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

you know how in 5e we have barbarians and monks who have built-in armour class why has no one made a half caster with the same thing?
it seems it would an easy way to start showing how it is different and to start the process of making it iconic?

I was watching this when at 1:49 when it made me ask why do we not have a half caster with such a skin? we already have the all-out assault that is the paladin a smashing armoured knight, we have the ranger that is built for range, ambush, mobility and nature magic would something more between the two extremes more tactical have a place?
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
you know how in 5e we have barbarians and monks who have built-in armour class why has no one made a half caster with the same thing?
it seems it would an easy way to start showing how it is different and to start the process of making it iconic?

I was watching this when at 1:49 when it made me ask why do we not have a half caster with such a skin? we already have the all-out assault that is the paladin a smashing armoured knight, we have the ranger that is built for range, ambush, mobility and nature magic would something more between the two extremes more tactical have a place?
What do you think the Monk is...?

Ki points are just the Spellpoint variant from the DMG, mathematically, based on a Short Rest. If you triple the Ki point total by Level, and reverse the math to get Spell Slots, Monks have the same progression of Slots as Paladins, Rangers, and Artificers.

Ki abilities are mathematically just Spells.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Tortle Paladin says woo...
As a DM, I have offered PCs the ability to gain an unarmored defense ability in place of their armor proficiency. It doesn't break anything - unless you allow it for Strength. The existence of high strength magic items can really make that strong. Even then, it is not necessarily too broken to work ... but I'd lean away from it. Regardless, I would have no issues allowing a paladin to give up their armor proficiencies to gain Unarmored Defense (Charisma) or a Ranger to gain Unarmored Defense (Wisdom). Ask your DM if that appeals to you.
 

I think there would absolutely be design space for such a thing mechanically. I don't know how it would fit thematically.

It doesn't exist because 5e D&D is not a "character class of every permutation" system. It's a "here are the dozen or so most iconic classes from the history of the game" system, that then tweaked those classes to fill many of the different possible permutations. But each and every role does not necessarily get the arcane and divine version, the caster, half-caster, and non-caster version, and the heavily armored, mediumly armored, lightly armored, and unarmored version.

I think for such a thing to be added to this edition of the game there would have to be an iconic fantasy or pop culture "class" people clamored for which lent itself to being an unarmored half-caster. I don't know what that would be.

For anyone who justs wants to play such a character in 5e I recommend just playing a bladesinger multiclass with fighter or rogue. It's fun.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
What do you think the Monk is...?

Ki points are just the Spellpoint variant from the DMG, mathematically, based on a Short Rest. If you triple the Ki point total by Level, and reverse the math to get Spell Slots, Monks have the same progression of Slots as Paladins, Rangers, and Artificers.

Ki abilities are mathematically just Spells.
Yeah, I was gonna say Monk too. The armorless gish.

Some of the more magical Barbarian traditions might count too.

A Dexterity Eldritch Knight − or even a Dexterity Paladin! − can serve as an armorless gish.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Regarding the Monk, I wish many of its class features shifted over into the subclass design space, instead.

Then an "emptier" Monk class design space would leave more room to reuse the class for other subclass concepts of physical prowess, including nonmagical Athlete, but also other kinds of agile gishes.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think there would absolutely be design space for such a thing mechanically. I don't know how it would fit thematically.
We did this for the "Adventurer" class (where every thing you get is via feats), to create a generic Unarmored Defense, equal to 10 + DEX + an ability score of your choice other than Dexterity.

STR - You know how to use your power to push attacks aside and off-balance your enemies.
CON - Your stamina keeps you moving in a fight, making you hard to hit.
INT - You analyze the situation and your opponents' movements, removing yourself from harm's way.
WIS - Your insight into danger has given you a sense of how to avoid it as much as possible.
CHA - Your confidence and poise allows you to position yourself in unexpected ways, fooling your attackers.

Or something like that... 🤷‍♂️
 

Does bladesinger count?
that is a wizard who learned sword craft so WotC does not have to make an arcane half caster.
because of mage armor and barkskin?
but those are wizard spells, I am questioning who something has not been thought off?
What do you think the Monk is...?

Ki points are just the Spellpoint variant from the DMG, mathematically, based on a Short Rest. If you triple the Ki point total by Level, and reverse the math to get Spell Slots, Monks have the same progression of Slots as Paladins, Rangers, and Artificers.

Ki abilities are mathematically just Spells.
this seems partly true yes you can use monk ki for spells but it is not even when stretched a spell caster at this point.
Yeah, I was gonna say Monk too. The armorless gish.

Some of the more magical Barbarian traditions might count too.

A Dexterity Eldritch Knight − or even a Dexterity Paladin! − can serve as an armorless gish.
the barbarian is like the eldritch knight, not a half caster but has magic they are quarter casters or something.
and I highly doubt we will ever get a half-caster monk to get off the ground as people likely conflicting ideas of what a monk should even be ends up rendering that unlikely.
Regarding the Monk, I wish many of its class features shifted over into the subclass design space, instead.

Then an "emptier" Monk class design space would leave more room to reuse the class for other subclass concepts of physical prowess, including nonmagical Athlete, but also other kinds of agile gishes.
I want it far more customisable with a separation of martial arts from subclasses to make them far more dynamic per combination.
 

Monk, or ranger, or Dex eldritch knight or Dex artificer.

