log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Giving the arcane gish an identity.

Frozen_Heart

Explorer
It's true that many tables allow players to ignore all the class theme. You could have a cleric without a god, a warlock without a patron, or a paladin without an oath.

But just as many enforce the theme in a strict manner, as seen by numerous threads on here and reddit. Many tables consider class to be central to the classes identity, and will not allow it to be reflavoured. This can be seen with the "I hate hexblades" thread going on right now.

So sure, with my current DM I have completely reflavoured my hexblade into a frost themed swordmage (to the point where eldritch blast does cold damage). But if I tried playing something similar as a different table, I'd be told that I had to have a shadowfell patron and be all edgy as the class fluff demands.

That is why 'just reflavour' isn't a valid argument. Because in many tables that's largely not allowed.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That is why 'just reflavour' isn't a valid argument. Because in many tables that's largely not allowed.

Many people forget that the DM makes the lore and the player creates a character within that lore.

Reflavoring doesn't always work as you can't be the DM and the player.

Getting a DM to accept a whole class can sometimes be easier than injecting world-changing lore into a DM's world and hoping they accept it.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Many people forget that the DM makes the lore and the player creates a character within that lore.

Reflavoring doesn't always work as you can't be the DM and the player.

Getting a DM to accept a whole class can sometimes be easier than injecting world-changing lore into a DM's world and hoping they accept it.
Yep. Like in Eberron, in my world it's easier to just make up new lore to add a race that doesn't exist in it than change the main lore to squeeze in a character idea from the already existing lore.
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
Here's a quote from the PHB's "Classes" section:

*See the emboldened parts that prove my point, and then the examples below it for even more proof that theme/flavor is a part of your class. If you need even more, see the table below that shows the 12 different classes and gives a completely theme/flavor-based "Description" section of the table.

Your table runs it differently from how the game is written. That's fine. Just don't try to use your table's playstyle/houserule to try and invalidate my argument anymore, please.

I think you got that confused, as Warlocks recharge spells on a short rest and don't have sorcery points. I would know what class you are automatically when you use one of your abilities. Even if you went out of your way to avoid saying them, I could eventually narrow it down based on the spells you cast and how you recharged your spell slots.

Even if you mentioned absolutely no class features or spells, made no mention of your hit dice or anything else mechanical that could give you away, if you played it by the books, I could figure out what class you were at the first time you or anyone else said "Spellbook", "Tome of Shadows", "Imp/Quasit/Sprite/Pseudodragon familiar", "Pact Weapon", "Talisman", or "Otherworldly Patron".

Classes are a thing because of flavor. If there was no flavor or theme, it would just be mechanics and characters would only be chosen based on who was the most mechanically effective. Classes were made not to give a pool of different mechanics, they were made to give mechanics to fulfill a theme/idea that someone had for a class. This isn't some "chicken or the egg" riddle (the answer to that is egg), it's "do people create classes to have different mechanics, or do they create mechanics to fill different classes' thematic niches?", to which the answer is undeniably the latter.

Dude (and I mean this as a gender-neutral dude, I was raised by a Californian mother), you're comparing Apples (Classes), Oranges (backgrounds), Bananas (feats), Blueberries (skills), and Strawberries (race), and trying to replace all parts of a fruit salad with just one or two fruits.

Like in my example, if the Rogue class said "Rogues are sneaky and good at sleight of hand", but gave them no features that let them take the Stealth or Sleight of Hand skills, and someone was complaining about that, it would not be a valid argument to say "well, just choose X-background/race/feat!". Dude, just no. That's not how it works. The class says that it's sneaky and quick with their hands, so the class should have a mechanic that let's them do that. It would be even more disingenuous to say "well, just wait X-levels to choose X-feat instead of actually improving your rogue features if you want that part of the rogue theme!", hopefully for obvious reasons. If a class's flavor text gives you a theme, the class's mechanics should give you that theme.

I'm a little late to the party, but couldn't help but notice you bolded the wrong part of the PHB.

Class is the prirnary definition of what your character
can do.
It's more than a profession; it's your character's
calling. Class shapes the way you think about the
world and interact with it and your relationship with
other people and powers in the multiverse.

