October 18, 2017


Base Class
Comments from the Finger: Ages ago, we built this class with the help of Grand Moff Xela to be a new base caster, a scroll-caster. This is actually our second take on the class, and we've really optimized it to be easy to play (or, as easy as a wizard), fun at the table, and flavorful as hell. Enjoy!


A round pair of spectacles hanging on his nose, a wizened human produces a scrollcase and carefully unfurls the blank parchment within. He examines it in detail, tracing unseen lines, curves, and markings with his eyes. Then, with a flick of his wrist, the parchment leaps from his hands, standing bolt upright at his arm's length, and surges with arcane energy. It burns at the edges, as cryptic symbols and lines flare into and out of existence, as the energy within them is released.
     A female dwarf stands at the edge of a lake peaceably, stretching one arm out in a graceful pose, returning it to her center, and then stretching out the other. Eyes closed, she repeats these soothing motions to a silent rhythm. She feels the balance and sway of the elements within her, as the heat of flame sparks to her fingertips and frost pricks at her heels. She pulls the breeze with the flow of her arms and feels the resistance of the earth respond underneath her feet. All is harmony with the elements, and all is harmony within the dwarf.
     Shugenja master the esoterica of magic and the raging elements through careful, deliberate calligraphy. Theirs is the painstaking art of crafting the geometry of spells to evoke the elements themselves, and to understand the elements in their fullness.

Arcane Scribes
Arcana is, perhaps, expressed most purely through geometry. Rendered through meticulous diagrams and precise figures, intersections, and angles, a spell scroll hints at the hidden secrets of the multiverse. Depicting these cryptic formulae is a demanding art, but imparts great power to those who master its subtleties.
     Unlike other spellcasters, shugenja dedicate themselves wholly to the crafting of scrolls, traditionally called ofudas. Perfecting the calligraphy and memorizing the forms of powerful runes, sigils, and glyphs is a lifelong challenge requiring patience and persistence.
     But when complete, a spell scroll is like a loaded spring, containing an abundance of arcane energy, restrained within the sweeping lines of ink and calculated intersections. Casting it with the right words and gestures frees the bound energy within, which springs forth suddenly, taking a spell form ordained by its geometry. This release is violent, always burning the words off its page, and often singeing or disintegrating the paper itself in the process. A single scroll is disposable; a courier of arcane power. But with enough scrolls, a shugenja commands arcana itself.

Elements and Balance
To study the universe, its geometry, and its elements is as much an inward search as an outward one. The universe is a ticking clock erected in harmonious balance; understanding that balance is but one way to attain harmony within oneself. Shugenja approach the geometrical art of rending magic as a meditative process, one intended to bring balance within their souls though wisdom and insight.
     In their studies, all shugenja become intimately familiar with the elements. Layered, interwoven, and deeply symmetrical, the elements comprise the fundamental building blocks of all existence. Each element has an opposite, and as one waxes, the other wanes. These pairs are understood as Dualities. While each shugenja studies all the elements, they will attain mastery over only one, to better grasp the nature of its balance.

The Shugenja
LevelProficiency FeaturesCantrips Known1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
1st+2Duality, Scrollcasting32--------
2nd+2Blank Scrolls, Elementalist32--------
3rd+2Words of the Ancients331-------
4th+2Ability Score Improvement  432-------
5th+3Share Scroll (1st Level)4321------
6th+3Duality Feature4322------
7th+3Elemental Ward43221-----
8th+3Ability Score Improvement  43221-----
10th+4Elemental Substitution532221----
11th+4Share Scroll (2nd Level) 5322211---
12th+4Ability Score Improvement  5322211---
14th+5Duality feature53222111--
16th+5Ability Score Improvement 532221111-
17th+6Share Scroll (3rd Level)5322221111
18th+6Duality feature5322221111
19th+6Ability Score Improvement  5322222111
20th+6Master Scribe5322222211