Really, armour isn't a big deal in 5e, you don't get much in return for giving it up.

Spellcasting is a big deal, but bounded accuracy means you there isn't much "fight" to gain in return for sacrificing half of it.
 

I think there would absolutely be design space for such a thing mechanically. I don't know how it would fit thematically.

It doesn't exist because 5e D&D is not a "character class of every permutation" system. It's a "here are the dozen or so most iconic classes from the history of the game" system, that then tweaked those classes to fill many of the different possible permutations. But each and every role does not necessarily get the arcane and divine version, the caster, half-caster, and non-caster version, and the heavily armored, mediumly armored, lightly armored, and unarmored version.

I think for such a thing to be added to this edition of the game there would have to be an iconic fantasy or pop culture "class" people clamored for which lent itself to being an unarmored half-caster. I don't know what that would be.

For anyone who justs wants to play such a character in 5e I recommend just playing a bladesinger multiclass with fighter or rogue. It's fun.
that is the problem there never was one, the books have all moved in an incompatible direction and video games or anime do not tend to do the world-building for it just being literal say fighter mages a multi-class design, not a full idea and psionics have more or less fallen out of favour every from sci-fi to fantasy or even newer superhero things.
We did this for the "Adventurer" class (where every thing you get is via feats), to create a generic Unarmored Defense, equal to 10 + DEX + an ability score of your choice other than Dexterity.

STR - You know how to use your power to push attacks aside and off-balance your enemies.
CON - Your stamina keeps you moving in a fight, making you hard to hit.
INT - You analyze the situation and your opponents' movements, removing yourself from harm's way.
WIS - Your insight into danger has given you a sense of how to avoid it as much as possible.
CHA - Your confidence and poise allows you to position yourself in unexpected ways, fooling your attackers.

Or something like that... 🤷‍♂️
thematically I have no idea either as non have even solved that with the rangers let alone another half-caster.
 


Does bladesinger count?
Yes and no...

I would love a 'magus' or 'dusk blade' style gish that used the artificer spell chart had it's own dedicated list of spells...but used a spell book with them and got unarmed defense (either Con, Int or Cha...I could see any of them)
and I would still give them barkskin as a spell they could learn
 

Yes and no...

I would love a 'magus' or 'dusk blade' style gish that used the artificer spell chart had it's own dedicated list of spells...but used a spell book with them and got unarmed defense (either Con, Int or Cha...I could see any of them)
and I would still give them barkskin as a spell they could learn
I generally agree: an arcane half-caster with its own spells would be awesome, or at least a weapon-focused artificer subclass.

But the reason we don’t have any official versions of that is the designers think it’s already covered. And technically they’re right, even if many attempts have fallen rather flat.
 

I generally agree: an arcane half-caster with its own spells would be awesome, or at least a weapon-focused artificer subclass.

But the reason we don’t have any official versions of that is the designers think it’s already covered. And technically they’re right, even if many attempts have fallen rather flat.
yeah the hex blade, eldritch knight and the bladesinger (and even the artificer) do have it kinda covered... I just want something more. especially what all 3 miss out on is that 'spell list' I want a weapon attack spell and a cause melee havok spell that ONLY they can use... maybe mixed with some smites or smite like spells without giving those to the wizard too.
 

I generally agree: an arcane half-caster with its own spells would be awesome, or at least a weapon-focused artificer subclass.

But the reason we don’t have any official versions of that is the designers think it’s already covered. And technically they’re right, even if many attempts have fallen rather flat.
it is true the designers think that but honestly it never quite works it is more like you're given something close but if you care it does not truly work, plus a new half-caster would be cool and an artificer is more a three-quarters caster for some mad reason.
yeah the hex blade, eldritch knight and the bladesinger (and even the artificer) do have it kinda covered... I just want something more. especially what all 3 miss out on is that 'spell list' I want a weapon attack spell and a cause melee havok spell that ONLY they can use... maybe mixed with some smites or smite like spells without giving those to the wizard too.
it is not just the spells and you can't give it smites as those are paladins thing, it needs a theme as well but I have yet to see one of those made.
 

Also, the main place I see this kind of character is video games, and they usually just explain it as how fighters work in their settings.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
There is absolutely not one of us who couldn't right now do a class feature swap by giving the Barbarian's Unarmored Defense feature to the Ranger in exchange for Favored Enemy or Natural Explorer. We could all do this right now for a PC of ours and have an "unarmored" half-caster this very moment (if indeed that flavorless mechanical class was actually necessary.) WotC doesn't need to put it in a book for us to make that swap. Heck... if someone wanted to play a more true-to-form 4E Avenger, they could swap out Divine Sense for Unarmored Defense and play an unarmored "Avenger" paladin to their heart's content.

As @Benjamin Olson stated... WotC doesn't make new Classes just to fill out new game mechanic combos. They make Classes when they have stories for them. If there's no quality Class story, they aren't going to make a new Class just for the sake of making it because there's a mechanical niche that could be filled (like "unarmored half-caster" or "arcane half-caster".)
 

it is not just the spells and you can't give it smites as those are paladins thing, it needs a theme as well but I have yet to see one of those made.
The hex blade already gets a smite spell and the ranger gets a +x damage and ensare spell that might as well be a smite. so no that isn't just a paliden thing... the base divine smite is (swap spell slot for radiant d8s) but the spells can be taken... or you can make a varriant (like the rangers did)
 

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