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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Kobold

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    Default Cantrip specialization - Variant Class Feature

    This is just proof-of-concept so I'm not goint to format it or use language you'd expect from a rulebook.

    This variant class feature can be taken by any class with cantrips and replaces traditional spellcasting with the ability to improve cantrips. I think this is generally a nerf, but it allows you to play an "at will" caster, with some nice options.

    If the class prepares spells, they can either learn one cantrip or improve one cantrip per class level (or one for every 2 class levels for Artificers and Paladins with the Cantrip fighting style). So a 1st level Wizard would either have 5 cantrips, or 1 cantrip and 2 improved cantrips, or 3 cantrips and 1 improved cantrip.

    If the class has spells known, now they can either learn one cantrip or improve one cantrip per spell or cantrip known.

    Improved cantrips work exactly like cantrips in the sense that they can be cast at will, but they count as a leveled spell when cast as a bonus action, so you can't cast two improved cantrips in the same round. If you know an improved cantrip, you can choose to cast either the regular version, or the improved version.

    To improve a cantrip, you must have it on your class list and have the non-improved version, so a High-Elf Cleric can't improve the Firebolt cantrip they got from being an Elf.

    Here are some examples of Improved Cantrips (will add other ones later). I'll not use "rules language", because this is just to gauge how strong/weak this would be.

    Spoiler: Improved Wizard Cantrips from the PHB.
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    Acid Splash - You now deal the acid damage in a 10ft square. Creatures can Dex save for half.
    Blade Ward - If you are hit under the effets of Imp. Blade Ward, the attacker takes 1d10 force damage (that increases with levels)
    Chill Touch - The target can't regain hit points, and its hit point maximum is reduced by the same amount as the damage taken for 1 hour.
    Dancing Lights - No longer requires Concentration
    Fire Bolt - If you hit the target, it must succeed on a Dex save or catch on fire, taking the Firebolt damage every round until it somehow douses the flames. Multiple Firebolts don't stack. The target can attempt a new save at the end of every round.
    Friends - Duration becomes Concentration, up to 1 hour
    Light - The radius increases to 40ft+40ft, and it dispels darkness created by a spell of 2nd level or lower. At 5th, 11th, and 17th level, it dispels darkness created by a spell of 3rd, 6th, or 9th level or lower, respectively.
    Mage Hand - Can lift up to 50 pounds and you can use your Action to Shove as a Medium creature with it, using your Spellcasting Ability Modifier and proficiency bonus instead of your Strength (Athletics) modifier.
    Mending - Casting time of 1 Action and can mend objects broken in up to 5ft (instead of just 1ft). If cast on a Construct, it cures 1d8+spell casting mod Hit Points.
    Message - Works as the Telepathy spell but only lasts 1 hour, works up to 1 mile away. If you cast it again, the first spell ends.
    Minor Illusion - If used to create an image, works as Silent Image.
    Poison Spray - Deals damage in a 15ft cone. Creatures can Con save for half.
    Prestidigitation - Duration of 24 hours, can have up to 6 effects at once. No longer need to cast multiple times for multiple effects.
    Ray of Frost - If you hit, the target is Restrained until the begining of your next round.
    Shocking Grasp - If you hit, the target is Incapacitated until the begining of your next round.
    True Strike - No concentration required, can be cast as a Bonus Action (remember that Bonus Action improved cantrips preclude you from casting other improved cantrips that round).


    Once you reach 11th level, you can now learn master cantrips. To learn a master cantrip, you must have the improved version of the cantrip. Master cantrips otherwise work exactly like improved cantrips. If you know a master cantrip, you can choose to cast the regular version, the improved version, or the master version of the cantrip.

