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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    After Reading the travesty that is variable psionic dice (at level 17 you can do 6.5 damage, unless you roll max, at which point it reduces to 5.5), I decided to trash-can balance, and petition you all for a Designer Home Brew Psionic Class.

    But that would be too easy if we left the concept open ended, so I've decided to stick with a THEME (we all love themes)

    All you have to do, is create a 5e character class using 5e rule structure to replicate Misaka from A Certain Scientific Railgun.




    The winner of this competition will receive much praise and adoration.


    Basics of "Railgun"

    She's an ESPer, which is Japanese culture for Psion. Her main category of powers is based on Electrokinesis and Electromagnetic Fields. Ironically this is a spinoff character from a magical spellbook anime called "A Certain Magical Index".

    Noteworthy Tropes:
    • accelerate coins for devastating attacks
    • Dismantling/Shredding Metallic Constructs
    • protected from mind reading/control by static field
    • Controlling iron Sand to form wicked stuff
    • Spider Climbing any magnetic surface
    • Zapping things near and far
    • Controlling/Summoning Thunder Storms
    • Telekinesis with multiple Large to Huge metallic objects


    Comparative fantasy-scifi game structure:

    mecha/vehicles/big robots roughly same as giants/ogres/trolls
    bigger horrible things roughly same as dragons/pit fiends/etc.

    For those who have no clue who this character/anime is:
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    Mikoto Misaka from Railgun was one of the most popular female protagonists in Manga/Anime for about 10 years, and in 2016 was ranked most popular light novel character ever. The show has been viewed over 300 million times in China. There's enough fan art to fill volumes.


    Im curious to see how you guys/gals/etc. balance Homebrew Classes against things like Meteor Swarm , Animate Objects or Wall of Force.

    Best of luck!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Wouldn't that kind of competition probably be more at home on the Homebrew forum?

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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    You could probably go like 90% of the way using a sorcerer and taking the right telekinesis-type spells with metal?
    Catapult (a coin)
    Shield
    Lightning Bolt
    Spider climb
    Mind blank/nondetection
    Wall of sand
    Telekinesis

    Iíve built a telekinetic sorc before, works pretty well. Bonus if you can use spell points, and metamagic like subtle is great.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    I had actually thought that you might be able to do this with the Psi-Knight from TCoE.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Basics of "Railgun"

    She's an ESPer, which is Japanese culture for Psion. Her main category of powers is based on Electrokinesis and Electromagnetic Fields. Ironically this is a spinoff character from a magical spellbook anime called "A Certain Magical Index".

    Noteworthy Tropes:
    • accelerate coins for devastating attacks
    • Dismantling/Shredding Metallic Constructs
    • protected from mind reading/control by static field
    • Controlling iron Sand to form wicked stuff
    • Spider Climbing any magnetic surface
    • Zapping things near and far
    • Controlling/Summoning Thunder Storms
    • Telekinesis with multiple Large to Huge metallic objects
    My first instinct isn't really psionic - because D&D 5e supports that poorly - but isn't homebrew, either: Conjurer Wizard.

    The minor conjuration feature is done with her iron sand control, forming obviously-magical items. The "dim light" it radiates is the crackling electricity. Weakness here is that poor Misaka's early attempts break apart when she hits things with it hard enough to deal damage, but she'll eventually get creation, which can actually do damage.

    For her signature "Railgun" ability, she knows and always has prepared catapult.

    Spider climb and an element-swapped fire bolt to biribiri give her two more of the requested features. As does having the spell telekinesis, eventually. I don't think conjuring thunderstorms is that iconic for her, really, and call lightning isn't a wizard spell, so that's harder to arrange.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    the dps value of catapult looks really good for 2e mecha->monster conversions, but the 5e system into which it is borne has a higher 1st-20th hit die curve. Range is kind of low too.

    Trolls, Ogres, and Giants range around 50-200hp, and it's looking like even burning a 9th level spell slot wouldn't get you through 1 of these, much less the larger boss villains which are rated closer to dragons (200-500hp).

    Meanwhile you've got 240 to each of multiple targets at a range of 5280 ft, with Meteor Swarm (also a 9th level slot: compare 88 to 1 target at 150 ft from catapult)

    or the Hypothetical Prismatic Wall scenario (like prismatic wall + warlock eldritch blast knockback or reverse gravity to a horizontal prismatic wall) which churns out 300 damage to each target passing through (50d6).

