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Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

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Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:24 am

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My magic is a weapon, a keen edge brought to bear against the greatest of foes, and none shall best me in combat. —Nothoreon Kilnarok, Swordmage

The Swordmage is, at the essence, a fighter; he simply uses magic as his weapon instead of steel. While they may carry a mundane or magically enhanced weapon, their true weapon of choice is the constructs of arcana they can call upon at a moment's notice, to suit the situation at hand.

Unlike true spellcasters, the Swordmage is not limited in how many times per day he may use his powers, but unlike mundane warriors, he cannot rely on a single, reliable weapon at all times. His weapons are intensely ephemeral and temporary, and he must call upon new ones constantly, and in a lengthy battle he may find himself bereft of the weapons he needs most. Despite the name, the sword is only one of many weapons a Swordmage will employ in any given battle.

Becoming a Swordmage
A Swordmage is typically one with sorcerous or otherwise innate arcane talent, but more of a penchant for physical combat than magical. Though hardier than true mages, the Swordmage must rely on their arcane arms and armor in order to stand toe to toe with more solid fighters.

Abilities
Charisma is the most important ability for Swordmages; their force of personality dictates the efficacy of their Incantations, the reality of the blades the conjure and the weapons the evoke, as well as their martial skill with said weapons. At the same time, Swordmages are usually lightly armored and are somewhat fragile compared to more physical combatants, so Dexterity and Constitution are also very important. Swordmages also have a sizable class skill list but only average skill points per level, making Intelligence quite useful.

Alignment
Often Chaotic. Swordmages are not in any way constricted by alignment, but their fighting style appeals to those who are willing to change their strategy at a moment's notice.

Races
Given their penchant for magic and graceful combat, Elves are unsurprisingly often drawn to Swordmagic. Gnomes, as a naturally arcane race, and Halflings, enjoying as they do a bit of chaos, often favor the path of the Swordmage over the mundane warrior, as their small size is less of a hindrance when using Incantations. Humanity, of course, with its large population and adaptable nature, makes up not a small share of Swordmages.

Class Features of the Swordmage

Hit Die
d8.

Skills
Class Skills
The class skills (and key ability modifier for each) of the Swordmage are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Skills at 1st Level
(4 + Int modifier) ×4.

Skills per Level Thereafter
4 + Int modifier.

Table 1: The Swordmage
LevelBase Attack
Bonus
Saving ThrowsSpecialIncantations Readied
FortRefWill0th1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
1st+1+0+0+2Weaponized Arcana42--------
2nd+2+0+0+3Masterful Cant43--------
3rd+3+1+1+3432-------
4th+4+1+1+4Enhanced Cant +1433-------
5th+5+1+1+4Bonus Feat4332------
6th+6/+1+2+2+5Protective Personality4333------
7th+7/+2+2+2+543332-----
8th+8/+3+2+2+6Enhanced Cant +243333-----
9th+9/+4+3+3+6433332----
10th+10/+5+3+3+7Arcanized Weaponry, Bonus Feat433333----
11th+11/+6/+1+3+3+74333332---
12th+12/+7/+2+4+4+8Enhanced Cant +34333333---
13th+13/+8/+3+4+4+843333332--
14th+14/+9/+4+4+4+9Supercharging3333333--
15th+15/+10/+5+5+5+9Bonus Feat33333332-
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+5+5+10Enhanced Cant +43333333-
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+5+5+1033333332
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+6+6+113333333
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+6+6+11333333
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+6+6+12Avatar of True Arcana, Enhanced Cant +5, Bonus Feat33333


Armor and Weapon Proficiencies
Swordmages are considered proficient in all of the weapons they can conjure with their Incantations, and with all simple weapons as well. Swordmages are proficient with Light Armor, but not with Shields.

Incantations (Sp)
Incantations are special, extremely short-lived arcane spells used as weapons by the Swordmage. In general, an Incantation takes an attack action to use, that is, they may be used as many times during a full attack action as the Swordmage has iteratives due to base attack bonus, and they may be used for attacks of opportunity. Unless specifically noted in the effect, effects that grant additional attacks may not be made with Incantations stronger than Cantrips.

Incantations are spell-like abilities, which means they are generally subject to spell resistance, can be dispelled but not counterspelled. Unlike most spell-like abilities, incantations neither provoke attacks of opportunity nor require concentration checks. Incantations do not require any components ''per se'', but enough freedom of movement is required to actually make the attack in order to use them.

The DC of saving throws for Incantations is equal to 10 + the Incantation's level + the Swordmage's Charisma modifier. The Swordmage also has an Arcane Caster Level equal to his class level, which may be used by Incantations to determine various effects.

Like a Beguiler, a Swordmage knows all of the Incantations on his list, and may cast them spontaneously. In addition to the Incantations specifically listed, he knows a Cantrip, or 0th level Incantation, for each weapon in which he is proficient: this Cantrip simply creates a copy of a perfectly average weapon, and makes a single attack with it. He may also know Cantrips in weapons with which he is not proficient; he is proficient with the "canted" version, but would not be with a physical specimen of the same weapon.

Unlike spellcasters, Swordmages may end up using any number of Incantations in a given day. However, they can only have a certain, small number of them, as listed in the table above, ready at any given time; readying these requires a mere five minutes of concentration, similar to the way a Sorcerer readies himself to use his magic for the day. A Swordmage may ready his Incantations whenever he likes, and may do so as often as he likes, provided he has the time to do so. When he does, he may ready any of his Incantations known, but none more than once. The number of Incantations of each level that he may ready at a time are given in the table above.

