Posted by : David Guyll May 30, 2012

Not sure how many times we are going to run the playtest before we get new materials, so I cobbled together a 1-3 bladesinger class using the 4th Edition one as a model.

Bladesinger Class Features

  • Arcane Aegis: While wearing no armor you gain a +2 bonus to Armor Class.
  • Arcane Arsenal: When wielding some kind of sword (ie, short sword, longsword, scimitar, khopesh, etc), you can use your Intelligence modifier in place of Strength for your attack and damage rolls.
  • Arcane Magic: You can cast one 1st-level spell per day.
  • Bladespells: You know the bladespells dancing flames and frost bite. Bladespells are essentially cantrips that can also be used as part of a melee attack.
  • Spellbook: You have a spellbook that contains the spells burning hands and shield.
Bladespells

  • Dancing Flames: You can make a ranged attack against a creature within 30 feet. If you hit, the target takes 1d4 + your Intelligence modifier fire damage and grants attack advantage against the next attack made against it. You can instead enchant your sword and make a melee attack; your attack deals fire damage and the target grants attack advantage against the next attack made against it.
  • Frost Bite: You can make a ranged attack against a creature within 30 feet. If you hit, the target takes 1d6 + Intelligence modifier cold damage and is slowed for a turn. You can instead enchant your sword and make a melee attack; your attack deals cold damage and slows the target for a turn.

More of these could be cribbed from Neverwinter Campaign Setting, but I figure this will do for now. I should probably require the bladesinger to handle a weapon for a bit, laying in minor enchantments before it can benefit from Intelligence, but, again, we'll see how it plays out.

2nd-Level

  • Increase your total Hit Dice to 2d6, and your maximum hit points by 3.
  • Add the spell grease to your spellbook.
  • Bladesong: 2/day you can cast a bladespell after making a melee attack.

3rd-Level

  • Increase your total Hit Dice to 3d6, and your maximum hit points by 3.
  • You gain another 1st-level spell slot and a +1 bonus to damage rolls with melee attacks.
Arcane gets a lot of usage, but the idea is that this class should be able to do some melee stuff without having to spread ability scores too thinly. Originally I had intended to let it add Dex and Int together for AC, but I think that it could easily give it a higher than expected AC at the start (and I am trying to avoid making it more durable than a fighter).

Otherwise I slowed down the spell progression from the wizard (would probably lump in a 2nd-level spell at level 4) and gave it a fighter's damage bonus because it is supposed to be a melee class. I might bump up the Hit Die to d8. Depends on what else we see and how well it fares during our games.


Spellsword Theme
Here is a kind of default theme I also kicked together. I thought that wizards had to make a Constitution check to cast a spell after being damage, but I could not find that rule anywhere so I'm just going to say that they have to make a DC 10 + spell level Con check to pull it off. I was kind of torn on the 3rd-level feat, going between allowing them to burn spells for a one-time melee damage bonus, sack Hit Dice to recharge a spell once per day, swap out one spell for another so long as it was an Abjuration or Evocation, etc.

  • Combat Casting: When you have to make a Constitution check to cast a spell because you took damage, you have advantage.
  • Evocation Specialization: When targets make saving throws against your Evocation spells, they have disadvantage.

{ 5 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Concentration rules are on the back of the wizard's sheet, under "Casting a Spell" in the Arcane Magic class feature.

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  2. Huh...I guess I was kind of close. Just figured the DC would scale with the spell.

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  3. On one hand, I love it. On the other hand, it's a bit powerful.

    The most glaring thing is the number and power of their features versus the number and power of the features granted to the pregens.

    The Bladesinger has 6 features (if you count weapon proficiency) to the pregens' 4. I think that class could do fine with the removal of the Arcane Aegis and Arcane Arsenal features.

    Stats are more leveled out in 5e, and hitting so far isn't too much of a problem. In light armor they would want Dexterity for AC, and with a finesse weapon they get their hit and damage as well.

    If we were to insist on them only needing Int as a stat then allow their cantrips to be attacks, much like Shocking Grasp, which use the casting stat to attack. In fact, I think it would be a fair trade to get rid of Arcane Arsenal and simply add another Bladespell.

    Just my two copper, however. I love the idea and I'm excited to see people trying new things with the playtest material.

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  4. The idea of a bladesinger is that it is a type of "fighter/wizard" playable right from the start, and so I wanted to make sure that it worked without having to have a number of good stats (ie, Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence).

    Allowing it to use Intelligence for melee attacks performs essentially the same function of the rogue being able to use Dexterity with Finesse weapons. Without it the bladesinger would need two good stats, or three if you count Dexterity.

    As it is I expect the bladesinger to end up being around as effective as a rogue in combat (including a similar AC and amount of hit points), just without the option for Sneak Attack damage.

    They can use bladespells as ranged attacks, or enchant their blade with them before attacking (though it just adds on a condition).

    The trade off is that they have a reduced spell selection (in both cantrips and daily spells), have less spells per day (only 1 instead of 3 at level 1), and gain them slower (only 2 1st-levels by third level, instead of 4 and 2).

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  5. Looking over the list of Finesse weapons again, I can see how it's a little underwhelming for the idea of a Bladesinger. I still feel the base class accomplishes too much right from the get go--perhaps the Spellsword theme could grant a feat allowing you to make melee attacks with your casting stat?

    As it is now the theme doesn't deal with weapons much at all, odd given it's name. It then opens the feature up to other classes as well.

    Another passing note, this one odd coming from the guy trying to tone this class down, is that I feel they should cast spontaneously as clerics. I realize a Fighter/Wizard would still need to prepare spells as normal, but the Bladespell gets so few that it seems like he should be able to truly master the ones he does know.

    Then again, a little bit of prepared casting never hurt anyone.

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