D&D (2024) How should the Swordmage be implemented in 1DnD?

I also glanced at your work. It kind of reminds me of the Wielder Class from Purple Martin Games' Manual of Adventurous Resources: Complete.

This volume introduces two new classes with their own power fantasies: the elementalist and the wielder. Elementalists utilize a deep connection to one of the four classical elements to create a wide variety of potent magical effects, and wielders draw upon the power of a bonded artifact. Both of these new classes add something new to the system, but will be familiar to those acquainted with fantasy and mythology. The elementalist conjures up images of a number of popular animated shows and their respective characters who wield fire, water, earth, and air as both weapons and tools in pursuit of their goals. The wielder conjures up characters from Arthur to Elric who rely on a power item of some sort.
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
They could only cast 4 spells with their spell points is they were all 5th level and then they would have no spells remaining for the day. I'll note the text I used is from Laserllama partially, but also the One D&D text, which I feel is also overwritten for the Sorcerer. If you have suggestions for fixing the reading of that section, I'd love to hear it!
Don't have time to rewrite it, sorry, but that bit does need rewriting. I think the "two-foot toss" change would be to remove spell preparation entirely, just have spells known & spell points.
 


I also glanced at your work. It kind of reminds me of the Wielder Class from Purple Martin Games' Manual of Adventurous Resources: Complete.

This volume introduces two new classes with their own power fantasies: the elementalist and the wielder. Elementalists utilize a deep connection to one of the four classical elements to create a wide variety of potent magical effects, and wielders draw upon the power of a bonded artifact. Both of these new classes add something new to the system, but will be familiar to those acquainted with fantasy and mythology. The elementalist conjures up images of a number of popular animated shows and their respective characters who wield fire, water, earth, and air as both weapons and tools in pursuit of their goals. The wielder conjures up characters from Arthur to Elric who rely on a power item of some sort.
Never read it nut will now. Sounds interesting amd similair enough to draw good inspo from.
 

Never read it nut will now. Sounds interesting amd similair enough to draw good inspo from.
To be honest, I read what about the Wielder class was like, but didn't go in deep reading about the class. I was more interested in the book's Elementalist class. MoAR: Complete's Elementalist class is Level Up's take on the Kineticist class from PF1's Occult Adventures. ☺️ A much better take, I might add. 😋
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Honestly I do feel that any potential swordmage class needs more of a 'class story' than 'person who casts and fights'. To me, that's one of the main reasons for which the class has never stuck around, or even kept a consistent class name.
I've always said the swordmage is a "warrior who mastered a set of arcane spells which require greater athleticism and martial skill than a normal mage to use effectively."

They cast spell a wizard could cast but never would because the wizard would hurt themselves. The classic is the spell that "teleports you above the foes head to make an overhead strike." The wizard would fail the strike and fall on their faces.

This is why they are associated with elves, genasi, and gith. Only cultures that focus on arcane skill and martial might would both develop and keep these spells a wizard would have no use for.

Those 3 races kinda have the magical military tradition needed for a swordmage. Elves needed bodyguards for their mages. Genasi fought for their djinn masters in the unpredictable and barely hospitable Elemental planes. And Gith need to strike the mind flayers hard and fast. That's the story.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
disagree on the specific premise that the things created for classes to work need to be spells, there are already a good few abilities that were made into spells that didn't need to be them (ranger spell list i'm looking at you) but even if swordmage is a magical class concept that still doesn't require that the abilities made for them are required to take the form of spells.
To be fair, if it’s called “swordmage” it should be casting spells, at which point there little reason not to make any given spell-like feature into a spell, other factors being equal.
Exactly. Just as there are STR-based Fighters and DEX-based Fighters, you could have STR-based Swordmages and DEX-based Swordmages. I prefer DEX-based martials, so I would choose the latter.
My swordmage style class, the Aethernaut, can add Int to AC instead of Dex while wearing armor, and their unarmored AC is 10+int+PB. So other than skills and Dex saves, strength and Dex Aethernauts are pretty much equal.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've always said the swordmage is a "warrior who mastered a set of arcane spells which require greater athleticism and martial skill than a normal mage to use effectively."

They cast spell a wizard could cast but never would because the wizard would hurt themselves. The classic is the spell that "teleports you above the foes head to make an overhead strike." The wizard would fail the strike and fall on their faces.

This is why they are associated with elves, genasi, and gith. Only cultures that focus on arcane skill and martial might would both develop and keep these spells a wizard would have no use for.

Those 3 races kinda have the magical military tradition needed for a swordmage. Elves needed bodyguards for their mages. Genasi fought for their djinn masters in the unpredictable and barely hospitable Elemental planes. And Gith need to strike the mind flayers hard and fast. That's the story.
Hey for once we agree!

If I’m looking for a swordmage, I want arcane Spellcasting and a spellbook.


I ended up going for “techniques”, because there is a common language with at least 3 classes and a couple feats that all use techniques. Some Aether Techniques cast a spell, some do 4e style ritual magic, some do stuff when you hit with an attack, etc.

But they’re all in your manual esoterica.
 

Hey for once we agree!

If I’m looking for a swordmage, I want arcane Spellcasting and a spellbook.
I feel at that point it's just a wizard subclass.

Sure, maybe one swordmage subclass could have a spellbook. But I don't think that suits many peoples ideas of what the entire class is.

I don't remember Eragon having to open up a spellbook every time he casts 'Brisinger'. His most known ways to use that spell are empowering his arrows, or setting his sword ablaze.

Tahu didn't have to leaf through a dusty tome to shoot fire blasts at Rahi. Instead he channels that power through his sword.

The Wrath of the Liche King trailer didn't have Arthas studying a book before raising an undead dragon from within the ice. Instead he slams his sword through the ground to let out that power.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I feel at that point it's just a wizard subclass.

Sure, maybe one swordmage subclass could have a spellbook. But I don't think that suits many peoples ideas of what the entire class is.

I don't remember Eragon having to open up a spellbook every time he casts 'Brisinger'. His most known ways to use that spell are empowering his arrows, or setting his sword ablaze.

Tahu didn't have to leaf through a dusty tome to shoot fire blasts at Rahi. Instead he channels that power through his sword.

The Wrath of the Liche King trailer didn't have Arthas studying a book before raising an undead dragon from within the ice. Instead he slams his sword through the ground to let out that power.
And those aren't Swordmages.

Also, having a spellbook doesn't mean using the spellbook to cast spells. That's...not what a spellbook is. Wizards don't currently use their book to cast spells.

The idea that anyone with a book has to be a wizard is unnecessarily restrictive nonsense. Like if literally having a spellbook and casting arcane spells makes it a wizard to you, there isn't much else to say past that. At that point everything is just two classes, at most. No. Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight should at least have the option of a spellbook, as well. Hell, it should be a common feature to most arcane characters, making multi-classing use the spellbook to smooth out wrinkles, while other caster groups can have other common features. But at the least, a class that is a mage should have the mage spellcasting feature.

If it isn't a mage, don't call it a swordmage. Make a monk subclass.
 

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