I am playing a casual campaign with some friends. The DM is a friend of mine who is new to DMing but is well versed in the game, whereas I am just starting out.
After a session or two into the campaign, I approached him with an Idea for a homebrew armor model for the Artificer armorer subclass. He agreed and used some of my ideas to make this:

Armorer Artificer (custom model Berserker)

  • Charge: from any distance within movement speed, deal force damage?

  • and a shove action. When you take the dash action you can use your bonus action to make a weapon attack.

  • The further you travel the more extra damage you deal

  • Smart movement: When wearing the armor the user can choose to use INT instead of STR for ability checks.

Me: "Are you counting a charge as a dash or as its own thing?"
The DM: "Maybe, not sure yet. Shoves are Strength contests. Yes. I'm not sure how much damage it will do. Too complicated for ease of use. Still"

I Was satisfied with the result and went on with the day, however, I recently came across the Juggernaut subclass for the barbarian class that was created by Matt Mercer, which says this:

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I was wondering if this is too much to have as a character.


I want to use a multiclass backup character but I'm afraid it might be too powerful for a casual campaign, considering that this is the First time For me playing and my friend DMing.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That said, I think we could use some more details about the features of this subclass. Is "Charge" an action, how much damage does it deal? What does "and a shove action" mean? How much extra damage is dealt based on how far you move? Is the idea that you would multiclass this homebrew Artificer subclass with the homebrew Juggernaut Barbarian subclass, and your question is whether such a multiclass is wildly imbalanced compared to most other characters? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 1:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ He's Figuring out the exact Damage dealt, but he mentioned The charge being a d8 or so at base level, The charge would replace the dash action, with a cooldown or restriction being put on it to restrict every turn use. It would allow me to rush forward anywhere within my movement speed and apply blugening damage, like a football tackle. And the shove action is a side effect of the charge, which pushes them back about 5 ft. All this is very much so framework and any thoughts would also be appreciated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Krimson42
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


You have a few problems

Replacing all ability checks with a single stat seriously overpowers a class.

INT instead of STR for ability checks.

This is horribly broken; consider "Intelligence instead of Strength for athletics checks" instead.

Charge is mess.

First you need to define what it is: is it an action, a bonus action, what?

You also have not defined what damage it does.

Lets look at similar abilities.

  1. The Cavalier subclass of Fighter, described in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 30 and 31, has the Ferocious Charger feature:

    Starting at 15th level, you can run down your foes, whether you’re mounted or not. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line right before attacking a creature and you hit it with the attack, that target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier) or be knocked prone. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.

  2. The Charger feat:

    Charger: When you use your action to Dash, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this bonus action, you either gain a +5 bonus to the attack’s damage roll (if you chose to make a melee attack and hit) or push the target up to 10 feet away from you (if you chose to shove and you succeed).

Note that both have the requirement to move at least 10ft; this prevents a lot of shenanigans. The ability gives no extra damage but also has no impact on the action economy. The feat requires both an action and bonus action. This makes it a rather weak ability on spellcaster that might have bonus action spells.

Changing Charge to a single action makes sense. Charger is a feat, not an ability, and +5 damage starts to become less useful at higher level so changing the damage bonus from a flat bonus to something that scales with level makes more sense as well.

Charge Improved with the above in mind

Consider changing Charge to

At level 3 you learn to use your armor to charge the enemy. As an action you move up to your movement towards an enemy. If you move at least 10ft towards an enemy you can also make a melee attack against that enemy If it hits you deal an extra 1d8 bludgeoning damage additionally you can make an opposed strength check against the enemy, If you succeed you shove the enemy 10ft away from you. At level 5, 9, and 15 the damage dealt increases by an addition a 1d8.


Let's compare your custom model to the others...

Guardian (Special Weapon(s): Thunder Gauntlets)

  • two simple melee weapons (not light) that deal 1d8 thunder damage
  • A creature hit by the gauntlet has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you until the start of your next turn
  • As a bonus action, you can gain temporary hit points equal to your level in this class, replacing any temporary hit points you already have. You can use this bonus action a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

1d8+INT mod per action is really not that good, you do it for the disadvantage and the temporary HP are more like a gimmick. With an enhanced plate armor and shield you can get up to AC 21, taunt the enemy and be a descent tank.

