• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

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

I'd love it if the mobility mechanic supported both a "teleport" type of playstyle like the 4e swordmage had, and a "mega jump" type of playstyle like a Jedi or wuxia style character.

Unfortunately the jump rules and the Jump spell in this edition aren't anywhere near good enough to support that, they doesn't scale with level, spell slot, Athletics score, or anything else other than pure Strength score. So that's not going to work.

What if there was a movement mode ability in the base class that got modified in different ways by the subclasses ? eg What if the class got a version of Cunning Action (call it something like Battlefield Mobility or something like that?) that says " You can take a bonus action to Dash, this movement does not provoke Opportunity Attacks" and then the various subclasses had things like "When you use your Battlefield Mobility, you may jump for any or all of the movement, ", "When you use your Battlefield Mobility, you blur for the duration of the movement and gain advantage on your first attack after it on your turn", "When you use your Battlefield Mobility, you teleport instead of moving normally", etc etc.

This would give them something they could use frequently but comes at an action economy cost of their BA, meaning it would contend for other uses of their BA so they have meaningful choices to make.

Thoughts ?
so my above suggestion of a movement resource? I might suggest not all of them go toward teleporting around the battlefield as that would be dull.

what were our subclass ideas again?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Minigiant

Legend
I'd love it if the mobility mechanic supported both a "teleport" type of playstyle like the 4e swordmage had, and a "mega jump" type of playstyle like a Jedi or wuxia style character.

One think I liked about the 4e elementalist sorcerer is every element had it's one special movement. Perhaps that can be applied to the arcane gish?


Air: Flight
Earth: Burrowing
Fire: Extra walk speed
Light: Teleport
Shadow: Teleport
Water: Swim speed
 


  • Subclass similar to / inspired by OD&D Elf race - lightly armoured (proper elven chain anyone?), long sword + short sword
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by 4e Assault Sword mage - lightly armoured, 2H Sword
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by Jedi - unarmoured (improved mage armour?), Sunblade / radiant version of shadowblade / lightsaber
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by dusk blade - medium or (potentially at higher levels) heavy armour, any weapons
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by Shielding Swordmage - light or medium armour, 1H weapon + magical warding (magical shield effect from one empty hand)
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by The Witcher - no armour (superhuman stats & pure skill baby!), any weapon
okay first cut weapons out of it as they are not guaranteed.
so we got light armour, medium armour, heavy armour and unarmoured.
what mechanics do we give each of them?
 

Minigiant

Legend
What if we identify the arcane gish as martial archetypes of the wizard

  • Abjuration: BIG SHIELD
  • Conjuration: teleports behind you Nothing personal, orc.
  • Divination: Parry. Parry oh Parry. I see all your moves dude.
  • Enchantment: Blah blah blah. My mark is magic. You literally can't target the healer.
  • Evocation: So that's+1d6 fire damage plus +1d6 lightning damage. Out and +1d6 acid damage.
  • Illlusion: Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me?
  • Necromancy: My health is my health. Your health is my health. My undead flanker's health is my health.
  • Transmutation: pumps Venom into muscles
  • Nethermancy: My shadow is a reliable flanker.
 

Minigiant

Legend
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by OD&D Elf race - lightly armoured (proper elven chain anyone?), long sword + short sword
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by 4e Assault Sword mage - lightly armoured, 2H Sword
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by Jedi - unarmoured (improved mage armour?), Sunblade / radiant version of shadowblade / lightsaber
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by dusk blade - medium or (potentially at higher levels) heavy armour, any weapons
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by Shielding Swordmage - light or medium armour, 1H weapon + magical warding (magical shield effect from one empty hand)
  • Subclass similar to / inspired by The Witcher - no armour (superhuman stats & pure skill baby!), any weapon
okay first cut weapons out of it as they are not guaranteed.
so we got light armour, medium armour, heavy armour and unarmoured.
what mechanics do we give each of them?