Creating a Shugenja
Shugenja are scholars: they are not born, they are educated. Because of this, it is important to understand where you acquired your teachings. Most shugenja have, at the very least, a master who instructs them in writing, etiquette, the sciences, and other fields of study, and guides them in understanding the universe’s great mysteries. These masters often establish schools, universities, or temples devoted to both spiritual understanding and higher learning: obtaining instruction from one of these schools is a great honor. If you had a master, who was he? What were his specialties? Is he still alive, and are you still in contact? If you went to a school, what was it called, and who were your masters there?
     Conversely, some have no master and no school. These few, through study of a seemingly unrelated topics, tend to stumble upon an unanswerable question or a gap in their knowledge that cannot be explained, which leads them to the self-discovery of the great Dualities. If you are self-taught, what did you study before your epiphany and what epiphany that led you to this path?
     Parallel to this is your choice of Duality. Shugenja seek to understand the balance of all things, and by doing so they gain mastery over one aspect of that balance. What aspect have you chosen to study and pursue, and what led you to that choice?

Quick Build
You can build a shugenja character quickly by following these suggestions. First, your highest ability score should be Intelligence, followed by Dexterity or Constitution. Second, select the Duality of Fire and Ice. Lastly, choose the elemental influence, fire bolt, and shocking grasp cantrips, along with the spells burning hands, fog cloud, icicle javelin, rumbling charge, snowflake shield, and whispering wind.

Class Features
As a shugenja, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d6 per shugenja level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per shugenja level after 1st

Armor: None
Weapons: Simple weapons, shortswords
Tools: Calligrapher’s supplies
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Medicine, Nature, and Religion.

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted to you by your background:
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a scholar's pack or (b) any explorer's pack
  • 30 sheets of parchment, 4 ounces of ink, and an ink pen
  • Calligrapher’s supplies
  • A master scroll

As a scholar of the elements, you have learned to prepare scrolls charged with magic energies.

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the shugenja spell list. You learn additional shugenja cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Shugenja table.

Master Scroll
You have a master scroll, a great piece of parchment upon which you inscribe your spells for permanent use. This scroll contains four 1st level shugenja spells of your choice. You do not inscribe your cantrips, which are instilled in your memory.
Sidebar: Your Master Scroll
The spells that you add to your Master Scroll as you gain levels reflect your discoveries about the nature of the elements. You might also find other spells during your adventures that you can add to your Master Scroll, strengthening your mastery over the elements.
     Copying a Spell onto the Scroll. When you find a shugenja spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your master scroll if it is of a level for which you can prepare scrolls and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.
     Copying a spell into your Master Scroll involves reproducing the basic form of the spell, deciphering the notation used by the caster who wrote it, and transcribing it into your Master Scroll using arcane inks.
     For each level of the spell, the process takes 1 hour and costs 25 gp. Once a spell is recorded into your master scroll, you can prepare spells scrolls of it just like your other spells.
     Your master scroll can hold a number of spells equal to 10 + 3 times your level. You can erase a spell of your choice whenever you copy a new spell into your scroll.
     Replacing the Scroll. If your scroll is ever lost or destroyed, you can transcribe a new master scroll from a copy you have made. You can make a nonmagical copy of a spell by spending 1 hour and 10 gp for each level of the copied spell, and you can spend the same amount of time and gold to copy it into a new master scroll.
     Filling out the remainder of your master scroll requires you to find new spells to do so, as normal. For this reason, many shugenja keep backup Scrolls in a safe place.
     The Scroll’s Appearance. Your master scroll is a unique collection of arcana that represents the depths of your knowledge and understanding. It might be a magnificent document in an ivory scroll case, a volume of carefully linked and organized scrolls, or even a burned husk of parchment, salvaged from a fire. 
Preparing and Casting Spell Scrolls
The Shugenja table shows how many spell scrolls of 1st level or higher you can have when you finish a long rest. When you prepare a spell scroll, you choose exactly one shugenja spell that you have in your master scroll to inscribe on it. The spell scroll upon which you inscribe a spell must be of the same level as the spell or higher. Preparing a spell on a higher level spell scroll is equivalent to casting that spell using a higher level spell slot. You can prepare a single spell more than once on different spell scrolls.
     When you cast one of the spell scrolls you have prepared, you expend the spell scroll, destroying it in the process. Unused scrolls become mundane parchment when you finish a long rest.

Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your shugenja spells, since you learn your spells by constructing the intricate geometries of spell scrolls. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a shugenja spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Ritual Casting
You can cast a shugenja spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your Master Scroll. You don't need to have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus
Your spell scrolls themselves act as an arcane focus for shugenja spells you cast of 1st level or higher.