    ???
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-16 at 12:33 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by werescythe View Post
    I had actually thought that you might be able to do this with the Psi-Knight from TCoE.
    I would like to see this build you propose elaborated.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    I would like to see this build you propose elaborated.
    Well, apparently they changed the Psi-Knight's name to Psi Warrior. Also I will confess that the range is a bit limited (to 30ft for some reason) but at 3rd level the Psi Warrior unlocks the Psionic Powers ability, which has the Psionic Strike ability. At 7th level you gain Telekinetic Adept, which has an ability called Telekinetic Thrust, which buffs Psionic Strike.

    In addition to some of the other psionic/telekinetic abilities that Psi Warrior has, at 18th level you get Telekinetic Master, which actually gives you the Telekinesis spell.

    You could probably also take the Magic Adept feat (and follow it up with the Telekinetic feat), go Wizard (because Intelligence is used by the Psi Warrior), take the mage hand cantrip (because it will be buffed by the Telekinetic feat), take Catapult (like everyone has been suggesting) and then take one other wizard cantrip of your choice (maybe Mind Sliver to go further into the Psychic theme).

    Admittedly if some of the other ideas mentioned above by some of the others might actually fit your concept more, I just remembered seeing this subclass back when it was a UA and had thought of using it this way.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    If you want homebrew content the next time I suggest you post in https://forums.giantitp.com/forumdis...omebrew-Design

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    The Mod on the Silver Mountain: Moved to Homebrew.
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    We're from Europe, not a mirror dimension.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    I think the most likely attempt is a lightning/magnets Rogue subclass.

    Railgun Rogue
    You develop powerful psychoelectrical abilities allowing you shock creatures and control metal.

    Psychomagnetron
    At 3rd level you get a pool of Psi Dice equal to 2x your proficiency bonus. these dice are d6s and increase in size when you reach certain levels, d8 and 5th, d10 at 11th and d12 at 17th. When you make an athletics or acrobatics check you can expend one of these dice and add its result to the roll or to fuel your other subclass features. You regain all of these dice after a long rest. You can use a bonus action to regain one of these dice but must complete a short or long rest before doing so again.

    Additionally you learn the Shocking Grasp or Lightning Lure Cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcasting Ability for this spell and any others granted by this subclass.

    Magnetic Versatility
    Beginning at 3rd level, when attacking with a metal object you can use your Intelligence in place of strength or dexterity to determine your bonus to attack and damage. You may add your proficiency bonus to these attacks even if the weapon is improvised.

    Railgun

    At 3rd level and beyond, when you make a ranged attack with a metal object or object containing metal parts, you can choose to have the attack deal piercing or Thunder damage and it will affect every creature in a 30 foot line. Make a single attack roll and compare the result to each creature's armor class. You deal the same amount of damage to every creature you hit. You can use this feature once and must complete a long rest or expend one of your Psi dice to use it again. At 13th level the line becomes 60 feet.

    Repulsion Control
    At 9th level you can learn to orient yourself against the forces generated by the atmosphere or cling to metal surfaces. You gain a climb speed equal to your speed. You can move across ceilings with no difficulty. Additionally, you can choose to spend a Psi die to increase your speed or jumping distance. Roll the die and add 5 x its result to your speed or jumping distance until the end of your next turn.

    Biribiri
    At 13th level your affinity for metal objects and electrical forces grants you a weird insight into the workings of certain machines and creatures for help or harm. You may add your proficiency bonus to Charisma checks made to interact with Constructs and may spend a Psi Die to increase the damage of your Shocking Grasp or Lightning Lure cantrip.

    Iron Tornado
    At 17th level you ability to control metal objects and components grants you the ability to cast Animate Objects. You can choose to try and dismantle a small or larger construct or object with this spell by animating up to 10 tiny pieces. If you do so it suffers 10d6 force damage as the pieces you animate are torn off. A Construct can halve this damage with a successful Charisma save. You can cast this spell once and must complete a long rest or expend a psi die to use it again.


    This feels acceptable in relative strength. Lines will almost never hit more than 2 creatures
    Last edited by BerzerkerUnit; 2021-01-16 at 10:25 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    I would build a class that can cast low level spells (in this case, catapult) but at impossibly high level levels. Being able to cast catapult as a 14th level spell would do damage comparable to disintegrate cast at level 6. So let's take that premise and run with it.

    Such a class might only learn 1st level spells from levels 1-4, then second level spells from levels 5-8, 3rd level spells from levels 9-12, 4th level spells from 13-16, then 5th level spells from 17-20. But their spell slots would progress very quickly, double the rate of full caster classes, their slot magnitude progressing +1 per class level until eventually they have a 20th level spell slot at character level 20. That sounds very impressive, but the reality is, a cone of cold cast at 20th level deals much less damage than meteor swarm cast at 9th. So in order to make this class functional, we need other goodies.

