Introducing back 2/3 casters and leaving clerics and wizards as only "full" casters?

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm having a difficult time figuring out why having a large array of Class Features to choose from is somehow better than having a large suite of Spells to choose from. In both cases, the player is choosing a series of relatively balanced abilities. A Spell and a Class Feature are the same thing-- one specific ability a PC can use a certain number of time per a Rest method to refresh. The only difference so far as I can see is that Class features would only be available to the one specific class it was for, whereas Spells might be available to multiple classes depending on each classes spell list.

If more differentiation between the classes is the main point of this... couldn't just new spells made available only to specific classes accomplish the same thing? Would there be any appreciable difference between a Druid-only spell and a Druid-only class feature? I personally don't see one. So what it meant to be gained by revamping it?

If someone wanted to create a Malhavoc Press-styles 'Arcana Evolved' kind of book for 5E that basically creates an entirely new suite of base classes... then sure, making difference casting progressions like a 2/3rds caster for these would probably be fine. But trying to edit our current classes and move them into that paradigm though? Not really seeing it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Stormonu

Legend
I’m playtesting a battlemage class for my campaign that is a 2/3 caster.

Personally, I’m not fond of 1/2 casters or worse, as if I’m going to pick up a class that casts spells, I want as many spells as I can get my hands on.

I wouldn’t be opposed to Bards being tuned down to 2/3 caster, but they’d need a boost in other areas to compensate. I’ve always argued since I first ran across 5E that clerics should be “full casters”, but their spells stop at the old 7th level. That means the same fate would befall Druids.
 

I mean artificer counts (though WotC likes to pretend they don't exist and so they feel like an abandoned class)

But yeah artificer has an extremely different theme and role compared to an arcane half caster swordmage type class, so I'd love to see that get added.
A half-caster is possibly the worst way to implement a Swordmage-type class.

But with backgrounds you already have any two skills (+2 tools/languages) you need for your concept. If you don't need any skill from your class, then maybee you should take something that fit better or play human (or other race) that give you an addition skill (human give you even a feat that you couls use to learn even more).

Also you can learn try any skill you haven't learned (yet). I have never had the problem to play my concepts even if they don't fit the class I play.
More skills and tools is better than less, but bear in mind that a major limiting factor for some classes is that their primary ability score is one with very few skills based off it. You might have a couple of extra skills, but still end up with a lower total bonus for ability checks than the classes that can key four skills off their primary score.

Also bear in mind that some skill/ability checks are readily replaced, or the need for them removed, by class features whereas others are much harder to substitute.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
If more differentiation between the classes is the main point of this... couldn't just new spells made available only to specific classes accomplish the same thing? Would there be any appreciable difference between a Druid-only spell and a Druid-only class feature? I personally don't see one. So what it meant to be gained by revamping it?
The general problem with that approach is that a spell can't be, by its nature, class-defining because there are several ways to gain spells that are not on the class list. (Multiclassing, several feats, bardic secrets, etc.) A high-level spell, can be, because they're impossible to procure for other classes, but the later in the game a spell is accessed, the less impact it has on helping to define the class.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I think this would be a great idea, I've explored it myself and would like to see the removal if the 1/3 casters and instead have half, 2/3, and full casters.

Not sure I'd redefine too many of the current classes, probably only bard, but I'd change definitely change subclasses to half.
 

My issue with most of these classes isn't with what they can do in combat - it's their ability to interface with the other two tiers. The Rogue isn't too bad, I guess, but the Fighter and Barbarian need more skills, at the very least.

(Actually, I made a joke in another thread about "Supplement I: Greyhawk" ruining everything... and it's kind of true. That was when the thief class was introduced, at which point a load of non-combat stuff was very clearly siloed away from the Fighter to another class. Part of me thinks the Fighter, Monk, Barbarian, and Rogue should all be one class that can be built a number of different ways... but which has quite a lot of the powers of all these classes.)
that would be mechanical hell.
A half-caster is possibly the worst way to implement a Swordmage-type class.

More skills and tools is better than less, but bear in mind that a major limiting factor for some classes is that their primary ability score is one with very few skills based off it. You might have a couple of extra skills, but still end up with a lower total bonus for ability checks than the classes that can key four skills off their primary score.

