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I am a DM, and recently I have begun to homebrew my own content for D&D 5e because my players and I are getting bored with what is available for character options.

I realize that it may be a matter of opinion, but after finishing my homebrew spellcaster class I became worried that it might be too powerful. I am also concerned that I don't have all the necessary information for a playable class.

Does this class seem to be playable within the D&D 5e framework, and is it on par with the basic classes in the PHB?

In designing this class, I used a monk as a base, and used the wizard form of spellcasting. All of the information I have is from the PHB.


Freewalker Class

Description: The freewalker is a mix between an armed combatant and a spellcaster

Class features:

Hit points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per freewalker level
Hit points at 1st Level: 8+ your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per freewalker level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Simple weapons, shortswords
Tools: Choose one type of artisan’s tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Arcana, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a shortsword and a quarterstaff, or (b) any two simple weapons
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack, or (b) an explorer’s pack, or (c) a scholar's pack
  • A bag of magical components for casting spells
  • A spellbook

Spellcasting

You have the ability to cast spells, using your Intelligence ability. Your spell save DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Cantrips

At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice from the freewalker spell list. You learn additional freewalker cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the spell slots table below.

Spellbook

At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing three 1st level freewalker spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the freewalker spells you know, except you cantrips, which are fixed in your mind. Preparing and Casting Spells

The spell slots table below shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of freewalker spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of freewalker spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your freewalker level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you’re a 4th level freewalker, you have two 1st level spell slots, and one 2nd level spell slot. With a. Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can be can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your spellbook. If you prepare the 1st level spell jump, you can cast it using a 1st level or a 2nd level slot. Casting a spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of freewalker spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level on your list.

Ritual Casting

You can cast a freewalker spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

Each time you gain a freewalker level, you can add one freewalker spell to your spellbook for free. This spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the spell slots table below.

Your Spellbook:

On your adventures, you might find other spells which you can add to your spellbook. The spells that you add to your spellbook as you gain levels reflect the arcane research you conduct on your own, as well as intellectual breakthroughs you have had about the nature of the multiverse. You might find other spells during your adventures. You could discover a spell recorded on a scroll in an evil wizard’s chest, for example, or in a dusty tome in an ancient library.

Copying a Spell Into the Book:

When you find a freewalker spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

Copying that spell into your spellbook involves reproducing the basic form of the spell, then deciphering the unique system of notation used by the person who wrote it. You must practice the spell until you understand the sounds or gestures required, then transcribe it into your spellbook using your own notation.

For each level of the spell, the process takes two hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it Once you have spent this time and money, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells.

Replacing the Book:

You can copy a spell from your own spellbook into another book. For example, if you want to make a backup copy of your spellbook.This is just like copying a new spell into your spellbook, but faster and easier, since you understand your own notation and already know how to cast the spell. You need spend only 1 hour and 10 gp for each level of the copied spell.

If you lose your spellbook, you can use the same procedure to transcribe the spells that you have prepared into a new spellbook. Filling out the remainder of your spellbook requires you to find new spells to do so, as normal. For this reason, many freewalkers keep backup spellbooks in a safe place.

The Book’s Appearance:

Your spellbook is a unique compilation of spells, with its own decorative flourishes and margin notes. It might be a plain, functional leather volume that you received as a gift from your master, a finely bound gilt-edged tome you found in an ancient library, or even a loose collection of notes scrounged together after you lost your previous spellbook in a mishap.

Freewalker Schools

At 3rd level, you may choose a Freewalker School to receive certain benefits and abilities at 3rd, 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

School of the Mind

The School of the Mind is focused on sharpening the minds and perfecting the spellcasting abilities of its students.

Quick Learner: At 3rd level, you can learn one freewalker cantrip of your choice. When you would normally learn new cantrips, at 6th, 11th, and 16th level, you would still learn a new one. For example, by 16th level you would know 6 cantrips.

Guided Mind: Starting at 7th level, you can recieve a +3 bonus to any Intelligence or Wisdom check once per day.

Wise One: Starting at 11th level, you may add your Intelligence modifier to any saving throw.