    So here we go:
    At 11th level they can cast first level spells at will. This sounds very good until you realize that this is the level where cantrips are just as good as 1st level spells anyway.
    At 17th level they can cast second level spells at will, and any first level spell they cast is automatically upcast to 2nd level.
    They're meant to be psions of some nature, so we'll have them cast with int.
    They'll have d8 hit dice, but no armor proficiency (at-will shield by 11th level will help with that). Saves are Int and Dex.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    I would build a class that can cast low level spells (in this case, catapult) but at impossibly high level levels. Being able to cast catapult as a 14th level spell would do damage comparable to disintegrate cast at level 6. So let's take that premise and run with it.
    Interesting. So something like EK/AT spell level/known progression but slot progression like 1.5x or 2x a full caster?

    How about number of spell slots? Reduce the number at each spell level so you donít end up with so many you can keep spamming like cantrips?
    Also, make sure you donít accidentally break multiclassing.

    It may be easier to do the reverse, treating a select few spells like cantrips and accelerate their scaling.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    I think the most likely attempt is a lightning/magnets Rogue subclass.

    Railgun Rogue
    You develop powerful psychoelectrical abilities allowing you shock creatures and control metal.

    Psychomagnetron
    At 3rd level you get a pool of Psi Dice equal to 2x your proficiency bonus. these dice are d6s and increase in size when you reach certain levels, d8 and 5th, d10 at 11th and d12 at 17th. When you make an athletics or acrobatics check you can expend one of these dice and add its result to the roll or to fuel your other subclass features. You regain all of these dice after a long rest. You can use a bonus action to regain one of these dice but must complete a short or long rest before doing so again.

    Additionally you learn the Shocking Grasp or Lightning Lure Cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcasting Ability for this spell and any others granted by this subclass.

    Magnetic Versatility
    Beginning at 3rd level, when attacking with a metal object you can use your Intelligence in place of strength or dexterity to determine your bonus to attack and damage. You may add your proficiency bonus to these attacks even if the weapon is improvised.

    Railgun

    At 3rd level and beyond, when you make a ranged attack with a metal object or object containing metal parts, you can choose to have the attack deal piercing or Thunder damage and it will affect every creature in a 30 foot line. Make a single attack roll and compare the result to each creature's armor class. You deal the same amount of damage to every creature you hit. You can use this feature once and must complete a long rest or expend one of your Psi dice to use it again. At 13th level the line becomes 60 feet.

    Repulsion Control
    At 9th level you can learn to orient yourself against the forces generated by the atmosphere or cling to metal surfaces. You gain a climb speed equal to your speed. You can move across ceilings with no difficulty. Additionally, you can choose to spend a Psi die to increase your speed or jumping distance. Roll the die and add 5 x its result to your speed or jumping distance until the end of your next turn.

    Biribiri
    At 13th level your affinity for metal objects and electrical forces grants you a weird insight into the workings of certain machines and creatures for help or harm. You may add your proficiency bonus to Charisma checks made to interact with Constructs and may spend a Psi Die to increase the damage of your Shocking Grasp or Lightning Lure cantrip.

    Iron Tornado
    At 17th level you ability to control metal objects and components grants you the ability to cast Animate Objects. You can choose to try and dismantle a small or larger construct or object with this spell by animating up to 10 tiny pieces. If you do so it suffers your Sneak Attack damage as the pieces you animate are torn off. A Construct can halve this damage with a successful Charisma save. You can cast this spell once and must complete a long rest or expend a psi die to use it again.


    This feels acceptable in relative strength. Lines will almost never hit more than 2 creatures
    i am curious about this psychomagnetron and whether it would be a good variant ruled Backstab/Sneak attack die pool?

    I seem to recall Assassins have this nasty double double critical hit or something that produces Nova damage.

    I respect all of you who have noticed Railgun is a single target Nova class.

    Definitely confused about how your metallic golem slayer/mecha rules work.


    ...............

    Some people have been using disintegrate references in their commentary. This appears to be appropriate as a mechanic Vs. Golem type objects.

    If an iron golem or steel golem were attacked by the Railgun, the iron/steel golem should probably lose. How you achieve that effect mechanically would be interesting, considering Golem resistances / immunities.

    P.S. Tasha's Cauldron includes a Metallic Mecha Construct.

    A 17-20th level Railgun should be able to subdue/defeat this construct specifically. How would you go about classifying your damage types, etc. to make that happen?
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-16 at 09:30 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Interesting. So something like EK/AT spell level/known progression but slot progression like 1.5x or 2x a full caster?
    Exactly.

