5E Swordmage! (+thread)

Presumedly half caster like Paladin
A Paladin isn't more skilled, doesn't get rituals. Also a Paladin only keeps up with a fighter in combat if he turns virtually all of his spell slots into smites.

That's a world of difference from what I see being proposed here.
 
This latter part is presumably pretty much identical. You can do more some other effects or you can buff your fighting...
That's not the direction I'm seeing this going. Admittedly we don't have a alpha version, just some broad ritual concepts and such.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@doctorbadwolf :

Since you asked, I wasn't planning to chime in as I don't see the need for such a class and I never played 4E so I have no clue what a Swordmage should or shouldn't do.

However, coming late to the game and judging from your OP, do you envision the Swordmage as the half-caster version for the Wizard, akin to the Paladin-Cleric, Ranger-Druid concept, making it the Swordmage-Wizard to match the others?

Or, should the sowrdmage have spell-like features, but not actual spells?
Think 4 elements monk, in terms of casting and spell-like features, with ritual casting and magical armor and weapon features instead of martial arts. A mix of monk and a nerdy equivalent to the ranger.

I'd want to see a little more right now. Assuming it's a null-caster, it's got a basic fighter chassis with a scaling armor feature and the tome warlock special invocation. The Aegis and the point based maneuvers are doing a lot of undefined work, so it's difficult to evaluate without a little more flesh there.
that’s fair. It’s more on a monk chassis, btw. Or rather a mix of monk and ranger chassis. It’s not a null caster, but a point based and ritual caster with manuver style abilities that run on the same point system, like the 4 elements monk.
It probably won’t be at the high end of half caster martial ability, because it will be more like the ranger in terms of utility, but with a more

If you are referring to me -
I'm in favor of having both a magic ritual based sword fighting class and a shroud using warrior type class.

The biggest part of your pushback IMO has been on your inflexibility you have with names. Consider what the difference would have been if you had opened the thread with, "I want a class with these mechanics that meet these design goals. These are my fictional sources of inspiritaon. I'm thinking I may call the class X but not really interested in the name at the moment". Half the thread instantly leaving more room in the early pages of it for your creation.
The name is the name. Why fixate on it so much that you turn to threadcrapping about it?

If the goal for the class is to demonstrate that the character has a breadth of knowledge from a multitude of different training regimens, then sure, I could get behind 3 class skills.

A possible compromise approach might be 2 proficiencies to start, and then an additional specific skill gained from the subclass at level 3.
Well, yeah, that’s exactly the core concept. Its odd that jack of all trades was proposed but 3 skills seems out of line? Jack of all trades is a much bigger skill boost than 1 skill proficiency.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
The swordmage should have Arcana and acrobatics or athletics and perhaps investigation/medicine. just as much as a Ranger should have Nature and Survival and perhaps Stealth.
The base class can already cover Arcana and Athletics. I'm not seeing a requirement for Investigation/Medicine before backgrounds get involved.

If I were shooting for a more true Thibaults flavor Investigation would be the primary skill with which they analyse their opponents and the battlefield and have it doing more things for them
Thing is I don't know for certain but I suspect it is not seeing this as just studious it is studious and athletic the idea is a merger of the physical and mental and that does in my opinion influence breadth. It's kind of a definition of breadth having widely disparate kind of education not just widely separate options but ones that are used in the art itself.

When I made a thibaults build for 4e it had some real reasons to be trained in healing and those were incorporated into how it did its damage (see Sherlock holmes with RDJ as an example of that flavor)

Perhaps the Striker archetype might get an additional skill in medicine?
Bear in mind that (AFAICT) this is not a class that fights through martial techniques like complex calculations of physical angle and anatomical exactness.
This is a class that shoots lightning out of its blade, teleports or telekinetically controls their sword and can cast spells like Illusory Script or Leomund's Tiny Hut.
I would say that Arcana has definitely replaced Medicine for this concept.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The base class can already cover Arcana and Athletics. I'm not seeing a requirement for Investigation/Medicine before backgrounds get involved.