Class defines what you can do, and how you can do it. It is far more than a profession. It is your tool set, but it doesn't make you your tools. We don't call everyone who uses a wrench a mechanic, and we don't call everyone who swings a sword a fighter.

See the next couple lines from the PHB.

A fighter, for example, might view the world in pragmatic terms
of strategy and maneuvering, and see herself as just a
pawn in a much larger game. A cleric, by contrast, might
see himself as a willing servant in a god's unfolding plan
or a conflict brewing among various deities.

Did you notice the words I bolded? Might. Your character might see themselves that way. Then again, they might not.

Class can be everything in the PH, but it can also be modified by settings, new books (Tasha, etc.,) table preference, 3rd party expansions, errata, JC's twitter, and any other darn thing that a particular group wants to toy with. What remains the same through the majority of those tweaks is the mechanics far more often than the fluff. I have never once run into a DM that wouldn't happily let me adjust fluff to match a character concept. That's in 30 years playing this game. Class is the chassis we use for the mechanical base of our character and nothing more.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Many people forget that the DM makes the lore and the player creates a character within that lore.
I built my game world with loads of open spaces to fit new player concepts ... Creating a new class flavor wise no biggy ... creating one mechanically sound can be a bigger deal.
 


Step one of giving a gish identity would be tying it to a setting

The base game is purposely generic, and there's already the eldritch knight and bladesinger (or a fighter/ wizard multiclass) that does generic
Flavor that isn't generic adds a role and lore to the world. Which may not fit people's homebrew or existing settings. If they're "elite guardians of an ancient elven empire" then the world needs an ancient elven empire

What made the artificer the only modern class with legs is the strong tie to Eberron that might fit other settings. It didn't try to do everything

Looking at Dark Sun or Dragonlance and looking at what a gish there would look like might give the best inspiration
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I built my game world with loads of open spaces to fit new player concepts ... Creating a new class flavor wise no biggy ... creating one mechanically sound can be a bigger deal.

Not every DM does that.and many DMs dont like you messing with their baby if they do make one.

This is why it is important that the arcane warrior has a story identity that can fit into many settings. This allows players an edge into getting a concept into a setting.

My two suggestions are

1) the Gish is a warrior who uses discarded warrior magic unused but crated by full casters. Spells a wizard could or woud never use find a home in this arcane warriors. Weapon and armor enhancements with a few defensive and utility spells.

Subclasses are Arcane Heritages
Swordmage
Duskblade
Runic Hammer
Gith Blade


2) the Gish are experiment of arcanists. Creation of the Perfect Soldier TM with the power of arcane magic. Arcane magic is used to infuse warriors with special abilities and they are taught some magic as a way to understand their powers

Subclasses are Arcane Specialization

Librarian Arcana Specialization
Techmarine Artifice Specialization
Chaplain Divine Specialization
Apothecary Potion Specialization
Chaos Curse Specialization
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'm a little late to the party, but couldn't help but notice you bolded the wrong part of the PHB.
I bolded the part meant to prove my point against that specific argument. The other is also important for another part of the argument, but wasn't pertaining to the discussion.
Class defines what you can do, and how you can do it. It is far more than a profession. It is your tool set, but it doesn't make you your tools. We don't call everyone who uses a wrench a mechanic, and we don't call everyone who swings a sword a fighter.
It's your toolset. Different classes have different toolsets. You don't call someone that uses a wrench a coder. You don't call someone that uses a sword a psychologist. You don't call someone that uses a jackhammer a brain surgeon, or someone that has a scalpel a sniper. Different toolsets determine what tools you have available, and your profession determines that toolset, thus some version of the inverse is also true (that what tools you have/use can determine/show what category/profession you fit in).
See the next couple lines from the PHB.

Did you notice the words I bolded? Might. Your character might see themselves that way. Then again, they might not.
Might, as in suggesting that members of that class are more inclined to those viewpoints than members of other classes and that the generalizations, although not absolutely true all of the time, bear some significant amount of truth to them.
Class can be everything in the PH, but it can also be modified by settings, new books (Tasha, etc.,) table preference, 3rd party expansions, errata, JC's twitter, and any other darn thing that a particular group wants to toy with. What remains the same through the majority of those tweaks is the mechanics far more often than the fluff. I have never once run into a DM that wouldn't happily let me adjust fluff to match a character concept. That's in 30 years playing this game. Class is the chassis we use for the mechanical base of our character and nothing more.
And like I said, I overall agree with that, but again, like I said, there is a line. To me, reflavoring Paladins/Rangers as an Arcane Gish is crossing that line, because it isn't just the theme that's different, it's the mechanics.
 