    How about number of spell slots? Reduce the number at each spell level so you donít end up with so many you can keep spamming like cantrips?
    if you wanted it to exist smoothly with multiclassing, it would have to follow the same slots per level progression but excellerated. Which would mean a whole bunch of spell slots. The alternative would be to give them a unique progression that doesn't interact with other classes in multiclassing (like how warlock spell slots don't add to the progression of your slots from other classes)

    Also, make sure you donít accidentally break multiclassing.
    I'm not super worried about it. Any spellcaster who takes levels in this class would get rapid progression on their slots but their spells known would halt entirely. I have some concerns about how the class could be used to fuel a paladin's smites especially in combination with font of magic. That's alleviated some by making it an int class, which doesn't play nice with paladins and sorcerers for multiclassing. You could require a second off stat if you wanted as well, require both int 13 and dex 13.

    It may be easier to do the reverse, treating a select few spells like cantrips and accelerate their scaling.
    Yeah, maybe. I feel like I'd prefer to see a new robust system though.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    I feel like the path of least resistance here would be to make a sorcerer subclass that (sort of like aberrant minds) has telekinetic bloodline spells (catapult, levitate, fly, etc) and the ability to cast them for level-1 sp if the target is >1/3 metal by mass. Other subclass abilities can boost lightning damage, etc.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    i am curious about this psychomagnetron and whether it would be a good variant ruled Backstab/Sneak attack die pool?

    I seem to recall Assassins have this nasty double double critical hit or something that produces Nova damage.

    I respect all of you who have noticed Railgun is a single target Nova class.

    Definitely confused about how your metallic golem slayer/mecha rules work.


    ...............

    Some people have been using disintegrate references in their commentary. This appears to be appropriate as a mechanic Vs. Golem type objects.

    If an iron golem or steel golem were attacked by the Railgun, the iron/steel golem should probably lose. How you achieve that effect mechanically would be interesting, considering Golem resistances / immunities.

    P.S. Tasha's Cauldron includes a Metallic Mecha Construct.

    A 17-20th level Railgun should be able to subdue/defeat this construct specifically. How would you go about classifying your damage types, etc. to make that happen?
    A note about my design philosophy:
    Single target nova builds are fun solely in white room theory crafting or solo games. From a deliberate design standpoint you have to balance the risk and reward of single big hits vs multiple attacks and have some respect for how that will measure up against other players at the table. IME/IMO, watching the PAM/GWM Fighter2/Paladin5/Sorcerer8 solo paste the BBEG in round one is anticlimactic.

    With that in mind, this is an extremely powerful subclass made to evoke the most common expressions of the Railgun character's combat exploits while still being playable alongside a Fighter, Wizard, and Cleric, not create a 1:1 representation of the Anime character.

    So at a glance:
    She can shock things with static.

    She shoots a metal projectile that pierces multiple targets and hits hard. Sneak attack is the single highest damage single hit over 20 levels that doesn't require 5 multiclasses and limit itself to melee.

    She can stick to walls with static cling and Super jump bc anime.

    She can control machines and computers.

    She has magnetism based telekinesis. This has broad applications, however, much of the Rogue base kit can fill in, like Evasion and Uncanny Dodge being her ability to psychically deflect energy and projectiles.

    -So this subclass gets choice of lightning damage cantrips.
    -A way to turn sneak attacks into line attacks.
    -A wallcrawling ability and ability to railgun self
    -Charisma boost when dealing with constructs
    -Animate Objects on metal objects or objects with metal components. As a DM I'd be 100% fine letting a player create an Iron Filing mass and just treat it like a Large or Huge creature depending on resources.

    So you can cast Animate Objects, appx 14 times a day if you ignore all your other features. Statistically, Animate Objects is the single highest sustained damage spell in the game for its level (possibly even at 9th level too). As long as you keep Adamantine or Silver objects to animate you'll overcome most resistances or immunities.

    Assuming you cast it on the mech suit to destroy it, as an object it gets no save so just takes 10d6 force damage. You then have 10 tiny objects that can attack it as a bonus action for 1d4+4 (avg damage is something like 40/rd depending on AC). As long as your animated bits are near it you get your sneak attack.