Bear in mind that (AFAICT) this is not a class that fights through martial techniques like complex calculations of physical angle and anatomical exactness.
This is a class that shoots lightning out of its blade, teleports or telekinetically controls their sword and can cast spells like Illusory Script or Leomund's Tiny Hut.
I would say that Arcana has definitely replaced Medicine for this concept.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

And the concept is exactly a combatant that uses complex mathematics and anatomical knowledge as part of its martial prowess. It’s The Magic Circle, but actually magic.

edit: in the draft of the introductory fluff I posted, I even describe a character Drawing The Circle in his mind and gaining basically a magical HUD that shows him the math of battle.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A Paladin isn't more skilled, doesn't get rituals. Also a Paladin only keeps up with a fighter in combat if he turns virtually all of his spell slots into smites.

That's a world of difference from what I see being proposed here.
I haven’t ever suggested anything like a full fighter + other stuff.

I’ve suggest a character using the monk and ranger as balance comparisons.

it has a limited resource system. Did you think that was gonna go on top of extra feats and multiple extra attacks and something like action surge?

No. It’s going to be like a monk without stunning strike or Unarmored movement, with magical weapon attacks that enhance the attack action, and lesser unarmored AC feature than the monk gets, and in place gets more utility because the concept is a well rounded hermetic weapon-master, which means the kind of person who writes fighting manuals that are also manuals on alchemy and mysticism.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So to make things clearer,

The Aegis should provide the AC calculation and some other benefit depending on an Aegis choice and your subclass. The flavor text will reference things like sacred geometry and the use of mathematics to better understand how to fight. Your magic manifests your geometric understanding of the battlefield into your vision as a series of circles, intersecting lines, and other esoteric geometry, showing you how the many “moving parts” of the battle can and will move and strike, allowing you to bend your intellect to the task of protecting yourself, and manipulating the course of battle.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Think 4 elements monk, in terms of casting and spell-like features, with ritual casting and magical armor and weapon features instead of martial arts. A mix of monk and a nerdy equivalent to the ranger.
Well, TBH, I am not very familiar with 4-elements monk, but basically it seems you are against spell slots, but want ritual casting and such. Instead of ki, would you want a magic points system or similar to power any magical and spell-like features? Also, instead of "outdoor" skills like the ranger, it would have the "nerdy" skills for accessing lore or something about magic?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, TBH, I am not very familiar with 4-elements monk, but basically it seems you are against spell slots, but want ritual casting and such. Instead of ki, would you want a magic points system or similar to power any magical and spell-like features? Also, instead of "outdoor" skills like the ranger, it would have the "nerdy" skills for accessing lore or something about magic?
Yeah that’s the idea. 4 elements monk is the phb monk with magic, is really all that’s needed to know. It uses ki to casts spells. The Swordmage would avoid the elements monk’s balance and playability pitfalls by cost spells at 1ki per spell level, rather than 1+1/lvl, and by sticking mostly to spells that enhance rather than replace the attack action, or are useful out of combat, or stick around long enough to be worth using your action on instead of attacking, but don’t risk causing the character to be casting action spells more often than using their weapon.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay! This thread is here for the specific purpose of brainstorming and workshopping a 5e Swordmage, as an arcane half-casting warrior, whose primary identity is that of a warrior-scholar who either has invented or was trained up in a tradition of warcraft that makes martial prowess and magic into one indistinguishable thing, rather than a multi-tasking of the two. This is not a thread for arguments about whether or not such a class is good, necessary, or worth developing.

Remember, it's homebrew. You don't have to use it.

That said! Let's build a Swordmage!

Basic idea is described above, in terms of identity.

Basic mechanical goals:

*Magical abilities that add to, rather than replace, the attack action.

*New spells that combine an attack with a magical effect, or are simply a magical effect flavored as using your weapon, like throwing your sword and it slices at every creature in a 20ft sphere, or whatever.

*No reliance on armor, but still a class that has reason to consider strength. (unarmored defense, but maybe a wide weapon list and shields?)

*Intelligence secondary, about as important as Cha for Paladins.

*Room for a really nerdy subclass, and at least one that barely qualifies as a scholar.

Things I'm considering, for this.

*Spellbook

*Ritual casting without prep

*A 1st or 2nd level feature that adds elemental damage to attacks, and makes the weapon deal that damage type instead of it's normal damage. This immediately sets them apart from any other gish, or weapon user.

