D&D 5E Is A Blade-Caster Wizard Possible?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
By which I mean, a Wizard that casts a spell through their weapon as part of an attack.

So, as an action you make an attack with your weapon, and the spell goes off if you hit, with the target being the creature or object you attack.

Is this concept possible to balance while making fun and satisfying, in your opinion?
 

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BacchusNL

Explorer
Yeah, sounds like you are describing Wrathful/ Searing Smite and the like. A Hexblade/ Paladin build would probably fit pretty well. Throw in some sorc levels if you are playing high level.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Sure. I gave that ability to a PC in one of my games as a boon, it works fine. It's harder to make it a general rule; we took each of the spells that he actually learned and modified them individually to be the "spell-strike" version.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I know exactly what you're talking about. There were mechanics for that in 3.5, but I haven't seen any official 5e support to do that. You would need to find something on the DMsGuild or create your own.

Whether it could be done in a way that's balanced... probably? I think there are a couple of questions to consider:

1) Would the attack undue the need to make a saving throw for spell effects that require it?
2) How does this interact with spells that normally have an area of effect?
3) Does this break current action economy (since this is essentially casting a spell and making an attack at the same time)?
4) How would this interact with abilities like Extra Attack or Action Surge?
5) How does this interact with abilities that deal extra damage like sneak attack?
 

Weiley31

Legend
Like how the Duskblade in 3.5 could channel spells and Arcane Strike thru their weapons?

Well, for the rules portion of it, look up the original version of Mercer's Blood Hunter.(Not the Witch Hunter version.) The Order of Profane Soul subclass had Diabolical Channel, which was an exact 5E take on the 3.5 Duskblade's Arcane Channeling.

If you meant using your sword/weapon as a Spellcasting Focus, I think the College of Sword Bard does that.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure. I gave that ability to a PC in one of my games as a boon, it works fine. It's harder to make it a general rule; we took each of the spells that he actually learned and modified them individually to be the "spell-strike" version.
Did you have any limits on what spells could be used this way?
I know exactly what you're talking about. There were mechanics for that in 3.5, but I haven't seen any official 5e support to do that. You would need to find something on the DMsGuild or create your own.

Whether it could be done in a way that's balanced... probably? I think there are a couple of questions to consider:

1) Would the attack undue the need to make a saving throw for spell effects that require it?
2) How does this interact with spells that normally have an area of effect?
3) Does this break current action economy (since this is essentially casting a spell and making an attack at the same time)?
4) How would this interact with abilities like Extra Attack or Action Surge?
5) How does this interact with abilities that deal extra damage like sneak attack?
1. I think if it’s a spell attack, I’d just let it be one attack, ideally.
2. My first thought is “spell that requires an attack roll and targets one creature” to avoid that.
3. it does a bit, so maybe require expending the bonus action?
4. It might need a 1/turn caveat...
5. It’d synergise with them, yeah. It’d pretty much have to.

I think limiting the spell level (with scaling) and limiting to single target spells, perhaps with save spells still requiring a save, would be a good idea to let the subclass breath and not be super broken.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
yup, shouldnt be to hard:

Magus

L2:

Arcanist Armament: gain proficiency with light armor and shield, and 3 martial weapons. which count as spell focus for you. When making a melee weapon attack, you can replace the usual attack roll with your spell attack modifier.

Spell-strike: Once per round, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend an appropriate slot to cast a spell you know on the target. The spell must deal damage and the target of the initial attack replace the target as described in the spell description. The target is considered to have been hit by the spell or having failed its saving throw against it; its suffers both the normal effect of the weapon attack and the effect of the spell. You can use this feature a number of time equal to your proficiency bonus and regain all uses when you complete a short rest.

L6:

Extra attack: Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. Moreover, you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of those attacks.

L10

Enchant Self: At 10th level, you can spend a spell slot to temporarily replace the damage type of a melee weapon you are holding with a type that appears in another spell in the spells you have prepared. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend and the effect lasts for a number of hours equal to 1 + the level of the spell slot used.

L14:

Spell ravager: When you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell with a weapon attack, you can spend one use of your Spell-strike to force the creature to make a saving throw with its spellcasting ability modifier. The DC equals your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature loses its concentration, and you steal the knowledge of the spell if it is at least 1st level and of a level you can cast (it doesn't need to be a wizard spell). For the next 8 hours, you know the spell and can cast it using your spell slots. The creature can't cast that spell until the 8 hours have passed.
 

CAFRedblade

Explorer
That pretty much seems to be the Green Flame Blade Cantrip. I'm sure you can use it as a base and create other spells/spell effects using that as a base. Booming Blade also does similar. Both are in the Sword Coast Adventure book, or the new Tasha's Cauldron book.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
yup, shouldnt be to hard:

Magus

L2:

Arcanist Armament: gain proficiency with light armor and shield, and 3 martial weapons. which count as spell focus for you. When making a melee weapon attack, you can replace the usual attack roll with your spell attack modifier.

