritch Smite invocation.
    • The warlock’s utility spells/invocations are also handy, patching a gap in the paladin’s abilities. To a lesser extent, the paladin’s support spells do the reverse.

    *Obviously this isn’t as true once Extra Attack comes online, but there are situations where these cantrips can come in handy even if you have to sacrifice an attack to use it.

    In short, padlocks are excellent at single-target damage, particularly critfishing (though a few abilities, e.g. the Lifedrinker invocation or the GWM feat, don’t synergize as well as they could). They are more sustainable than, say, a sorcadin build, at the cost of having a lower Divine Smite cap. Padlocks also make decent tanks, are great at self-buffing, are almost as Single-Attribute Dependent as a full caster, and scrape together a decent set of peripheral capabilities (such as the warlock’s utility spells and the paladin’s other-person-buffs).
    Also, since one of the most universal bits of advice every padlock guide gives is to go for Hexblade and Pact of the Blade, incorporating elements from those subclasses makes sense.

    Obviously, we want a character that incorporates the padlock’s biggest strengths...but we also don’t want an out-of-the-box Fallen Champion to be as powerful as an optimized Paladin/Warlock multiclass, especially since it would probably have synergy with other Charisma-based spellcasters as the paladin did before it. (Not to mention that the little inefficiencies of multiclassing, e.g. ASIs, would be removed.)
    It needs to be less good at some things than a well-oilled padlock, and those should be secondary strengths or covered weaknesses of the latter build. The specific weaknesses/reduced strengths I decided on:
    • Less effective at keeping the party thief out of your stuff.
    • Incapable, or at least largely incapable, of supporting allies. Also less capable of self-buffing, in part due to dropping the spells that can buff others. (The character archetype is more of a lone wolf than a team leader, anyways...unless you’re in a grimdark story, of course.)
    • Still requires Strength (or Dexterity, if you make a rapier build).
    • Reduce the ease of gaining a dedicated tank’s AC, and reduce their general tankiness a bit.
    • No Sword Coast cantrips. This does reduce a Fallen Champion’s primary strength, but it’s easy to get them with an investment of build resources (either the Magic Initiate feat or a tiny multiclass), and gives me wiggle room with the overall power balance of the build. (It’s also easy to justify, since paladins don’t get cantrips.)
    • Reduced utility spells.

    This should serve to cut down on both versatility and power for a single-class Fallen Champion.

    Incidentally, the single-target focus of the padlock is arguably synergistic with the Fallen Champion’s flavor. The fluff indicates that they focus on one type of evil over any other
    Spoiler: Invo-effing-cations
    Show

    Invocation levels are a f&*%ing mess. Not for warlocks, there’s a perfectly logical progression for those; the ones that let you cast spells with warlock spell are at or above the level when a warlock would be able to select that spell, if it was on the warlock list. That makes sense; letting a warlock cast a spell like slow before a sorcerer could (or, for that matter, levitate at will just a couple levels after wizards can fly for ten minutes) would be kinda broken.

    However, the Fallen Champion gets spell levels at roughly half the rate of a full caster (which is why we call them half-casters). It wouldn’t be great for fallen champions to get high-level spells with their dinky low-level slots; it wouldn’t be broken per se, but it wouldn’t fit the balance or focus of the rest of the class. (If nothing else, they’re not supposed to be able to mimic full casters, even for just one or two tricks.) So maybe I should treat a fallen champion’s warlock level as half of their FC level, rounded up, for the purposes of meeting invocation?

    But wait, not all invocations grant spells! Take the Lifedrinker invocation, a crucial part of high-level padlock/mid-level hexblade builds, would be unavailable until 23rd level, and it’s not quite so impressive in a hypothetical epic-level game. And while you can take Superior Pact Weapon at 17th level, a +2 to attack and damage isn’t exactly impressive in tier 5 play. Letting a Fallen Champion take those invocations before they can cast 5th or 6th-level spells wouldn’t be a problem at all.

    Hence the clunky stuff about invocations which cast spells. It left out spell-like invocations like One with Shadows and Witch Sight, but trying to separate those from the not-spell-like ones just wasn’t worth the effort.


    Spoiler: Dark Paths
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    Overall, I’m not as happy with the archetypes as I am with the core class. The core class, I’m pretty confident that’s all built on a rock-solid mechanical foundation with enough unique flair to make it distinct from both paladins and warlocks. The archetypes have the flair, but I’m concerned that I built them on sand. I’m also not happy that they took up more time than literally the entire rest of the class.
    Still.

    When your class already has a bunch of archetypes, like the core classes do, a new archetype can focus on having a unique flavor and a mechanical gimmick or two. However, the first archetypes of a class need to have specific mechanical focuses (as well as at least decent flavor), hopefully allowing for a proper array of potential builds.
    The intended mechanical focus of the various archetypes is as follows:
    • Eld Knight: Tankiness
    • Fiendish Penitent: Glass cannon-ing
    • Pied Partizan: Support magic
    • Wightguard: Necromantic magic
    • Wyrdseeker: Utility magic

    It’s worth pointing out that some of these roles are things which a padlock possesses (in some capacity), but which were removed from the Fallen Champion. If you want to play a paladin-warlock hybrid which makes a good tank, we’ve got you covered.

    Oh, and I named the archetypes “Dark Paths” instead of “Dark Patrons” because I had lots of good names that were too specific for the class as a whole, and calling e.g. Wightguard a “patron” seemed weird. But you’ll see me talk about patrons in a lot of flavory contexts where it would make equal sense to talk about paths because I originally called them Dark Patrons until I realized the names I liked were bad names for patrons.
    I acknowledged them in the main post, but to reiterate, most of those good names were provided or inspired by BerzerkerUnit, Fnissalot, and Crim the Cold.

    Spoiler: Eld Knight
    Show

    This is heavily inspired by titular knight of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. (Erm, the green one.) I wanted to have both that and a kinda bard-ish support path, which is why I have two Dark Paths with fey patrons.

    The highest AC you can get with medium armor (not counting magic, shield bonuses, etc) is 17, if you have half-plate and 14+ Dexterity. Heavy armor only gets you to 18, with full plate. A +2 bonus to AC for the half-plated eld knight with good Dexterity would push the armor class slightly above what someone with heavy armor can achieve. This means that such an eld knight would have higher AC than
    If I had some way to mandate a decent Strength score on this subclass, I wouldn’t mind; having decent Dexterity and Strength scores is a cost of its own. But if a Dexterity-focused Eld Knight with a rapier, a shield, and half-plate could have superior AC to a full-plated fighter at no real cost...that’s a problem.

    Endure is a weird ability. If you would be KO’d by an attack, you can instead be healed and lose your
    head, which shocks people who see it?
    It’s a big reference to the Green Knight, who was sent to King Arthur’s court as a plot by Morgan le Fay. He challenged the knights to a contest which basically involved hitting him with an axe, which decapitated him, which Morgan hoped would make Queen Guinevere die of shock. (It didn’t.) The ability to be decapitated and just keep going is a core power of the character, and one of the big reasons I wrote the Eld Knight as a tank.
    Mechanically speaking, the player gets a rather potent amount of healing and potentially costs enemies their turns, in exchange for losing an action to pick up their head. This seems like a good trade to me. I’m a little concerned that this ability might do too much, but it costs a turn in the middle of combat so it should be fine?
    I considered giving the players some choice over what limb they lost, so they could go all Black Knight instead of being stuck with the Green Knight, but I figured that would complicate the ability too much.
    Incidentally, I didn’t bother to read the Oath of the Ancients until I’d mostly finished the subclass. I could have saved myself a lot of work by just starting with Undying Sentinel, buffing it, and adding the head-drop-off thing.

    I don’t know why “Eld Knight” sounds foresty to me, but it does.

    Spoiler: Fiendish Penitent
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    This is the one where I give up on not making the fallen champion an edgelord.

    Double-Edged Smite was is a huge bonus to damage, nearing the damage output of an Eldritch Smite on any attack or doubling the extra fire damage of one. However, it comes at a significant cost—your own hit points.
    Spoiler: Examples
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    Let’s imagine a 7th-level fiendish penitent. Assume they have a decent 14 Constitution and 16 Strength, and attack with a longsword. At 7th level, they should have 52 hit points and deal 1d8+3 damage on a typical hit. If they throw in a Double-Edged Smite, they get an extra 2d6 (avg 7) damage...but take about [(4.5+3+7)÷2]=7.25 damage. If they take no other damage and don’t get healed, they can do this about seven times; their.
    Let’s imagine they go all out. They have a +1 greatsword, GWM, 18 Strength, and use a smite. That’s 2d6+5 base damage, 2d8 for the Eldritch Smite, and the DES gets bumped up to another 2d8; the DES deals nine more damage to the enemy, but a total of [(7+5+10+9+9)/2]=20 damage to the user! (Using this more than once, without the abstracted assumption of “the enemy isn’t attacking you,” is obviously not gonna end well.) That’s a horrible deal!