Not every DM does that.and many DMs dont like you messing with their baby if they do make one.

This is why it is important that the arcane warrior has a story identity that can fit into many settings. This allows players an edge into getting a concept into a setting.

My two suggestions are

1) the Gish is a warrior who uses discarded warrior magic unused but crated by full casters. Spells a wizard could or woud never use find a home in this arcane warriors. Weapon and armor enhancements with a few defensive and utility spells.

Subclasses are Arcane Heritages
Swordmage
Duskblade
Runic Hammer
Gith Blade


2) the Gish are experiment of arcanists. Creation of the Perfect Soldier TM with the power of arcane magic. Arcane magic is used to infuse warriors with special abilities and they are taught some magic as a way to understand their powers

Subclasses are Arcane Specialization

Librarian Arcana Specialization
Techmarine Artifice Specialization
Chaplain Divine Specialization
Apothecary Potion Specialization
Chaos Curse Specialization
I'd rather not preserve the default reality of the game where martials eat the casters' trash.

How about they're a revolutionary group of aracanist who blend older mystic traditions with martial traditions. Not just casting spells and swinging swords, but using magic as part of their weapon attacks and defense.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I'd rather not preserve the default reality of the game where martials eat the casters' trash.

How about they're a revolutionary group of aracanist who blend older mystic traditions with martial traditions. Not just casting spells and swinging swords, but using magic as part of their weapon attacks and defense.
K
That works


You are a member of a revolutionary or secretive group of arcanist warriors who mystic traditions with martial traditions. You ave not only learned to combine spellslinging and swordplay but have learning to embue your body to utilize this ancient techniques in to their highest ability.

LevelProf BonusFeaturesCantrips Known1st2nd3rd4th5th
1+2Cantrips, Arcane Enhancement2
2+2Fighting Style, Spellcasting22
3+2Arcane Channeling, Arcane Heritage Feature23
4+2Ability Score Improvement23
5+2Extra Attack242
6+2242
7+2Arcane Heritage Feature243
8+2Ability Score Improvement243
9+42432
10+43432
11+4Arcane Heritage Feature3433

you gain the following class features.


Hit Points​


Hit Dice: 1d10 per gish level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your gish modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per gish level after 1st


Proficiencies​

Armor: Light armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Aranca, Athletics, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, and Sleight of hand


Equipment​

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) padded armor or (b) leather armor
  • (a) a longsword or (b) two simple melee weapons
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows

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

Arcane Enhancement
You have studied ancient mystic traditions in order to magically alter your body with arcane gifts.

At 1st level, you gain arcane enchancements of your choice. Your enhancement options are detailed at the end of the class description. When you gain certain gish levels, you gain additional enhancements of your choice, as shown in the Invocations Known column of the Gish table.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the enhancement you know and replace it with another enhancement that you could learn at that level.

If an arcane enhancement has prerequisites, you must meet them to learn it. You can learn the enhancement at the same time that you meet its prerequisites. A level prerequisite refers to your level in this class.

Acid Tongue
You know acid splash and can cast it without it somatic component. When you take the Attack action, you can replash a single weapon attack with acid splash.

Aegis of Ensnarement
Prerequisite: aegis cantrip
When a creature triggers your aegis, you may choose you teleport the targe to am empty space within 5t of you instead of teleport to it.

Brilliant Blade
You know the light cantrip. When you make a mele spell attack with you weapon, you can change any fire or cold damage deal to radiant damage.

Double Aegis
Prerequisite: aegis cantrip
When you cast aegis, you can target 2 creatures provided that they are no more than 20 feet apart

Gishspear
Prerequisite: gishblade cantrip
You may cast gishblade using a peircing weapon.

Liver of Potions
You enchant your liver to create and release healing potions in your body. As a bonus action you can get HP as if you drank a potion of healing. You can do this a number of times equal your proficency modifier plus your Constitution modifier (minimum 1). You regain all uses of this enhancement after a long rest.