Learning Spells of 1st Level or Higher
Each time you gain a shugenja level, you can add one shugenja spell of your choice to your Master Scroll. Each of these spells must be of a level that you can prepare, as shown on the Shugenja table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your Master Scroll (see the “Your Master Scroll” sidebar).

Starting at 1st level, you embrace one of the dualities that give substance and meaning to the universe. Choose one of the elemental dichotomies: Fire and Ice, or Earth and Wind. Each Duality is detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you bonus spells known at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th levels, and features at 1st, 6th, 14th, and 18th levels.

Duality Spells
Each Duality has a list of spells that you add to your Master Scroll at the shugenja levels noted in the Duality description. These spells do not count against the number of spells you add to your Master Scroll each level, and they are considered to be shugenja spells for you.

Blank Scrolls
By 2nd level, not all of your spells need to be inscribed in advance. With effort, you can cast a shugenja spell recorded in your master scroll by writing it in magical energies on blank parchment while the spell is cast. You have one blank scroll of each level of spell that you can prepare, up to 5th level. For example, at 5th level, you have 3 blank scrolls, 1 of 1st level, 1 of 2nd level, and 1 of 3rd level. A blank scroll can only be used to cast spells of its level.
     Once per day, you can recover all expended blank scrolls when you finish a short rest. You recover all expended blank scrolls when you finish a long rest.

By 2nd level, you are an experienced scholar of the elemental planes. You learn the Primordial language and one other language of your choice. Additionally, you have advantage on all Intelligence checks relating to the elements, elementals, or the elemental planes.

Words of the Ancients
Starting at 3rd level, you understand any written language that you see, provided you touch the surface on which the words are written as you read them. It takes about 1 minute to read one page of text. This ability doesn’t decode secret messages in a text or a glyph, such as an arcane sigil, that isn’t part of a written language.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Share Scrolls
Starting at 5th level, your allies can use 1st level prepared scrolls that you create. When casting one of these scrolls, your allies use your spell attack bonus and spell save DC for the spell.
     At 11th level, your allies can use scrolls of 2nd level that you create, and at 17th level, they can use scrolls of 3rd level that you create.

Elemental Ward
At 7th level, you learn to protect yourself from the elements. When you finish a short or long rest, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage. You have resistance to that damage type until you use this feature again.

Elemental Substitution
Starting at 10th level, you can flexibly bend the elements as you see fit. Whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage, you can replace half the spell’s damage, rounded down, with another damage type from that list.

Master Scribe
At 20th level, you have mastered the art of scrollcasting. As an action, you can expend any two prepared scrolls to create a blank scroll. This blank scroll has a level equal to the highest of the prepared scrolls sacrificed, or 5th level, whichever is lower. This blank scroll lasts until it is used, or until you take a short or long rest.
     Additionally, as an action, you can expend a blank scroll to instantly prepare a number of spell scrolls whose combined level is equal to that of the blank scroll expended. You choose which spells are prepared on these scrolls when you create them. These prepared scrolls last until they are used, or until you take a long rest. Once you create prepared scrolls in this way, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Shugenja specialize in manipulating the fundamental building blocks of the universe. Because the universe is erected in perfect harmony, each elemental force is balanced by its opposite, creating a universal Duality. As one element of a Duality becomes more powerful, the other becomes weaker; it is this symmetry and tension that maintains the universe’s balance.
     Shugenja each choose a duality as a focus of study, becoming expert in not one element, but also its opposite. In learning to balance the elemental duality, shugenja also learn to find balance within themselves.

Fire and Ice
Fire and ice are the classically opposed elements, representing the disparity between light and dark, summer and winter, heat and cold. Fire is destructive and hungry, devouring any food it happens to find, and leaving a trail of ash in its wake. Cold, too, is destructive, but by means of frigid stillness and cold death. Whereas one elements grows and consumes, the other restrains and withers.
     Masters of this duality learn to manage the tempers of the destructive magics, turning them on their foes. Their magic is devastating and tinged with elemental fire or ice.