    Let’s look at similar examples around level 20. Let’s give the first warlock 16 Constitution (and hence 163 hit points), 18 Strength, and a +2 longsword; their normal damage is 1d8+6 (average 10.5), and their 5d6 DES adds another 17.5; it deals an average of 14 damage to the user, who can tank eleven or twelve such smites (assuming no other damage or healing). The bonus damage applied to the enemy is higher than the damage the user, but not by much.
    And if they have 20 Strength, a +5 greatsword, and GWM, they can deal 2d6+10 or 17 damage before smiting. With another 10d8 (45) from both smites, the penitent is taking around 31 points of damage! (Obviously, they can only get off five or six such attacks.) If the attack crits—and the penitent has several ways to make that happen—they deal over a hundred and twenty damage but take ~62 in return!

    You’re usually taking at least as much damage from Double-Edged Smite as you add. The efficiency improves a bit as the fiendish penitent levels (partly because their hit points grow faster than the self-damage), but using it alongside other damage-increasing abilities is usually a bad call.
    There are two times when you might want to use Double-Edged Smite. First, if you want to boost damage without using a spell slot or something, you can just pay hit points. (The only one that matters is the last, right?) Alternatively, if you’re about to be KO’d anyways, you might as well pour everything you’ve got into one death-or-glory attack. Or possibly a death-and-glory attack, depending on how things go!
    It’s a significant damage boost, but at a significant cost. You put out a lot more hurt, but can’t last as long without a good healer.

    Anyways.

    Hellfire is a pretty basic filler ability. Hurl Through Hell is a basic warlock ability. Bind Fiends was basically me trying to think of something that made sense, coming up with a cool idea, and then realizing that that idea needed a lot of words.

    I really don’t like the path’s name, but I wanted something generic enough to apply to demons, devils, or anything in between, without being too edgy or on-the-nose. This does that, emphasizes that this is a more evil choice than most Paths, and hints at the self-harming aspects of the mechanics...but it also feels clunky. I don’t know, do other people think it’s fine?

    Spoiler: Pied Partizan
    Show

    This adds a third class to the mix—now we have a bard/paladin/warlock! The reasoning behind this was simple; there are a lot of support spells, and it would be impractical to lump them all into a simple list of 2-3 per level. This also lets the partizan pick up some illusions and enchantments for that trickster feel.

    The Sympathetic Resolve ability combines with the Champion’s Resolve pool to make a slightly smaller, less-flexible version of a paladin’s Lay On Hands ability. It’s a little weak, but having access to a whole other class’s spell list seems pretty powerful, and I hope I’m not overcorrecting.

    Spoiler: Wightguard
    Show

    This awesome name comes from Crim the Cold, and is the only reason I included an undead patron. Naturally, its abilities focus on necromancy—notably, necromantic abilities from Hexblade not provided by the base class—and to a lesser extent on increasing magical power.

    I was originally going to give this and Wyrdseeker three spells per spell level instead of two, to emphasize their more magical nature. Then I realized that that would be rough, and gave extra spells to the Eld Knight and Pied Partizan. So that’s why there’s three per level.

    Spoiler: Wyrdseeker
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    I was originally going to give this and Wightguard three spells per spell level instead of two, to emphasize their more magical nature. Then I realized that that would be rough, and gave extra spells to the Eld Knight and Pied Partizan. So that’s why there’s three per level.

    I’m not happy about the flavor text. I had a vague idea, but it was hard to put into words and also take up a full paragraph.

    I had some ideas I liked, and some I really wasn’t sure about; turns out, making a utility-spellcasting-focused subclass for a half-caster gish is tricky. The Not-Tome-of-Shadows was an obvious choice. Giving limited access to wizard spells seems like a fairly potent ability, since the general consensus seems to be that they have the best spell list in the book; however, it’s also boring.
    I kind of made everything up as I went along, and maybe the utility-caster thing got overshadowed by normal-castery-stuff. Welp.

    Arcane Mastery takes 10 minutes where the equivalent warlock ability takes one because Fallen Champions have four times as many spell slots, most of which don’t recharge until you take a long rest. (Granted, most of them are pretty weak compared to a warlock’s...)

    “Wyrd” is just an eldritch-sounding word. It means “fate,” which kinda arguably maybe fits with a champion seeking more dark powers, dooming them to their fate...but it’s basically just cool-sounding.

    Spoiler: Unwritten Paths
    Show

    If I were going to write more Dark Paths, they would likely include some of:
    • Shadowwatcher, a path which draws power from the Raven Queen or a similar Shadowfell being.
    • Some kind of Great Old One path. (I couldn’t think of a good mechanical focus for it and didn’t want to make more archetypes than I had to.)
    • Depthseeker, a path which draws power from some oceanic monstrosity. (Maybe aboleths, so it doesn’t overlap with the Kraken too much? Or keep it ambiguous like Lurker in the Depths?)
    • A path for genies and other interesting Otherworldly Patrons. (Not Celestial though, that defeats the point. Unless maybe I made it an evil character making compromise with good? That could be fun.)
    • Something which incorporates more features from the Pact of the Blade and the non-proficiency bits of Hex Warrior. (“Shardblade” would be a good name for it, Fnissalot, except that it would probably step over the line from reference to plagiarism.)
    • Something about getting powers from a tyrant, possibly in the form of a cursed weapon (see above). I’d call it a Partizan, but that’s too specific a term to use in multiple archetype names and “Pied Partizan” sounded better than any other name I could think of for that Path.
    • Maybe something that drops the heavier armor, big weapons, etc to focus more on caster stuff? (I considering an ability that let the champion add their Charisma bonus to AC if they didn’t wear medium or heavy armor and kept one hand free.)
    • Maybe something that focuses on ranged attacks in general or eldritch blast in specific, including the ability to smite with them?



    Spoiler: Miscellaneous
    Show

    Spoiler: Code & Temptation
    Show

    There’s inner conflict built into the very concept of “Paladin-Warlock Hybrid,” and the more specific concept of the Fallen Champion. These two features are mostly meant to encourage players to both include this conflict and provide a little mechanical representation of this for their effort. Codes are obviously akin to very simplified Paladin Oaths—one rule they have to follow and one situational bonus/weak cantrip.

    Temptations don’t have a good point of comparison in the Warlock class, aside from the level 1 Otherworldly Patron feature I guess. But it fits with the flavor of at least some Warlocks and every Fallen Champion. They are tempting powers, in the sense that they are fairly powerful for their level...but they also come with drawbacks, which should make a player think twice before indulging (and which also balance the tempting-ness of the Temptation). I wanted to make most* Temptations useful enough to tide the champion over until all the core features are unlocked, without being so useful that they needed unpleasantly extreme drawbacks to be worth the cost...but, um, I couldn’t actually think of enough abilities drawbacks like that which weren’t maddeningly vague.

    *I intended to make the Fiendish Partizan’s Temptation expensive but rewarding, both because it was intended as a core feature of the build (basically a SCAG cantrip with extra cost) and because temptation is a big fiend thing.


    Temptations are a mechanic I came up with which basically gave you a bonus in exchange for a cost, thematically related to the “temptations” of the patron. For instance, the Pied Partizan would make it easier to prank people...but also easier for them to retaliate. The Eld Knight would let you summon animals to attack your enemies...but they would turn on anyone else nearby (except natural things or servants of nature) when they were done.
    It was a neat idea, but I couldn’t get it to work for enough paths, so I scrapped it. I liked some of my ideas (the Wyrdseeker had ritual spells available via ritual sacrifice, for instance, and the Fiendish Penitent had a first-level version of Double-Edged Smite.

    Spoiler: Damning Indictment (and upgrades)
    Show

    I’m typing all of this out in a word processor before I post it on GitP. I hope “damn” isn’t censored by forum’s profanity filter, or the feature is going to look...off. Also, “Damned By Association” doesn’t work if I need to rename the original ability, and it’s a damn good way to make the Master of Hexes ability match the Fallen Champion’s flavor. Well...damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    I’ll stop now.

    Obviously, Damning Indictment is just the Hexblade’s Curse, reflavored and with some mechanics shuffled around. There are two big changes right off the bat. First, you don’t get Damning Indictment until 2nd level; you go all of 1st level with “just” martial weapons, a few first-level spells, Eldritch Smite, and a basic Dark Path ability. I hope you can see why I delayed this signature ability.

    Second, the heal-on-target-death thing is replaced with making the enemy focus on you. This later change was made for two reasons. First, one of my goals was to make a basic fallen champion less sturdy than a well-built padlock, and removing a way to heal ~20% of your health with one kill was part of that. Second, draining health from a kill felt weird for an ex-paladin trying to cling to some remnant of their original code.

