In my time here, I’ve observed a few general changes and big patches (arrived a month or half a month before the HAK introduction) and I decided to pitch in with my own suggestion for a class I’ve recently delved into myself and been toying with.
My approach to the suggestion has been based off the general gist of maintaining the balancing whilst offering more on the roleplaying side of things as well as utilities given to a class that can benefit from it. Parts of the suggestion may be flawed with things I am unaware of or didn’t account for, but the essence of it remains the same.
To enable Epic Spell Focus features and flavour for Spellswords.
What does it mean and what is the purpose?
Availability of utility features and flavour for the sake of enhancing the roleplaying aspect for Spellswords and variety in the paths that people going down the Spellsword class line, that are willing to take specific feats for the sake of RP over optimization.
The class is already existing with limitations such as no summons, and an entirely prohibited school whilst existing with limited spell slots and a lot of them being used for imbue slots if they are to be versatile out there to face off against different creatures.
This ultimately comes down to the desire for even if not all of the suggested ESF features, then at least some of the ESF features are unlocked for the Spellsword class.
What about it taking flavour from X or Y class? What about balancing?
These features are for the most part directly tied to arcane capabilities and are still at this point used by people that make use of things from a non-arcane source.
Regarding balancing, as I will detail further down, this will -not- be affecting balancing in any major way beyond utility – at the very least not from my own observations.
We’re all aware that Spellswords do not have access to Epic Spells, which makes perfect sense due to matters such as Mummy Dust, EDK, Hellball and Greater Ruin could really mess with the balancing when added on top of the other capabilities of a Spellsword.
Spellswords are most definitely in a good spot, general gameplay-wise, but it feels as though they are shoehorned down into a narrow path in regards to what they should and should not do, and even if one did want to sacrifice certain things for the sake of utility, RP flair and variety it is not actually possible for them to do so since it is not just Epic Spells that are locked for them. It is also the Epic Spell Focus features.
This means that Spellswords do not have access to features such as -scry, -teleport create (portal), -ward, etc.
The Arelith description of a Spellsword is as following:
We are talking about high fantasy, highly magic oriented setting of wizards flicking their wrists and shaking out dragons from their sleeves, where the deities grant you, your magical powers (per the Derlson NPC) and whilst they forfeit creation / summoning, and an entire school of magic the notion of ‘cutting corners to make ends meet’ resulting in them being entirely unable to make use of a single Epic Spell Focus’ features, when another wizard can pick 3+ Epic Spell Focuses seem excessive. Especially since a player and Spellsword is already committing 3 feats – 2 pre-epic and 1 epic feat, ideally – to even get this.
Currently, Epic Spell Focuses are glorified DC boosters for most of them. Yet we have several ‘Epic’ features that seem to be okay. Teleport, whilst a Greater Spell Focus is only functioning at level 21+, when you are de facto an Epic Character, hence I’d regard it as an epic feature. ESF Transmutation (the go-to for Spellswords) whilst not allowing you create portals, still works for you since you get an extra +1 to your zoo spell. Whilst nice, for sure… Why is that regarded as an approved feature when others which have arguably less than, or equal impact on actual balancing is not?
To go over the Epic Spell Focuses and what they lend to the roleplay, functionality and balancing, I’ll take it from an end with minor notes what they would gain vs without the feature.
Necromancy and Evocation are obvious ones that are not being mentioned since they have nothing of note to be gained as the ESF variant of both are irrelevant. The latter being gated behind Epic Spells (Hellball & Greater Ruin) and the former being a summon/creation variant and usage per day.
- Abjuration - the feel of a martial mage that helps lock down an area or uses the free hand to disrupt teleporting out. Or protecting themselves from scrying. (Been loosely told this has such a function).
- Conjuration - the feel of being able to draw someone to them through the power they have. And if it costs an epic level feat. Why not? Can be argued it is in opposition to the initial description of the Spellsword, regarding creation and summoning.
- Divination - The concept of the hunt through scrying, and discerning things through magical means. It’s a minor tool, that contributes entirely to the RP.
- Enchantment - Second domination and duration increase of Mind Fog stun (1d6 rounds). – This may be enabled already for them. Not tested.
- Illusion - A companion illusion, which serves as a fun gimmick / distraction. Possibility of copying imbues but largely unnecessary, unique flavour for the class.
- Transmutation - Portal. The extra zoo buff point they already get. Only new thing is portal. Can be argued it should be kept excluded from the enabled features, based off same reason as listed under Conjuration.
On the balancing side, it’s small additions to their kit that gives them some more variety in RP, some on the field and is not (in most cases a debatable smidge) conflicting with their initial design in mind.