    Notably, this is a poor choice for Golems specifically since they're immune to nonmagic non adamantine damage. But if you did, the Iron Golem would get a charisma save to reduce the initial damage by half. I changed it to a flat 10d6 instead of scaling off Sneak Dice. However, the Iron Golem pieces are presumably Iron (not adamantine) so couldn't deal damage to the Golem itself, though if there are other targets present, you could have them swarm those.
    Last edited by BerzerkerUnit; 2021-01-16 at 11:40 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    A note about my design philosophy:
    Single target nova builds are fun solely in white room theory crafting or solo games. From a deliberate design standpoint you have to balance the risk and reward of single big hits vs multiple attacks and have some respect for how that will measure up against other players at the table. IME/IMO, watching the PAM/GWM Fighter2/Paladin5/Sorcerer8 solo paste the BBEG in round one is anticlimactic.

    With that in mind, this is an extremely powerful subclass made to evoke the most common expressions of the Railgun character's combat exploits while still being playable alongside a Fighter, Wizard, and Cleric, not create a 1:1 representation of the Anime character.

    So at a glance:
    She can shock things with static.

    She shoots a metal projectile that pierces multiple targets and hits hard. Sneak attack is the single highest damage single hit over 20 levels that doesn't require 5 multiclasses and limit itself to melee.

    She can stick to walls with static cling and Super jump bc anime.

    She can control machines and computers.

    She has magnetism based telekinesis. This has broad applications, however, much of the Rogue base kit can fill in, like Evasion and Uncanny Dodge being her ability to psychically deflect energy and projectiles.

    -So this subclass gets choice of lightning damage cantrips.
    -A way to turn sneak attacks into line attacks.
    -A wallcrawling ability and ability to railgun self
    -Charisma boost when dealing with constructs
    -Animate Objects on metal objects or objects with metal components. As a DM I'd be 100% fine letting a player create an Iron Filing mass and just treat it like a Large or Huge creature depending on resources.

    So you can cast Animate Objects, appx 14 times a day if you ignore all your other features. Statistically, Animate Objects is the single highest sustained damage spell in the game for its level (possibly even at 9th level too). As long as you keep Adamantine or Silver objects to animate you'll overcome most resistances or immunities.

    Assuming you cast it on the mech suit to destroy it, as an object it gets no save so just takes 10d6 force damage. You then have 10 tiny objects that can attack it as a bonus action for 1d4+4 (avg damage is something like 40/rd depending on AC). As long as your animated bits are near it you get your sneak attack.

    Notably, this is a poor choice for Golems specifically since they're immune to nonmagic non adamantine damage. But if you did, the Iron Golem would get a charisma save to reduce the initial damage by half. I changed it to a flat 10d6 instead of scaling off Sneak Dice. However, the Iron Golem pieces are presumably Iron (not adamantine) so couldn't deal damage to the Golem itself, though if there are other targets present, you could have them swarm those.
    I agree the damage type most likely to work on the 1:1 target categories would have to be:
    • Non-Magical
    • Force Rather than Bludgeoning


    As the Upper End Metal Golem groups (the primary Weakest enemy vs. this build) have the following dynamics:
    size Large to huge
    hp 200-300
    str 24-30
    DR/imm: acid, bludgeon, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, psychic,
    Magic Resistant: advantage vs. magical effects/spells


    Specializing vs. target category (metal) may produce useful peaky effects without having much game impact. For example, things like advantage vs. X and double/triple damage vs. metallic things (objects/creatures/constructs) would allow you to drastically reduce core die pools when balanced against other classes like fighter (who can break 272 in 1 round using 2wp ft+storm belt+3sword+action surge).

    The assassin resolves the peaky nova multiclass balance by way of saving good stuff for high level. 17th Assassin does the following:
    11d6 base from backstab: Con save to double to 22d6; critical hit on any creature that is surprised to 44d6 = 264 before dex/magic.

    So here's two melee types that clear the 250 barrier under special circumstances. Compared to the 40d6 meteor swarm (240) which AOE's multiple creatures.

    I would argue railgun has Meteor Swarm Range, but NOT Meteor Swarm AOE. It's like someone said "lets make a 40-50d6 force beam" except most of the time, it should be closer to a 10-20d6 beam, so growing like Assassin makes more sense.

    As to whether the Assassin can Nova 44d6 with range? the assassinate feature and death strike feature do not say no to missile. Sneak attack specifically requires a Ranged or Finesse weapon, thus the Sniper set is theoretically possible. Sharpshooter also kicks in, producing long range/no penalty, and bypass 3/4 cover, and a handy +10 damage for easy to hit targets. Longbow has a 600ft range for instance. So here we have a 44d6+15 at 600ft range attack which is repeatable each scene without a long or short rest, pushing the limits. The damage here isn't force, but is reliable vs. things that aren't metallic objects.

    I dunno. just juggling some numbers.