Fire and Ice Spells
Shugenja Level Spells
1stburning hands, icicle javelin
3rdflame blade, water jet
5thfireball, ice claw prison
7thwall of fire, watery tentacles
9thcone of cold, flaming death

Chains of Winter
Starting at 1st level, whenever you deal damage with a spell of 1st level or higher on your turn, you can use your bonus action to blanket the target in ice. Choose one of the spell’s targets that took damage to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s speed is halved until the end of its next turn.

Elemental Attunement
At 6th level, you have gained an affinity for the elements associated with your duality. Whenever you cast a spell that deals damage, you can deal an additional 1d8 fire or cold damage, your choice, to one of the spell’s targets.

Mantle of Flame
Starting at 6th level, you can unleash fiery wrath upon those who stand too close. As an action, you can cloak yourself with an aura of blazing heat that lasts for one minute or until you choose to end it as a bonus action. Any hostile creature that comes within 5 feet of you or starts its turn there takes fire damage equal to half your shugenja level.
     Once you use this ability, you must finish a short or long rest before using it again.

Arctic Stride
At 14th level, you learn to freeze the very ground you walk upon. Whenever you move, you can choose to turn the ground you move across into difficult terrain until the start of your next turn. Additionally, you can move across liquid surfaces using this ability, freezing the liquid behind you.

At 18th level, your magic mingles frigid cold with scorching heat. Spells you cast ignore resistance to damage.

Earth and Wind
Earth and wind are elements separated by physicality and mass. Earth is powerful and immobile, but its great weight tethers it down and makes mountains slow. By contrast, the wind is free and unburdened, dancing as high or as low as it pleases. The earth is steady and unmoving, but the wind brings with it great and sudden turbulence, changes that can destroy.
     Shugenja that master this duality learn to balance the immovable force of stone with the swift fury of the storm. In combat, they wield a sword as nimby as a quill, and stand strong with warriors and mages alike.

Earth and Wind Spells
Shugenja Level Spells
1stfog cloud, rumbling charge
3rdgust of wind, stone bones
5thfly, meld into stone
7tharcing spark, hunger of the earth
9thsuffocation, wall of stone

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this duality at 1st level, you gain proficiency with light armor and two martial weapons of your choice.

Displaced Form
At 1st level, you can distort the air around you, concealing your true location. Whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher, you can use a bonus action to impose disadvantage on ranged attack rolls against you. This effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn.

Arcane Strike
At 6th level, when you use your action to cast a cantrip, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

Strength of Stone
Starting at 6th level, you can assume the power and durability of earth. When you take a short or long rest, choose a damage type: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. You have resistance to that damage type until you choose a different one with this feature.
     Additionally, you automatically succeed DC 10 Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration.

At 14th level, the wind is solid beneath your feet. While you are not wearing heavy armor, you have a flying speed equal to your current walking speed.

Storm, Quake, Thunder
Starting at 18th level, as an action, make a melee weapon attack against a creature within your reach. On a hit, lightning strikes the target from above and the earth shatters beneath its feet. The target takes 5d10 thunder damage and 5d10 lightning damage, is knocked prone, and make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target is stunned until the beginning of your next turn.
     Once you use this ability, you must finish a long rest before using it again.

Shugenja Spells

Shugenja Wind Spells

Shugenja Water Spells

Shugenja Earth Spells

Shugenja Fire Spells

Cantrips (0 Level)
Acid Splash
Diamond Edge
Elemental Influence
Fire Bolt
Poison Spray
Produce Flame
Ray of Frost
Shocking Grasp

1st Level
Break Waves
Burning Hands
Comprehend Languages
Create or Destroy Water
Detect Magic
Faerie Fire
Feather Fall
Fog Cloud
Geomantic Discernment
Guided Missile
Icicle Javelin
Illusory Script
Rumbling Charge
Snowflake Shield
Whispering Wind

2nd Level
Acid Arrow
Animate Snow
Aerial Alacrity
Continual Flame
Flaming Sphere
Glass Blade
Gust of Wind
Heat Metal
Rusting Grasp
Scorching Ray
Stone Bones
Stone Tell
Water Jet
Zone of Sweet Air

3rd Level
Call Lightning
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Glyph of Warding
Ice Claw Prison
Lightning Bolt
Meld into Stone
Protection from Energy
Rain Squall
Sleet Storm
Stinking Cloud
Water Breathing
Water Walk
Wind Wall