Mageblood
Prerequisite: 2nd level
Whenever you can a spell of the 1st level or higher, you can expend hit die equal to the spell's level to gain hit points.

Magegait
You can cast longstrider on yourself at wlll, without expending a spell slot. You may instead have your speed increase a number of feet equal to your Constitution score.

Swift Ward
You can cast blade ward as a bonus action or a reaction.

Weapon Bond


Spellcasting

Arcane Channeling

Beginning at 3rd level, you can use an action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through your weapon with a melee attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action or less. If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect of the spell is resolved.

Arcane Heritage Feature

Ability Score Improvement

Extra Attack
 
Last edited:

Acid Tongue
You know acid splash and can cast it without it somatic component. When you take the Attack action, you can replash a single weapon attack with acid splash.
Without the AoO?
Gishaxe
Prerequisite: gishblade cantrip
You may cast gishblade using a battleaxe, greataxe, or handaxe.
I don't see the gishblade cantrip, but is there a reason you can't just use any weapon with it other than people who aren't hated enough complaining that the spell has 'blade' in the name?
Liver of Potions
You enchant your liver to create and relaase healing potions in your body. As a bonus action you can get HP as if youdrain a potion of healing. You can do this a numer of times equal your proficency modier plus your Constitution modifer (mininum 1). You regain all uses of this enhancement after a long rest.
I like this. I'd like to see a further enhancement that lets you do it as a Reaction.
Mageblood
Prerequisite: 2nd level
Whenever you can a spell ofthe 1st level or higher, you can expend hit die equal to the spell's level to gain hit points.
Like this one too.
Swift Ward
Youcan cast blade ward asabonus action or a reaction.
Ditto
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
Acid Tongue
You know acid splash and can cast it without it somatic component. When you take the Attack action, you can replash a single weapon attack with acid splash.

Are you intentionally replacing a single weapon attack with a cantrip that scales with level? That seems a bit OP.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Without the AoO?
Spells don't provoke.

I don't see the gishblade cantrip, but is there a reason you can't just use any weapon with it other than people who aren't hated enough complaining that the spell has 'blade' in the name?
"Gishblade"
Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon that deals slashing damage)
Duration: 1 round

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects plus an additional 1d4 fire damage. The weapon is also magical.

Are you intentionally replacing a single weapon attack with a cantrip that scales with level? That seems a bit OP.
It's not really. You deal more damage with the weapon attack most of the time.

Acid splash is only 1d6 and tops off at 4d6. And there are very few ways to boost its damage.
 

ECMO3

Explorer
I think you got that confused, as Warlocks recharge spells on a short rest and don't have sorcery points. I would know what class you are automatically when you use one of your abilities. Even if you went out of your way to avoid saying them, I could eventually narrow it down based on the spells you cast and how you recharged your spell slots.

Even if you mentioned absolutely no class features or spells, made no mention of your hit dice or anything else mechanical that could give you away, if you played it by the books, I could figure out what class you were at the first time you or anyone else said "Spellbook", "Tome of Shadows", "Imp/Quasit/Sprite/Pseudodragon familiar", "Pact Weapon", "Talisman", or "Otherworldly Patron".
I did mean sorcerer not warlock when I said sorcerery points, but to further my point a warlock can summon any of the normal familiars in find familiar, a wizard does not even have to take that as a spell and a sorcerer (or any other class) can get it through a feat. A Warlock, Sorcerer or Wizard (or any other spellcaster) can get up to 4 1st level spells from any other casters spell list. So even if I cast find familiar, you would not necessarily know I was a wizard or a warlock or something else simply form that. Sure you can make an educated guess.

You would know what class I was automatically if I said things like "arcane recovery" or mentioned a specific subclass at the table. Any character can have a spellbook which they cast rituals from. If we sat down to rest and you asked the DM specifically if my character was studying a spellbook then sure you would know (or at least have a pretty good idea).