    P.S.
    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    She shoots a metal projectile that pierces multiple targets and hits hard. Sneak attack is the single highest damage single hit over 20 levels that doesn't require 5 multiclasses and limit itself to melee.
    I seem to recall the mass heal has a 700 hit point blob that gets distributed rather than re-applied. Having a Single pool of linear impact damage that looks high, but gets reduced with each successive destroyed target may drastically reduce the overall game impact. Aganazzar's scorcher for example does only 3-10d8 (24-80) but it can do this same damage to 6 creatures in a row, making the total DPS closer to 144-480...
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-17 at 09:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZRN View Post
    I feel like the path of least resistance here would be to make a sorcerer subclass that (sort of like aberrant minds) has telekinetic bloodline spells (catapult, levitate, fly, etc) and the ability to cast them for level-1 sp if the target is >1/3 metal by mass. Other subclass abilities can boost lightning damage, etc.
    How do you resolve the issue that the primary metallic targets will be resistant to magic, and completely immune to lightning damage, as is common with many constructs?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    I agree the damage type most likely to work on the 1:1 target categories would have to be:
    • Non-Magical
    • Force Rather than Bludgeoning


    As the Upper End Metal Golem groups (the primary Weakest enemy vs. this build) have the following dynamics:
    size Large to huge
    hp 200-300
    str 24-30
    DR/imm: acid, bludgeon, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, psychic,
    Magic Resistant: advantage vs. magical effects/spells


    Specializing vs. target category (metal) may produce useful peaky effects without having much game impact. For example, things like advantage vs. X and double/triple damage vs. metallic things (objects/creatures/constructs) would allow you to drastically reduce core die pools when balanced against other classes like fighter (who can break 272 in 1 round using 2wp ft+storm belt+3sword+action surge).

    The assassin resolves the peaky nova multiclass balance by way of saving good stuff for high level. 17th Assassin does the following:
    11d6 base from backstab: Con save to double to 22d6; critical hit on any creature that is surprised to 44d6 = 264 before dex/magic.

    So here's two melee types that clear the 250 barrier under special circumstances. Compared to the 40d6 meteor swarm (240) which AOE's multiple creatures.

    I would argue railgun has Meteor Swarm Range, but NOT Meteor Swarm AOE. It's like someone said "lets make a 40-50d6 force beam" except most of the time, it should be closer to a 10-20d6 beam, so growing like Assassin makes more sense.

    As to whether the Assassin can Nova 44d6 with range? the assassinate feature and death strike feature do not say no to missile. Sneak attack specifically requires a Ranged or Finesse weapon, thus the Sniper set is theoretically possible. Sharpshooter also kicks in, producing long range/no penalty, and bypass 3/4 cover, and a handy +10 damage for easy to hit targets. Longbow has a 600ft range for instance. So here we have a 44d6+15 at 600ft range attack which is repeatable each scene without a long or short rest, pushing the limits. The damage here isn't force, but is reliable vs. things that aren't metallic objects.

    I dunno. just juggling some numbers.

    P.S.

    I seem to recall the mass heal has a 700 hit point blob that gets distributed rather than re-applied. Having a Single pool of linear impact damage that looks high, but gets reduced with each successive destroyed target may drastically reduce the overall game impact. Aganazzar's scorcher for example does only 3-10d8 (24-80) but it can do this same damage to 6 creatures in a row, making the total DPS closer to 144-480...
    The Ranger has been widely criticized since 3.5 for being a niche target class. IE having features that are conditionally applied (bonus damage to certain kinds of monsters, bonus features for certain terrain). Making an entire class or subclass focused on ďmetalĒ harshly limits its viability on the plane of water and air, likely the shadowfell and feywild too, as well as the overwhelming majority of any setting other than Eberron or a modern one. As this subclass is, one bag of 1000 ball bearings will see you an entire career. Hyper focused on being able to solo or one shot ďmetalĒ creeps means youíd have to ratchet back the generally applicable effects of other abilities. Suddenly you can only climb walls made of metal, and the number of times you can shoot the rail gun goes down to 1/rest

    If youíre running a solo game, something like that might be fine, but if not youíll have a PC that waits to be cool only in specific circumstances. And if itís a group and you always provide favorable circumstances, youíll have a PC that dominates every situation. Thatís a less desirable outcome and therefore, weaker design.

    Iím not sure what your last point here is. I donít think you want the option of dealing 700 damage to a single target and the rail gun sneak attack doesnít mention dividing damage. It says you make one attack roll and compare to every targetís AC and and deal the same damage to each one you hit.