Beginning at 14th, the Swordmage gains the ability to cast lower-level Incantations at will; these do not have to be readied before hand, and can simply be used in combat as desired - though the same Incantation cannot be used again once used until the encounter has ended or the Swordmage has Recovered (see below). The Incantations that may be used at will are indicated by a '∞' in the table above.

In combat, he may cast his Incantations, at which point they are expended. Recovering his expended Incantations is a full-round action, which he make at any time; in doing so, he provokes attacks of opportunity, and may be forced to make a Concentration check to avoid wasting his action, as if he were casting a spell. He may also recover his Incantations defensively, with the same rules as if he were casting a spell defensively. Upon successfully completing this action, all of his expended Incantations are again readied, but he may not change which Incantations he has readied.

An Incantation's effect is typically to create a "canted weapon" from pure arcana, and attack once with it. This attack typically has side-effects and other benefits associated with it. The weapon is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction, but is otherwise identical to a perfectly average Medium-sized weapon of the appropriate type unless otherwise indicated by the Incantation's description, regardless of the Swordmage's own size. However, a Swordmage never suffers penalties due to wielding an inappropriately-sized canted weapon, unless the Incantation's description adds specific size penalties (and this penalty will be the same for Swordmages of all sizes).

A Swordmage threatens any squares he would threaten if wielding any of the weapons offered by his readied but unexpended Incantations.

Weaponized Arcana
In place of the usual Strength or Dexterity modifiers on attack and damage rolls, a Swordmage uses his Charisma modifier when using Incantations. If a weapon uses a multiplier on either the Strength or Dexterity modifier (''exempli gratia'', 1.5x Strength on a two-handed weapon, 0.5x Strength on an off-hand weapon), the same multiplier applies to his Charisma modifier.

Masterful Cant
At 2nd level, the Swordmage gains knowledge of a Cantrip for each martial weapon, and may use these even if not proficient with the actual weapons.

In addtion, all weapons created with Incantations are considered at least Masterwork.

Enhanced Cant
Starting at 4th level, all weapons from Incantations gain a +1 enhancement bonus. This bonus increases by +1 every four levels thereafter (+2 at 8th, +3 at 12th, +4 at 16th, and +5 at 20th). If an Incantation specifically gives the canted weapon an enhancement bonus, the two do not stack, simply use the greater of the two. Any special abilities of the canted weapon remain on the weapon.

Bonus Feat
At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the Swordmage gains a bonus feat from the following list. He must meet all requirements for a feat in order to select it.

Adamantine Incantations*, Align Incantations*, Arcane Mastery2, 6, Blind Fight, Cloak Dance, Cloudy Conjuration3, 7, Combat Expertise, Combat Intuition1, Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense1, Dazzling Illusion3, 7, Defensive Strike4, Dodge, Energy Abjuration3, 7, Evasive Reflexes5, Expert Tactician1, Eyes in the Back of Your Head4, Exotic Incantations*, Favored Incantation*, Fearsome Necromancy3, 7, Fleet of Foot, Force of Personality1, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Combat Expertise4, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness4, Incantation of Choice*, Incantation Focus*, Incantation Specialization*, Innate Cant*, Insightful Divination3, 7, Iron Incantations*, Martial Study5, Martial Stance5, Metacantation*, Mobility, Piercing Evocation3, 7, Prone Attack4, Run, Sidestep Charge, Silver Incantations*, Spell Penetration, Spring Attack, Superior Expertise, Toughening Transmutation3, 7, Weapon Focus

1 Complete Adventurer2 Complete Arcane3 Complete Mage4 Complete Warrior5 Tome of Battle

6 Arcane Mastery may be qualified for with the ability to cast Incantations as well as the ability to cast spells.
7 Cloudy Conjuration, Dazzling Illusion, Energy Abjuration, Fearsome Necromancy, Insightful Divination, Piercing Evocation, and Toughening Transmutation may be triggered by casting Incantations from the appropriate school, in addition to spells.
* New Feat.

The new feats designed for the Swordmage may be found at Swordmage Feats.

Protective Personality
At 6th level, a Swordmage's constant use of Incantations has created a residual effect on him, and he can effortlessly surround himself in swirls of arcana to protect himself. He gains a Deflection bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier, so long as he has (or would have) his Dexterity bonus to AC. Furthermore, his Deflection bonus to AC due to Protective Personality cannot exceed his armor's Maximum Dexterity Bonus.

Arcanized Weaponry
Starting at 10th level, a Swordmage may, while casting an Incantation, apply any enhancement bonuses or special abilities found on any actual weapon he is wielding, to the weapon granted by the Incantation. The canted weapon's enhancement bonus cannot exceed +5, nor can its total equivalent enhancement bonus exceed +10. The weapon is considered as if it does not have these bonuses or abilities until the beginning of the Swordmage's next turn. During the Incantation, the physical weapon is absorbed into the canted weapon, and returned to the Swordmage's hand afterwards.

If an Incantation creates more than one weapon, only one may receive the effects of any given weapon. The Swordmage may transfer the effects of other weapons, if he has them in hand, to additional canted weapons, if he desires. However, any single target can only be affected by a Special Ability added through Arcanized Weaponry once in a single Incantation, even if that Incantation would attack the target repeatedly. The Special Abilities listed in individual Incantation descriptions may be applied to a target as many times as the target is hit.