To give an extreme example using someone who is not even a caster; I have a 4th level Arcane trickster and she can cast as many spells per day as a 4th level full caster (7) and her spells include spells unique to the the Warlock, Cleric and Wizard lists (Hex, charm person, tashas laughter, silent image, shield, inflict wounds, misty step, invisibility). Most of the time she sarries a staff (staff of defense), although she rarely attacks with it, but it gives her even 1 more spell (mage armor). Can you figure out how I made that build? I am sure you can, and if you were at the table you would probably guess what class she was pretty quickly, or even know it outright if a fight broke out but that is by focusing on mechanics, not personality or role playing.


Classes are a thing because of flavor. If there was no flavor or theme, it would just be mechanics and characters would only be chosen based on who was the most mechanically effective. Classes were made not to give a pool of different mechanics, they were made to give mechanics to fulfill a theme/idea that someone had for a class. This isn't some "chicken or the egg" riddle (the answer to that is egg), it's "do people create classes to have different mechanics, or do they create mechanics to fill different classes' thematic niches?", to which the answer is undeniably the latter.
You can lean into a theme with a class, but you can also lean away from it. I will grant that there is a limit in a lot of classes. For example you can't play a barbarian that is a powerful spell caster. That is impossible. Even playing one with a lot of combat spells at low level (below level 5) is problematic because of the mechanics that get in the way of using them. But even with a Barbarian you can take subclasses like Guardian, wild magic or zealot that mix in magic with your fighting.

For this post my position and argument is that the available classes enable you to do a GISH very well. I think Sorcerer would be pretty darn difficult to GISH (maybe there is a way I am not thinking of). But with the right choices you can make a very viable GISH with any other class using class, subclass and optional rules as presented. There are limits, certainly and not every class can do a specific themed GISH. But the Bladesinger and EK in particular do it very well with a lot of different options and play styles on the table to include heavily melee focused GISH, heavy spell focused GISH and in between and there is overlap available in these subclassess too. An all out melee focused bladesinger is going to be more of a "melee build" GISH than an all out "magic focused" EK. Of the two the available tradespace is substantially larger with the wizard.


Dude (and I mean this as a gender-neutral dude, I was raised by a Californian mother), you're comparing Apples (Classes), Oranges (backgrounds), Bananas (feats), Blueberries (skills), and Strawberries (race), and trying to replace all parts of a fruit salad with just one or two fruits.
I am saying you can use all those things to make a fruit salad if you want or you can use those things to make a smoothie and just because you grow and intend your apples to be used in fruit salad, does not mean I can't use them in my smoothie if I buy them from you.

Like in my example, if the Rogue class said "Rogues are sneaky and good at sleight of hand", but gave them no features that let them take the Stealth or Sleight of Hand skills, and someone was complaining about that, it would not be a valid argument to say "well, just choose X-background/race/feat!". Dude, just no. That's not how it works. The class says that it's sneaky and quick with their hands, so the class should have a mechanic that let's them do that. It would be even more disingenuous to say "well, just wait X-levels to choose X-feat instead of actually improving your rogue features if you want that part of the rogue theme!", hopefully for obvious reasons. If a class's flavor text gives you a theme, the class's mechanics should give you that theme.
Rogues can be better at any skill they choose than any other character. I play more Rogues than anything else and most of Rogues I play have proficiency in stealth but few have proficiency in SOH (there are simply better abilities available).

Almost all of the Rogues I play have expertise in athletics (even those with 8 strength, which is common). This makes them "good" at many strength-focused tasks right out of the gate and downright awesome at higher levels. With cunning action stealth or steady aim these characters can be as good as a raging barbarian at in-combat athletics checks at low level and better at high levels (assuming the Barbarian does not get expertise through a feat).

That is without using any feats and while building a pretty "standard" Rogue in terms of ability scores. Optimize a Rogue for this kind of fighting with a 14 strength, an Arcane trickster subclass a feat that gets him hex (to give the enemy disadvantage strength/dex checks) and a feat that gets him advantage to attack grappled creatures and a Rogue can outdue any other character in this type of "brutish" fighting style. Open up with hex and grapple and then you have automatic advantage every round there after while you stab him with a Rapier until the enemy uses an action to break it. No need to roll to hide or to stop moving for advantage and with cunning action you can drag the grappled enemy anywhere around the battlefield up to your full movement. The automatic advantage every turn and the hex damage are going to make up for the missed potential first turn sneak attack pretty quick (and the first turn is when sneak is most difficult to get anyway).