  • Abjuration: Shielding Swordmage
  • Conjuration: Assault Swordmage
  • Divination: Jedi knight
  • Enchantment: MMO Tank
  • Evocation: Sith Inquisitor
  • Illusion: OD&D Elf
  • Necromancy: Duskblade
  • Transmutation: Witcher
 

What if we identify the arcane gish as martial archetypes of the wizard

  • Abjuration: BIG SHIELD
  • Conjuration: teleports behind you Nothing personal, orc.
  • Divination: Parry. Parry oh Parry. I see all your moves dude.
  • Enchantment: Blah blah blah. My mark is magic. You literally can't target the healer.
  • Evocation: So that's+1d6 fire damage plus +1d6 lightning damage. Out and +1d6 acid damage.
  • Illlusion: Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me? Which me is the real me?
  • Necromancy: My health is my health. Your health is my health. My undead flanker's health is my health.
  • Transmutation: pumps Venom into muscles
  • Nethermancy: My shadow is a reliable flanker.
some of those just feel like diet wizards we want something more iconic you know?
  • Abjuration: Shielding Swordmage
  • Conjuration: Assault Swordmage
  • Divination: Jedi knight
  • Enchantment: MMO Tank
  • Evocation: Sith Inquisitor
  • Illusion: OD&D Elf
  • Necromancy: Duskblade
  • Transmutation: Witcher
what are these guys for again the basics of what a society would need such heavily build battle mages? as that might help get us at least 4 solid subclasses.

as you want to make each of them fun and feel different.
 

Minigiant

Legend
some of those just feel like diet wizards we want something more iconic you know?

what are these guys for again the basics of what a society would need such heavily build battle mages? as that might help get us at least 4 solid subclasses.

as you want to make each of them fun and feel different.
Magic is hard. Like science.

If magic were real,there would be little societal pressure to make wizards. There are few people with 8 science degrees.

Societies and militaries would have people focus on one school of magic and focus the rest of train on weapons combat.
 

Magic is hard. Like science.

If magic were real,there would be little societal pressure to make wizards. There are few people with 8 science degrees.

Societies and militaries would have people focus on one school of magic and focus the rest of train on weapons combat.
so is medicine and maths, we still get medics and snipers.
 

Tinker-TDC

Explorer
Gonna try my hand at making a list because I think a lack of a spell list is the biggest thing holding the class design back.

Looking at already-made weapon/martial-feel spells we have (this list will be incomplete, feel free to comment on spells I miss), not including utility spells since 'balance' is more of a combat thing than anything else:
Cantrips
Blade Ward
Booming Blade
Green-Flame Blade
Lightning Lure (doesn't mention a weapon in the 5e ability but feels melee-focused and was a 4e swordmage at-will power)
Primal Savagery
Shillelagh
Sword Burst (same boat as Lightning Lure)
Thorn Whip
True Strike

1st Level
Absorb Elements
Armor of Agathys
Compelled Duel
Ensnaring Strike
Hellish Rebuke
Hex
Hunter's Mark
Searing Smite
Shield
Shield of Faith
Thunderous Smite
Zephyr Strike

2nd Level
Alter Self
Barkskin
Blur
Branding Smite
Earthbind
Enhance Ability
Enlarge/Reduce
Flame Blade
Hold Person
Invisibility
Magic Weapon
Maximilian's Earth Grasp
Mirror Image
Misty Step
See Invisibility
Shadow Blade
Silence
Web

3rd Level
Blinding Smite
Blink
Counterspell
Crusader's Mantle
Dispel Magic
Elemental Weapon
Fly
Gaseous Form
Haste
Intellect Fortress
Melf's Minute Meteors
Protection From Energy
Pulse Wave
Slow
Thunder Step
Vampiric Touch
Water Walk
Wind Wall

4th Level
Aura of Life
Death Ward
Dimension Door
Elemental Bane
Fire Shield
Freedom of Movement
Greater Invisibility
Hallucinatory Terrain
Staggering Smite
Stoneskin
Wall of Fire

5th Level
Antilife Shell
Banishing Smite
Contagion
Destructive Wave
Far Step
Hold Person
Holy Weapon
Mislead
Skill Empowerment
Steel Wind Strike
Temporal Shunt
Tree Stride
Wall of Force
Wall of Light
Wall of Stone

I am not suggesting this 'be' the spell list, but I am suggesting the power level be about here with 'Wall of Force' being about the most powerful spell available (considering the fighting style of the character).
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Gonna try my hand at making a list because I think a lack of a spell list is the biggest thing holding the class design back.