Supercharging
Beginning at 14th level, when a Swordmage recovers his Incantations, he gains a bonus on checks to pierce spell resistance equal to his Charisma bonus for three rounds.

Avatar of True Arcana (Ex)
At 20th level, a Swordmage becomes a living, breathing being of pure magical force. His type changes to Outsider, and he is considered native to every plane that has magic (so he may only gain the Extraplanar subtype if he is on a plane with the Dead Magic trait, he otherwise has the Native subtype). Unlike most Outsiders, the Swordmage may be affected by life restoring magic such as ''Raise Dead'', is immune to being affected by spells of the Conjuration (Calling) subschool, and cannot be banished from any plane except those with the Dead Magic trait.

In addition, twice per day but no more than once per encounter, a 20th level Swordmage may, as a Free Action, channel enormous amounts of Arcana through his body, supercharging all of his Incantations. For one round, all of his Incantations are considered Extraordinary Abilities, that is, are unaffected by Spell Resistance, cannot be Dispelled, and may be used within ''Antimagic Fields'' and Dead Magic Zones, and furthermore all attack rolls made with Incantations are considered Touch Attacks (ranged or not as is appropriate to the Incantation). Incantations with a duration lasting longer than 1 round are Extraordinary during this round of Arcana channeling (even if originally canted before the Swordmage used this ability), and revert to Spell-like (i.e. immediately end if in an ''Anti-Magic Field'' or Dead Magic Zone, and are vulnerable to dispelling otherwise) once the round is over.

Multiclass Swordmages
Swordmagic is at the crossroads between true arcane spellcasting and mundane martial maneuvers. As such, Swordmages are known to be excellent at both pursuits: one adds ¾ of his Swordmage level to all his Initiator Levels, instead of ½, and one also adds ½ his Swordmage level to any other Arcane Caster Levels (unless the Caster Level in question is already adding more than ½; this would not stack, for example, with a bonus akin to the Ur-Priest's). Note that this is considered to be a part of the base Initiator and Caster Levels, not bonuses, and so they are always added before any bonuses and penalties (most notably Practiced Spellcaster).

Swordmages can also qualify for any Prestige Class that requires a Caster Level or the ability to cast Spells of a particular level, by having the appropriate Caster Level or being able to cast Incantations of the same level. He does not, however, have Spell Slots, so he cannot cast any spells that he might gain as Spells Known through Prestige Classes.

Image Credits
The image for this class is ''heavily'' adapted (and rather poorly) from Anima: ??? no. 1 by Wen M. All credit to him for the excellent image, all blame to me for the horrid mangling.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:33 am

Incantations
Unless otherwise noted, all Incantations have a duration of Instantaneous. Incantations do not have components of any kind, do not provoke attacks of opportunity, are affected by spell resistance, can be dispelled, cannot be counterspelled, do not require Concentration checks, and do not work in antimagic fields or dead magic zones.

Swordmage Arts
Some Incantations have the [Art] descriptor. Incantations with this descriptor synergize with other Incantations that have the descriptor: if the Swordmage uses any two Swordmage Arts in a single round, all additional Arts he uses in that round gain extra features, as described in their entry. It is worth noting that almost all Arts are Evocations.

0th Level Incantations

Universal
  • Cantrips - Summon a weapon and attack once with it.

1st Level Incantations

Abjuration
  • Blinkplate - Gain 8 Armor AC against three attacks of your choice.
  • Charge Breaker - Attack with a halberd and prepare for a charge.
  • Sword and Board - Gain a Sword for a single attack and a Shield for the round.
Conjuration
  • Daggerhail - Conjure a burst of small knives to lacerate foes in an area.
Enchantment
Evocation
  • Charged Arcana - Make a Ride-By Attack Charge.
  • Critical Point - Make an attack with Rapier and Improved Critical, and critical threats automatically confirm.
  • Light Bow - Attack a foe with a glowing arrow that illuminates the area and causes dazzle.
  • Piercing Spear - Spear attack ignores damage reduction, cover, and concealment.
  • Upender - Trip with Improved Trip.
Illusion
  • Sable Whip - Illusionary whip convinces foes they've been disarmed.
Necromancy
  • Scourge - Attack with a holy flail that Turns Undead.
  • Soul Harvester - Attack with the Cleave feat, gain extra damage on Cleave attack based on first foe's former HP.
Transmutation
  • Grappling Hook - Attack a foe at range and drag them to you or you to it.
  • Rending Claws - Attack with a pair of punchdaggers, deal extra damage if both hit.
  • Rope Cant - Thrown bola entangles foes.

2nd Level Incantations

Conjuration
Evocation
Necromancy
  • Bleed Out - Spiked gauntlets leave a foe bleeding profusely.
Transmutation
  • Fellfrost Cross - Attack with two shortswords, leave foes suffering from frostbite and hypothermia.

3rd Level Incantations

Abjuration
Conjuration
  • Enchanted Gladius - This stout and sturdy sword stands stalwart against the subtle sinistry of abberations.
  • Sherwood Bow - This hunter's bow can attack twice as fast, and brings down mighty beasts quickly.
Evocation
  • Balmung - With this dragonslayer's sword, dragons no longer seem so frightening.
  • Burn (Art) - Whirlwind attack with a flaming sword.
  • Frost (Art) - Icy gauntlet chills foes to the bone, limiting their actions.
  • Purify (Art) - Divine bow destroys the undead.
  • Shock (Art) - Throw a shocking dagger that can paralyze foes.
Illusion
  • Silence Glaive - This spear can Silence enemies.
  • Radiance - This golden blade of light ignores armor and burns foes.
Necromancy
  • Blade of Woe - Those killed after feeling this blade briefly rise again as zombies or skeletons under your command.
  • Everdark (Art) - Sling fires a vile bullet that blinds foes.
Transmutation
  • Quickblade - A single attack with this dagger makes you faster.
  • Sever Gravity - Allows you to Fly, as the spell.
  • Stonehew - This enormous pick goes through earth and stone like butter.
  • Sunder - A blow from this hammer damages constructs, leaving a weak spot for follow-up attacks.

