June 6, 2015

Mechamancer

Arcane Tradition
Comments from the Finger: I hate minionmancy classes, that is, classes that rely on weaker summoned creatures to do the fighting for them, like necromancers and pure summoning classes. All too often, they are confusing to players and DMs who must dig up stats constantly for summons, give weaker characters powerful tanks that can murder pure fighting characters, and, most damning of all, slow game sessions to a crawl. This last sin is on account of how minionmancers manipulate the action economy in their favor, by effectively taking a dozen turns on their own. These classes are difficult to balance and even more difficult to DM. Thankfully, 5e has done a lot in the way of curbing this power by systematically moving the action economy out of favor of minionmancers.
     With these gripes in mind, I love playing minionmancy classes, so the Palm and I have worked hard on bringing you a class that solves all of the sins, and will be as fun to play as it is to DM. Behold, the final installment in the Magitech Update: the Mechamancer.

Mechamancer

Mechamancers depart from the traditional realm of the scholarly book-smart mages, in favor of an hands-on mechanical approach to their magic. Experts in tinker's tools and engineering, practitioners of the School of Mechamancy use their magic to imbue mundane parts with animation, creating totally obedient constructs that can be repaired and disassembled. With these constructs under their control, Mechamancers can reside some distance away from the dangers of adventuring, while their creations handle the mess.

Engineering Savant
Beginning at 2nd level, you can create constructs that you can command. You gain proficiency in Tinker's Tools. You also have a total number of Construct points equal to your proficiency modifier. Creating a construct requires using your Tinker's tools and a supply of mundane parts (kept with your tools) to build the mechanical body of the construct, investing the required number of construct points in it, and expending a spell slot to transform it from mundane parts into an obedient construct. Once you have expended a spell slot to make a construct, you may not regain that slot until the construct is disassembled or destroyed. You can fully repair all your constructs to full hit points using your Tinker Tools during a short rest.

Your constructs act on your turn, though they don't take actions unless you command them to. You may expend your move or action to mentally command one or all of your constructs to move or act in a way in which they are capable. You may expend your reaction to allow one of your constructs to make a reaction if is capable.
The connection to your constructs is taxing, and you may not magically summon nor command any creatures while any of your constructs are active.

Mechanical Spiders
Beginning at 2nd level, you can create mechanical spiders, requiring expending a spell slot. You can create any number of mechanical spiders in a short rest. Each mechanical spider requires 1 Construct Point.

When you cast a spell with a range of touch, any one of your spiders can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your spider must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your spell attack modifier for the roll.
Mechanical Spiders are spindly and frail, and never sustain more than one hit before requiring repair.
Mechanical Spider
Small Construct, unaligned
Armor Class 10
Hit Points 1
Speed 20ft., climb 20ft.
STR 6 (-2), DEX 10 (+0), CON 12 (+1), INT 2 (-4), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 4 (-3)
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 7
Languages-
Spider Climb. The mechanical spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Actions
Carry. The spider can pick up and carry or drop a single object weighing no more than 5 pounds.
Automatons
At 6th level, you can create weaponized automatons, requiring 1 hour of work and expending a spell slot. When you expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to create your automaton, its maximum hit points increase by 10, its armor class increases by 1, and it gains a +2 bonus to damage on its attacks, for each slot level above 1st. You must supply a simple, mundane, light weapon or a light crossbow to construct this construct. Each automaton requires 2 Construct Points.

Automatons are short and walk on two stubby legs. They do not have arms capable of manipulating objects, and have instead a single weapon which takes up the bulk of their form.
Automaton
Small Construct, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 12
Speed 20ft.
STR 14 (+2), DEX 10 (+0), CON 12 (+1), INT 2 (-4), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 4 (-3)
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 7
Languages-
Actions
Weapon attack. Melee Weapon Attack:  its creator's spell attack bonus to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: damage dice and type as appropriate to the weapon with which the automaton was built + 2.
Construct Empathy
Beginning at 10th level, your connection to machines is second-nature. You gain advantage on Intelligence checks relating to understanding machines.

