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D&D General why do we not have an arcane half caster?

Campbell

Legend
I think it's mostly an accident of design. For the arcane casters they opted to provide full casting gish options with multiple attacks instead of hybrid class designs. Warlocks, Wizards, and Bards all have subclasses that provide 2 attacks and full spellcasting. There's little need for martial casting hybrids. I would be open to a swordmage that combines casting and fighting better than a bladesinger or eldritch knight, but there's no real need for it. The spellcasting warrior is pretty well covered.
 

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Lycurgon

Explorer
Personally I don't think the Eldritch Knight has quite enough spellcasting/magic to it for my liking. And the Bladesinger has a bit too much magic-user and not enough fighter. Hexblade is closer, but does have a lot of built in RP baggage. They can be fun to play (I am really enjoying my Bladesinger character currently) but they are not quite the right mix to make a Gish how I would like it.

I think something similar to the design of the paladin is the closest to my ideal Gish. They need to be arcane rather then divine for their spells. And a diffent flavour and abilities but something in that mix of magic and martial.
 


Personally I don't think the Eldritch Knight has quite enough spellcasting/magic to it for my liking. And the Bladesinger has a bit too much magic-user and not enough fighter. Hexblade is closer, but does have a lot of built in RP baggage. They can be fun to play (I am really enjoying my Bladesinger character currently) but they are not quite the right mix to make a Gish how I would like it.

I think something similar to the design of the paladin is the closest to my ideal Gish. They need to be arcane rather then divine for their spells. And a diffent flavour and abilities but something in that mix of magic and martial.
Yeah the Eldritch Knight in particular is disappointing

Something with half-casting, access to the paladin smite spells (but not the smite class feature) and Ritual Casting would make for a better Gish type class.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
why do we not have an arcane half caster? not like the endless homebrews or the classes from other game like magus (which has so little to lean in to)
in a 50 ear old game how has one not carved out a role for itself yet?
have no books come out with a sufficiently thematic one to rip off yet?

it bugs me as it seems like such an obvious class idea?
Artificer is an arcane half caster.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
It's been argued here on ENWorld that the Bard, the Artificer, the Eldritch Knight, and the Arcane Trickster are all different flavors of "half caster" that use arcane magic. The Warlock also, but I think that argument is a bit weaker than the others.
In 5e Bard is absolutely a full caster. EK and AT are mathematically 1/3rd casters but I can see calling them half casters.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
The eldritch knight just doesn't provide enough magic for what I want, the bladesinger leans too much to the magic side of things.

I think you should tailor your feats to address these deficiencies.

1. For the EK pick up Fey touched, Shadow touched, magic initiate, artificer initiate, eldritch adept taking a spell invocation and metamagic adept. By 14th level That will give you 3 extra cantrips, 7 more known spells, 5 more 1st level castings, 2 more 2nd level castings and metamagic with 2 sorcery points.

At 14th level you have 6 cantrips, 17 spells know and equivalent of 16 spell slots plus 2 sorcery points. This compares to a full blown sorcerer who has 6 cantrips, 13 spells and 17 slots. This character has a ton of magic, what he doesn't have is high-level spells.

2. For the bladesinger option get weapon master, crossbow expert and sharpshooter and they can do a ton of damage with a hand crossbow. With a custom lineage, taking weapon master at first level and prioitzing dexterity they can have a 20Dex and these three feats by 12th level. They will rock 3d6+45 DPR while sporting a 20AC in mage armor and bladesong with shield to boost it to 25.

You can melee this character with crossbow expert, but if you want to actually melee, with melee weapons you can take weapon master at 1st, ASIs at 4/8/12 and at 12th level runing a upcast shadowblade and a short sword you can do 8d8+1d6+10 while sporting a 21AC in bladesong with shield for 26.

3. Third option which would work well is a multiclass artificer-EK or Artificer-Bladesinger. Go to level 5 in battlesmith then go the rest of the way as an EK or BS. Go with the eldritch knight if you want to use heavy weapons. Either build dump strength though take 18 Intelligence at 1st level with an int boosting feat, 14 Dexterity to allow ftr multiclass. Take an ASI for 20int, then take weapon feats (GWM, Sentinel, Pole Arm Master, sharpshooter, piercer, slasher ....). At 3rd with Battle Ready you can use intelligence for ANY magic weapon attack and you can infuse a magic weapon every morning (2 total), meaning when you get +5 for both strength weapons and ranged weapons, while only having an 8 strength and 14 dex. You can build to both GWM and Sharpshooter if you want. Of the two, the fighter is a more versatile fighter, if you go bladesinger you will need to use a 1-handed or versatile weapon in bladesong, but it brings all of the weapons to the table - long swords, morning stars, whatever you want. You have proficiency in all of them and you don't need it to be finesse because you are attacking with intelligence.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
why do we not have an arcane half caster? not like the endless homebrews or the classes from other game like magus (which has so little to lean in to)
in a 50 year old game how has one not carved out a role for itself yet?
have no books come out with a sufficiently thematic one to rip off yet?

it bugs me as it seems like such an obvious class idea?