4th Level Incantations

Abjuration
Conjuration
  • Echo Blade - This knife will echo every one of your attacks for the round.
Enchantment
  • Star of Courage - A brilliant mace encourages your allies and demoralizes your enemies.
Evocation
Necromancy
  • Chain of Despair - Attack with a spiked chain and bestow a curse upon your target.
Transmutation

5th Level Incantations

Abjuration
Conjuration
Enchantment
  • Daggerwing - Summons wings with blades for feathers, to guard yourself or attack your foes.
Evocation
  • Lightning Fury - Throw a lightning bolt that splinters into dozens more.
  • Winter's Breath - Shuriken summons a whirlwind to pull foes out of the fight temporarily.
Illusion
Transmutation

6th Level Incantations

Divination
  • Zero-Sum Interrupt - An attack so fast the foe bleeds before they are even hit, circumventing all defenses.
Enchantment
Evocation
  • Blaze (Art) - Punch out foes with a flaming gauntlet, cause an explosion.
  • Brilliance (Art) - A shining blade of justice blinds all but the purest of hearts.
  • Ice (Art) - Shatter an icy flail and the resulting blizzard freezes an area and batters foes.
  • Mordenkainen's Sword - Summon a sword to fight for you.
  • Null (Art) - Vile chains fill the area with cloying darkness.
  • Stun (Art) - A whack with this staff releases a discharge that stuns all around you.
Illusion
  • Assassin's Guile - Sneak a bit of extra damage to those who have been attacked by your teleportation effects.
Necromancy
Transmutation

7th Level Incantations

Abjuration
Conjuration
  • Chaos Blade - Make a full-attack as a standard action, with a better attack bonus.
  • Subtle Knife - Cut your way into a whole new world.
Divination
  • Blade of Fate - Strike at your foes and gain incredible fore-knowledge of their movements for the rest of the round.
Evocation
Transmutation

8th Level Incantations

Abjuration
  • Cut Off - Separate your mind from others, protecting it from danger.
Conjuration
  • The Warrior Returning - When about to die, instead heal yourself and take an attack of opportunity against your would-be killer.
Evocation
Illusion
  • Will Blade - An illusory sword can nonetheless be really fatal.
Necromancy
  • Don't Fear - With a coup de grace, trap a foe's soul.

9th Level Incantations

Abjuration
Evocation
  • Divinity (Art) - Gain angel wings, smite foes, and bolster allies.
  • Electrocute (Art) - Thrown javelin becomes an incredible bolt of lightning, damaging and stunning all in its path.
  • Freeze (Art) - This icy dart freezes foes solid.
  • Incinerate (Art) - Attack with a fiery flindbar.
  • Starfury - Four shurikens of light explode and attack secondary targets.
  • Threadstring Bow - Attack with your very soul.
  • Thunderbluss - A shotgun blast devastates foes.
  • Void (Art) - This vile strike can slay a foe outright, and blind those who witness it.
Illusion
Transmutation
  • Pankratosword - A sword so fine it can cut the indivisible, unleashing destruction and devastation.
  • Ravages of Time - Act at twice your normal speed.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Lord_Gareth » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:32 pm

Hey Dragoon, can you put the school for Incantations next to their entry PLEASE?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:11 am

Done.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Epsilon Rose » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:33 pm

Right, wasn't entirely sure where to ask this (GTiP, the wiki, here) or if anything is still being done with this class, but I figured I'd just take a stab and hope for the best.
Can you use two-weapon fighting with incantation and, if so, how does it work?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:15 pm

That was something I haven't fully ruled on, but the general consensus (and I agree) is that it would be too powerful, so no. Plenty of the maneuvers have "built in" TWF in their description, for what it's worth.

Anyway, here or the Wiki is the correct place; the GitP thread is dead, since I can't respond there. I can't even see it, actually. If people are still using that thread, I'd appreciate it if you could link them to this one. Thanks!
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:05 pm

Question: When I use quickblade in a full attack, do I get the extra attack in the same turn?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:53 am

When I tested it with Jarian, we played it that way. Jarian was of the opinion that the Quickblade extra attacks should be limited only to Cantrips, so we also had that limitation. I'm... on the fence about the Incantation in general. Considering how extremely low the duration of the thing is, though, I'm not sure it can't just be exactly what you'd think - an extra attack to be used fully, starting the round in which you use it. Having it be delayed a round is problematic because of the already-low duration.

It's definitely one which could use more feedback, though.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:21 pm

Allright, thank you. I'm still waiting for my own DM's ruling on this.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:04 pm

Let me know what your DM thinks, and let me know how it goes!
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:30 pm

Well, The DM's (It's Keld Denar) ruling is basically no different from Jarian. Usable as part of a full attack and cantrip only.

