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I've made a subclass for Wizard, hoping to make a sort of spellmancer (manipulating and changing spells). I wanted to capture some of the feelings of Sorcerer and their Metamagic, but repurposed for Wizard, having it rely much more on the magic around you and not within you.

Also, since I haven't made much homebrew myself, I'm worried how this stacks up compared to the other subclasses, whether some of the features might be a bit (or even a lot) too powerful. Finally, I'm unsure exactly what order the features should be acquired in, if a different ordering would make more sense or be more balanced, that would be appreciated input.

Description:

The existence of the Weave has long been known, it is a great well of magic from which Arcane casters carefully pluck strands to maneuver, smooth, and shape into the spells they desire. Many believed that to be the full extent of spellcasting, that is, until the first Weavers; Wizards who stared so deep into the Weave, the Weave stared back. These Wizards find themselves communicating constantly with the Weave, their spells forever changed, forever changing still.

Borrowed Threads:

Starting at 2nd level, you can repurpose the threads of recent magic to better suit your own spells. Any time you cast a spell, you can change its damage type to match the last spell that targeted or was cast from an area within 30 feet of you. If the spell dealt multiple damage types, you choose which one to use. This feature only works if the chosen spell was cast within the last minute. Until you finish a short or long rest, the same spell cannot borrow another thread and its damage type remains changed. Note that this works with spells cast by anybody, enemies, allies, even yourself; however, it's always only the most recently cast spell.

Reweaving Techniques:

Starting at 6th level you’ve unlocked the ability to perfect the spells of others. Whenever a spell of 1st level or higher is cast from within 60 feet of you, you can use your reaction and a spell slot whose level is equal to or greater than the target spell, causing it to have no effect. You now have that spell prepared if you did not already and can cast it as normal; counting it as a Wizard spell for you. You cannot use this feature again until you finish a long rest, at which point the you lose your connection with the spell and no longer have it prepared.

Correcting Misthreadings:

Starting at 10th level, you are better able to deal with the harsh reality that sometimes, when you cast a spell, everything goes wrong and the Weave does not seem to respond to your skill. If a spell you cast has no effects, you can immediately recast the spell using another spell slot (no action required). The second slot need not be the same level as the first, and need not target the same creature(s). You cannot cast this spell again until you finish a long rest.

A spell "has no effects" if it results in no damage being dealt and it has no lingering effects. With a spell such as hold monster, all the targets would have to succeed on their saves. With a spell such as fireball, all the targets would have to be immune to fire damage. With a spell such as wall of stone, counterspell would have to be cast (counterspell always makes a spell eligible for Correcting Misthreadings)

Pieces of the Tapestry:

Starting at 14th level, you have become a friend to the Weave and can thus carry pieces with you. Each time you complete a long rest you obtain three pieces of the Weave; you can never carry more than three pieces at a time. You can shatter a Piece of the Weave as an action, returning it to the Weave and providing one of the following effects:

  • You cast dispel magic as a 6th level spell.
  • You cast any cantrip, it counts as a Wizard spell for you.
  • For 1 minute, you gain resistance to damage from spells and magical effects.

There are some thing I'm worried about in particular:

  • Whether this subclass benefits too much from spellcasting allies, such as by obtaining a spell with Reweaving Techniques.
  • Whether Correcting Misthreading's cost is too high (no reaction, but you lose a spell slot and the ability to cast that spell).
  • Whether the Pieces of the Tapestry's options are balanced amongst themselves, the cantrips offer great versatility, but then I'm unsure what level dispel magic would be best at, and whether the third option is too strong. I'd be perfectly happy having it just be the first two options anyhow.
  • Does this step too much on the toes (mechanics and flavor) of Sorcerer?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 24 '19 at 2:52
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Surprisingly, this is slightly underpowered, though quite similar to the Lore Mastery subclass, which I will compare it to. Compared to the PHB classes only, however, it is balanced.

Borrowing Threads: This is far worse than Lore Mastery, which can change the damage types of any spell at will, and gets expertise in 4 skills, can use INT for initiative, and can change a saving throw, all at level 2.

Reweaving Techniques: You get access to counterspell at level 5, so it is balanced to give a once per long rest improved version of it. Similar to rogue spell thief, but more powerful as you are a full caster, not a third caster.