Master Caster: Starting at 15th level, you may cast any freewalker spell that you have prepared with a spell slot that is one level lower than the spell’s level (not including 1st level spells as cantrips). You may use this feature once per day. For example, if you want to cast the 3rd level spell haste, but you only have one 2nd level slot available, then you can cast it with the 2nd level slot.

School of the Body

The School of the Body is focused on training the body to give almost supernatural strength and speed.

Resilient: Starting at 3rd level, you have resistance to one of any of these types of damage: acid, cold, fire, force, poison, and thunder.

Quick Recovery: Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to regain 1d4 + your Constitution modifier of hit points. You may use this ability once per day.

Unnatural Speed/Strength: starting at 11th level, choose Strength or Dexterity.

  • Strength: your Strength score increases by 2, to a maximum of 22. You gain proficiency in Athletics if you did not already have it.
  • Dexterity: your movement speed is permanently increased by 10 feet. You gain proficiency in Acrobatics if you did not already have it.

Death Blow: Starting at 15th level, you can use your action to make a melee attack at a creature within range. The creature must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of the amount of damage the melee attack would have caused. If the saving throw is a success, the creature falls unconscious. If it is a fail, the creature immediately dies.

School of the Armed

The School of the Armed teaches its students armed combat, and how to control weapons as if they are a part of the body.

Armed Defense: Starting at 3rd level, you can use a reaction to attempt to block melee strikes with a weapon of your own, rolling a d20 and adding your proficiency bonus. If your roll is higher than your opponent’s attack roll, you block the strike.

Signature Weapon: At 7th level, you may choose one weapon with which you are proficient, and add your Intelligence modifier to any attack and damage rolls made with it.

Choose Feat: At 11th level, you may choose a feat from these options: Crossbow Expert, Defensive Duelist, Dual Wielder, Martial Adept, Polearm Master, Sharpshooter, and Weapon Master.

One with the Blade: At 15th level, you may deal 2d4 of extra psychic damage once per day when making an attack with any weapon.

Freewalker spells

The freewalker class only has spells that go up to level 5. The class has access to all Abjuration, Divination, and Transmutation spells below 6th level that are found in the PHB.

Spell slots by character level:

$$ \qquad\qquad\qquad\qquad\text{Spell slots per spell level} \\ \begin{array}{r|c|c|c|c|c} & \text{Cantrips} \\ \text {Character level} & \text{known} & \;1\; & \;2\; & \;3\; & \;4\; & \;5\; \\ \hline 1 & 2 & 1 \\ 2 & 2 & 2 \\ 3 & 2 & 2 \\ 4 & 2 & 2 & 1 \\ 5 & 2 & 2 & 1 \\ 6 & 3 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 7 & 3 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 8 & 3 & 3 & 2 & 2 \\ 9 & 3 & 3 & 3 & 2 \\ 10 & 3 & 3 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 11 & 4 & 4 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 12 & 4 & 4 & 3 & 2 & 2 \\ 13 & 4 & 4 & 4 & 3 & 2 \\ 14 & 4 & 4 & 4 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 15 & 4 & 4 & 4 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 16 & 5 & 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 & 1 \\ 17 & 5 & 5 & 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 \\ 18 & 5 & 5 & 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 \\ 19 & 5 & 5 & 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 \\ 20 & 5 & 5 & 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 \end{array} $$