4th Level
Arcing Spark
Control Water
Conjure Minor Elementals
Fire Shield
Hunger of the Earth
Ice Shape
Ice Storm
Intensify Gravity
Shape Metal
Stone Shape
Wall of Fire
Watery Tentacles

5th Level
Cone of Cold
Conjure Elemental
Flame Strike
Flaming Death
Frolicking Fountain
Legend Lore
Iron Body
Wall of Stone

6th Level
Chain Lightning
Flesh to Stone
Freezing Sphere
Move Earth
True Seeing
Wall of Ice
Wall of Iron
Wind Walk
Winter Flower

7th Level
Delayed Blast Fireball
Fire Storm
Freezing Touch
Inevitable Boulder
Plane Shift
Winds of Change

8th Level
Antimagic Field
Control Weather
Incendiary Cloud

9th Level
Call Avalanche
Meteor Swarm
Storm of Vengeance
Transmute Lava

Changelog: 10/19/17: Spell Slots: The class gains a second 6th level spell slot at 19th level and a second 7th level spell slot at 20th level (as normal for high level casters)
Earth and Wind: Strength of Stone: Advantage on Strength checks replaced with automatically succeeding DC 10 concentration checks
10/23/17: Spell List: Storm of Vengeance added


  1. First. Was waiting. Excited to see this on the blog. Like a bird leaving the nest. How will the wide world treat this brainchild?

    1. If we're fortunate, brutally. Good work is made better by good criticism; I look forward to people picking it apart more than the praise. That being said, I think this one is pretty solid -- I hope people dig it.

    2. Well, since you asked for criticism, I think the Wind and Earth isn't enough for a good melee caster- It'd need something like the Bladesinger's dance. Or maybe instead of advantage on strength checks, auto-succeeding on dc 10 concentration checks? That would make it much easier to maintain spells in melee, and also reduce the number of rolls you'd have to make (which speeds up the game).

    3. The Finger has the playtest results for that subclass, but I think you're right. We may have overestimated the impact of the resistance portion of that ability. It might need a little boost. I like the idea of auto success on concentration. It bumps the power slightly and is still on theme.

      On the other hand, none of the abilities force you into melee save the capstone. A W/E Shugenja with a longbkw is entirely possible, and in fact rather effective.

    4. I've been considering what to do with that subclass for a while. When we reworked the class, we removed the default light armor proficiency and the medium armor proficiency held by this archetype, which dropped its AC altogether. I could buff the AC by adding shield proficiency, or by just adding +2 AC to Displaced Form. Not sure if there'a a better option.

      And I like the suggestion of adding auto-succeed low-DC concentration checks! I'll probably put that in Strength of Stone, but I've got to decide if I'm keeping the advantage on Strength checks thing.

    5. I think the concentration ability would work best as a replacement for the strength ability.

      Using a shield limits the Shugenja to either weapons or spells unless they have war caster. Best to not add shield proficiency.

      You could add medium armor back to the archetype. Could also add a Stone's Endurance style ability to Displaced Form. E.g. "This effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. While this effect lasts, you can use a reaction when you take damage from a melee weapon attack to reduce that damage by 1d4 (or 1d6 haven't done math) + your intelligence modifier."

    6. I've added the auto-succeed on concentration checks thing (super good idea, Idan), but I'll have to think about the AC issue. I'm always wary about gish-y archetypes in full-caster classes, since if you took the AC and tanking benefits of a gish and just avoided melee, you suddenly become a normal caster, but with super OP benefits.

      That's why we made the Channeler, after all -- so we now have a dedicated gish platform.

  2. Replies
    1. See, scroll casting isn't as easy at it seems...

    2. Oh! Should be fixed now. See, this is why I try to line up posts in advance -- so I don't try to post something while I'm also working on code.

  3. Just because it's not said anywhere... do spell scrolls require parchment or some other writing surface? Or do you generate paper?

    1. For roleplay purposes, scrolls are written on parchment and use ink; you don't magically create these things, so you should have a supply on hand for scroll casting. For practical purposes, you don't really have to keep track of your paper or ink usage, so it can just be assumed you always have enough in your stash.

    2. OTOH, paper and ink are expensive. It also annoys me that the PHB never specifies how many sheets a fl.oz. of ink can cover, maybe we could suggest a number?