    Drawing the target’s focus, ie making it disadvantageous to attack anyone except you, seemed like a worthy exchange. It serves as a very simple way to, in MMO terms, “draw aggro” without actually controlling the enemy. Drawing the enemy’s focus to you encourages a “duel” sort of mindset between the champion and whoever they’ve damned.
    And of course, by drawing the attention of the biggest enemy in the room, they slightly increase the damage they take. While this makes them a better MMO-style tank, TRPG tanks tend to tank by just getting in the way and not dying, so taking more damage is...well, it doesn’t make them more tanky.
    Also obviously, this fits the intended flavor (and flavor flexibility) of the Fallen Champion. They may or may not indulge in their dark powers, but they certainly have an intensity of devotion that (they hope) stops them from abusing them.
    (Also, drawing attention with the intensity of your judgment is a bit less edgelordy than feeding on your enemy’s life-force, and I’m trying as hard as I can to stop this edgelordy concept from being pigeonholed into edgelord characters.)
    There are two downsides I note. One is that this doesn’t affect all enemies equally; it’s good that e.g. liches aren’t forced to whack people with their staff, but they can just cast dominate person, earthquake, or meteor swarm. I don’t know a good way to fix this. The other is, of course, the possibility that this ability will be abused by having the fallen champion indict the boss and start playing Benny Hill music, rendering the bruiser impotent without putting the champion in danger; however, I consider this a minor risk, since it goes against the class’s strengths and is only effective against bosses who rely heavily on melee attacks. (If you want to turn your character into a battle-gimmick to weaken a specific kind of boss, go nuts.)

    Damned By Association is just Master of Hexes without the note about regaining hit points, and Armor of Hexes is removed to reduce tankiness. Simple. That just leaves Petrifying Indictment.

    It’s a high-level ability, so it’s supposed to be powerful. I briefly considered just making the 18th-level ability a Mystic Arcanum, but that would either be underwhelming (“Oh wow, I can cast circle of death once per day...at 18th level”) or a huge jump in power from their previous spells. So I decided to improve Damning Indictment instead.
    One popular trick with paladin multiclass characters is to cast hold person on a big bad boss, thereby paralyzing them, and hitting the poor evil bastard with a maximum-smite auto-crit with advantage. This probably won’t kill a tanky boss at full health, and non-tanky bosses should have something to stop a player from walking up and punching them, but it’s a potent combo (if they fail their save).

    I figured I’d simplify this combo by having the Indictment paralyze as a bonus action. This makes the tactic significantly more viable (e.g, by making paralysis a bonus action, which removes the need for an enemy to fail multiple saves to stay still long enough and/or the reliance on quickened spells). But it still has some of the same weaknesses, notably the fact that the enemy needs to save in the first place. (What high-level boss doesn’t have legendary saves?)
    And, of course, it requires you to not use Damning Indictment until you’re ready to smite the guy, and a successful execution negates part of the benefit of Damning Indictment. You can just hand the indictment on to the next bastard, but it’s not as useful on a mook as the Big Bad (or miniboss).

    All in all, it’s a powerful high-level ability. In other words, it’s a high-level ability.
    (Oh, and the clunky bit about only working on the turn you use the ability is basically a Cleave-level ribbon. If you execute the big guy in one attack, you can paralyze another poor sap and maybe smite them too.)

    Spoiler: Champion’s Resolve
    Show

    Nerfed versions of three classic paladin abilities, rolled into one.

    The big theme common to these nerfs is that they no longer affect other people. Lay On Hands doesn’t target other people, Aura of Protection doesn’t protect them, and you still need to wear a mask in case you’re carrying a disease without knowing it.
    Removing the support function makes Aura of Protection and especially Lay On Hands much less appealing. Sure, you get big saves and an extra pool of hit points, but no hero is an island, and Champion’s Resolve only does so much to protect you when the rest of your team is down.
    The weakened version of Divine Health isn’t weakened much, since most D&D diseases don’t have explicit rules for human-to-human transfer, but it was always more of a flavor ability than anything.
    My hope is that these nerfs keep enough paladin mechanics to keep the class recognizably paladinny, but weakened enough that cramming them together doesn’t unbalance anything, and in ways that give the Fallen Champion distinct flavor.

    One note about the reduced healing: Obviously, a Paladin/Warlock isn’t going to get as many paladin levels, and hence as much Lay On Hands, as a full paladin. The most detailed padlock guide I found suggested going for a 6/14 split, for a 20th-level cap of 30 LoH points. This is slightly less than the 40 a 20th-level Fallen Champion gets. Which gives the fallen champion more of a hit point buffer than the padlock, but 10 HP isn’t much at that level and a pool equal to their level didn’t seem like enough. (I considered 1.5×level, but that seemed slightly clunkier than what 5e usually goes for.)

    Spoiler: Invocations
    Show

    The Superior Eldritch Smite invocation was meant to patch a couple of places where the invocation was slightly better than the class feature, while hopefully making it a worthwhile invocation for bladelocks who took the actual invocation.
    The damage die increase leads to a maximum of +7 average damage at 17th level and above (doubled on critical hits)—not nothing, but not gamebreaking, especially not on your high-level smites. (+1 damage on all melee attacks once you reach 11th level is essentially the same.) Letting the damage be force damage is sometimes useful for fallen champions, especially if your Dark Path gives an oft-resisted damage type like fire, but situational. The ability to knock someone prone can be very helpful, but since a slightly weaker version was tacked onto the original Eldritch Smite invocation, I don’t see this unbalancing the invocation.
    ...but maybe three minor bonuses add up to more than their apparent sum, what do I know?


    Spoiler: Multiclassing
    Show

    My main concern was multiclassing Fallen Champion and Warlock, since their abilities are obviously pretty similar, in ways that could be unnervingly potent if combined properly. (Also, those abilities are kinda weird in the first place, in the sense that they don’t quite fit into larger subsystems.)
    FC and Paladin also have similar abilities, but they are both more straightforward and aren’t as modular as warlocks, so things are simpler. However, their class features overlap in ways that make the combination weaker than a straight FC or Paladin, which is a different problem.
    If you want a TL;DR: I wanted to stop warlock dips from being too potent, and stop Fallen Champion/Paladin dips from being impotent.
    Spoiler: Warlocks
    Show

    The slightly clunky rules for multiclass invocation selection were an attempt to prevent a well-timed dip from letting a Fallen Champion take, say, high-level spellcasting invocations (see above).

    I tried all sorts of ways to combine the Fallen Champion Pact slot with the spell slots gained by Pact Magic, but most of them either broke the build or were just plain broken if you didn’t pick the right balance of class levels in the right order. The main exceptions either gave dips too much power (e.g. taking one level of Warlock to get a second high-level FC pact slot) or were just kinda weak.

    The one I had the most confidence in was “number as per your Warlock level; level equal to the sum of the spell slot levels minus one, maximum of 5”. A half-and-half build gets 5th-level spell slots at level 14, which is a bit later than the midpoint between Warlock’s 9th level and Fallen Champion’s 17th, but good enough for the nice. However, it’s a bit clunky, and worse, it still has the problem of a warlock dip being a disproportionately significant boost to a Fallen Champion’s spellcasting prowess.

    Let me explain my thought process there. A 2-level warlock dip would cost a couple levels of class abilities, about half a spell level and half an invocation, half an ASI, and usually a top-level spell non-Pact slot. Your two new invocations and extra Pact slot more than cancel out everything except the spell half-level, half-ASI, and class features, which are probably accounted for by getting access to two cantrips (one of which will probably be a big boost to damage from booming or green flame blade), three spells known (probably ones which patch intentional weaknesses in the FC’s spell list), first-level pact abilities, and most importantly, extra invocations and an extra spell slot of your highest level which refreshes on a short rest.

    Maybe I’m overreacting. But with these nerfs, I’m pretty sure a Warlock dip offers a fallen champion about what it offers a paladin...and given how much that is, I’m worried about offering more. I’d consider a one-level dip just for a SCAG cantrip; if a second level would mix potently with my main class’s abilities, I’d be all for that.

    Let me know what you think, more experienced minmaxers!

    Spoiler: Paladins
    Show

    Smite Whatever!
    There is one nerf I wanted to apply; using Divine and Eldritch Smite at the same time would have been a dang powerful nova option. So I said no.
    This also opened a path to buff the multiclass. Improved [X] Smite isn’t a tier-level ability, but it’s both iconic and gives a nice boost; being able to use it when your total level equals 10 instead of waiting for a class level to get there is a nice little boost.
    Letting both smites be used at once at 20th level isn’t exactly a capstone, but it’s a nice boost to nova damage that I guess works as a replacement.



    Ugh, subclasses are the worst. Most of the time since I asked for names was spent tinking away at the Dark Paths bit by bit, never quite happy with what I was making. Maybe its just a newbie thing. Maybe it'll be less of a pain next time. Maybe I shouldn't have made five Paths with distinct flavor and mechanical roles. I dunno.
    But before I got bogged down in that, I was having a lot of fun. I'm interested to see what people think of it.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    The Witch should now be finished. Formula descriptions are contained in the GMBinder link; if I tried to copy all of the formulae over to GitP I'd need at least two extra posts (I learned my lesson when I wrote the Theurge for Remix Mastery). I am overall happy with the witch but less so with alchemy as a whole compared to when I originally wrote it. It's too late to overhaul the whole system though, so I'll leave it as is for now.
    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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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I wish that I had been able to edit my current submission of the Knight Enchanter but unfortunately I have been running out of spoons a lot here lately with regular old life just being the way it is. I still plan to make an edit pass and update the contest thread as well give it its own thread eventually but unfortunately the class will have to be left as is for now for the voting thread. Everyone, thank you very much for the help and criticism. I look forward to the voting thread though the choice will be hard because of how good all of the classes presented are.
    Last edited by Crim the Cold; 2020-09-27 at 11:29 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    The voting thread has been created! Whether you finished your class early or just saw the contest for the first time today, please come and cast your votes!

    https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...-Voting-Thread
    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 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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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    I'm going to give my thoughts on all the classes in the contest, because I like giving and receiving useful feedback. Hopefully I can do one of those today.