Now that is a Rogue optimized for that combat style, he probably dumped Charisma and maybe Wisdom so is not going to be the awesome face that most of my Rogues tend to be, but it is a very viable build.


And, again, you keep pretending like feats aren't optional, or at least are accepting it in the most grating way possible. I've been in campaigns where feats weren't allowed, I have friends that don't allow feats in their campaigns, and I've even met some players that hate playing with feats (which I absolutely cannot fathom from the standpoint of a PC).

Most tables that do not allow feats are not going to allow homebrew classes either.

Feats are in the rules. A reimagined GISH is not. So I think if we are arguing about how to enable a certain type of character, arguing to use the rules that are already available is a viable argument.


First off, you're highly understating the tradeoff. You're trading bladesong (+10 movement speed, +INT mod to AC, +INT to Concentration saves, and the minor benefit of advantage on Acrobatics), Song of Defense (negating damage with spell slots as a reaction), and Song of Victory (+Int to damage while bladesinging). It matters because you're trading all of that in order to get one feature (two if you count the minor benefit of the light armor proficiency to make it easier to get medium/heavy armor proficiency). That's a huge tradeoff to be able to kind-of replicate your theme, and not even in the way that I want. I don't want to play a bladesinger, if I did, I would play one. I want to play a spell-striking Gish, which the Bladesinger does not do a good job at replicating.
I don't see it as a big tradeoff for the kind of character you are building.

The tradeoff is not as big as you are making it out to be. At 20 intelligence you are talking about +3AC in bladesong as compared to medium armor with no shield. That is also only in bladesong, out of bladesong your AC is worse, but I admit you will be in bladesong for most of the tough fights. Typically it requires 2 ASIs to get to 20, so someone taking feats (assuming they are available) would have medium armor and GWM by the same time you have a 20 INT.

So just looking at the tradeoff here you are talking bout 3 less AC to do 2d6 base weapon damage, the option to do+10 weapon damage, plus have a bonus action attack on every crit or every time you kill an enemy. That is hardly an overwhelmingly bad trade.

Yes when you would be in bladesong you also lose 10 feet of movement, advantage on acrobatics and the bonus to conentration saves as well as the higher-level abilities. If those things matter to you then don't do a Greatsword wielding build, but I have not seen anyone talking about a GISH mention those things as being important and they are really only relevant for 6 minutes a day or less (albeit the 6 minutes you really want them).

The whole point I am trying to make is that you can bring a viable armored heavy weapon GISH mixing melee and spells to the table. I did not say there were not more powerful builds available, but that is there in the rulees as presented.


2) There's a huge mechanical advantage to Bladesong (+INT mod to AC and Concentration checks, +10 speed, access to the 10th and 14th level features), too. Maybe Sneak Attack isn't a good comparison, I think Rage is more equivalent. Someone that wants to play a barbarian with a high AC almost definitely won't wear Heavy Armor, because that prevents them from using Rage, Relentless Rage, and a ton of subclass features.
A Barbarian has unarmored defense, which is similar to an always on bladesong in terms of AC boost. That said a lot of barbarians wear armor and completely ignore this ability. Are they "giving up too much" if they wear medium armor?

Yes a heavy armor barbarian is probably not viable, but other atypical Barbarian builds are.

We have talked earlier about a sneaky Barbarian build or one that fights a lot like a Rogue. Among other things, Rage gives a damage bonus on strength-based attacks, but I think it would be entirely viable to do an 8 Strength Barbarian with maxed con and dex and good social abilities and be a finesse weapon/archer character and just not take this extra damage. They would still get the other benefits like reckless attack, damage resistance, danger sense, and the advantage on strength checks would compensate some for their strength score meaning they could still be "good" with Athletics proficiency and advantage. Sure they would lose the Rage damage bonus, but they could do a lot other things.

Pulling this "Rogish Barbarian" thread a little more, with the right subclass they could get dash as a bonus action and give enemies disadvantage on all AOOs (no action required). Not quite the same as cunning action but covering a lot of the same ground thematically and actually mechanically better if you want to melee attack and dash on the same turn. You can give yourself advantage on every attack in a turn, not just the first after you succeed on a hide check or don't move. To add insult to injury you can actually give yourself advantage at will AND even take dash as a bonus action to double your already higher movement rate. They don't have the Sneak attack the Rogue gets, and at high levels that is going to leave some damage on the table (mitigated substantially by extra attack and reckless attack) but they have better AC, a ton more hps, generally better damage resistance, better saves including most dex saves, and comparable mobility.