Looking at already-made weapon/martial-feel spells we have (this list will be incomplete, feel free to comment on spells I miss), not including utility spells since 'balance' is more of a combat thing than anything else:
Cantrips
Blade Ward
Booming Blade
Green-Flame Blade
Lightning Lure (doesn't mention a weapon in the 5e ability but feels melee-focused and was a 4e swordmage at-will power)
Primal Savagery
Shillelagh
Sword Burst (same boat as Lightning Lure)
Thorn Whip
True Strike

1st Level
Absorb Elements
Armor of Agathys
Compelled Duel
Ensnaring Strike
Hellish Rebuke
Hex
Hunter's Mark
Searing Smite
Shield
Shield of Faith
Thunderous Smite
Zephyr Strike

2nd Level
Alter Self
Barkskin
Blur
Branding Smite
Earthbind
Enhance Ability
Enlarge/Reduce
Flame Blade
Hold Person
Invisibility
Magic Weapon
Maximilian's Earth Grasp
Mirror Image
Misty Step
See Invisibility
Shadow Blade
Silence
Web

3rd Level
Blinding Smite
Blink
Counterspell
Crusader's Mantle
Dispel Magic
Elemental Weapon
Fly
Gaseous Form
Haste
Intellect Fortress
Melf's Minute Meteors
Protection From Energy
Pulse Wave
Slow
Thunder Step
Vampiric Touch
Water Walk
Wind Wall

4th Level
Aura of Life
Death Ward
Dimension Door
Elemental Bane
Fire Shield
Freedom of Movement
Greater Invisibility
Hallucinatory Terrain
Staggering Smite
Stoneskin
Wall of Fire

5th Level
Antilife Shell
Banishing Smite
Contagion
Destructive Wave
Far Step
Hold Person
Holy Weapon
Mislead
Skill Empowerment
Steel Wind Strike
Temporal Shunt
Tree Stride
Wall of Force
Wall of Light
Wall of Stone

I am not suggesting this 'be' the spell list, but I am suggesting the power level be about here with 'Wall of Force' being about the most powerful spell available (considering the fighting style of the character).
This was the spell list I chose to give my Arcknight class (no, I didn't give them cantrips. I have an Arcane Warrior fighting style for that, as well as a Battlemage subclass):

1st Level​

absorb elements*
burning hands
chromatic orb
detect magic
expeditious retreat
feather fall
frost fingers
ice knife*
jim's magic missile
jump
magic missile
shield
tasha's caustic brew
thunderwave
witch bolt

2nd Level​

acid arrow
aganazzar's scorcher*
alter self
blur
dragon's breath*
earthbind*
enlarge/reduce
flaming sphere
hold person
levitate
magic weapon
maximilian's earthen grasp*
misty step
phantasmal force
scorching ray
shadow blade*
shatter

3rd Level​

bestow curse
blink
counterspell
dispel magic
erupting earth*
fear
fireball
fly
haste
lightning bolt
melf's minute meteors*
protection from energy
slow
thunder step*
vampiric touch

4th Level​

banishment
blight
dimension door
elemental bane
fire shield
ice storm
intellect fortress
leomund's secret chest
mordenkainen's faithful hound
otiluke's resilient sphere
phantasmal killer
sickening radiance*
vitriolic sphere*
wall of fire
watery sphere*


5th Level

bigby's hand
cloudkill
cone of cold
dawn*
dominate person
enervation*
far step*
hold monster
immolation*
steel wind strike*
synaptic static*
telekinesis
wall of force
wall of light*
 

Tinker-TDC

Explorer
So going from the list above I'm gonna try and write a Battlemage spell for each level. These would be on the Battlemage list, Wizard list (to not leave out EK and Bladesinger), and maybe divided amongst some other spell lists depending on flavor. All spells have no Verbal component, a Somatic component (technique), and a Material component (a weapon). These spells will be based and named after 4e Swordmage powers just so I can focus on balancing over creativity.
Please critique as you see fit.

Arcane Lance
Evocation Cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (10-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: 1 round
You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and thrust it towards an enemy. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw or suffer the weapon attack’s normal effects and damage and have it's speed reduced by 10 feet until the end of your next turn.
If you take the Dash action on your turn you may cast this spell as a bonus action.
At Higher Levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage to the target on a hit, and an additional 1d8 thunder damage at 11th level (2d8), and 17th level (3d8).

Blazing Pursuit
1st-Level Evocation
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You teleport up to 30 feet towards your target and place a blazing mark upon them. While marked in this way your attacks against that creature deal an additional 1d6 fire damage and you may teleport up to 30 feet as a bonus action on each of your turns as long as you end the teleport closer to your target than you started.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher it no longer requires concentration.