BTW, it's a bit interesting to see evocation having most incantations (in comparison to wizard's distribution of spells)
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:38 am

I agree, I think that's interesting too, and it was at least somewhat intentional. I'd like to get some of the other schools a bit closer, but the Swordmage is pretty clearly an offensive archetype, so Evocation makes sense. I also wanted to drive home that he's not simply conjuring weapons, but actually evoking them from pure magical energy.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:58 pm

Iron of the mind and Purification can use some extra oomph. At that level you can just metacant Metalline Compostie Longbow or metalline greatsword. Compared to Blink dagger or Fellfrost cross (+3 enhancement total, with more effect beyond that) it is a bit low-powered. I think you should avoid incantation which effect can be replicated easily with weapon enhancement or even weaker that metacanted cantrip, at least not the obvious combos.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:55 am

Yeah, both have been commented on before. They do need work. Maybe just move them down to 1st level? That, or some sort of rider-effect. I'll have to think on it.

I played a one-shot as a level 7 Swordmage recently; was fun. I feel that they can maybe go a bit too long without recharging - the Psion was almost out of daily Power Points by the time I had no Incantations left. Unsure on that.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby LixLorn » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:20 pm

Hallo!
A couple of things I noticed, as well as a feat I came up with.

When I typed Chaos Blade, I mispelled opponent as opponenet. DXD
Also, Everdark is the ONLY art to not be an evocation. Even the other Darkness ones are Evocation. Seems... kinda uneven.

As for the feat, I recently made a Large sized Swordmage and came up against the 'medium weapons' thing again. So I decided to make a small feat that lets you use differently sized weapons. It's probably not very strong.
Also, nice to be able to talk to you again. :)

Sized Incantations
Prerequisites: Monkey Grip, ability to use Incantations
Effect: When using an incantation, you may make the weapon created either Small, medium, Large, or any size within one size category of your own. In addition, when using a canted weapon you may reduce the penalty for wielding a weapon not sized for you by one.
Normal: Only medium weapons can be created, unless the incantation specifies otherwise.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:28 pm

Chaos Blade: Good catch.

Everdark: True - I'll consider moving some more around so they're not all Evocation.

Sized Incantations: Canted weapons never give size penalties. Monkey Grip is useless to a Swordmage and is therefore an unnecessary feat tax: I'd suggest having a Special section saying that your feat qualifies as Monkey Grip for the sake of pre-requisites (a la Desert Wind Dodge or Evasive Reflexes), instead of making it require Monkey Grip. Finally, you're getting an average of +2 damage on your attacks as a Large character with this feat - that's a really bad trade. Even with my suggested changes, this strikes me as more of a trap than anything else.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:30 am

On IoTM/Purification

Definetely rider effect. Even as 1st level incantation they lose to Berserker Axe and Piercing Spear. Sure it +1 but up some levels and Piercing spear suddnely became a lot better than those two. Some nice rider effect can even make it still relevant to Swordmage who took Silver/Iron Incantation.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby soulsabre345 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:16 pm

I'm trying out a level 7 Swordmage in a campaign right now and I've come up across a couple questions so I thought I might as well just ask.

1. When using Metacantation to add a effect that has a uses/day restriction how is that handled? i.e. I put speed on Blinkplate. Is it 3/day period, or 3 over the 7 or so rounds of Blinkplate, or does the 3/day reset whenever you re-ready your invocations? If it doesn't reset at all, what's to stop a inventive Swordmage from readying sets of use/day enhancements via Metacantation for each fight?

2. Has there been a decision on whether to have Quickblade apply to just cantrips or all invocations?

3. I'm assuming normal haste would apply to incantations and allow you a extra one in a full attack correct?

4. For Blink Dagger, and incantations in general that don't have success linked to a attack, can they be used without making said attack? i.e. a situation that came up was my character was at -4 hp and being captured by a enemy, but there was a ally within range. Is it valid to have used blink dagger to teleport to the ally but not make the attack? (I was very stupid in the first fight of the campaign, let's leave it at that.)

5. And just for clarification purposes, if you Metacantate Daggerhail only one instance of the enchancement activates but does it do so for all enemies in the 10' burst or just one of them? (i.e. I put collision onto Daggerhail at level 6 with 20 charisma. does it do 4d3+15 to all 4 targets or 4d3+15 to one and 4d3+10 to all others?)
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:01 am

1. I'd say that the Swordmage would get it 3/day, either across multiple Incantations or in just one. Great question, though.

2. After testing the other night... I think probably just Cantrips.

3. Again, I think it should probably be just Cantrips. Otherwise those effects are massively disproportionately powerful for Swordmages.

4. By RAW, you can attack "a square" and it has an AC of 0, so for Blink Dagger, yes. In general, I'd say that this is OK.

5. With Metacantation, yes, that's correct. Arcanized Weaponry would not allow you to do that, since it can only apply the effects to a single canted weapon.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby soulsabre345 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:38 am

Alright, to then to elaborate on the 3/day enchantments, let's say for one fight you readied a blurring blinkplate, and another a speed blinkplate. Is it correct to say that would would in a day have 3 uses of speed and 3 uses of blurring but no more?

Also, is there supposed to be any way to activate a art's secondary effect before level 11? If haste doesn't give another incantation use per round, I don't see how to activate 3 arts in a round. I don't know if that was your intent, but if it wasn't perhaps turn a art or two into a swift or immediate action.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:13 am

Yes, you can use Blurring 3 times, and Speed another 3 times, but not 4 of either.

