June 3, 2016

Forsaker

Primal Path

**A big thanks to the very talented Takiskal, who helped us resurrect this 3.5 edition gem**

Path of the Forsaker

Magic is evil. Magic tempts. Magic perverts. Magic corrupts. Anyone who cannot embrace these truths has no business considering the path of the forsaker. The forsaker rebels against the magic of the fantastic world around him. It's not that you don't believe in it; you knows full well that magic is real. You have felt the all too tangible power burn over your skin or wrest control of your mind.
     While others may ignore the dangers of magic and succumb to its siren call of power, you know better: sorcery is nothing but a crutch that coddles and weakens its users. By depending upon your own might alone, you have become stronger, tougher, smarter, and more nimble than any of your companions. To that end, you treads a lonely path, deliberately depriving yourself of magic's benefits and destroying any lasting works of magic you encounter.

Hatred for Magic
Barbarians that follow the path of the Forsaker abhor the use of all that is magical. Starting when you select this barbarian path at 3rd level, you can never knowingly use any magic item, including potions. When you are targeted by a spell cast by an ally, you must roll a saving throw to resist the spell if one is allowed, even if the spell is beneficial. At best, your former ally will escape your wrath, and at worst, you will later settle the matter with the spellcaster using your favorite tools: blood and steel.
     Additionally, you add your proficiency bonus to all saving throws you make to resist spells that you can see being cast within 30 feet. At 14th level, you also have advantage on saving throws against all spells.

Undying Rage
At 3rd level, if you have less than half your total hit points while you are raging, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier at the beginning of your turn.
     Additionally, spellcasting fuels your hatred. Your rage does not end early if a creature you can see has cast a spell since the beginning of your last turn.

Slayer
By 6th level, though sheer force of hatred, your melee weapons are considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance, and they have a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. At 10th level, this bonus increases to +2, and at 14th level this increases to +3.

Break Free
Starting at 10th level, if you are being affected by a spell that requires that requires the spellcaster's concentration, you can use your bonus action to shrug off the magic. The caster must succeed an opposed Constitution check against you or break its concentration on the spell.

Spell Breaker
At 14th level, while you are raging, you have resistance to damage from spells.
     Additionally, if you are raging and you see a spell being cast, you can become immune to this spell until you stop raging as a reaction. After using this ability, you can't use it again until you begin another rage.



Changelog: 6/4/16: Spellbreaker: Become immune as a reaction
Break Free: Constitution check, not concentration check
6/8/16: Spell Breaker: Resistance to spells, rather than DR

24 comments:

  1. Fascinating. I think I'd rather play up the angle of hunting evil spellcasters rather than universally rejecting magic in a world where healing magic exists, but aside from the "no magic" detail that's just flavor.

    A couple issues. First, Hatred for Magic won't work with pretty much all allied spells, as beneficial spells lack saves by design; second, does this mean you effectively have proficiency in all saves for magic, or a bonus even to your proficient saves?

    Slayer seemed overpowered until I considered you can't use actual magic weapons; however, this does still mean you inherently have a magic weapon in low magic campaigns. Not a big deal, I don't know the math.

    Final feature has one large issue; there are MANY spells in D&D and it is very difficult to predict which ones you will face except in VERY tightly themed dungeons, spellcasters with a theme, or just guessing "Dominate" every time because you only need to not pick it once for everything to go wrong, at which point that IS the class feature. Being able to ignore a particular spell chosen ahead of time sounds functionally useless due to the inherently small chances involved in correctly guessing a single spell. Particularly because, technically, can't you be dominated before raging, thus preventing you from raging to select the dominating spell for immunity? It just seems a bit too much of a guessing game or 20/20 hindsight ability, like gaining immunity to the damage type that kills you. It just makes the player feel bad for failing a guessing game, or else bores them 90% of the time for making a safe but boring choice like Dominate Person except when it actually happens.

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    1. Maybe it should be all spells from a school?

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    2. That wouldn't work. Then the player just chooses Enchantment every time to avoid being manipulated, or chooses Evocation to essentially gain the Bear totems long list of energy damage type resistances; and then it goes the other way, the player gaining immunity to TONS of spells.