    So if you only have sneak attack conditions on one, youíll still deal sneak attack damage to all. Meaning at level 3 youíre likely dealing sneak damage to 2 targets/round as long as you have Psi Dice. Similar to the assassin dealing 2x damage but limited based on positioning and a resource. As for quadrupling damage vs metal targets, that specifically steps on the assassinís toes and thatís something else you donít want in design.

    Assuming 2 short rests a day that means you can fire it 7 times provided you ignore other features, increasing to 9, 11, 13, and 15 as proficiency increases.
    Last edited by BerzerkerUnit; 2021-01-18 at 08:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    The Ranger has been widely criticized since 3.5 for being a niche target class. IE having features that are conditionally applied (bonus damage to certain kinds of monsters, bonus features for certain terrain). Making an entire class or subclass focused on ďmetalĒ harshly limits its viability on the plane of water and air, likely the shadowfell and feywild too, as well as the overwhelming majority of any setting other than Eberron or a modern one.
    The point of the suggestion is to be able to consistently one-shot the various metal targets from damage bonuses against them, without falling into the trap of being an all-in single target nova. So dealing an average 300 damage to the metal targets will allow for one-shotting basically every Construct in the game, but the ability responsible for that is a sensible 60-100 damage normally, allowing the character to have a reasonable usage schedule. Similar to the Paladin's bonus against Undead and Fiends, just way more extreme.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Iíd still say thatís bad design because most characters do not have features that allow them to 1 shot or solo any high CR monster except maybe the assassin 18/Grave cleric 2. And that requires a mountain of set up.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    The point of the suggestion is to be able to consistently one-shot the various metal targets from damage bonuses against them, without falling into the trap of being an all-in single target nova. So dealing an average 300 damage to the metal targets will allow for one-shotting basically every Construct in the game, but the ability responsible for that is a sensible 60-100 damage normally, allowing the character to have a reasonable usage schedule. Similar to the Paladin's bonus against Undead and Fiends, just way more extreme.
    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    the competition is for function, not fluff.

    Wizard with epic boon per long rest:
    2 x 40d6 x 752x5ft squares (average is 280 damage between the 2)
    at 5280ft range (1.6 km)

    The number of metallic targets is something of a puzzle. For example, are metallic monsters metallic? Some are. How does that compare with a Paladin's undead or fiends? Probably a lot smaller. But what about other metal based abilities?

    Well, in a future city, the character is like a god on their home plane, but in a stone castle, this is probably 2 orders of magnitude less. A Portcullis, iron gate, or army of men in plate armor is easy,
    a stone wall, oak door, or army of men in leather with javelins is super hard.

    planes of water and air could be extremely sparse of metal bits, and water could disrupt any contact zap powers.


    One short cut is introducing a new type of damage: Magnetic. That could scare people and isn't necessary with Force damage. Force damage allows you to simulate gravity damage, like crushing a metallic construct in on itself Magneto Style, but also simulate railgun damage, which has a different damage profile from traditional pierce or bludgeon.

    Messing with the mechanics of Catapult and Telekinesis is probably a good idea. Wizard, Rogue, and Fighter can each clear 240 in one turn. Thus, it is not setting precedent to say "target is 200-300 damage before exhausting resources, with 200+ in short order".

    Animated Objects cast at 9th level summons 360-450 hp of attackers clearing 90-180/round for 10 rounds. That obviously implies 180-360 in 2 rounds, which i think is the point someone was making with their use of Iron Sand.

    Simply amping damage vs. metal constructs/creatures, perhaps by way of the rogue's "any hit you score against a creature that is surprised is a critical hit" reflavored as "any hit you score against a creature that is metal is a critical hit"

    Statistically, getting surprise is higher frequency over 20 game sessions than getting metal creatures.

    meanwhile one of the constructs in Tasha's has a foot note "does triple damage vs. objects".

    By defaulting to triple or double vs. a tight group, you can half/third the optimal die pools in other areas. People who remember the old psionic ability "detonate", or the spell "shatter" will be familiar with this concept of the "and then there's this tiny group of creatures that are super weak vs. this one spell/effect"
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-18 at 08:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Make a custom spell (some sort of ray) that simulates a rust monsterís attack and spam that

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Make a custom spell (some sort of ray) that simulates a rust monsterís attack and spam that
    there's some potential in this as a side effect, its looking like 5 attacks for a sword and 10-12 attacks for a golem, which wouldn't be terrible if following the Eldritch Blast or Animate Objects model of "this spell has variable attacks".