For the finale let's bring up an eagle totem Goblin barbarian. Now with a bonus action you can do every single thing that a base Rogue can do with cunning action. On top of that you still give enemies disadvantage on AOOs even if you do not take disengage as an action or bonus action. You have a higher movement rate than Rogues, meaning BA dash is worth more and your overall mobility in combat is flat better than most Rogues and comparable to a swashbuckler. That is before you add any feats to lean further into this build.

So what were you saying again that I can't play my pirate Barbarian like a Rogue in combat?

I did say "heavy armor", didn't I? Just checked. Yes, I did. That's 3 feats. Wizards get 5 ASIs. That's 60% of your ASIs and 12 levels that you have to use to just get the armor/shield/weapon proficiencies that an Arcane Gish class would give you in 1 level. Even if you say "just be a Variant Human/Mountain Dwarf/Githyanki/Custom Lineage!", that's 2 feats (well, still three for a Mountain Dwarf or Githyanki that wants Shields)
Keep in mind both weapon master and moderately armored are half feats, so a character that takes these two instead of ASIs are one ASI behind another character, not two ASIs behind and someone who takes these and heavily armored are 1.5 ASIs behind another character who took 3 ASIs. With that in mind, these three feats are 30% of your ASIs, not 60%.

It is two feats for a Gith/Dwarf if they want shields - moderately armored and heavy armored. These classes get weapons with their race. And again these are both half feats, so they are down 1 ASI to do it. It is three feats for another character, including a V. human or custom who get weapon master at 1st.

Moreover, yes if you puprosely go out of your way to choose a race that does not have weapon proficiencies or armor proficiencies relevant to the character you want to build; then it will take more feats or class features to build that character. This is kind of a strawman though because you need to make specific choices counter to the mechanics you say you are looking for. Even if you do that though you can still build that character. It will not be as optimized, but it is still on the table.

Just like building a greatsword-wielding character of any class and you decide to you pick a Halfling, Goblin, Kobold or Gnome as your race. It will be very hard to make that character even decent in combat and it will never be optimized. It will take a ton of levels and specific class/subclass choices and spells to make it work "ok" even. Similarly, if you are building a greatsword bladesinger and you go out of your way to pick a race that does not work well with that class, then you will have a harder time making it viable.

that you have to use that otherwise could have gone to GWM, Crusher/Slasher/Piercer, Fey-Touched, capping out your INT score, or another feat. Additionally, an Arcane Gish class would give you a Fighting Style at level 2, so in order to replicate that, you'd have to expend another feat (and that wouldn't include the Arcane Warrior fighting style that the class would get, which would be a Wizard version of Divine/Druidic Warrior from TCoE).
So you are going to give this character a fighting style (something even a Barbarian does not get as a full martial). Then you are going to give him heavy armor proficiency which can be stacked with many spells on his list, most notably shield. At second level, this character could have an effective 26AC without concentrating, so he can stack a concentration spell on top of that! By comparison a Paladin (the top martial half caster) has 23 max AC while concentrating at 2nd level. You have a character that is already over the top right here and you are going to put icing on the cake by letting him cast full blown leveled spells as part of the attack action?

All the Arcane GISH suggestions I have seen are WAY more powerful than any classes currently on the table, this one included. Bladesinger itself is already OP if you lean into a defensive play style, this would be way on top of that even.

If you want a balanced arcane GISH bladesinger can do that and EK does do that.

Even so, this is completely besides the point. The nitpick in me forced myself to point out your error with counting the amount of feats required. This tangent is now becoming a red herring, because a class would solve all of this with one level and not require any ASIs to be used on the class identity.
Except the class would have way too much if it got those things for free and ASIs on top of that which could be used to bump abilities.