      I think immunity to a single chosen spell is the right choice, but it needs to be a reaction of some sort, something that lets the player determine what they're up against before they need to resist it. I think there needs to be either a limited resource of immunities like Legendary Resistance to generalize, the ability to read the spell lists of nearby creatures to figure out what to choose, or a generalized ability akin to Magic Resistance. That way you can either pick your immunities a limited number of times, pick the exact immunity you'll reasonably need, or trade immunity for generalization entirely.

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    3. What about an option to choose the spell as a reaction during a rage, after witnessing the spell or being targeted by it? And if they are being targeted by the spell they can make some sort of save with advantage against it, after which they are immune to the spell, with success essentially negating that casting of the spell?

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    4. Sorry, I've been radio silent, everyone! I've been taking a few days off, but I'm back in the fray now.

      Orginally, I thought about spellbreaker like a golem's magical immunity to some spells, but in retrospect, that comparison doesn't hold up. After all, a wizard creates and commands a golem and can make it immune to his favorite spells.

      Deciding on the spell as a reaction seems really powerful, but now that I think about it, that might be okay. After all, most of this is useless if you aren't fighting spellcasters, so it should be decidedly worthwhile when you do if you go the forsaker route.

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    5. I mean, it's one spell wasted, but if the anti-magic warrior can't get a spellcaster to waste even ONE spell slot, who can?

      So, glad to see that implemented. It just makes sense.

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    6. Why not just give them resistance to spell damage when they rage?

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    7. That's kinda embedded into the capstone, though I did it as a flat DR3 against magical and energetic damage.

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    8. DR3 is not the same as resistance. A 28 point fireball goes to 25 with DR3 (Not much help really.) whereas it goes to 14 with resist. The only place this might be more useful than spells is where the damage is spread out like Magic Missile or Scorching Rays. It's not much use against single damage bombs though, which is a lot of them(Fireball, Cone of Cold, Disintegrate, etc.)

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    9. Yeah, this is a good point for the level. DR3 against physical is great against all kinds of annoying stuff, but you're right that it doesn't translate to spells. Resistance is probably the way to go.

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  2. An interesting class, but I've always found denying ALL magic items to be shaky ground. It's true that Slayer balances the loss of a magic weapon, but I think this class would still suffer balance issues since they can't use other powerful and useful magic items like belts of giant strength. That's also not even getting into the inability to use healing basic, as Terrance pointed out.

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    1. This depends strongly on how prevalent magic items are in your campaign. Since they're optional in 5e for characters of all levels, in practice this class will run the gambit from a little powerful to 'I keep getting destroyed by wands and spells'.

      As far as healing magic being a problem, Undying Rage is intended to compensate for that to some extent, since it's basically a fighter's 18th level feature at 3rd level. Do you think this feature needs modification?

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    2. That may be true, but in practice almost every table uses magic items, much like almost every table uses feats. I suppose in a 'only spellcasters have magic' campaign this would actually be an excellent class for countering those spellcasters.

      Woops, I seemed to have skipped over that feature. I will note that that still leaves the Barbarian fairly defensless if he's out of rages, and at something of a disadvantage. But you've avoided the 'I'm at 3 HP and I can't use healing magic' problem. I'm not sure that's a perfect solution since the Barb lacks emergency healing. Hmm... Do they still have to roll to resist if they're unconscious? If so, they could die since the cleric can't stabilize them.

      It also occurs to me that this class would mesh well with your Revanent race since they can't use healing magic anyways.

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  3. Ohhhh this is fun. I like the inherent idea that you can have magic based party members... it's fun. Side note, would they get twice their proficiency bonus on saves they're already proficient in against spells?

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    1. By RAW, no. Bonuses don't stack unless they specifically are stated to.

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    2. Ah OK. That makes sense. It's effectively proficiency in all saves vs magic.

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  4. How do Concentration checks work?

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    1. This is me being dumb -- Concentration checks themselves are not a thing. The concentration entry in the PHB calls for Constitution checks, and I was under the impression that there was a term that referred to this specific check (I was mistaken.) I'll change this to an opposed Constitution check ASAP.

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  5. What is the DC for the Constitution check for the spell caster in the ability Break Free? Btw I love all your guy's stuff.

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    1. As a barbarian, I'd assume 8 + Con + Prof, though it does need clarification.

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    2. It says "opposed Constitution check". There is no DC- both the Forsaker and the spellcaster make a Constitution check, and whoever rolls higher wins.

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    3. That's correct -- thank you, Andrew. I thought I already replied to this, but my phone apparently let me down.

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