Freewalker Spell List

  • Cantrips: Blade Ward, Druidcraft, Guidance, Mending, Message, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Shillelagh, Thaumaturgy, Thorn Whip, True Strike
  • 1st: Alarm, Armor of Agathys, Comprehend Languages, Create or Destroy Water, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Magic, Detect Poison and Disease, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Goodberry, Hunter's Mark, Identify, Jump, Longstrider, Mage Armor, Protection from Evil and Good, Purify Food and Drink, Sanctuary, Shield, Shield of Faith, Speak with Animals
  • 2nd: Aid, Alter Self, Arcane Lock, Augury, Barkskin, Beast Sense, Cordon of Arrows, Darkvision, Detect Thoughts, Enhance Ability, Enlarge/Reduce, Find Traps, Heat Metal, Knock, Lesser Restoration, Levitate, Locate Animals or Plants, Locate Object, Magic Weapon, Pass without Trace, Protection from Poison, Rope Trick, See Invisibility, Spider Climb, Spike Growth, Warding Bond
  • 3rd: Beacon of Hope, Blink, Clairvoyance, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Elemental Weapon, Fly, Gaseous Form, Glyph of Warding, Haste, Lightning Arrow, Magic Circle, Meld into Stone, Nondetection, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Remove Curse, Slow, Speak with Plants, Tongues, Water Breathing, Water Walk
  • 4th: Arcane Eye, Aura of Life, Aura of Purity, Banishment, Control Water, Death Ward, Divination, Fabricate, Freedom of Movement, Giant Insect, Locate Creature, Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, Polymorph, Stone Shape, Stoneskin
  • 5th: Animate Objects, Antilife Shell, Awaken, Banishing Smite, Circle of Power, Commune, Commune with Nature, Contact Other Plane, Dispel Evil and Good, Greater Restoration, Legend Lore, Passwall, Planar Binding, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Reincarnate, Scrying, Swift Quiver, Telekinesis
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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Paul Please reserve the comment space for comments. If you have an answer that you want to post, it must go in the answers regardless of answer quality. (The alternative to not posting in the answer section, if you don't think it's a good enough answer, isn't posting it as a comment — the alternative is simply not posting it at all.) See the relevant FAQ for more. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 8 '18 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie it wasn't an answer, it was an observation. But whatever, it's apparently deleted now. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Mar 9 '18 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Paul See the dos and don'ts in the help article explaining the comment privilege: they're only for post-management purposes, not for engaging with the content in an advice-giving way, such as suggesting that the class needs more background story & purpose added to it. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 9 '18 at 0:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie "Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;" \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Mar 9 '18 at 0:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Downvoting b/c I believe there are better venues for homebrew critiques than RPGSE (/r/UnearthedArcana, OotS forums, ect). SE is not really suited for extended discussion on a topic, but for selecting a single, definitive answer. To give this the guidance it needs to shine, I suggest you seek out another site. \$\endgroup\$ – chif-ii Mar 9 '18 at 14:28
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Yes & No

Generally Freewalker seems weaker than the PHB classes, but the 15th level powers are simply broken.

  • It has spell progression similar to a Paladin or Ranger, implying it should be compared to those classes.
  • It has no listed class features besides Spellcasting and the four School abilities. No Attribute Increases, no class defining abilities, nothing. It also has an AC of 10 + DEX, unlike the Monk or Barbarian. That's absurdly weak.
  • What abilities the class does have are inconsistent with PHB class abilities (i.e. per day instead of per rest, static bonuses instead of Advantage, etc.), though most are of a similar power to PHB abilities.
  • The overpowered abilities are Master Caster and Death Blow.
  • Master Caster is crazy powerful, and will only become stronger as new Abjuration, Divination, and Transmutation spells are published. With the restrictions in place, this one looks fairly reasonable, but play testing will show that it is actually very strong.
  • Death Blow is better than a Vorpal weapon or a Slaying weapon. Death Blow guarantees that one combatant is out of the fight. It's campaign destroyingly powerful - imagine your players' response if an NPC used that ability on them. Or consider what it means for the big bad if a player uses this ability - hit for 3 damage, and the final boss fight is over.
  • If Death Blow were to be modeled on Vorpal, Arrow of Slaying, or similar abilities then it would be a cool signature ability. As presented, it is a campaign destroying joke.

Good luck. I hope this feedback helps you design a more satisfactory iteration.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also relevant to the Death Blow being overpowered is that even if the target succeeds at their saving throw, they "just" fall unconscious (for how long?!? The rules don't say...), which in many combat encounters is practically the same thing as being dead. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Mar 2 '18 at 15:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sugessted addition to answer. The archetypes are not balanced against eachother. Spell casting for half caster activates on second level (5e standard), prepare 1/2 level + spell mod. Finally, the class itself needs some core features, it is empty gives you no suggestion as to the direction this class should go. \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Mar 6 '18 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GarretGang The answer already touches on the lack of core features. That only two of the paths are explicitly mentioned as problematic implies that the three are not balanced against each other. Good point about the spell progression. \$\endgroup\$ – ValhallaGH Mar 6 '18 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Worse yet, as currently written, death blow is at-will. Master Caster, as a 1/day, is really not that big a deal. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Mar 9 '18 at 19:32

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