    Spoiler: Format
    Show

    First Impressions
    I read it through and say something.
    Ingredients
    What did you combine? How well does this work as a concept? Does the end result work, and does it reflect the ingredients?
    Flavor
    If provided, I'll judge it. If not provided, I'll judge the author.
    Fit
    How similar it is in structure to other 5e classes, with a focus on tier stuff and the sorts of bonuses that exist in 5e.
    Fun
    How much fun does this seem like it would be to play? Does it seem needlessly complicated, or not much good at its intended purpose, or just kinda dull?
    Balance
    I don't think I'm a good judge of this, but I'll at least try.
    Subclasses
    What I think about them.
    Presentation!
    I think Megamind overvalues this a bit, but he's got a point; you can't play the class if you can't read it. Very arbitrary, and hopefully not important...but despite the username, I'm only human.
    Conclusion


    Spoiler: Duskblade
    Show

    First Impressions
    Since it's named after a gish class from the PHB2 (if you don't know what I'm talking about, get off my lawn), I expected something very different. Once I got over that, I had to admit that this was an interesting idea.
    The description gives a better idea of what it isn't than what it is, but it looks like a scouting-focused class. Lots of stealth abilities, some perception ones.

    Oddly, it reminds me more of the 3.5 warlock than the 5e warlock was. The 3.5 warlock's mechanical identity, to me, was defined by not having daily limits on its magical abilities. Aside from the capstone, two abilities per Path of Mystery, and some spellcasting invocations, none of the duskblade's abilities require rest to recharge or have any other sort of limit (like a limited resource).

    Ingredients
    Rogue and warlock seemed like an odd combination, when I was thinking of the 3.5 duskblade (which also would have made sense to see in this contest). But when I realized this was unrelated, it made sense. Both are shady, "antiheroic" classes by default; combining them into something which literally manipulates shade makes sense.

    There's not much left of the original classes in the product, though. Thematically, the rogue is vague enough that it still fits, but that's true of the ranger, not to mention some subclasses; meanwhile, the warlock's bargain for forbidden magic is completely absent. Mechanically, the class gets sneak attack and some peripheral rogue abilities, plus invocations (albeit not the same ones a warlock gets) and a few warlock cantrips (including eldritch blast), plus a bunch of shadow abilities that don't fit with either class (the most random of which is definitely Shadow Anchor).
    The end product feels like the author thought about what a combination of rogue and warlock would look like, and then discarded the combination element to focus on the result of that initial thought.

    Flavor
    I don't have my PHB2 on hand, but I remember the Duskblade having a very distinct flavor. This class isn't that, but it admittedly fits the name better.
    This duskblade's flavor is limited to a couple of lines about drawing power from the Shadow, the true self. (Sadly, I haven't actually played any Persona games, but the description felt vaguely Jungian so the reference seems appropriate.) It's actually a sort of inner portal to the Plane of Shadow or Shadowfell or something?

    Well, you did the bare minimum. There’s flavorful prose, and a strong theme to the abilities. That's more than a disappointing number of entrants.

    Fit
    Bad.

    The most basic element of 5e's class design is the "tiers of play," where characters get significant increases in power at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels. I don't think it's an exaggeration to call the tiers one of the core elements of 5e's power curve. Let's review what the Duskblade gets at each new tier:
    • 5th: New cantrip, +1d6 sneak attack, Uncanny Dodge
    • 11th: Vanish
    • 17th: +1d6 sneak attack, Path of Mysteries feature

    Uncanny Dodge is fine, that's when the rogue gets it, whatever. Vanish, aside from being virtually worthless to Tenebrous Self duskblades (good editing!), just isn't that impressive—rogues get a superior version at second level. The top-level Path abilities seem nice, but not game-changing the way top-level rogue talents are, let alone ninth-level spells. Well, except maybe Death in the Dark—being to deal over 250 damage as an action without any mention of a check or save is pretty wild, even if it's only once per day.

    Some of the abilities also fit poorly, the worst being the extra save proficiency and the (situational) +10 bonus to Stealth checks (hardly anything gives straight bonuses, and certainly not +10 bonuses). It's almost like someone took a 3.5 class and tried to port it straight to 5e...which is weird, because this isn't much like any 3.5 class I'm familiar with.

    Fun
    It doesn't look good. Many of its abilities only shine in a specific capacity—sneaking ahead of the group to see what's going on, then sneaking back to let them know what's up. Its other features are almost universally defensive. Doing anything but seeing and not being seen is left to cantrips, invocations, and Paths.
    I can't envision what I'm supposed to do in combat...I guess hide and try to Sneak Eldritch Blast stuff? Does sneak attack work with spells? Out of combat, I guess it depends on what invocations I pick.

    Shadow Persona seems neat, even if the Jojo reference is friggin' awkward when someone like me who's never even finished Phantom Blood can tell it has nothing to do with actual Stands. But I'm not sure what it's useful for, beyond not needing to cast alter self and I guess telepresence. It's a cool ability, and I wish it was available at a decent level.

    Balance
    I don't know how to evaluate it. The class seems largely uninterested in the primary source of mechanical difficulty in D&D (combat) and refuses to follow any 5e design conventions. My gut tells me it's too weak on account of not having much to do.

    Subclasses
    I hate them.

    Part of it is the presentation, which goes beyond barebones. The bones are too flimsy to be called merely bare. I can't even tell what some of these abilities are supposed to do! (Death in the Dark is the worst example.)
    As to what the ability bundles are supposed to be? Forget it. There's not much in the way of throughlines in any Path; for any I try to draw, there's at least one ability that doesn't fit. The best I can figure is that Tenebrous Self is kind of assassin-ey?

    And there is just no flavor. Not on what a Path represents for the character, what separates someone following one Path from another, or what any of this stuff is supposed to mean.

    Presentation!
    Barebones (Paths of Mysteries aside). Code is the worst sort of table, and there's barely any formatting in the rest of the post. I like the Chassis section, even if using that term in the "official" presentation of the class made me cringe a little inside.

    I especially despise how you indicated Path requirements for invocations, specifically that you didn't indicate what they were. I thought "Touch of the Feral Twilight" was another invocation the first time I saw it. I'm sure it works if you named the Paths, but...I didn't.

    Conclusion
    Once I got over my surprise at it not being a gish, I liked the concept. Everything else is kinda trash. Sorry, I just don't want to repeat myself here.

    Spoiler: Enlightened Martial Artist
    Show

    First Impressions
    The snazziest table in the thread, my own definitely included. The rest of the presentation is good. Dang, the whiplash is distracting.
    Isn’t enlightenment already kinda the monk’s thing? Weird way to express a hybrid with...sorcerer? Must be, there’s metemagic.

    Most of the abilities seem to be taken straight from Monk or Sorcerer. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a bit limiting to the class’s identity, especially with the lack of flavor text.
    The way subclasses are handled, how you can dabble in or even change them as you level up, is bizarre. Are they even subclasses? Why are they named after intelligent supernatural creatures, and also hydras? What does it mean to forget a martial arts style?
    Switching between stances is cool. Reminds me of the Tome of Battle.

    Ingredients
    Monk+Spellcaster is a pretty standard combination; I think half of the monk prestige classes in 3.5 were some flavor of this. Or at least a lot of them. Not much to say about this incarnation, as far as that goes; it’s a monk with fewer monk abilities and sorcerer spellcasting.

    The supernatural stances and style powers are neat! If only I had some idea why they existed!

    Flavor
    Absent, and obviously so given the mystic styles.

    Fit
    Tiers are fine. Though the level 11 ability is kinda weak—it’s Uncanny Dodge (a 5th-level ability), but only against spells and falling, and you need to spend ki points to use it. At least you get a new spell level OH WAIT.
    The spell list seems fine. Doesn’t seem too much like the sorcerer spell list, but that’s fine.
    Mystic styles don’t match the subclass growth of any other class...but they don’t match anything else about subclasses either. (Being able to pick, choose, and change mystic styles is f*ing weird.) A spontaneous-casting class automatically learning new spells from subclasses is...odd, and seems like a good way to encourage players to pick up basic proficiency in as many styles as possible.

    Fun
    Totally. Take a monk, mix in some spellcasting, and then channel the power of a friggin’ DRAGON! Love it.

    Balance
    The way Mystic Styles work makes it tricky to determine balance, but it looks okay.

    Subclasses
    I’m pretty sure my thoughts on them are mostly clear. They’re weird but cool.
    Another point: The basic level makes what stance you’re in important if you know more than one, but Mastery makes that less important? So you go from only having one stance, to needing to decide between multiple, to that being less important?
    Hydra Style is the odd man out among Styles, and Four-Headed Strike and Hydra Exemplar both seem like they give you extra attacks as long as people are stupid enough to hit you?