Correct Misthreadings: This is actually fairly weak, as you still use another spell slot, so all you are saving is an action. Compare this to the Lore Master, who by this time can prepare any spell they know as a bonus action, hit enemies a mile away, or increase their DC by 2. I would rather use my familiar or my allies to impose disadvantage on my enemies saves then spend another spellslot with another risk of failure.

Pieces of the Tapestry: This is on par with the Lore Mastery's ability. They get to cast any spell from any spell list once per long rest. You only get that for cantrips, but you can do it thrice per long rest, and can also get magic resistance or a free 6th level spell.

Recommended Language clarifications

  1. You should make it clear if spells cast by you/your allies count for the Borrowing Threads feature.
  2. I would also make it so the Pieces of the Tapestry cantrip makes you know that cantrip until the next long rest if that is not what is already intended to do, as otherwise casting a cantrip once is underwhelming compared to the other options. This would be on par with the Artificers 10th level Right Cantrip for the Job feature.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't Lore Mastery an Unearthed Arcana subclass that many people were upset with for being too powerful and stepping all over Sorcerer? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 23 '19 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Editing the language of Borrowing Threads (at the end). Besides that, thank you for the feedback \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 23 '19 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Comparing it to Lore Mastery is not a good place to be. Lore Mastery is Unearthed Arcana and is significantly overpowered compared to core subclasses. If you want a proper comparison, I'd recommend comparing this against actual, official content, not playtest experimental content (especially playtest that is broadly considered to be very unbalanced) \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Dec 23 '19 at 21:45
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Seems a bit on the weak side, and entirely too party-dependent.

At 2nd level, Borrowed Threads lets you change the elemental type of every one of your damaging attack cantrips for free, as long as you have at least one party member who can cast a cantrip spell of that element. That degree of intensity of party synergy is a bit problematic, as it's too swingy. Either weave wizards in a party that has those elements will be a bit too strong, or those in a party that does not will be a bit too weak.

This is particularly pertinent as a two-level dip for warlocks, as it lets them change the element of Eldritch Blast to something that they can deal additional damage with. In particular, lvl 6 celestial warlocks already deal extra damage with fire and radiant spells.

Reweaving technique is a bit odd, but not terrible. It's not significantly more powerful than casting counterspell, and the additional spell access is a bit too unreliable to build around. Worth noting that this doe let you steal spells from willing allies, which can matter for those spells that have permanent effects (like, say, Find Steed). Even so, that's just one more way to do it... a ring of spell storing will let you do the same and far more of it. Still, it's another one for the "this could be really cool in the right party" pile.

Correcting Misthreadings is interesting. It's not a big deal with standard spell slot spells. Those, you generally expect to not fail. It is a big deal with Cantrips, which are generally both free to cast and all-or-nothing. Having an extra shot at casting yoru cantrips whenever they fail is potentially a big deal. That's rendered much less of an issue by the fact that it turns off the cantrip in question until the next logn rest, but it seems like it might not have been your intention.

Pieces of the Tapestry is... honestly, it's pretty weird. It's hard to say how to class this. "Cast a cantrip from any class" is pretty much just a utility power for "If this issue could be fixed by a cantrip, and no one in the party has it, you can say that you do." That's useful, certainly, but it's hard to judge for a lvl 14 character, who will presumably have quite a large number of ways of dealing wiht situations already. Up to 3 extra castings of lvl 6 dispel magic per day is certainly powerful, but dispel magic is kind of niche, which means that you could have this be super-useful once, and then nothing for a month. I guess it saves you that spells known slot? Broad resistance to damage for a minute is nice and all, but the fact that it takes an action and only lasts a minute means that it, too, is kind of niche. On the whole, this seems like much of the rest of the type - niche, interesting, but not necessarily all that powerful. I'd honestly want to see something a bit beefier for lvl 14. Lvl 14 is the level you put things so that CharOp types whimper about the fact that they can't get both this and the level 7 of something else.

Overall, it's flavorful but weak. it can be buffed up by optimization and the right party, but even with that it's not severely broken. Without it... well, it wont' be unplayable because you could take a wizard that ignored their arcane tradition entirely and it would still be playable. In general, though, I'd make Correcting Misthreadings require that the spell in question require a spell slot, I'd make Borrowed Threads only work on Wizard spells, and then I'd look for one or two nice advantages to add in to make it worth playing. Maybe buff up Pieces of the Tapestry with somethign consistently useful and then add in something else at an earlier level? I'd say let the pieces cast lvl 6 counterspell as one of the options, but that might be too strong. Maybe lvl 4 counterspell?