As for Arts, no. I think those need to be reworked, but so do a lot of Incantations?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Epsilon Rose » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:36 am

Ok, I may be going insane, be cause I could have sworn I already posted this question here, but how does Needle of Light interact with Incantation of Choice?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:50 am

Huh.

Damn, more and more I feel like Incantation of Choice is not a good idea for balance. It's almost impossible to balance Incantations designed for one weapon when it could easily be swapped for a far more powerful weapon.

If I'm forced to answer, I'd use this:
Normal
Threat Range
Needle of Light
Threat Range
Needle of Light
Threat Range w/Imp. Crit.
2018-2015-20
19-2017-2013-20
18-2016-2011-20


However, I'm now thinking that Incantation of Choice should not change the stats of the Incantation's attack; it should simply allow the Incantation to benefit from effects that refer to that weapon, and serve as a stylistic thing. That makes it a pretty weak choice in a lot of cases, but if you got enough things that work with a specific weapon it might be worthwhile. Thoughts?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Epsilon Rose » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:20 pm

I think the table for needle is a good choice and it's probably would have come up with left to my own devices.

As for the change to Choice. I oppose that. It would be fairly close to worthless at that level since you would need to spend most of you're feats on improving one weapon that you wouldn't be able to use all the time and still not getting much in return. It would also make Exotic Incantations a-lot less useful.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:55 pm

"at that level" - which level?

"wouldn't be able to use all the time" - a melee weapon works for every melee Incantation and a ranged weapon works for every ranged Incantation. That means you'll be able to use it most of the time.

"make Exotic Incantations a-lot less useful" - why? Rather, what do the two have to do with each other? You don't need Exotic Incantations to use Incantation of Choice (any Exotic Weapon), nor would Exotic Incantations allow you to take Incantation of Choice (any Exotic Weapon) - you would still need Exotic Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus (the Exotic Weapon) to take Incantation of Choice (any Exotic Weapon). I'm not seeing how the two are related.

As a designer, though, my issue with Incantation of Choice is that it allows an obscenely large number of possible combinations that I now have to consider. I have to write every Incantation thinking "OK, how does this change if it's a Greataxe or Scythe or Greathorn Minotaur Hammer instead of a Dagger?" That's a ton of work for me, which is why I'm not really a fan of it. Moreover, the feat has always been pretty much the antithesis of my reasons for writing the Swordmage in the first place; the point of the class was to have it use a wild array of weaponry, which Incantation of Choice eliminates.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Epsilon Rose » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:38 pm

DragoonWraith wrote:"at that level" - which level?

I'm not actually sure what I meant by that... maybe just that it would eat feats for very little return?

"wouldn't be able to use all the time" - a melee weapon works for every melee Incantation and a ranged weapon works for every ranged Incantation. That means you'll be able to use it most of the time.

I thought you ruled a while ago that it also has to be the same size of weapon (e.g. no turning dagger rain int fullblade rain)

"make Exotic Incantations a-lot less useful" - why?

Because without it Exotic incantation only gives you a few cantrips and with it you could potentially use an exotic weapon on more relevant (at higher levels) incantations. Also with the way Exotic is worded it sounds like it gives you enough proficiency for weapon focus and similar feats, if only for the incantation version.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:42 am

I agree that the return on the feat is less than it ought to be.

I did suggest that, but it was unpopular and deemed to defeat the purpose of the feat (that is, to be able to specialize in one kind of weapon), so I never codified it.

Exotic Incantations explicitly does not give you proficiency with the mundane weapon; I'm pretty sure you couldn't take Weapon Focus with it. Exotic Incantations was only really intended to give you cantrips. Still, I think Exotic Incantations allowing you to take feats which require you to choose a weapon is reasonable enough; I should probably say somewhere that you can do that.

On the other hand, Incantation of Choice was definitely supposed to require proficiency with the mundane version of that weapon.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Epsilon Rose » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:28 pm

DragoonWraith wrote:I did suggest that, but it was unpopular and deemed to defeat the purpose of the feat (that is, to be able to specialize in one kind of weapon), so I never codified it.

If the weapon of choice ends up mattering you probably should do that because turning something like dagger rain that's meant for a low damage weapon into scythes or worse is a little crazy-stupid broken, at or you'd have to have some way for the transformative effect to scale (which would be a pain to do well).

Exotic Incantations was only really intended to give you cantrips.

Yeah, but the problem with that is it means a lot of the really cool weapons won't see much play unless you wan't to take favored incantation for a cantrip, which seems like a waste (unless I'm really under estimating metacantation [and even then it'd probably be a bit repetitive]).

On the other hand, Incantation of Choice was definitely supposed to require proficiency with the mundane version of that weapon.

I'm not sure that's the best of ideas, after all if you go that rout you'd need a proficiency feat for anything that's not a simple weapon (I think... the swordmage proficiency block confuses me a little). Although if I'm reading it wrong it's probably a tossup since once you have Incantation of choice you're probably not going to use most of the other incantations you get from exotic (unless you take favored multiple times).
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Ernir » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:45 am

A wording issue I see:
Like a Beguiler, a Swordmage knows all of the Incantations on his list, and may cast them spontaneously.

The bolded part confused me a bit. In a section full of references to readied incantations, what does this mean? Just that he knows them all?

There are some inconsistencies when it comes to your wording of the actual incantations. Looking at Everdark, Radiance and Burn, they refer to "level", "caster level", and "Swordmage level", respectively.