  4. Wow.
    This is wonderful.

    The throwback to how 3.5 wizards prepared spells is nice, and well-balanced with the blank scrolls and additional abilities. I'm not seeing anything here that's overpowered, and also nothing that's useless.

    I'm waiting for extra dualities already- Body and Mind, Life and Death, Law and Chaos... This flavor really allows for infinite subclasses (and means that half of them would be named the same as the swords from MTG).

    1. The ever feared Shugenja of Feast and Famine.

      Life and Death was actually published in the expansion pack on patreon. Should still be compatible.

    2. I immediately thought of Feast and Famine when reading your comment as well. I think it'd be interesting. As would Body and Mind.

  5. about "Storm, Quake, Thunder".
    I must declare use before or after the attack roll?

    1. Yes you must declare use before the attack.

  6. You should add a Fire and Earth, Fire and Wind, Ice and Earth and Ice and Wind. It would be cool to see those. Then again, it is new, and you guys probably think that it would take too much time

    1. The idea behind the archetypes here is a balance between two opposing elements. A dichotomy. I don't think those would work because those elements you mention are not directly opposed. Could certainly give it a shot if/when a Complete Shugenja is released. Can't speak for whether I'll have a large say in that though. Not a Digit, just co-created this one.

    2. It depends on what religion you ask. I could see Ice and Earth coming togeather as life trying to survive the frost and the need for a winter each season.

      Ice and Wind is balancing the wind patterns to not bring an early winter. yet at the same time a predicable winter denies winter its means of being dangerous.

      too many ways to see these imo.

  7. Wow this looks awesome. Though I'm still a little dissapointed with the Air spell selection. I was really hoping for an Air Cutter/Slicer spell that sent a pressurised wave of air at a target or a spell that created a Vacuum momentarly. Still every thing else look really good. Really looking forward to the Light and Shadow Dualality. Hopefully it will have a good way to blind people.

    1. Hmm, razor wind would be a good spell/technique to include in a wuxia book, if we ever do one. You might need to remind me, when the time comes!

      As for creating vacuums, we actually wrote a 'create vacuum' spell for Dark Matter. Maybe it can be dropped into the Shugenja...

  8. Is there any reason why they only get 1 6th and 1 7th level scroll, whereas other primary casters get 2 6th and 2 7th level spell slots?

    1. This might be something I need to look into more closely, but the original logic was that, since this class gets Blank Scrolls (which are quite powerful), I'd decrease all spell slots across the board by 1, to a minimum of 1. This balances out for spell levels 1-5, and 8th and 9th are unchanged (plus, it makes spell prep that much easier, since you have fewer spells to worry about.)

      I'm fairly confident this was a good balancing in the long run (even if it looks a little odd on the class table), but I'm open to other thoughts and solutions as well.

    2. While the blank scrolls are powerful relative to the way the class functions - and they definitely do make up for the missing 1-5 spells - the recovery feature of blank scrolls is very similarly balanced to the wizard's Arcane Recovery, and while blank scrolls can give more total spell levels back, the shugenja has to have used their blank scrolls specifically, whereas the wizard can have used any of their spell slots. This leads to what I perceive as a pretty equal balance, which is why I was confused about the missing 6th and 7th level spells.

    3. Yeah, it's a bit of a weird spot. I definitely don't want my Blank Scrolls going above 5th level, but I also want to use an easy metric for changing the spell table so it doesn't look arbitrary and weird, which is how I arrived where we are. All told, I'm not too concerned about missing two spell slots, since you /do/ end up getting a lot of Blanks when you take a short rest, and Blank Scrolls are strictly better than regular ones.

    4. I 100% agree with the blank scrolls staying as they are. I think they are balanced and provide the class with some nice flexibility. I also agree that they are better than regular scrolls by a substantial margin, and even somewhat more useful than traditional spell slots since you don't have to have the spell prepared/known, you just have to have it in your Master Scroll.
      However, I feel that the power the blank scrolls provide do not merit the loss of a third of your higher-power half of spells. As I said, I feel that the recovery feature associated with the blank scrolls is balanced very well with the wizard's Arcane Recovery. The potentially higher number of spell levels regained through blank scrolls are strong, but the flexibility of being able to choose the spell levels you regain, and being more likely to be able to make full use of your spell recovery ability are equally strong, putting them on about the same level. This all being said, I just don't feel that the blank scrolls are overall worth the loss of a 6th and 7th level spell.
      On the note of not wanting to make the spell table look weird, I noticed almost as soon as I actually examined it that something was off with the number of spell slots, so I think that any change to the spell table will equate to about the same level of perceived weirdness.