Clockwork Knight
At 14th level, you may create a humanoid clockwork knight, which can walk and wield weapons as humans do, requiring 6 hours of work and expending a spell slot. When you expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to create your clockwork knight, its maximum hit points increase by 10, its armor class increases by 1, and it gains a +2 bonus to damage on its attacks, for each slot level above 1st. Each clockwork knight requires 4 Construct Points.
Clockwork knights are tall and powerful masterpieces of machinery, capable of taking damage and crushing your foes.
Clockwork Knight
Medium construct, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 20
Speed 30ft.
STR 18 (+4), DEX 14 (+2), CON 12 (+1), INT 10 (+0), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 10 (+0)
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blind sight 60ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 14
Languages -
Spell Immunity. The clockwork knight is immune to three spells chosen by its creator. Typical immunities include fireball, heat metal, and lightning bolt.
ACTIONS
Multiattack. The clockwork knight makes two longsword attacks.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: Its creator's spell attack bonus to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 4) slashing damage.
Thunderwave. The clockwork knight can cast thunderwave as a 4th level using its creator's spell save DC.



Changelog: 10/29/15: Clockwork Knight: Thunderwave: does not need to be centered on itself.

10 comments:

  1. I'll look over it for balance like the others.

    I had a crazy idea though. What if you merged all the mechanical archetypes made into a single class?

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  2. http://i.4cdn.org/tg/1433584345482.pdf
    I made a version that dosn't use the construction point system and uses spell slot levels.

    Against a necromancer it just seemed really weak. At 20th level a necromancer army has over 2,000 hit points. With just Wraiths that can control their own zombies you can have 5,000 hit points or more in your 200 zombie strong army.

    Even at lower levels necromancer seemed more useful getting huge damage bonuses to all their zombies, and necrotic damage resistance.

    Hopefully this makes then about the same.

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    Replies
    1. See, this is the reason minonmancers break the game if not treated gingerly. No character, even a 20th level one should go have 5000 hp at their command in their army for any reason. Even 200 1 hp minions are too powerful, because they can surround your enemy and absorb 200 attacks. I mean, the tarrasque has less than 700 hp, and certainly can't cast disintegrate while smacking you.

      This doesn't even begin to raise the question of how to run combat with that many active creatures, and how they would effect the action economy. The construct point system was designed to balance these aspects of the system (and maybe constricts a little too tightly, but I err on side of caution.) Whatever you do with your mods, try to include something to limit these exploits, lest the rest of the party become completely obsolete.

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    2. In our group, we try to limit minion classes as much as possible because they break the quick flow of combat, as the Finger said in his reply. A homerule we usually stick by (funny enough, created because of an exploit I did with the 3.5 artificer!) is a 3 minion limit for any player. But it is totally your right to do whatever you want to make these work for you.

      The great thing about D&D, 5th edition in particular, is that no two groups of players have the same experience. What might be balanced in our playtests may be weird and under- or overpowered in yours. We appreciate that fans like you are taking the time to comb over our work and modify it to suit your needs!

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  3. The first level "ability" doesn't actually do anything as far as I can tell. It just explains how the rest of the abilities work.

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    Replies
    1. That was basically the idea. Later today, when I have access to my computer, I'll update it to give proficiency in Tinkers Tools as well.

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    2. That was an error. It should be 2nd level. Fixing on the post now. The PDF should be edited as soon as the Finger gets to a computer.

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  4. can i ask why a wizard can supply a crossbow to an automaton if it can only does melee attacks?

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    Replies
    1. Wow, nice catch. 'Melee weapon attack' should just say 'weapon attack', since you can build an automaton with a crossbow

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    2. It's ok, i'm glad to know that a MechaMage can build a couple of LIVING METAL WALLS WITH gun-CROSSBOWS.

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