Blades of Fiery Wrath
2nd-Level Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you miss with a melee weapon attack
Range: 5 feet
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: Instantaneous
The ambient magic of your unsuccessful attack manifests as countless blades of fire that lash out at nearby enemies. When you miss with a melee weapon attack as a reaction you may cause all creatures within range to make a Dexterity saving throw, taking 3d8 fire damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful save.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher the damage increases by 1d8 for every spell level above 2nd.


Enervating Slash
3rd-Level Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your weapon turns pitch black as you strike, dealing an additional 3d10 necrotic damage. Additionally, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or deal half damage with any of its attacks. The creature may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher the damage increases by 1d10 for every spell level above 3rd.


Silverlight Strike
4th-Level Evocation
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your opponent is surrounded by blinding lights that obscure your allies. All creatures except for you are considered invisible to the target for the duration. The target may make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.


Planar Shock
5th-Level Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, you send them flying through an otherworldly space. The target takes an additional 5d10 psychic damage and must make a Wisdom saving throw or be teleported up to 90 feet to a destination of your choice and be stunned. The creature may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the stunned condition on a successful save.
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
I'm gonna try and write a Battlemage spell for each level <snip>

I love that you guys are going all-in on spell lists ! So awesome :)

Tinker, loving your work here. Some observations/feedback/questions:

  • Overall - 100% agree also make avail to Wiz list.
  • Arcane Lance - love the idea of casting as a bonus action if they take the Dash action. Would rather see it doing a different type of dmg to Booming Blade though, perhaps Force dmg instead ? Is there any particular reason you have it reduce their speed ? How about instead we have it knock them back 10' ? On a nomenclature side, naming it after a lance but it's only 10ft range could be a little confusing, perhaps Arcane Strike, Force Shock, or something like that ?
  • Blazing Pursuit - If I understand what you're going for here, (I think you intend this to be able to swap it to new targets?) you might need something explicit like "On subsequent turns you may place the blazing marks on a new target as a bonus action, any previous marks fade" or something ? Fascinating idea about the 4th+ level spell slot not requiring concentration, I like this b/c this spell focuses on mobility not dmg. Also, we have GFB and Blades of Fiery Wrath doing fire dmg, so if this is doing fire dmg also, that's a large amount of our dmg against the most common resistance in the game. Could we have another dmg type here ? Since we have one doing Necrotic dmg (Enervating Slash), how about this one does radiant ? (then the name could still fit)
  • Blades of Fiery Wrath - like this as is.
  • Enervating Slash - like this as is.
  • Silverlight Strike - The 4e Swordmage was a tank, and this seems like a great tank ability, but this class won't necessarily be a tank. I'd love to see one of the subclasses be aimed at a tank though, so maybe this spell could be one of the sublass ones ? Also, 4th level slots are pretty high for a half caster, and to use one for a spell that doesn't cause any dmg might be a hard sell. What about if the basic version of the spell did some dmg, like say the motes of light cause 1d6 radiant dmg every time the target attacks, and then the tank subclass added the invis effect ?
  • Planar Shock - like this as is.
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Gonna try my hand at making a list because I think a lack of a spell list is the biggest thing holding the class design back.

Cantrips - even though the main concept will be mixing it up in melee combat, do we want a couple of ranged options too ?
How about dmg buff spells like Spirit Shroud ?
 


TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Thinking about how to do these subclasses, maybe the Battlemage Enhancements (like Artificer Infusions or Warlock Invocations) could be used give thematic support that's individual to the subclass? Like the Signs magic for Witchers, Force powers for Jedi, etc.

They could have ranks and so could be taken twice to further improve them.

Example: Jedi type subclass
Arcane Manueverability
I: You can cast the Jump and Expeditious Retreat spells without expending a spell slot.
II: You add 10' to any movement using these spells.

Improved Magic Stone
I: When you cast Magic Stone, you can imbue a single pebble at 30' range instead of 3 pebbles at touch range. If you do, you can magically throw the pebble from this range as part of the same action, instead of having to pick it up and throw it physically.
II: You can do this with a larger object instead of a pebble (if one is available), doing d10 dmg instead of d6.

Quickened Combat Magic
I: When you cast Gust or True Strike, you may cast it using a bonus action
II: When you push a creature with Gust, if it fails its saving throw it is pushed 10' instead of 5' is also knocked prone. When you cast True Strike, you get advantage on your next 2 attacks, instead of next 1 attack, provided the spell hasn't ended.