    Presentation!
    ‘Sgood. Thanks for thinking about that.
    There’s some typos, though, and a couple of vaguely-worded abilities (what does “grant yourself 60 feet of movement” mean?).

    Conclusion
    Yeah, okay, it’s cool. Mystic Styles are weird and cool. I wish it had any flavor at all. Cool.
    Hopefully Paternum has the cool ideas and better explanations.

    Spoiler: Factorum
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    It would have been neat to see one of the neatest 3.5 classes I never got around to playing. Shame the author never found time to make it.

    Spoiler: Fallen Champion
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    Somehow, I don't think the author of this class wants to hear my input.

    Spoiler: Herald of Ragnarok
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    First Impressions
    The only class that doesn’t give me a good idea of what either of its hybrid classes is from the name alone. (Barbarian/Something, probably?) Not sure if that’s good or bad.
    Solid introduction. Straightforward presentation.

    Miracle Points are neat. Not sure how to feel about them. This is First Impressions, not Detailed Thoughts!
    Something seems wrong about swashbuckling vikings. Also, Great Weapon Fighting seems antisynergistic with Blessed Weapons, especially since spears, warhammers, and battleaxes are required for so many abilities.
    Neat how the Norse gods are heavily implied without being named. Solid writing. Hell if I can figure out who the Rebuker’s supposed to be, though. Baldr? Sunna? (And it’s weird as Hel that her dad has berserkers.)

    Ingredients
    Barbarian and cleric? Aside from the a rage-like ability and the spell list, and I guess a vague feeling of savage warrior-priest, there’s not much connecting the class to its hybrid origins.

    Flavor
    Strong, but very restrictive. If you want to play a pious spellcasting Viking doomspeaker-berserker who uses classic viking weapons, you’re good. Literally anything else, and this class doesn’t work.

    Fit
    The tiers seem properly placed...aside from the 11th-level Blessings, which don’t seem to exist? Huh? That’s a mark against the class. The ability to gain proficiency with all saves doesn’t fit comfortably, either. Did I mention that I've never played a monk, and that I've only played one campaign that reached tier 3?
    Getting an extra pre-assigned ASI from your class is...awkward. (Also kind of dull as a near-capstone. Probably useful, but dull.) And the Miracle Points system is a bit clunky.

    Fun
    It’s a very, very specific kind of character. Get around that, and this seems fun to play. Keeping track of Miracle Points might be a pain, though.

    Balance
    The biggest sticking point I see if Miracle Points, not in the least because there are so many unclear questions and clear ways to abuse the system for free spells. Being able to cast non-ritual spells as ritual spells (without spending resources) is a serious boon, as is being able to freely refill your spellcasting resource by fighting with no limit except the size of your gas tank.

    Everything else is fine, I think. Definitely petty next to miracle points.

    Subclasses
    Solid. I can’t think of anything to say about them I haven’t yet.

    Presentation!
    Solid, if nothing special. But “berserk” is spelled with an ‘s’.

    Conclusion
    I like this class, but boy does it have problems. The flavor is restrictive, the spellcasting system is complicated and abusable, and some of the abilities feel wrong. It seems like it could be fun to play, if your DM allowed it.
    Doesn’t feel like a hybrid, either.

    Spoiler: Knight Enchanter
    Show

    First Impressions
    “Each Knight Enchanter is both a mage, a weaponsmith, and a warrior.” Solid opening line, aside from using “both” to refer to three things.
    Some of those levels are awfully crowded...and “#/day”? Hoo boy will I have stuff to say for Fit.
    There are too many things called “enchantments”.
    Fireless Forging is cool, but the rules feel like a bad 3.5 port. Especially since repairing most magic items will be easier than repairing mundane armor, but it gets harder as the magic gets stronger?
    Holy crap that’s a lot of subsystems.
    Absolute Mastery’s wording is corny as a maize maze.

    Ingredients
    Artificer and...some fighty class?
    I can’t pinpoint what the specific classes involved were, or what they might have contributed, but the class concept still feels like a hybrid of something. Not sure how to rate that.

    Flavor
    You tried...but the “flavor” is mostly about what they do, not why or even how. They are magic men who mage magic sticks what they hit folks with. Cool.

    Fit
    Hoo boy do I have stuff to say for Fit.
    I’ve said that some of these hybrids feel like bad ports of 3.5 classes to 5e. This feels like a 3.5 class, with a few basic changes to fit 5e. The biggest offender is the per-day abilities. No mention of rests, short or long, just daily limits on abilities.
    Tires don exits. This is a problem.

    Fun
    Seems needlessly complicated. The idea seems fun, but I don’t want to slog through the PDF in its current state to figure out how it works. It took too long to realize that the class even had subclasses!

    Balance
    Impossible to determine. Too many abilities are too vaguely-worded to rate properly. Some of the enchantments seem ridiculously powerful, though, so it’s probably easy to break if your DM isn’t super-restrictive.

    Subclasses
    Boring. Specialize in one damage type, or armor. Only a few abilities are particularly interesting. “Gain resistance to a damage type. Enchant weapons that can block stuff. You’re better at enchanting your specialty.”

    Presentation!
    You used Homebrewery. You could easily win this category...if the wording used wasn’t so silly sometimes, so dense sometimes, and so vague sometimes. (The vaguest are the abilities not explained beyond being in tables—that was a terrible idea, incidentally.)
    I can’t figure out how some of these abilities are supposed to work, and I don’t want to keep reading the prose to find out. I don’t even want to read enough to polish this review. It’s just a mess.
    I’m sorry I can’t give better criticism. There’s just so much of everything...

    Conclusion
    I want to play this class concept, but not this class.

    Spoiler: Masquerade
    Show

    First Impressions
    It’s like the 3.5 chameleon, but a base class. And its rules are concerningly sparse.
    Oh. The Mask rules end mid-sentence. That’s a bad sign.

    Ingredients
    Interestingly, it doesn’t combine any two classes; instead, it lets you combine any classes you like. I like it.

    Flavor
    Zilch. There isn’t even a single word of flavorful prose in the ability descriptions...except I guess being defined by their masks.

    Fit
    No. 5e classes have abilities. (Also, having abilities recharge more slowly than long rests isn’t really a thing, except arguably for hit dice.)

    Fun
    I like the idea and want to know how to play it.

    Balance
    As written, a masquerade gets two sets of 1st-level class features they can use once each per short rest (not that it’s clear what “using” a mask means—putting it on? leaving it on for X time? using any of its abilities?), nor how broad of features you gain (hit points? Proficiencies?).
    You need to make all decisions about the mask’s build at first level, which is absurd; moreover, all resources return obscenely slowly, and you’re locked into one choice of e.g. prepared spells. Some classes simply do not work under these restrictions, others are barely affected.
    Anyways, the masquerade has two masks at 1st level. At 4th level, they can choose one of these two masks to advance to 3rd level. That is it. They can eventually share masks, and their capstone lets them make duplicates of themselves with surprisingly few restrictions but no rules about what they do.

    Subclasses
    None. I’m not sure if any were intended.

    Presentation!
    Code tables still stink, but the rest of the presentation is fine. Where it exists.

    Conclusion
    This class is not

    Spoiler: Occultist
    Show

    First Impressions
    Thanks for spelling out a bit of intent!
    “Learn New Spells”? What’s wrong with a “Spells Known” column?
    Solid wording, reminiscent of the core books. Lots of wording though.
    Abilities are much denser in early levels than late ones. I’d make a joke about it being a 3.5 port, but 3.5 was much worse about it.
    For being a “magical investigator” class, none of its abilities have much to do with investigation. Even the Detective Ambition has significant abilities with nothing to do with investigation! Though darn if they aren’t good at Investigation checks.
    That’s a lot of ritual spells. Appropriate, since the Occultist seems to be the “ward” class more than a “wizard/investigator” class.

    Ingredients
    Purely thematic, not class-ey at all. Magician plus detective...which isn’t so much a hybrid of archetypes as a distinct archetype of its own. So it isn’t very viable as a hybrid.

    Flavor
    Largely absent. Which is annoying; what does it mean that your “Ambition” is “Witchfinder”? Ambitions sound like something really important to your character’s personality, so why aren’t they described?

    Fit
    Okat. Extra Attack is a bit random in this class, but it and top-level spells are standard 2nd- and 4th-tier abilities. The 11th-level Ambition features are kinda weak though.
    Spellcasting is almost, but not quite, restricted to ritual spells? That’s odd.

    Fun
    Like the Pathfinder class of the same name, it seems like it could be a ton of fun in a campaign which suits its strengths. Also like that class, I have trouble pinpointing what those strengths are in any concrete terms. On the bright side, it’s a lot less complicated.

    Balance
    My intuition is that it’s weak. Being able to perform a few rituals and cast a handful of other spells per day, you have a handful of weak tools and, bizarrely, a couple of abilities that make you better at beating people with sharp sticks?