Also bear in mind that some skill/ability checks are readily replaced, or the need for them removed, by class features whereas others are much harder to substitute.
how would you rather it be? not a caster or a full caster and instantly be too overpowered to live?
 


how would you rather it be? not a caster or a full caster and instantly be too overpowered to live?
The issue with Swordmage is that they are using magic through their weapon as they attack on a regular basis, as well as the other assorted shielding or teleporting that they might have.
If you want this to be done by actually casting spells, then a half-caster doesn't have enough spell slots to sustain that style: 1/2 casters generally just use a concentration spell and then attack purely martially unless the DM is running very short adventuring days.
The other way to do it would be to not use spells and just have magical class features that the swordmage can use almost at will.
I think that adding half-casting into that design would reduce the power budget and water down the actual blast-magic-out-of-your-weapon attacks and other abilities too far.
 

No more than spellcasters having several hundred spells to choose from.

Level Up already does almost all the heavy lifting with its various combat maneuvers.
most people are using either the book or a spell app by now to make it make sense.
The issue with Swordmage is that they are using magic through their weapon as they attack on a regular basis, as well as the other assorted shielding or teleporting that they might have.
If you want this to be done by actually casting spells, then a half-caster doesn't have enough spell slots to sustain that style: 1/2 casters generally just use a concentration spell and then attack purely martially unless the DM is running very short adventuring days.
The other way to do it would be to not use spells and just have magical class features that the swordmage can use almost at will.
I think that adding half-casting into that design would reduce the power budget and water down the actual blast-magic-out-of-your-weapon attacks and other abilities too far.
a full caster would be broken so that is out.
magic from abilities that are not spells would never be sufficently diverse to do it so that is out.
either they figure out how to make it a half caster or it is never happening full stop till true 6e, not the anniversary edition.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
There are quite a few spells which replicate swordmage spell attacks in game already (and if there was a swordmage class there should be more).

Spells like searing smite, ensnaring strike, lightning arrow, and tons more all allow you to enchant your weapon with a bonus action, and then let it off on your next attack. They're perfect for a swordmage type character.

And frustratingly, eldritch knight, bladesinger, and artificer can't get them. The arcane themed gish classes are cut off from the very abilities which would make them feel more like an actual gish.

A half caster swordmage would be fine if its spell list was full of similar spells to those.
 



Horwath

Hero
I think clerics should maybe be a 2/3 caster, and introduce a priest class that is a full caster/no armor divine caster.
Cleric; Light armor, d6, full caster. Some subclasses can get medium armor and shields.

Then add warpriest(d8) as in PF1. 2/3 caster. between cleric and paladin.
 
Last edited:


aco175

Legend
Different classes got a given spell as a different level spell back then, that's no longer the case. A two thirds scaling is still effectively full till very high levels because it's just not a significant delay to get say fireball at six instead of five unless the game end at five
Why not just bring back limiting spells to class levels again? Fireball could be Wizard 3 still ,but add bard 4, druid 5, cleric 7 or such. This was you can still be a full caster in your main thing but be able to add a few other spells at a price.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Why not just bring back limiting spells to class levels again? Fireball could be Wizard 3 still ,but add bard 4, druid 5, cleric 7 or such. This was you can still be a full caster in your main thing but be able to add a few other spells at a price.
That and spells scaling by caster level would be dramatic improvement for 5.5
 

It is also possibly the best way to do it. That is the thing about possibilities;)
I mean yes. There is always a possibility. In one of the earlier Swordmage threads I build a Swordmage as an Artificer subclass. It seemed to check the relevant boxes, and no one objected to that implementation, so it is definitely workable.

I am a little confused as to why a swordmage full-caster would be broken while cleric and wizard full-casters are fine.
 

I mean yes. There is always a possibility. In one of the earlier Swordmage threads I build a Swordmage as an Artificer subclass. It seemed to check the relevant boxes, and no one objected to that implementation, so it is definitely workable.

I am a little confused as to why a swordmage full-caster would be broken while cleric and wizard full-casters are fine.
I don’t think the OP is proposing this for balance (ie nothing is broken), but variety.

For example, my DM has proposed a change to our group for our next campaign:
Only arcane magic users cast spells. Clerics, paladins, druids, etc could have magic powers, but they wouldn’t be spells. It is about having different mechanics for different classes. So a cleric would have prayers / blessings that function differently from wizard spells.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
I mean yes. There is always a possibility. In one of the earlier Swordmage threads I build a Swordmage as an Artificer subclass. It seemed to check the relevant boxes, and no one objected to that implementation, so it is definitely workable.

I am a little confused as to why a swordmage full-caster would be broken while cleric and wizard full-casters are fine.
Shame that artificer feels like an abandoned class. One new subclass since its introduction, and not a single unique spell for the class.

Of all the current classes, that one would suit an swordmage subclass the most imo. Hell there are tons of potential subclasses which could be added for it, but never will be.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top