Arcane Parry
I: When you cast Blade Ward, you can instead have it impose disadvantage on attacks against you instead of granting resistance to dmg. If you do and a melee attack rolls a natural 1, you may use your reaction to redirect the attack to another target, causing them to be the new target.
II: You may redirect ranged attacks in the same way.

Might need some tweaking / rebalancing, but I just love the idea of giving cool ways to use spells that are otherwise underused, underpowered or otherwise lacking.

What do you think ?
 

Thinking about how to do these subclasses, maybe the Battlemage Enhancements (like Artificer Infusions or Warlock Invocations) could be used give thematic support that's individual to the subclass? Like the Signs magic for Witchers, Force powers for Jedi, etc.

They could have ranks and so could be taken twice to further improve them.

Example: Jedi type subclass
Arcane Manueverability
I: You can cast the Jump and Expeditious Retreat spells without expending a spell slot.
II: You add 10' to any movement using these spells.

Improved Magic Stone
I: When you cast Magic Stone, you can imbue a single pebble at 30' range instead of 3 pebbles at touch range. If you do, you can magically throw the pebble from this range as part of the same action, instead of having to pick it up and throw it physically.
II: You can do this with a larger object instead of a pebble (if one is available), doing d10 dmg instead of d6.

Quickened Combat Magic
I: When you cast Gust or True Strike, you may cast it using a bonus action
II: When you push a creature with Gust, if it fails its saving throw it is pushed 10' instead of 5' is also knocked prone. When you cast True Strike, you get advantage on your next 2 attacks, instead of next 1 attack, provided the spell hasn't ended.

Arcane Parry
I: When you cast Blade Ward, you can instead have it impose disadvantage on attacks against you instead of granting resistance to dmg. If you do and a melee attack rolls a natural 1, you may use your reaction to redirect the attack to another target, causing them to be the new target.
II: You may redirect ranged attacks in the same way.

Might need some tweaking / rebalancing, but I just love the idea of giving cool ways to use spells that are otherwise underused, underpowered or otherwise lacking.

What do you think ?
could work but are we certain on the subclass ideas?
 

Tinker-TDC

Explorer
could work but are we certain on the subclass ideas?
I think the "Psychic Warrior" is definitely something this class could cover, but while I'm gonna keep calling it 'Jedi' this is most likely gonna be like gith warriors (I mix up the yanki and zerai) since 5e loves tying its flavor to setting stuff.
 

Tinker-TDC

Explorer
  • Arcane Lance - love the idea of casting as a bonus action if they take the Dash action. Would rather see it doing a different type of dmg to Booming Blade though, perhaps Force dmg instead ? Is there any particular reason you have it reduce their speed ? How about instead we have it knock them back 10' ? On a nomenclature side, naming it after a lance but it's only 10ft range could be a little confusing, perhaps Arcane Strike, Force Shock, or something like that ?
<Arcane lance>
  • Blazing Pursuit - If I understand what you're going for here, (I think you intend this to be able to swap it to new targets?) you might need something explicit like "On subsequent turns you may place the blazing marks on a new target as a bonus action, any previous marks fade" or something ? Fascinating idea about the 4th+ level spell slot not requiring concentration, I like this b/c this spell focuses on mobility not dmg. Also, we have GFB and Blades of Fiery Wrath doing fire dmg, so if this is doing fire dmg also, that's a large amount of our dmg against the most common resistance in the game. Could we have another dmg type here ? Since we have one doing Necrotic dmg (Enervating Slash), how about this one does radiant ? (then the name could still fit)
<Blazing pursuit>
  • Silverlight Strike - The 4e Swordmage was a tank, and this seems like a great tank ability, but this class won't necessarily be a tank. I'd love to see one of the subclasses be aimed at a tank though, so maybe this spell could be one of the sublass ones ? Also, 4th level slots are pretty high for a half caster, and to use one for a spell that doesn't cause any dmg might be a hard sell. What about if the basic version of the spell did some dmg, like say the motes of light cause 1d6 radiant dmg every time the target attacks, and then the tank subclass added the invis effect ?
<Silverlight strike>

Basically all questions are answered as "Trying to emulate the 4e version," but yeah, I might add some damage to Silverlight.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think the "Psychic Warrior" is definitely something this class could cover, but while I'm gonna keep calling it 'Jedi' this is most likely gonna be like gith warriors (I mix up the yanki and zerai) since 5e loves tying its flavor to setting stuff.
Reminds me of Astral Projection being magical and psionic too.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top