The entry on Burn is weird, too. Range: Personal, Area: 5ft Cone-shaped Burst? A range of "personal" means that the spell doesn't affect anyone but you. And what's a 5' cone? Just... one square?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:05 pm

The former question is a result of me changing the rules and not updating all of the text.

The latter is due to accepting Incantations written by other people, and missing those inconsistencies.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Terazul » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:05 pm

So, a few questions, as we have a Swordmage in one of our games, and I gotta ask about the interaction of a couple feats and incantations. Namely:
Innate Cant
Metacantation
Incantation of Choice
and the Incantation: Daggerhail

1. How does Innate Cant interact with Metacantation? If you readied say Metacanted Daggerhail, would each attack made as part of a full-attack use the fully Metacanted version?

2. For Incantation of Choice, what constitutes as an appropriate weapon? In our case we've got the daggers in Daggerhail replaced with Greatswords (small ones, albeit). Could you add a small blurb or line of what is constituted as an appropriate (any thrown, any light, etc)?

3. How does damage reduction interact with Incantations that use multiple weapons, like Daggerhail? Does it apply once for the radius burst, or individually for each weapon?

I think that's it for now? Had more but realized some were answered above. Basically we've got a Favored Incant/Innate Cant/Metacanting Swordmage who specializes in Daggerhail, commonly replacing the daggers with Greatswords. Which at level 6, amounts to 5d10+5(Enhanced Cant)+2.5xCha damage, reflex half. They usually Metacant it up to their max of a 3rd level slot, tossing on an appopriate Bane if given time, and full attacks using Innate Cant. I only think it's a tiny bit excessive, but one of the Warblade players disagrees. Possibly just overreacting though! So I appreciate any feedback.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:03 pm

1. I'd say no, because Innate Cant specifically has the limit of being 2 levels lower than your highest (and it doesn't seem in keeping with that to allow them to "make up" the difference by Metacanting). However, RAW, there's absolutely no clarification on that point; I'll try to work on that. My feeling that the way you should do this is that you can take Innate Cant (Incantation Metacanted +3) or something like that. But you'd need separate feats for each level, and therefore also need to be higher level yourself.

2. As written, it's only meant that you can't replace ranged weapons with melee weapons or vice versa (mostly because the Incantations in question begin to make no sense). However, if you read up a little, you can see that I'm generally dissatisfied with Incantation of Choice in general; it has a lot of problems. Daggerhail is an excellent corner case that shows the problem with it, IMO. I suggested restricting things to weapons of similar wieldiness (i.e. Light Weapons replaced with Light Weapons, Two-handers replaced with Two-handers, etc.), but that was rather unpopular and deemed to defeat the purpose of the feat (to allow someone to focus on a particular weapon). I personally feel that the feat largely goes against the point of the Swordmage to begin with, plus it's a balance nightmare... but it's one of the most popular feats for the class, which I feel can't be ignored.

Honestly, at this point, I'm open to suggestions on it. I mean, a feat is a reasonably steep price to pay - how does a Greatswordhail work in your game? Recall that they should be treated as Small Greatswords, and therefore only deal 1d10 and not 2d6 damage, for what that's worth. If you're looking to rein it in, my suggestions are either keep the "wieldiness" the same, as above, or make it a change that only allows you to apply your weapon-specific feats and class features to all Incantations, rather than actually changing the stats of the Incantation. If you have any feedback on it, it would be greatly appreciated!

3. That is an excellent question. RAW, I'd say you should apply DR separately. Balance-wise, I'm very much unsure that this is a wise choice. Considering the Swordmage's lack of ranged/area-effecting attacks, I think it may be best to allow Daggerhail to apply DR only once. But you should definitely consider this in comparison to what is going on in your game, to see whether this is good or not.

As for your experiences, thanks for the feedback! I'm not familiar with that Soulknife, but yeah, I'm not terribly surprised by the Warblades - this is supposed to be balanced with them, but I don't think I've found the mark yet. In particular, the number of readied Incantations is very high, and refreshing them is relatively easy. That definitely needs work. Tell your players that I encourage them to share their experiences! I'm still thinking about how best to bring down the power a bit.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Iituem » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:21 am

The first time I saw one was on tour in the northern provinces. We'd been holding down the fort the past two weeks and a new load of recruits had come in to shore up the defences. Morning after, I saw him; not the weedy sort you'd expect of his ilk, but a strong sort of fellow who looked like he knew what he was doing. What struck me as weird was what he was doing. As far as I could tell the man was just doing some sort of weird exercises, shifting around and moving his arms and legs in odd ways. It was only when I saw him shifting what looked like an invisible long sword (nonesense, I know) that I realised what all those moves were - he was practising forms!

"You know you really ought to be using the sword, lad," I said to him.

"It's fine," he told me. Sounded posh, like maybe an officer. Didn't quite understand what he was doing down on the ground with the rest of us.

"Yeah, but if you don't use the blade you'll never get used to the weight. Throw you right off when it comes to a real fight."

"I assure you, it's quite fine." The guy shifted stance again and started miming like he was stabbing someone with a knife. I watched him for a minute, fully believing the man was either a moron or an arsehole, before leaving for the mess tent. Last I saw him he was using an 'air pike' to dismount an invisible foe.

The name 'swordmage' came up during the evening meal. Well, that explained it. Caster. Untrustworthy buggers to a man, casters, never done a day's work in their lives and can't just swing a sword like honest folk. Well, my opinion of this 'swordmage' dropped like a stone and I just hoped I wasn't stuck with him if it came to a fight.