Spell-strike: Once per round, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend an appropriate slot to cast a spell you know on the target. The spell must deal damage and the target of the initial attack replace the target as described in the spell description. The target is considered to have been hit by the spell or having failed its saving throw against it; its suffers both the normal effect of the weapon attack and the effect of the spell. You can use this feature a number of time equal to your proficiency bonus and regain all uses when you complete a short rest.

L6:

Extra attack: Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. Moreover, you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of those attacks.

L10

Enchant Self: At 10th level, you can spend a spell slot to temporarily replace the damage type of a melee weapon you are holding with a type that appears in another spell in the spells you have prepared. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend and the effect lasts for a number of hours equal to 1 + the level of the spell slot used.

L14:

Spell ravager: When you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell with a weapon attack, you can spend one use of your Spell-strike to force the creature to make a saving throw with its spellcasting ability modifier. The DC equals your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature loses its concentration, and you steal the knowledge of the spell if it is at least 1st level and of a level you can cast (it doesn't need to be a wizard spell). For the next 8 hours, you know the spell and can cast it using your spell slots. The creature can't cast that spell until the 8 hours have passed.
I like a lot of that! I can think of different ways I’d go with it, but that’s a solid build.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Did you have any limits on what spells could be used this way?
The basic requirement was that they be offensive and targeted spells; I had no desire to try and adjudicate sword-heals or dropping a summon spell with the sword attack. The main spells he used were Chill Touch, Fire Bolt, Ray of Enfeeblement, Bane, Shatter, and Vampiric Touch.

The closest thing to a general rule I had was that the spell had to be an action. The actual action was Cast a Spell, so it didn't trigger any Attack action required mechanics. They had to use one specific enchanted blade, so the attack couldn't be swapped for a shove or grapple or anything like that. They would make the attack first, roll damage, and then the spell would fire, even if the target was no longer valid (attacks could be retargeted if the melee attack target died, though, like in the case of Scorching Ray).

For spell attacks, the melee attack replaced the spell attack roll. If the weapon hit, the spell also hit. If the weapon missed, so did the spell. Area effects were centered on the melee target, and the caster was immune to the spell's effect. If the weapon attack missed the target, that target only would have advantage on a save if the spell required a saving throw.

Cantrips used replaced on of their damage die with weapon attack damage, fire bolt did 1d8 fire + the weapon damage at 5th level, for example. For cantrips in Tier 1, they were really only useful for the rider effect.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The basic requirement was that they be offensive and targeted spells; I had no desire to try and adjudicate sword-heals or dropping a summon spell with the sword attack. The main spells he used were Chill Touch, Fire Bolt, Ray of Enfeeblement, Bane, Shatter, and Vampiric Touch.

The closest thing to a general rule I had was that the spell had to be an action. The actual action was Cast a Spell, so it didn't trigger any Attack action required mechanics. They had to use one specific enchanted blade, so the attack couldn't be swapped for a shove or grapple or anything like that. They would make the attack first, roll damage, and then the spell would fire, even if the target was no longer valid (attacks could be retargeted if the melee attack target died, though, like in the case of Scorching Ray).

For spell attacks, the melee attack replaced the spell attack roll. If the weapon hit, the spell also hit. If the weapon missed, so did the spell. Area effects were centered on the melee target, and the caster was immune to the spell's effect. If the weapon attack missed the target, that target only would have advantage on a save if the spell required a saving throw.

Cantrips used replaced on of their damage die with weapon attack damage, fire bolt did 1d8 fire + the weapon damage at 5th level, for example. For cantrips in Tier 1, they were really only useful for the rider effect.
Those all make sense.

Hmmm...I'm beginning to see the shape of a subclass that does "gish" in a truly Wizardly manner.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Booming Blade, Green Flame Blade, and Blade of Disaster from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything come to mind.
 

Weiley31

Legend
@doctorbadwolf Addendum to my last post earlier: I also forgot to mention something important in regards to the Blood Hunter's Diabolik Channeling. The reason why you want to look up the original version of the Blood Hunter is because the updated version of it had the Profane Soul Subclass's Diabolik Channeling swapped out for doing an attack as a bonus action after casting a Cantrip.
 

Stormonu

Legend
In my campaign, I didn't require any special class or such. Any spell that required a melee spell attack or similar wording could be used with a weapon - but you'd use the weapon attack to hit (prof + Str mod; prof + Dex mod for finesse) instead of spell attack (prof + spellcasting mod). If you got multiple attacks, you'd only get the spell effect on one of the hits.

I've had some second thoughts on it due to spell scaling, but so far hadn't ruled against it.
 

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