*Unarmored Defense (int) and possibly a new spell or two that are defensive. Possibly an AC calculation that bypasses Dex, like 8+Int mod+proficiency bonus while not wearing armor, and a feature that lets you burn a spell slot to create a shield that boost your AC and maybe lets you soak damage and deal it back to enemies, with the number scaling by spell slot level. Something like, whenever you take damage from an attack, you reduce that damage by 1d4+int mod, and gain a bonus to damage with your next weapon attack equal to the result of the roll.

*An Aegis feature. maybe the above feature set is your Aegis?

—————update—————​

Okay here is the idea so far. Note that all names other than Swordmage, and Aegis, are up for debate, but should live in the same conceptual space.

HD d10
No armor, no shields
Most weapons
Skills 2 or 3 from a broad list
Tools calligrapher’s (for drawing those fighting manual diagrams)

maybe 2 skills and a feature similar to jack of all trades but less extreme in scope. Then again, give this guy Counterspell and dispel magic and jack of all trades, why not right?

we can determine the full scope there as the class develops.

Level 1:
Aegis. As a ten minute ritual you can perform as part of a rest or as a bonus action by spending X [points], you can cast a specialized version of Mage Armor, giving yourself AC equal to 13+Int mod. This may scale at the main tier levels, or not. Choice of 2-4 Aegis features that give different defensive benefits, and attune you to a damage type.

Bond-Weapon. Similar to Hexblade, pct blade, or Eldritch Knight weapon, but tuned toward a specific weapon type. Thrown weapons throw farther, one handed Melee gain thrown (30/60), ranged weapons lose the ammunition property, not sure about two-handed weapons. Any thrown weapon returns to your hand after thrown. Weapon does the damage type you’re attuned to instead of its normal damage. Can reforged a lost or broken Bond-Weapon as a 1 hour ritual.

Level 2:

Hermetic Geometry. ritual casting and Esoteric Techniques. “Points, Brendin. Points.” You get points, and things to use them on. You record these techniques in a book, called a Manual Esoterica, or something like that. You learn a number at 2nd level, and 1 at each level thereafter, and can learn more by training with a master or finding and studying a manual that describes the technique.

Wild idea!
What if, instead of starting with a lot of proficiencies, the class gets jack of all trades, possibly renamed to Enlightened Study or soemthing, and they can learn new weapons, languages, and tools, the same way they learn techniques? (So, same modeled after ritual caster feat)

we would probably want to define different time and money costs, and maybe even track how many you’ve learnt and make the cost and time increase or something, but I think it would perfectly encapsulate the idea of a renaissance master who seeks knowledge in a wide range of topics and skills.

Something to consider.
Updated OP
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When this proposal reaches a formal write-up, the "logo" art could be the daVinci "four-armed man" anatomy drawing.
Mixed with full metal alchemists glowing circles :p
Yep. Imagine stuff like I’m adding to this post, as vector drawings the Swordmage can see where each thing or creature on the battlefield is within the circle and the lines all move when they move like a vector drawing, and that’s the sort of thing I imagine with the Aegis AC calculation and some do their techniques.



 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Now now, we’ll judge if it’s OP. :)
Still haven’t written out any techniques, because that takes time.

for a basic idea of the power:

Elemental Attunement for your Bon-Weapon makes the damage of the weapon into that damage type (mostly fire, cold, thunder, lightning, I think) and lets you add 1d4 damage of that type 1/turn.

Foe the techniques, assume the smite spells and ranger smite like spells, jump, longstrider, armor of Agythis, thunderstep, at 1ki/spell level. The new techniques will hopefully be within the power band of those spells.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Wild idea!
What if, instead of starting with a lot of proficiencies, the class gets jack of all trades, possibly renamed to Enlightened Study or soemthing, and they can learn new weapons, languages, and tools, the same way they learn techniques? (So, same modeled after ritual caster feat)

we would probably want to define different time and money costs, and maybe even track how many you’ve learnt and make the cost and time increase or something, but I think it would perfectly encapsulate the idea of a renaissance master who seeks knowledge in a wide range of topics and skills.

Something to consider.
To clarify, you’d start with just simple weapons and 1 martial Melee and 1 martial ranged weapon. So, you’d want to train with someone just for more weapons.

I really like the idea of studying with a master to learn their special technique, or digging in libraries for rare manuals, and extending that to proficiencies could really bring that flavor into focus. Perhaps even integrate it with a provisional Jack of all trades where you gain half prof by studying with a master?
 

Advertisement

Top