    Subclasses
    Not for the first time, barren of badly-needed flavor.
    The bonus proficiency and Infused Whatever are a bit formulaic and anemic; this isn’t a huge problem at 6th level, since Infused Whatever and Use Magic Device are both neat (if somewhat situational) abilities, but a 1st-level occultist has nothing but a Fighting Style and one good skill! I take back what I said about being frontloaded.

    Presentation!
    So-so. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve seen better. Some of the abilities are painful. Ritualist in particular seems clunkier than it needs to be, as well as...I’m not completely sure if it’s redundant or ambiguous.

    Conclusion
    I don’t know what this class is trying to be. Theoretically I should—there was a mission statement provided at the top of the entry—but the execution is far off the mark. This isn’t a magical investigator, it’s a warrior with ritual spells.

    Spoiler: Oracle
    Show

    Sadly MIA like the Factorum.

    Spoiler: Witch
    Show

    First Impressions
    A very mechanical mission statement, but a detailed one.
    Refreshingly ordinary spellcasting mechanics. Two independent sets of them, in fact...though alchemy doesn’t have spell slots and seems to go by 3.5-style “choose how many of each you prepare at the beginning of the day”.

    I love Witch Home. It’s so flavorful and fun. Hagkin is kind of meh. It’s a 3.5-style “super-limited bonus” ability. Malediction is okay I guess.

    Ingredients
    Alchemist/Artificer, paladin, bard and wizard.

    Flavor
    It’s mostly just utilitarian flavor-prose in abilities, but not everyone bothered with that much, so it’s greatly appreciated. Especially since many of the abilities are themselves flavorful. (I still love Witch Home.)

    Fit
    Pretty good. The Tier 2 abilities are all within Covens, and some work better as Plus-Tier abilities than others. But you always have a new spell level regardless, so. It’s fine.

    Fun
    Definitely. Having alchemal preparations in addition to spell slots is a bit more bookkeeping, but that’s worth the rest of the class.

    Balance
    Far as I can tell, it’s fine.

    Subclasses
    I love them. Their abilities have a clear focus, but are individually interesting; moreover,

    Presentation!
    Decent. Better than most. I love the formal language; it almost could have been written by WotC.

    Conclusion
    I guess I saved the best for last. Sorry that I don’t have much cogent to say—not sure how much of that is the class being simply functional, and how much is me being tired of reviewing classes.

    Spoiler: Feral
    Show

    Somehow, I completely missed this one until I was assembling my final ranking, which is why it’s not in alphabetical order.

    First Impressions
    Oh geez this is gonna be rough. There’s not even a table.
    Why is this barbarian/monk coming off as a shonen protagonist? I’m not even talking about Plus Ultra here, though that definitely doesn’t help.
    Why does this get spells? Wait, is it a druid/monk? What do you have against normal spellcasting progressions, anyways? (Does it have something to do with the tables?) And ugh, maximum spell slot level rises twice as fast as maximum prepared spell level, why? What’s the point?
    Sight Beyond Sight...what?
    Why didn’t you just copy and past the normal evasion text? You’ve opened up a huge gray area that doesn’t need to be there! Not all Dexterity saves are against fireballs!
    Swift Recovery is kinda cool. Definitely wouldn’t have designed it that way, though.
    Why do so many of these classes give extra saving throw proficiencies around 14th-15th level? Because it's a monk ability at that level.
    Why the hell does this guy get plane shift? Where did that come from?
    Oh geez I’m not even halfway through.

    Ingredients
    Monk plus druid is a neat combination. I have no idea how it ended up more like Son Goku than someone from Celtic mythology.
    That aside, I can see elements of both classes in the end product...but also weird crap like Plane Strider. And a brooding demeanor that somehow makes them better at social interaction? Okay, I take it back, this guy’s more like Sasuke than Goku.
    (Note: I haven’t watched Naruto in ~15 years, if ever.)

    Flavor
    I’ll give you this, you wrote some of the strongest flavor in the contest. (I’d like to think mine is better, but I’m not allowed to judge mine.) Your class has a clear origin and identity, but it’s a broad enough one. The class’s features also shine through with a distinct flavor.
    There is one problem, and it’s a big one. The flavor text and mechanical flavor are perpendicular to one another; while there’s a solid character archetype at that intersection, that archetype isn’t indicated by either the abilities or flavor text on their own, so it feels like an accident.

    Fit
    Spellcasting. Enough said.
    ...okay, not really. There are problems beyond the spellcasting system. “Proficiency in all saving throws” rears its ugly head again.

    There are also some baffling design decisions on effects that are technically okay. Why does Preternatural Quickness let you investigate quickly? That doesn’t seem like something a Feral should be unusually skilled in. Why does Brooding Demeanor give you proficiency with Persuasion, of all things, and why is that ability at 11th level? (Is it supposed to grant Expertise? It’s badly-worded, so I can’t tell, and it sounds like it stacks with Expertise. So apparently the best diplomancer needs 11 levels of feral and one of rogue.) Again, what the hell is Plane Strider doing here?!?

    And aside from Extra Attack, tires don exits. The 11th-level ability is just a weird skill bonus and the 17th-level archetype abilities are just

    Fun
    Maybe. The overly intricate spellcasting mechanics, pointless as they are, aren’t complicated to play with. But the class’s abilities are mostly unrelated to what the class is intended to be at. (You’re supposed to use the 5e monk for inspiration, not the 3.5 monk!) Most abilities past 3rd level don’t affect combat at all; the exceptions just make you a bit tougher or are the Hood’s grappling powers (which are pretty neat, if situational and unsupported by the rest of the class).

    Balance
    Like I said, the class’s features largely don’t contribute to its core “strength”. They largely contribute to making a character sound like a cool anime badass on paper, without actually doing much to improve their badassery.

    Subclasses
    I’m baffled by the Archetypes. Wild Child is a pretty normal raised-by-wolves background, but The Hood (yeesh) clashes with what little I’d been able to gather about what the class is supposed to be. (You know, other than “shonen deuteragonist”.)

    I’ll give you this, the archetype powers are some of the best-designed in the entire class. Except the 17th-level ones, which are neat but not strong enough to place at the cusp of Tier 4...especially not Heart of the City, which (outside very, very specific circumstances) is practically useless beyond a couple sets of hands and short-lived meat shields.

    Presentation!
    A mess. Sorry. There’s literally zero formatting beyond organizational spoilers, and you didn’t even bother to give a table.
    There are also plenty of vague, incomplete, or just plain bad ability descriptions. The one that stuck in my mind worst is Sight Beyond Sight. Why do you say “When you use your action or bonus action to make a perception check”? Can you use those abilities any time, or just when you’re looking for something else? Do you need to roll a Perception check? Is there supposed to be a DC? Why is a duration specified for doubling darkvision range but not the explicitly magical effects?

    Conclusion
    The flavor is surprisingly strong, but everything else...Bahamut’s wrath, where can I begin? All of the problems intersect and spin off into new problems. Even the flavor text is flawed. I kept having to revise earlier sections as I noticed more and more problems.


    Overall ranking:
    1. Witch. Not surprising, considering what I said in its review. Everything works together well.
    2. Enlightened Martial Artist. It was tough to decide between these two, and I’d probably give both 2.5 points if I had the choice, but I gave the edge to Witch. The EMA is cooler, but much rougher around the edges, and I don’t have a good idea of what it is.
    3. Herald of Ragnarok. While mechanically clunky, questionably-balanced, more of its own beast than a hybrid, and restricted to a specific type of character (down to weapon choice!), the class has a clear purpose that it fulfills, not to mention a strong sense of flavor.
    4. The Duskblade. A strong concept (once I got used to it not being like the 3.5 class), with strongly-thematic abilities that sadly fail to coalesce into a useful character class.
    5. The Occultist. We start with a concept that is kind of a fusion of two vague archetypes, until you realize that it’s basically an already-common archetype about as broad as, say, the paladin’s, ranger’s, or warlock’s. Not that that matters, because the Occultist is mostly split between ritual magic and swordplay, with investigation mostly restricted to one Ambition. Not only does it fail to come together as a class, it fails to have abilities which match its clear intent.
    6. The Feral. It has two clearly-defined flavors kept in separate elements of the class, preventing them from properly mixing; aside from that, it’s mostly a mess. But the good stuff is interesting enough that I want the mess it’s in to be tidied.
    7. The Knight Enchanter. While it has a strong concept and effort was clearly put into assembling the PDF, that effort probably should have been spent making the rules for the class clearer and more coherent. And not putting entire ability descriptions in small table entries.
    8. The Masquerade. It simple isn


    Even if the other judges aren’t interested in a thorough breakdown of all the choices in the field, I’d be interested in seeing them explain their choices, rank the other five or six contenders they didn’t write, or both.
    Oh, and I'd like to link to a useful resource for homebrewing 5e classes.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2020-10-04 at 10:39 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Ooooh, yeah, when I wrote up the Duskblade I had just started playing 5e, that was pretty much "baby's first toe-dip in the wading pool."

