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D&D 5E [Homebrew] Spellblade Class

GnomeWorks

Adventurer
In the interest of attempting to gather some useful feedback, and for gauging whether or not ENW is an appropriate place to post this sort of thing, I'm going to try posting one of my homebrew classes here and see what happens.

The intent with this class as it is presently written is to try to fill the classic gish trope. This is a fairly popular character concept, but I'm not sure WotC D&D has ever done it justice, with a few niche exceptions here and there (Duskblade was fairly popular, I believe).

I think this failure is due to a lot of factors, which I won't get into here, but suffice to say that I think that the standard approach of "just give fighters spellcasting" doesn't hold a lot of water. So I decided to try a significantly different tack. The homebrew class here is intended to fill the class fantasy of being a spell-slinging warrior-type, without (necessarily) giving them "actual" spellcasting.

I'd appreciate (constructive) feedback in terms of flavor and writing, mechanics, layout, and all that jazz.

THE SPELLBLADE
 

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NotAYakk

Legend
Lots of work there. Did you eyeball it, or did you have a balancing framework you built this off of?

...

Random Glyph: Conductive

OMG, that is crazy. Every hit triggers a save-vs-stun. The weapon deals up to +4d6 lightning damage; is that 1/round? I believe so. Also at 11th you spam both a save-vs-stun and paralyze.

The paralyze doesn't have a second save. It lands, the enemy loses.

Oh, and at 17th level it is the same value as an 8th level spell slot casting chain lightning.

If I assume that is typical power level...

The class has 6 glyphs. That is "worth" better than 6 8th level slots. And using it for an 8th level slot is the less-powerful option

...

So, if you have a "power budget" framework, please share it. If you don't, you need one.

How much is a glyph "worth" in damage per round, or per long rest?

How much is having more glyphs "worth"?

What is the power budget of the subclasses?

Do you have the expected power bumps at 5, 11 and 17?

Is there a "typical" instance of this class you have built and we look at, so we can see its at-will and per-day power budget?
 

GnomeWorks

Adventurer
Did you eyeball it, or did you have a balancing framework you built this off of?

No particular framework in mind, no. Almost entirely eyeballed.

And that does not mean that I just fabricated the progression from wholecloth. I am assuming that you are using "balancing framework" to mean something specific, and I am just using the core classes as comparison.

Every hit triggers a save-vs-stun.

The effects of a glyph are intended to be 1/round. The text that indicates that is, admittedly, buried in the Glyph feature.

I'll also point out that I am aware that stunning is overly good, which is why that has the clause of creatures stunned by it have advantage on further saving throws against it for 1 minute (ie, the remainder of the combat).

The weapon deals up to +4d6 lightning damage; is that 1/round? I believe so.

Yes.

Also at 11th you spam both a save-vs-stun and paralyze.

Hmm... it is entirely possible that the 11th level "can do this all the time" bit is a bit too much.

Oh, and at 17th level it is the same value as an 8th level spell slot casting chain lightning.

...ah, yes, I suppose I did do that, didn't I. Hmm. Yeah, that's going to need adjustment. 6 8th-level equivalent spells a day is obviously not a good idea... why I thought that was workable is beyond me.

Is there a "typical" instance of this class you have built and we look at, so we can see its at-will and per-day power budget?

I do not have a sample character, no.

Thank you for the feedback, it is appreciated.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Eyeballing is hard when making something that big. It also makes evaluating it really hard. I mean, other Glyphs could be 2x as powerful or weak - I literally picked one.

If you had a baseline power budget for a glyph, you could compare each glyph to that baseline instead of having to do constant pairwise comparisons.

Plus, with a simplified baseline glyph power level, we can then do an abstract "how powerful is this at level 17" without this being always a function of which glyphs you change (which can in turn be rebalanced).

As an example, we can pick one of the fighter subclasses -- the BM. And we can make a baseline power based on "per-rest damage", where we assume the BM spams abilities for no other reason than damage.

From that we can get a BM power curve and a rough subclass power budget.

Then when we look at another subclass, we can compare it to that power curve. And when we compare the Fighter to another class, we can use the baseline power curve to compare it, instead of a specific subclass.

Then we can build a sample feat-less fighter, use generic magic items, and work out its at-will and per-rest power budget.

We can then use that to compare it to this class, and know if it will blow the fighter out of the water or not.

That will let you push up/down the power of each feature before you even have to build a character with it. Because it can help you get in the right ballpark.

(You could also use the Paladin instead of the Fighter, where you assume the Paladin does nothing but smite, as another example).
 

I'll also point out that I am aware that stunning is overly good, which is why that has the clause of creatures stunned by it have advantage on further saving throws against it for 1 minute (ie, the remainder of the combat).

I think the mechanism here wouldn't be Advantage - they should be immune for 1 minute once they fail a save once. That would put it in line with similar abilities.

Even then it's still extremely powerful because you can hit different people, and it's got no real cost.
 

Rafael Martin

Adventurer
The only thing I would change is the name. A Spellblade suggests to me someone with a sword casting spells. However, one of the options is an Arcane Archer. So, I would try to come up with a new name. Maybe Spell-Warrior or SpellFighter or Arcane-Warrior something. I think you see my point.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Yes, reource-free save or lose, repeated 1/round. If other rglyphs are similar, you could probably do it 3/round.

Monks stunning fist is a class defining ability. This is better.
 


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