    Spoiler: Master Wizard Cantrips from the PHB. Will add other ones later
    Show

    Acid Splash - You now deal the acid damage in a 20ft radius sphere. Creatures can Dex save for half.
    Blade Ward - If you are hit under the effets of Master Blade Ward, the attacker takes 1d10 force damage (that increases with levels) and it must succeed on a Constitution save or be stunned until the beginning of your next round
    Chill Touch - As Improved Chill Touch and also curses the target (as the Bestow Curse spell) for 1 minute unless they succeed on a Wis save.
    Dancing Lights - As Improved Dancing Lights. You can use your Bonus Action every round to try to obfuscate a target's vision. The target must succeed on a Dex save or be Blinded for until the begining of your next round.
    Fire Bolt - As Improved Firbolt, but you can launch two bolts at once.
    Friends - As Charm Monster
    Light - As Improved Light, but the light within 20ft of the object counts as sun light.
    Mage Hand - Can lift up to 200 pounds and you can use your Action to Shove or Grapple as a Large creature with it, using your Spellcasting Ability Modifier and your proficiency bonus instead of your Strength (Athletics) modifier.
    Mending - Casting time of 1 Bonus Action and can mend objects broken in up to 10 ft (instead of just 1ft). If cast on a Construct, it cures 3d8+spell casting mod Hit Points.
    Message - Works as the Telepathy spell. If you cast it again, the first spell ends.
    Minor Illusion - Works as a Major Image spell.
    Poison Spray - Deals damage in a 60ft cone. Creatures can Con save for half.
    Prestidigitation - As Improved version but has a range of 120ftalso creates an Unseen Servant for the Duration. If cast again, the Unseen Servant is replaced.
    Ray of Frost - As Improved version, but after being hit, target must pass on a Con save or be paralyzed until the begining of your next round
    Shocking Grasp - As Improved version, but after being hit, three bolts then leap from the target to as many as three other Targets, each of which must be within 30 feet of the first target. A target of these bolts must make a Dexterity saving throw or suffer the same damage and effect as the main target.
    True Strike - As improved version but also grants a +10 bonus to the attack roll.


    So? PEACH!
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2021-02-26 at 12:14 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cantrip specialization - Variant Class Feature

    This is a straight upgrade to full casters, third casters, and Artificers.

    If you want to implement this, I would also implement bonuses for other classes.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Cantrip specialization - Variant Class Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    This is a straight upgrade to full casters, third casters, and Artificers.

    If you want to implement this, I would also implement bonuses for other classes.
    Is it? They'd lose a lot of versatility, and a lot of power. No more broken spells like Polymorph, Simulacrum, Magic Jar. No more defensive spells like Shield, Absorb Elements, Mirror Image. No more crowd control with Sleep, Hypnotic Pattern, Slow.

    Maybe over the course of an entire adventuring day they'd deal more damage, but they'd lose their ability to nova with Fireball and such.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Cantrip specialization - Variant Class Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Is it? They'd lose a lot of versatility, and a lot of power. No more broken spells like Polymorph, Simulacrum, Magic Jar. No more defensive spells like Shield, Absorb Elements, Mirror Image. No more crowd control with Sleep, Hypnotic Pattern, Slow.

    Maybe over the course of an entire adventuring day they'd deal more damage, but they'd lose their ability to nova with Fireball and such.
    Oh, I missed the "Replaces spellcasting."

    In which case... I'd never take this except MAYBE on a third-caster. It's such a massive downgrade.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Cantrip specialization - Variant Class Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Oh, I missed the "Replaces spellcasting."

    In which case... I'd never take this except MAYBE on a third-caster. It's such a massive downgrade.
    I know, right!

    The whole point is that it would allow players who want an at-will caster with more abilities than a couple of Eldritch Invocations. It's pretty much supposed to be weaker.

    Something that just popped into my mind. What if this made full casters become half-casters, and half/third casters lose all other spellcasting?

    So a Level 6 Wizard with this variant would cast as a level 6 Artificer, but would also have the improved cantrips. More balanced?
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2021-02-26 at 02:31 PM.

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