    I would completely gut that thing from scratch and start over knowing what I do now; for example, I didn't know about the existence of the Hexblade pact, or the fact that Sneak Attack does not apply to "rays"/spell attacks like eldritch blast anymore, or even the basics of the bounded accuracy system favored by 5e's design paradigm, or how the hell sub-classes are actually supposed to work, or the fact that you cannot convert an action into a bonus action or that movement wasn't even considered an action class anymore.

    I'm glad the flavor was still appreciated, but...maybe not the best first impression, lol.
    Last edited by Edea; 2020-10-02 at 01:29 AM.
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    I guess I'm a Neutral Good Human Wizard (4th Level)
    Ability Scores:
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    Constitution- 17
    Intelligence- 20
    Wisdom- 20
    Charisma- 12
    Take the 'What D&D Character am I?" Quiz!


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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Even if the other judges aren’t interested in a thorough breakdown of all the choices in the field, I’d be interested in seeing them explain their choices, rank the other five or six contenders they didn’t write, or both.
    Oh, and I'd like to link to a useful resource for homebrewing 5e classes.
    First of all, congratulations for the analysis! I find it very exhaustive, and it is difficult to counter it from a technical point of view.

    As for the judging method I adopted, I must admit, this time I relied heavily on what pinched my strings the most. The topic of the contest did not excite me very much, so I mainly based myself on the choice of the topics covered. For the Duskblade, a Rogue / Warlock hybrid was perhaps what i would do if I had decided to participate in the contest, the Occultist intrigued me for its background, even if it not developed once put pen to paper, and finally the Witch, which is the class with the highest quality, although the concept does not drive me crazy.

    A separate speech for the Masquerade, since I want to develop a similar idea for some time, even if completely different, and which is probably more like a variant of the Multiclass rules rather than a real class. Generally speaking, none of the candidates made me cry miracle, but probably more as a matter of personal taste.

    After reading your analysis I could perhaps decide to move the Witch to the first place, rightly rewarding its quality, but for mere personal taste I leave these 3 candidates on the podium.

    For the choice of the next contest topic, I got in my mind a pretty crazy science-themed idea time ago, so I hope will be chosen Based on Science!

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    The only comment I have on your guidelines is that I am against aggregating the classes into team positions. Pen and paper RPGs are not MMOrpgs and using the mindset from one, won't fit well with the other. Otherwise it is a solid mechanical deconstruction of the structure of classes, so good job! And a minor thing, I assumed arcane tricksters and eldritch knights were 1/3 casters, not 1/4, since they add 1/3 of their levels when multiclassing?

    Thanks for the feedback on the occultist!

    The ingredients aimed to be a paladin with aspects from the wizard and the rogue, a half-caster with rituals and scribing, channel divinity, and focus in skill to make it utility focused outside of being a halfcaster. The detective part was only kept for one of the sub-classes. I agree that the flavor text was something I forgot to add and that the intent could have been much clearer. For example, the main characters in Supernatural sometimes investigate things, but mostly they use the knowledge of the arcane and being able to take a few punches to deal with the supernatural. I could have written the statement of intent much more detailed and clearly and might update it and add some flavor text if I will iterate on the class later on. I intended that the different sub-classes would to allow me to play as a character that would feel like either Constantine, Van Helsing, or Dr. Facilier. All of those characters dabble in the occult but maybe shouldn't cast spells outright? I hadn't seen the pathfinder class so that was an interesting comparison. I haven't really played pathfinder or a lot of the earlier versions of the DnD so it was not trying to relate to classes from those.

    Since the class can scribe spells in a spellbook, I thought it would be weird to have a spells known column considering that number can be broken. But that might not be a problem, I had nothing to compare it to since, the wizard who can scribe spells don't have a column for for the total amount and just states that they learn 2 spells every level which they scribe in their book. When I looked at it was too much to gain spells on each level for a half caster.

    The class can cast spells that are not rituals, as rituals but at a cost. This is since there are relatively few ritual spells in the game and a lot of spells that would fit the class thematically in my mind, are not rituals. To cater to this, I added a set of non-ritual spells that can be cast as rituals spend resources to do so. It might be a bit wordy but I considered it a balanced way to do so without allowing for an endless spam of those spells which could be unbalanced. If you have a better way of writing it, I am all ears.

    The balance level might be off. It is meant to play as a brawler halfcaster with out of combat utility if I look at your guidelines. I tried to balance it similar to the paladin but without surpassing it. While it is limited in direct casting, it has ritual casting and can scribe spells to make up for it, warding preparations and channel occult are similar to paladins smites and channel divinity, and it has some boons for skills instead of the auras. But yeah, each of those comparisons might be more in favor for the paladin than I initially thought.
    Last edited by Fnissalot; 2020-10-02 at 08:19 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Edea View Post
    I would completely gut that thing from scratch and start over knowing what I do now
    I feel the same way about a lot of the stuff I've made, heh. It's natural.


    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    First of all, congratulations for the analysis! I find it very exhaustive, and it is difficult to counter it from a technical point of view.
    I'm glad people are enjoying the analysis I gave!


    Spoiler: Fnissalot and the Occultist
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnissalot View Post
    The only comment I have on your guidelines is that I am against aggregating the classes into team positions. Pen and paper RPGs are not MMOrpgs and using the mindset from one, won't fit well with the other.
    I find this confusing. I did some quick ctl-f's, and determined that the closest I came to naming any "team positions"—either the MMO's DPS/tank/healer trinity or the wider array of "positions" that TRPGs have (blaster, control, face, etc) was a metaphorical gas tank. So it sounds like you're objecting to the idea that an adventuring team should have distinct, specialized roles at all, which...two problems.

    First, um, they all do and it's necessary. Specialization isn't just for insects, it's a critical part of how this game works; I'd go so far as to say that the entire class system was built around specialized party roles. Wizards are good with magical lore and fireballs, but they can't heal you. Clerics are good at healing and driving away undead monsters, but they don't have the skill points needed to tie their shoes. Rogues are great with skills and can put out solid single-target damage, but can't take a punch. Fighters can take a lot of punches and deal decent damage, but they can't match the power and versatility of spells.

    Second, again, I never referred to specific roles. I was looking for things that the class could do, what it did better than comparable classes and what it did worse. That's kind of core to what a class is, along with its thematic identity.

    And a minor thing, I assumed arcane tricksters and eldritch knights were 1/3 casters, not 1/4, since they add 1/3 of their levels when multiclassing?
    Not sure what this is referring to.

    The ingredients aimed to be a paladin with aspects from the wizard and the rogue, a half-caster with rituals and scribing, channel divinity, and focus in skill to make it utility focused outside of being a halfcaster.
    So, a bit of warrioring, a bit of utility spellcasting, and some skills?

    Since the class can scribe spells in a spellbook, I thought it would be weird to have a spells known column considering that number can be broken. But that might not be a problem, I had nothing to compare it to since, the wizard who can scribe spells don't have a column for for the total amount and just states that they learn 2 spells every level which they scribe in their book. When I looked at it was too much to gain spells on each level for a half caster.
    Wait, it isn't limited to a specific number of spells known?
    Ah. Now that I'm looking for it, I see a specific sentence on the subject. Why so stingy with the spells automatically learned, then? Why not just make it one a level and save a column?

    The class can cast spells that are not rituals, as rituals but at a cost. This is since there are relatively few ritual spells in the game and a lot of spells that would fit the class thematically in my mind, are not rituals. To cater to this, I added a set of non-ritual spells that can be cast as rituals spend resources to do so. It might be a bit wordy but I considered it a balanced way to do so without allowing for an endless spam of those spells which could be unbalanced. If you have a better way of writing it, I am all ears.
    Well, off the top of my head, I wouldn't have repeated the requirement of having the spell in your spellbook in the "if it's a ritual spell already" section. I had to read the section a few times before the first "you have the spell in your spellbook" caught my eye.

    The balance level might be off. It is meant to play as a brawler halfcaster with out of combat utility if I look at your guidelines. I tried to balance it similar to the paladin but without surpassing it. While it is limited in direct casting, it has ritual casting and can scribe spells to make up for it, warding preparations and channel occult are similar to paladins smites and channel divinity, and it has some boons for skills instead of the auras. But yeah, each of those comparisons might be more in favor for the paladin than I initially thought.
    The biggest problem, I think, is that the Occultist is limited to 5th-level rituals. I'd have probably rated its magic more favorably if it was limited to rituals instead of being limited to 5th-level spells, rather than in addition to. There's a serious argument to be made that the Occultist is less proficient at spellcasting than the paladin.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2020-10-02 at 09:45 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Spoiler: Fnissalot and the Occultist
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    I find this confusing. I did some quick ctl-f's, and determined that the closest I came to naming any "team positions"—either the MMO's DPS/tank/healer trinity or the wider array of "positions" that TRPGs have (blaster, control, face, etc) was a metaphorical gas tank. So it sounds like you're objecting to the idea that an adventuring team should have distinct, specialized roles at all, which...two problems.

    First, um, they all do and it's necessary. Specialization isn't just for insects, it's a critical part of how this game works; I'd go so far as to say that the entire class system was built around specialized party roles. Wizards are good with magical lore and fireballs, but they can't heal you. Clerics are good at healing and driving away undead monsters, but they don't have the skill points needed to tie their shoes. Rogues are great with skills and can put out solid single-target damage, but can't take a punch. Fighters can take a lot of punches and deal decent damage, but they can't match the power and versatility of spells.