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    \$\begingroup\$ "This is particularly pertinent as a two-level dip for warlocks, as it lets them change the element of Eldritch Blast to something that they can deal additional damage with." I'm sorry but what does more damage than force? Outside of your one very specific example of a Celestial Warlock Weaving Wizard multiclass of course. Also yeah, Correcting Misthreadings does not work with cantrips (as I feel the original wording heavily implied and the current wording explicitly prevents) \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 23 '19 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Force is an excellent all-around damage type, but there is absolutely no way to give it element-based bonus damage. Dragon Sorcerors can add damage to a number of types, celestial warlocks can add damage, there are various other class features that buff other types here or there, but Force gets nothing. If you're worried about insubstantial or resistances, it's great - and in those cases you don'r reweave. If you're not...? Heck, Elemental Adept is lousy for EB, but you can't even get that. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Dec 23 '19 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Party makeup does have a significant impact on this subclass, which I knew going in, do you think having Reweaving remove the spell from whoever cast it would help? I can see what you mean about Borrowed Threads though you are stuck with your new damage type, hmm... I'll think more on what could be done with that \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 23 '19 at 21:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I think that having the reweaving steal the spell would be interesting and cool (and still nto all that strong) but I don't think it would help much. The spells of concern here are the ones that people would want to use during downtime, for the most part. During a standard adventuring day, the fact that it's costing a spell slot on both sides to make the transfer will very quickly make it not worthwhile except for edge cases, and the edge cases are kind of cool. Being stuck with the borrowed element is a feature rather than a bug, because it means it's fire and forget. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Dec 23 '19 at 21:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 honestly, Eldritch blast is basically the only spell it's a problem for, and, like I said, that's solved just fine by saying wizard spells only. Other than that, it just lets you play elemental rock/paper/scissors better. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Dec 23 '19 at 21:40
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This looks like hard bookkeeping, and probably exploitable

I'll start by saying I really like the thematic idea, and it certainly doesn't sound like it's stepping on the toes of the Sorcerer. But mechanically, this'll be very difficult and I would not want to DM a party with one of these for that reason.

If I'm reading Borrowed Threads correctly, then using it properly requires to log the locations and moment of casting of any spell cast within the last minute. Since it looks at "spells within 30ft of you", clever maneuvering means you can probably dig through various spell remnants by standing in the right spot, but actually figuring out which spells you can still access will be very difficult.

The generic effect isn't that powerful (as stated in other answers) but the actual mechanic will be very difficult to do right in practice. It'll take up a lot of table time and I can see it leading to arguments.

For Reweaving techniques, I feel this will step on the toes of the Bard. Normally, getting access to spells outside your spell list is tricky; only the Bard has some features for it. You get to do it to essentially any spell your party can get access to (including having an NPC cast it) for the remainder of the day.

It's also the only way I know of for you to have a spell prepared that's above your normal Wizard level. A multiclass Weaver/caster could use this to have spells prepared that are above the max level they could get with either specific class. That might be exploitable.

Additionally, reweaving (unlike Counterspell) doesn't require you to see the target, nor does it need the target to be a creature. That means this ability might be used to counter spells cast from magical traps or hidden enemies. It doesn't say anything about knowing the spell's level, but the wording suggests that you are told the level since you just "spend a slot", unlike Counterspell, which might fail. This gives you options that are beyond what Counterspell can do and is also likely to grind down gameplay as you'll need to warn the Weaver about a spell in the process of being cast every time to see if they'll want to use this. (The same problem exists with Counterspell, but at least there traps and ambushes aren't tipped off in the same way.)

(You could say that because it's a Reaction that if the player is surprised they don't get to use this, but then that's also likely to end up in arguments.)

Correcting Misthreadings is also a tricky one to rule. "Has no effect" makes sense for a spell like Hold Person that has a "save for no effect" line, but Fireball still has the effect of burning down the surrounding area and Thunderwave still produces a thundering wave of sound. These are currently seen as "no effect" if no creatures are hit, which might invite discussion or end up in shenanigans since they certainly do something.

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