That night, of course, the orcs hit the camp. We held them off at the gate for ten minutes and I could have sworn I saw the bastard miming a longbow up on the ramparts. The gate broke, we all pulled back to get ready for the fight. Then what do you know the swordmage steps out to meet the first of the orc berserkers and what's he carrying in his hands? Nothing! The man was mad as a hatter, and the only thing he had to meet the monster bearing down on him was an imaginary greatsword.

The swordmage stepped forward, swung his imaginary sword and made imaginary contact with the orc. The first time I saw it I swore it was a trick of the light, but right there in his hands flashed a greatsword, just for an instant! Not even a greatsword, it looked somehow translucent - like the spirit of the sword rather than the thing itself. If you can imagine how surprised I was, you cannot imagine how shocked the orc must have been when he suddenly realised he was cut open by an imaginary blade down the middle! The poor sod dropped dead to the ground and the swordmage stepped forward to meet the rest.

He advanced, miming a dagger, then a halberd, then an axe and each time the weapon would flicker into being just long enough to gut or rend some hapless orc. He was unconcerned about the throng surrounding him; three times their axes fell on him and each time the ghost of what looked like a full set of platemail flickered into being long enough to drive the weapon aside. The fourth time, though, the axe bit hard into his leg. He fell to one knee and the orc raised the blade for the killing blow. I got there first, skewered him with my sword and helped the swordmage up. We turned and fought, back to back, until the rest of the orcs were done.

We served together in that gods-forsaken fort another six months before he and I were reassigned. Last I heard, he was somewhere in the east protecting the king. One thing's for sure, though; his enemies will never see his blades coming.


Purely fluff, purely for the hell of it. Looks like an awesome base class.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:46 am

That. is. awesome.

Thanks for writing that, I love it!
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:54 am

Nice fluff Iituem. :)

Another set of questions. Current topic this time is Radiance

1. What exactly 15 ft radius mean? Does it mean the fire damage affect every enemy 15 ft from the Swordmage? Or it is from the target? 15 ft sphere radiating from a corner of swordmage's square?

2. The text use word enemy. I'm assuming the swordmage himself is unaffected but will allies in 15-ft also receive fire damage?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:27 am

1. The intent was that "Range: Melee Attack; Area: 15 ft. radius" meant a 15 ft. sphere centered on one of the corners of the target's square.

2. The intent that it only burned those the Swordmage wanted burned. Whether or not that was a good idea, I'm less sure.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Salbazier » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:36 am

Thanks for the clarification

I think it's good. Otherwise, It will be hard to get the right positioning that doesn't hurt other melee PC. Not only the swordmage have to charge right into a horde of enemies, he must do it alone. Also, since they doesn't get many area attacks, it doesn't hurt for the one they have to be a bit more flexible.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Xzoltar » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:31 am

I just finish playtesting a Swordmage level 5 versus a serie of opponents (with time to recover of course)

The swordmage was using this list of Incantation readied for all the fights :
(3) Silence Glaive, Sever Gravity
(2) Blink Dagger, Fellfrost Cross, Bleedout
(1) Blinkplate, Light Bow, Grappling Hook
(0) Composite Longbow, Scythe, Heavy Flail, Heavy Crossbow
* I have give 4 Prowess per level to the Swordmage and was using Human (d20r) as the race

Match 1 : 2 Animated Object [CR 5, Pathfinder Bestiary P.14, CP: Faster, Flying]
> Armor from a Breatplate and good Dexterity with some touch of Blinkplate from time to time help win this encounter. A good thing Animated Object were Flying or this would not have been a challenge at all.

Match 2 : Hound Archon [CR 4, Pathfinder Bestiary P.19]
> Swordmage forgot to Fly at the begenning of the combat, but even without Flying it would probably have win. The 3 attacks from the Hound Archon (even with the casting of Aid) have miss most of the time, the Swordmage was using is Blinkplate on the 2 first attack per round and had succesfully save versus the Aura of Menace.

Match 3 : Wraith [CR 5, Pathfinder Bestiary P.281]
> This time the only reason the swordmage left the battlefield alive was because he had Anima Beacon with the prowess invest to remove the Incorporeal Subtype from is opponent. Still the combat was eally close as each round the swordmage was losing Constitution, Blinkplate and Armor didnt help versus Touch Attack.

Even if the swordmage only have 1 Attack per round (with some incantation beeing usable as a swift action), you end up fast without any useful incantation left, so basicly you are using the 2-3 same incantation and then you reset. Combat is still lot more fun than a normal Fighter.

Would be nice to have few more Incantation readied either with a feat or maybe gain bonus Incantation readied based on your Charisma as do other caster ?
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby Xzoltar » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:38 pm

Do you have any guidelines on how to incorporate new incantations to the list ? Its easier to compare a spell to other spells of that level, but with so few Incantations its harder to judge on the balance of things. I want to work on having at least 2 Incantations per school and per level (goal beeing 5 per school per level) I have incorporate Swordmage in my campaign world as the SWAT of every College of Magic by specialisation.
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Re: Swordmage [3.5 Attack Caster] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:37 pm

I'm surprised that you think that it needs more Incantations readied - the general response thus far has been that it has too many, and recovery is too easy. Hrm. I'll think about that.

As for new Incantations - hard to say. I've been mostly eyeballing it so far (especially the high-level stuff). Consider how many attacks a Swordmage of a given level would have, and sort of divide the power of a spell from that level by that many attacks, maybe?
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