    Second, again, I never referred to specific roles. I was looking for things that the class could do, what it did better than comparable classes and what it did worse. That's kind of core to what a class is, along with its thematic identity.


    Not sure what this is referring to.


    So, a bit of warrioring, a bit of utility spellcasting, and some skills?


    Wait, it isn't limited to a specific number of spells known?
    Ah. Now that I'm looking for it, I see a specific sentence on the subject. Why so stingy with the spells automatically learned, then? Why not just make it one a level and save a column?


    Well, off the top of my head, I wouldn't have repeated the requirement of having the spell in your spellbook in the "if it's a ritual spell already" section. I had to read the section a few times before the first "you have the spell in your spellbook" caught my eye.


    The biggest problem, I think, is that the Occultist is limited to 5th-level rituals. I'd have probably rated its magic more favorably if it was limited to rituals instead of being limited to 5th-level spells, rather than in addition to. There's a serious argument to be made that the Occultist is less proficient at spellcasting than the paladin.
    Fair points and thanks for the feedback! I guess I glanced over your text a bit as well and misunderstood what you meant with that list of types.

    It meant to refer to that quartercaster (1/4) is slightly misleading and should probably be tiercecaster(1/3) even if it sounds worse.

    Some of the wordings on the ritual spellcasting are maybe too close to the ones used in the wizard text and should be modified away from it.

    If I ever do a balance pass on it, I will streamline it to 1 spell per level and think about letting it have higher level spells. There are only 2 ritual spells of 6th level (instant summons and forbiddance) and none above that so it would require some homebrewing of spells or finding more spells that still works as rituals. There are a lot of 1st-3rd level rituals but very few overall after that.
    Last edited by Fnissalot; 2020-10-02 at 04:51 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Oct 2017

    Default Re: D&D 5e Base Class Contest XII Chat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Spoiler: Feral
    Show

    Somehow, I completely missed this one until I was assembling my final ranking, which is why it’s not in alphabetical order.

    First Impressions
    Oh geez this is gonna be rough. There’s not even a table.
    Why is this barbarian/monk coming off as a shonen protagonist? I’m not even talking about Plus Ultra here, though that definitely doesn’t help.
    Why does this get spells? Wait, is it a druid/monk? What do you have against normal spellcasting progressions, anyways? (Does it have something to do with the tables?) And ugh, maximum spell slot level rises twice as fast as maximum prepared spell level, why? What’s the point?
    Sight Beyond Sight...what?
    Why didn’t you just copy and past the normal evasion text? You’ve opened up a huge gray area that doesn’t need to be there! Not all Dexterity saves are against fireballs!
    Swift Recovery is kinda cool. Definitely wouldn’t have designed it that way, though.
    Why do so many of these classes give extra saving throw proficiencies around 14th-15th level?
    Why the hell does this guy get plane shift? Where did that come from?
    Oh geez I’m not even halfway through.

    Ingredients
    Monk plus druid is a neat combination. I have no idea how it ended up more like Son Goku than someone from Celtic mythology.
    That aside, I can see elements of both classes in the end product...but also weird crap like Plane Strider. And a brooding demeanor that somehow makes them better at social interaction? Okay, I take it back, this guy’s more like Sasuke than Goku.
    (Note: I haven’t watched Naruto in ~15 years, if ever.)

    Flavor
    I’ll give you this, you wrote some of the strongest flavor in the contest. (I’d like to think mine is better, but I’m not allowed to judge mine.) Your class has a clear origin and identity, but it’s a broad enough one. The class’s features also shine through with a distinct flavor.
    There is one problem, and it’s a big one. The flavor text and mechanical flavor are perpendicular to one another; while there’s a solid character archetype at that intersection, that archetype isn’t indicated by either the abilities or flavor text on their own, so it feels like an accident.

    Fit
    Spellcasting. Enough said.
    ...okay, not really. There are problems beyond the spellcasting system. “Proficiency in all saving throws” rears its ugly head again.

    There are also some baffling design decisions on effects that are technically okay. Why does Preternatural Quickness let you investigate quickly? That doesn’t seem like something a Feral should be unusually skilled in. Why does Brooding Demeanor give you proficiency with Persuasion, of all things, and why is that ability at 11th level? (Is it supposed to grant Expertise? It’s badly-worded, so I can’t tell, and it sounds like it stacks with Expertise. So apparently the best diplomancer needs 11 levels of feral and one of rogue.) Again, what the hell is Plane Strider doing here?!?

    And aside from Extra Attack, tires don exits. The 11th-level ability is just a weird skill bonus and the 17th-level archetype abilities are just

    Fun
    Maybe. The overly intricate spellcasting mechanics, pointless as they are, aren’t complicated to play with. But the class’s abilities are mostly unrelated to what the class is intended to be at. (You’re supposed to use the 5e monk for inspiration, not the 3.5 monk!) Most abilities past 3rd level don’t affect combat at all; the exceptions just make you a bit tougher or are the Hood’s grappling powers (which are pretty neat, if situational and unsupported by the rest of the class).

    Balance
    Like I said, the class’s features largely don’t contribute to its core “strength”. They largely contribute to making a character sound like a cool anime badass on paper, without actually doing much to improve their badassery.

    Subclasses
    I’m baffled by the Archetypes. Wild Child is a pretty normal raised-by-wolves background, but The Hood (yeesh) clashes with what little I’d been able to gather about what the class is supposed to be. (You know, other than “shonen deuteragonist”.)

    I’ll give you this, the archetype powers are some of the best-designed in the entire class. Except the 17th-level ones, which are neat but not strong enough to place at the cusp of Tier 4...especially not Heart of the City, which (outside very, very specific circumstances) is practically useless beyond a couple sets of hands and short-lived meat shields.

    Presentation!
    A mess. Sorry. There’s literally zero formatting beyond organizational spoilers, and you didn’t even bother to give a table.
    There are also plenty of vague, incomplete, or just plain bad ability descriptions. The one that stuck in my mind worst is Sight Beyond Sight. Why do you say “When you use your action or bonus action to make a perception check”? Can you use those abilities any time, or just when you’re looking for something else? Do you need to roll a Perception check? Is there supposed to be a DC? Why is a duration specified for doubling darkvision range but not the explicitly magical effects?

    Conclusion
    The flavor is surprisingly strong, but everything else...Bahamut’s wrath, where can I begin? All of the problems intersect and spin off into new problems. Even the flavor text is flawed. I kept having to revise earlier sections as I noticed more and more problems.
    Thank you very much for your feedback!

    In fairness to myself I wrote all of this on the phone during bathroom breaks at work, so format was going to take a hit. It's still basically a first draft and has languished terribly while I worked on a couple of artificer specializations and a bard college that had more of my attention. I thought the contest closed on the 7th and had planned to put it in a homebrewery PDF with some art this week, but if I missed the deadline, oh well.

    Anime reference names are basically place holders designed to communicate a basic idea about the features, for an informal contest they might stay but I'd definitely go with different names before publishing.

    It seems you thought monk/druid, you were close: it's Monk/Ranger. That should immediately resolve any confusion about the reason spells scaled the way they do. Also, you call the spellcasting mechanics pointless, but they serve the very real point of making this a short rest dependent caster. Similar to but critically different from, a Warlock with pact magic. By using Limit Break to cast spells you can choose to cast a lot of weak spells, or a few big spells and decide how much juice you want to spend on physical combat.

    Proficiency in all saves pops up bc it's a Monk element. The character is essentially a Ki user, but I went with different names to escape "mystical martial arts" and reinforce the idea of "one whose isolated life has led to self reliance which requires constantly breaking past their own limits." When you can't rely on others you can only push yourself. But the design doesn't limit the character's ability to function in a group.

    Evasion didn't get copy pasted bc I did this on a phone.

    Planestrider has a combat and utility action and its there bc epic ranger types should be able to "Hunt the moon fawn through the moutains of Celestia and chase their prey through the fires of the hells." Having every tom and **** with a spell book be able to nope out of a confrontation is lame if you're the ultimate tracker.

    As an old person, there are things I remember from old tv shows that inspire me. The Sentinel and bonus action investigation was one such show.

    Archetypes are "Feral Children from wild or civilized areas" one is a Tarzan type, the other is the "what if Tarzan, but on the mean streets" where you're raised maybe side by side with dogs, or treated like an outcast. If there was one more it would very much be "people under the stairs" but I didn't want to put something that dark down. They're also chosen to created with a mindset similar to what we see in artificer, subclasses provide the mechanical oomph and identity of the PC.

    Presentation will improve eventually, but I'm unclear on the confusion about Sight Beyond Sight. The wording was specifically chosen so you don't get the benefit on Passive checks until after the Action is taken. So yes, you can use those abilities at any time, though doing so as a bonus action... (probably required a point of Limit Break to be spent) so out of combat it's a free utility, but in combat, bites into the action economy or costs points.

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