    Another variant on this idea of decaying things is the Exhaustion damage inflicted by Sickening Radiance, which applies 1 tick of Exhaustion per failed save +4d10. Our group defined this spell as Deadly radiation and had it melting things to sludge, but i suppose an anti-metal version could work...

    magnetic induction can turn solid cold steel into blobs while also levitating them.

    (better in fast forward or frequent skips)


    "dismantling" or continuous induction/force damage, AC erosion bundles, and so on.

    Attacking AC/dmg eldritch blast style (1-4 attacks = 1-4 points +1-4d10) of metal allows for stuff like rapid destruction of metal doors, weapons, armor, and golems. Tossing in a level adjustment non cantrip version which scales like catapult/animated object
    (+2 attacks/spell slot, up to 18 attacks, or +1die/+1 attack, up to 11d8) would allow the class to quickly charge up to very high Armor Class Damage for the cost of high level spell slots.



    The railgun attack is more of a raw/force damage linear attack. Making it an attack roll instead of a saving throw for half also avoids the magical transparency issue. Setting up 2-3 spells: Light Railgun (C), Railgun (5th), Heavy Railgun (9th) allows the distinctions between flicking quarters for consistent damage, vs. the pushing of a satellite into her magnetic coils to create a large satellite station destroying attack in Low Orbit. The 9th level version can probably hit range 1 mile/40d6 force attack roll vs. AC,
    the cantrip can hit 4 dice with short range. Skipping Light and jumping straight to 5th level allows you to give the attack something like a 600 ft range and healthy 50-80 damage range. Being an attack roll, damage can critical, so you could have something like 6-7d8 Force but the chance of a critical, which could eek the damage cap higher.
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-19 at 03:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Psionic Class Competition: Design the Railgun Class!

    Seems like a full Magneto-style railgun class need not be psionic; and a psionic class need not be limited to electric/magnetic effects.

    My own take on psionics has a few basic design principles:
    • Use pseudo-scientific-sounding lingo, to honor the 20th-century pseudoscience of psychic powers that partially inspired the 2E Psionics rules.
    • The brain is a muscle that operates via electromagnetism; this is usually used to manipulate ones own nervous system (advancement of nonmagical abilities like fighters & rogues) or to interface with external fields and energy sources (advancement in magical disciplines) but if you train and exercise it, it could grow stronger just like any other muscle and directly affect the nearby environment.
    • The "fuel" for psionic effects is the psion's own vitality, just like the fuel for training and using other muscles. You grow a store of PSPs as you level up but you can also cannibalize your own health to power psionics (at your own risk!) when your energy stores run dry.
    • Because you aren't drawing on a masssive external energy field like magic, psionic abilities tend to be weaker than magical spells; OTOH the use of them is not bound by structural limitations like level-based slots, arcane rituals, per-day/per-round limits, etc. The psion is not artillery, but it is extremely flexible and generally a support character.
    • IRL, electromagnetism underlies the entire physical world: it binds atoms and molecules together and makes matter tactile; it gives objects density and thus affects space and time; it mediates thermodynamics and thus affects all manner of energy; etc.
    • Therefore even though the class is based on electromagnetism, most of the traditional psionic powers are in play: telekinesis (manipulating kinetic energy and physical objects), pyrokinesis (manipulating electricity and heat), telepathy (directly affecting the brains of other sentient beings), "biokinesis" (formerly psychometabolism, applying psionics to boost your own body's systems), and clairsentience (manipulating space and time, but only in regard to your cognition and perception). Psychoportation is out, because it does not seem to be based on electromagnetism and stuff like opening teleportation portals is too "magical" for this psionic concept.
    • There is no "pure" psion, but only multiclasses. You train in psionics to support and enhance your main career, be it as a fighter, scout, thief, or spellcaster. So while the concept is derived from the 2E source, the classes are more akin to the 3E and later models of 'psionic warrior,' 'psionic rogue,' etc. (Though TBH that decision was largely down to how the class plays specifically in the Baldur's Gate games.)

    You can build a character in different directions. You don't have to just be Gambit, accelerating exploding coins at enemies' cars. A psionic warrior could be as effective focusing on clairsentience to gain advantages in battle as one using the perhaps more obvious powers of telekinesis or biokinesis. Depending on your power choices, a single class can be built out in many different directions, while remaining under the same conceptual umbrella and without needing recourse to subclasses.

    I'm not up on 5E class design styles, so sorry for not formatting it that way.

    I can't post links but the full write up is at:

    gibberlings3.net/forums/topic/31024-will-to-power-a-2e-inspired-psionics-mod
    Last edited by subtledoctor; 2021-01-21 at 12:12 PM.

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