    5. I just went and pulled up the wizard class -- the change is actually smaller than I was thinking. I thought those extra spell slots came online way later than they do.

      If the only switch is doing 2 6th level slots at 19th level, and 2 6th and 2 7th level slots at 20th, that's not a problem at all.

  9. Why don't they get Storm of Vengeance as a 9th level spell? I just feel that it fits, especially since they already get other storm-based spells like call lightning and sleet storm.

    1. I still don't understand how 5e clerics don't get that spell.

    2. I was gonna say something about how it's probably not in the SRD, but thank goodness I double-checked. Storm of Vengeance IS in the SRD, so I don't know why they don't get it :P

    3. For everyone's info, I went ahead and added Storm of Vengeance to the spell list.

  10. I'm not trying to be a downer, but my initial reaction to this was more of a skepticism as to why not play a wizard and use rules for scroll creation, or design a wizard archetype that is more element based, with that minor in scroll making? I always applaud you Digits' work, and this is no exception, but if a DM offered this to me, I may still default to playing a wizard. The idea of handing off spells as items is cool, and I always love stuff that does that. Aside from that, my concern is that it doesn't differ from wizard enough. I can answer the question of "Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard and why?" for each one, but not so much when Shugenja is applied.

    Regardless of what I think, be proud of your work. You guys do great things, I thought my "rebuttal" may help :)

    1. There might be something to this -- after all, I expect this class to resonate with players that liked the spell preparation of 3.5, but want it in a more digestible 5e form.

      What I /can/ tell you is that it plays very differently to a wizard or sorcerer at the table, even though it might not look like it on the surface. The fact that your spells are prepared in advance, and that your Blank scrolls can't cast spells of other levels puts a squeeze on your options at any given time that rewards careful planning and judicious Blank usage. You end up getting more spells in a day than a wizard (by a good margin, in fact), and you can share some of your prepared spells with your allies, but you might find that you can't cast everything you prepare in a given day.

      I think before we started playtesting this, my players thought it was more like a variant wizard with an eastern theme than anything else, but they definitely understand the difference now.

    2. How is it that the Shugenja gets more spells per day than a wizard? That was actually one of the first things I noticed, being the disparity between the spell slots. Sorcerers and Wizards both have more spell slots per level than every shugenja level, so it seems.

    3. Disregard that last one, I see how the blank scrolls work now, I didn't quite gather that when I read it. Okay THAT makes a bit more sense, but as a DM who ran 3.5, I know spell preparation was arduous and most players who play prepared casters aren't the most decisive, so that fueled my apprehension, but having a few open ended spells makes it bit better.

    4. Plus, having some of those scrolls be Blank keeps spell prep time down. It's pretty easy in practice -- a little longer than a wizard, but way faster than 3.5.

  11. I eagerly await the Earth, Wind, and Fire Duality.

    1. Surely that would be a trinity?

    2. I think a generalist who works with all four elements and a specialist that manipulates the void between the elemental planes is called for when this gets further archetypes.

    3. I wonder what you could call that duality... full & empty? All & nothing? Matter & antimatter?

    4. Seperate archetypes. They shun the concept of focusing on two to either use all or none. I was thinking something like the Duality of the Great Wheel, and have an element of semi-randomness as their Attunement to elements spins like a great wheel. The Void use could have some tie in to Dark Matter and would shun the use of the four traditional elements in favor of manipulating that which is both all and nothing. The void permeates everything but is itself nothing. Likewise the Shugenja strives to be the same, All and Nothing

  12. I am sorry to be a nit picker but on the pdf it says under "Mantle of Flame" it says "action. Any
    hostile creature comes within 5 feet of you or starts its turn" but there should be a "that in-between "creature" and "comes". Sorry for making a post about such a small error. Ilove your stuff. Keep up the good work!

    1. No need to apologize, I love these types of comments! Thank you for catching an error; I'll get it fixed soon.

  13. Another nit pick here: the term is ofuda, not ofuad.