We, it's called the Artificer.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think bard and artificer are way more than "half" casters, even going back to their origins. It's hard to say what a "half caster" is now, since many of the classes that used to acquire spellcasting only at high levels get their spells much sooner.

It is precisely a measure of spell slots. The Bard is a full caster, and the Artificer is a half caster.
 


Parmandur

Legend
I’m pretty sure half caster refers to the pace at which the caster gains new spell slots. Half casters (Artificer, Paladin, and Ranger) gain new spell slots at precisely half the pace full casters (Bard, Cleric, Druid Sorcerer, and Wizard) do. There are also 1/3 casters (Arcane tricksters, Eldritch knights) which gain spell slots at one third the pace full casters do. Warlock is an outlier that advances differently than other casters.

The Warlock does have a different rhythm, however, the math still works out to be a full caster if you do all the calculations.

The Monk is actually secretly a half-caster following the Warlock progression with Spell Points.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I think you should tailor your feats to address these deficiencies.

1. For the EK pick up Fey touched, Shadow touched, magic initiate, artificer initiate, eldritch adept taking a spell invocation and metamagic adept. By 14th level That will give you 3 extra cantrips, 7 more known spells, 5 more 1st level castings, 2 more 2nd level castings and metamagic with 2 sorcery points.

At 14th level you have 6 cantrips, 17 spells know and equivalent of 16 spell slots plus 2 sorcery points. This compares to a full blown sorcerer who has 6 cantrips, 13 spells and 17 slots. This character has a ton of magic, what he doesn't have is high-level spells.

2. For the bladesinger option get weapon master, crossbow expert and sharpshooter and they can do a ton of damage with a hand crossbow. With a custom lineage, taking weapon master at first level and prioitzing dexterity they can have a 20Dex and these three feats by 12th level. They will rock 3d6+45 DPR while sporting a 20AC in mage armor and bladesong with shield to boost it to 25.

You can melee this character with crossbow expert, but if you want to actually melee, with melee weapons you can take weapon master at 1st, ASIs at 4/8/12 and at 12th level runing a upcast shadowblade and a short sword you can do 8d8+1d6+10 while sporting a 21AC in bladesong with shield for 26.

3. Third option which would work well is a multiclass artificer-EK or Artificer-Bladesinger. Go to level 5 in battlesmith then go the rest of the way as an EK or BS. Go with the eldritch knight if you want to use heavy weapons. Either build dump strength though take 18 Intelligence at 1st level with an int boosting feat, 14 Dexterity to allow ftr multiclass. Take an ASI for 20int, then take weapon feats (GWM, Sentinel, Pole Arm Master, sharpshooter, piercer, slasher ....). At 3rd with Battle Ready you can use intelligence for ANY magic weapon attack and you can infuse a magic weapon every morning (2 total), meaning when you get +5 for both strength weapons and ranged weapons, while only having an 8 strength and 14 dex. You can build to both GWM and Sharpshooter if you want. Of the two, the fighter is a more versatile fighter, if you go bladesinger you will need to use a 1-handed or versatile weapon in bladesong, but it brings all of the weapons to the table - long swords, morning stars, whatever you want. You have proficiency in all of them and you don't need it to be finesse because you are attacking with intelligence.
None of that is quite what I'm really looking for in a martial arcane caster class. Essentially, it should be able to hold its own as a warrior-wizard without the need for feats or multiclassing.
 


Mind of tempest

Adventurer
When they do a revised PHB (which I'm sure will come before too long) they really need take the Fighter's 3rd and 4th attacks and move them froim the base class to the Champion subclass.

This would give much more room for the Battlemaster and the Eldritch Knight to be substantially improved.
what does that have to do with anything?
We, it's called the Artificer.
it does not feel like one if it were turned in to a full caster only the mechanics would be different. it would feel the same.
an arcane gish would feel closer to ranger or paladin.

I have noted the past attempts lack a catchy name and feel thematically like a better eldritch knight, as in nothing but a warrior who use magic.
it needs something to make it more than a multiclass.
 

what does that have to do with anything?

it does not feel like one if it were turned in to a full caster only the mechanics would be different. it would feel the same.
an arcane gish would feel closer to ranger or paladin.

I have noted the past attempts lack a catchy name and feel thematically like a better eldritch knight, as in nothing but a warrior who use magic.
it needs something to make it more than a multiclass.
Are you asking what improving the Eldritch Knight has to do with making a better Gish class?
 


Iry

Hero
Artificer is a great half-arcane class. They can be built to fight, blast, tank, or support extremely well.
Bard is no longer a half-caster, but they are flexible enough to fill that role perfectly fine.
However, you can just swap a paladin to cast from the sorcerer spell list.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Hiya!

Mind of Tempest: "Why do we not have an arcane half caster?"
Fighter(Eldritch Knight): "What?!? Do I mean nothing to you?!?"

^_^

Paul L. Ming
No, Mr. Eldritch Knight, you do not.

I found myself frustrated with 5E’s lack of a true half-caster class, and ended up making my own. EldritchKnight, Bladesinger, and several more concepts became subclasses under it (including the chi warrior, for making a wuxia fighter and book of 9 swords-like characters).
 


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