FEATS ARE NO SUBSTITUTION FOR CLASS FEATURES
FEATS ARE (optional) CLASS FEATURES


Why? Why is that a "reasonable stance"? I cannot understand it at all. By the same argument, why aren't Rangers a Druid or Rogue or Fighter subclass? Why aren't Paladins a Cleric or Fighter subclass? Why is it reasonable to let a Primal Gish class exist (Ranger), a Divine Gish class exist (Paladin), but not an Arcane Gish?
First off a Paldin and a Ranger can be an Arcane GISH, and an Artificer is by any measure, so I can argue thereare already mutliple full classes built that support this. Generally spells in 5E are not broken into arcane and divine, they are based on specific classes.

Now I do get that Paladin and Ranger probably don't have the spells you want on your spell list, and that for all these classes, some of their non-casting abilities probably don't lend themselves easily to the theme you are looking for.

No, because I didn't say that. I said that they should be able to Spell-Strike before level 11, not that they have to be able to use Lightning-Bolt in Spell Strike before 11th level (or if I did say that, I misspoke, and meant that spellstrike should be available before level 11, not the specific "lightning bolt-spell strike" combination).

In terms of theme, what exactly do you mean by "spellstrike", because I think that theme is already there.

It would not be OP unless you made it be so. I already have a rough-draft for a Spell-Strike feature that would make the feature not be OP (taking an action (eventually just a bonus action) beforehand to cast the spell, requiring concentration, giving the option of losing the spell if you miss enough, etc). Chromatic Orb is just one d8 higher in damage than a Divine Smite (and it's a more commonly-resisted/immune damage type), so I don't think that allowing a level 2 Arcane Gish use an action beforehand to store Chromatic Orb inside of their weapon to automatically deal its damage on the next turn to any target it hits would be OP.
Allowing an action spell to be cast as a bonus action at any level without using a limiting feature, such as sorcery points, is by itself is OP IMO. This breaks action economy and this is one of three areas the game designers have said should not be altered (along with I think concentration rules and something else). Classes, races and even spells that break action economy do this either by severely limited uses (action surge, metamagic), or they severely limit what can be done (cunning action, Goblin race, charger feat, haste ....) or both.

If you cast it as an action and limit it to a minute of concentration before it is released I think that it is OK but still pretty powerful. If you make it more than a minute before 10th level then yes it becomes OP because you are doing something similar to what an 11th level full caster can do and something they can do at most twice a day. There is a reason you can only cast contingency once a day until level 19.

In older editions this would not be as big a deal, but in 5E I think these two things are very powerful if not nerfed with a very short duration and limited uses.
 
Last edited:

"Gishblade"
Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon that deals slashing damage)
Duration: 1 round

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects plus an additional 1d4 fire damage. The weapon is also magical.
I would like this, which should be the core ability of the class to be way more customizable, so here's my fix:

"Arcane Assault"
Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon you wield)
Duration: 1 round

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects plus an additional 1d4 energy damage (see special). The weapon is also magical.

Special: When you take this cantrip, you may choose fire, cold, electrical or acid damage. The energy type you choose is the type of the additional damage dealt
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I would like this, which should be the core ability of the class to be way more customizable, so here's my fix:

"Arcane Assault"
Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon you wield)
Duration: 1 round

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects plus an additional 1d4 energy damage (see special). The weapon is also magical.

Special: When you take this cantrip, you may choose fire, cold, electrical or acid damage. The energy type you choose is the type of the additional damage dealt
I was thinking more to have the elements be based on Arcane Enhancements.

Fire + Burning
Cold + Restrained
Lightning + Disadvantage to weapon and spell attacks
Acid + AOE
 

I would like this, which should be the core ability of the class to be way more customizable, so here's my fix:

"Arcane Assault"
Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon you wield)
Duration: 1 round

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects plus an additional 1d4 energy damage (see special). The weapon is also magical.

Special: When you take this cantrip, you may choose fire, cold, electrical or acid damage. The energy type you choose is the type of the additional damage dealt
Worth changing the text to "within its reach" rather than "within 5 feet of you"?

Also, should this scale like other cantrips? Add an additional D8 or damage at 5/11/17th level?
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
Worth changing the text to "within its reach" rather than "within 5 feet of you"?

Also, should this scale like other cantrips? Add an additional D8 or damage at 5/11/17th level?

Should it scale? Yes, however, as Minigiant (I believe) pointed out above, most of your damage will be coming from the weapon. If that is accurate, then no, it doesn't need to scale.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top