October 9, 2018

Warcaller

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Palm: Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words cut even deeper. 

Warcaller

As skilled with the musical note or the spoken word as they are with the blade, warcallers blend their skill at arms with the magical power of bardic song. Primarily serving as bodyguards or martial troops for large bardic colleges, Warcallers can be found nearly anywhere that bards can be. Though as skilled with instruments as other musicians, most warcallers find singing or chanting to be the most efficient and practical method of using their abilities, as this leaves their hands free to hold their weapons or shields.

Martial Chant
Starting at 3rd level when you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in three musical instruments and the Performance skill. Additionally, you learn the vicious mockery cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell. Lastly, you can add double your proficiency bonus to all Performance checks that involve singing, chanting, or speaking.

Warsong
At 3rd level, you learn to fill your allies with vigor and might with your battle songs. To do so, you use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature gains one Warsong die, a d6.
     Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Warsong die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Warsong die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have only one Warsong die at a time.
     You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.
     Your Warsong die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 10th level, a d10 at 15th level, and a d12 at 18th level.

Combat Chanting
Starting at 7th level, you learn to bolster yourself with the same vigor as your allies. Whenever you grant another creature a Warsong die, you gain one yourself. You also now regain all of your expended uses of Warsong when you finish a short or long rest.
     As well, whenever you cast the vicious mockery cantrip on your turn, you can use your bonus action to make a single weapon attack.

Wall of Words
Starting at 10th level, whenever a creature that has a Warsong die you gave to them is hit by an attack, it can use its reaction to add that die roll to its AC, potentially causing the attack to miss.

Celeritous Vocals 
Starting at 15th level, any creature that has an unspent Warsong die that you granted it gains a +1 bonus to its AC and increases its speed by 10 feet.

Master Orator
At 18th level, when use your Warsong ability, you can target a number of additional creatures within range equal to your Charisma modifier, giving each of them a Warsong die.


Changelog: 10/9/18: Martial Chant: Cha is the spellcasting ability for vicious mockery

14 comments:

  1. I really like the idea of mixing fighter with bard. Valor bard is great but it's good to see the more martial, less musical side.

    I think Martial Chant gives a lot of skill power for 3rd level. 3 musical instruments is same as what a bard gets right off but this archetype seems more like the shout-it-out type, so maybe lower it to 1...? Performance is good but expertise right off? Maybe change it to gain performance or gain expertise if you were already proficient. Or similar to Xanathar's fighter subclasses (choose 1 of these 2-4 options).

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    1. Honestly, both of those abilities are ribbons, and are not likely to impact gameplay much, if at all. Really, what Martial Chant gets you is vicious mockery.

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    2. Fair enough. Doesn't seem OP or anything, just a lot of stuff. If nothing else it lets a player swap out instruments but I'd go with a drum every time just to have a beat with the chanting.

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  2. This is a really cool hybrid! I think the jump from 3rd to 7th is a little too steep, however. Maybe, to keep it in line with the power scaling progression of archetypes like Battle Master, have your Warsong dice regenerate on a short rest from the beginning. I think that the level 7 bump still has two playstyle-defining features without needing a third.

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    1. Obviously, I'll let the Palm speak for his creation, but I think the jump from long to short rest recharges is to keep the Warsong dice from being outright better than Bardic Inspiration dice at early levels.

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    2. Sorry to bother sorry you, but I’m having trouble getting the previous posts comments from loading. I wanted to say I’m excited about a revisit to the binder, and that is the class that lead me to find you all. I look forward to seeing more!

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    3. The Finger is correct. Warsong dice can be better than Bardic Inspiration Dice at times, but they are not as strong at the levels you get them for bard.

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  3. i have some charactors for this. so im into it.

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  4. If I were to multi class with this and a bard, how would the bardic Inspiration work? Would I have that and the fighters warsong die or would I get only one die?

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    1. By RAW, you could use both and a character could have a die of each. If I were DMing this, however, I'd rule that the two die pools merge and a target can have only one die at a time (mostly for simplicity's sake.)

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    2. Coolio. Thanks for the clarification

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  5. This is a really could, and balanced approach to building a martial bard without making them an outright spellcaster. Focussing on Inspiration is a good choice for those that want Bardic flavor without worrying about healing.

    Well done!

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  6. This seems STUPID strong. It bards just as good as a bard (+ usable for damage), has all capabilities of a fighter, and his dice become twice as good at 7th level.
    In theory, it's not more powerful than a battle master (having more versatile uses but not additional effects), but I think the 7th lvl feature breaks the symmetry between them.

    Oh, and it gets the one of the best features of EK (the war magic- albeit not usable with GFB or BB like EK can do).

    Overall, I think it's a cool idea and well executed, but Combat Chanting is simply too effective to be fair.

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    1. I'll look at re-tuning it once we get some more play done, but it's worth noting that Warsong dice are significantly weaker than Superiority dice at most levels:

      - Superiority dice start as d8, moving to d10 at 10th and then d12 at 18th, whereas Warsong dice start at d6.

      - Superiority dice come back on a short rest from the get go, while Warsong dice don't get that ability till 7th level.

      - Most importantly, Warsong dice are based on your Charisma Modifier, and you never get more than 5. Superiority dice require no other stat investment (allowing you to put your stat boosts into things that don't involve talking), and you eventually get 6

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