Interceptor (Special Weapon: Lightning Launcher)

  • simple ranged weapon, with a range of 90/300 ft, and deals 1d6 lightning damage Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with it, you can deal an extra 1d6 lightning damage to that target... so basically 2d6 damage
  • Your walking speed increases by 5 feet.
  • You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

2d6+INT damage for a non-spell range attack is really good

Berserker (at least what I understand)

  • As part of a shove attempt you can deal yay force damage

  • As part of a dash you can use a bonus action to make a weapon attack

  • For every (insert distance in ft) you deal extra damage while performing a dash or shove as mentioned above

  • while wearing this armour you use INT instead of STR for athletics checks (bc it's pretty much the only strength base ability check)

It's a bit difficult because it's not entirely obvious in which direction you want to go with this armor. The point is the first and last ability... that are both very tempting benefits for a grappler, while the second (and the model's name) is pointing towards plain brutal damage. I'd choose one direction and embrace it. IMO something you shouldn't mess around with tho: Every Armour Model has its own Special Weapon. Your custom model should fit into that pattern as well:

  • simple weapon without any basic features (ie. light), that you can use INSTEAD of a weapon... so in melee it's basically unarmed strikes, except it isn't, so you can benefit from dual wielder
  • your INT-mod counts for attack and damage rolls
  • a descent effect that triggers on a hit once per turn
  • a lesser feature with an effect somewhat influenced by your proficiency bonus, that has no direct synergies with those above

If you want to deal plain brutal damage you shouldn't exceed those 2d6 damage of the lightning launcher, and you gain no other effects... besides something that is equally powered like +5ft movement and advantage on Stealth checks.

As I understand your Berserker you want to play a rusher that deals damage through impact... like a freight train or a raging bull.

So first of all, let's see if there are existing rules for charging... and there's a monster attack ability that works as followed:

  • move in a straight line for at least 20ft
  • deal additional damage with the next melee attack
  • on a successful hit the target must succeed a STR-save or is knocked prone

AND a feat called charger

When you use your action to Dash, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this bonus action, you either gain a +5 bonus to the attack's damage roll (if you chose to make a melee attack and hit) or push the target up to 10 feet away from you (if you chose to shove and you succeed).

To avoid overlapping with this feat, I'd suggest...


  • Special Weapon: 1d8 force damage, melee
  • once per turn on a hit the target must succeed on a STR-save or is knocked prone (that way we don't have the hassle with Athletics and it fits better with your armor doing the work)
  • if you get hit by an energy attack (acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder) you can spend your reaction to reduce that damage for an amount equal to your Artificer level, you can use this feature for PB/long rest.

Alternatively you could also go with the guardian, take the feats Charger & Dual Wielder, turn your armor through infusions into an Armor of Magical Strength and add your intelligence bonus to strength related checks by spending one of its six charges. You use it to shove someone prone and grapple him afterwards with advantage with your second "weapon" using dual wielder. Maybe go with that first but talk to your DM and figure something out that you are both okay with and that is somewhat in between a rule-bending(ish) workaround and a home-brewed scratch built. And tell your DM that he or she shouldn't hesitate to change your custom armor if it's overpowered... but to learn, what is overpowered and what's pretty much just descent you should play the "vanilla" armorer first. Then make some ideas of how you want to play the armorer. Have a theme and build around it, first with the rules the game (and your DM) offers you, after reaching those goals you are more experienced (as a DnD player) and are able to better evaluate what changes to the rules could fit your particular play style more. Just don't make the mistake of doing home-brew stuff to deal more damage. It CAN get you a munchkin reputation even if not intentionally. And I'm not accusing you of that. You have a pretty nice idea for a custom armorer. Now just follow the pattern of the other models and find your way. I'm sure, here are enough ppl who'd be glad to help you with that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the Guardian thunder gauntlets are great, and it doesn't matter if they have no light property, cause a certain feat can still be taken to get two weapon fighting benefit from it. \$\endgroup\$
    – TheBumba
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I meant was: The other armor models all have a special weapon that is one handed and not light, so every model benefits from dual wielder. And so should a custom armor's special weapon fit into the same pattern; one-handed, not light. And yes, dual wielding two magic longswords that deal force damage and that use your strongest ability for attack and damage rolls is in fact pretty awesome for level 3. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are two models so far, one is a ranged weapon(Infiltrator) the other is melee (Guardian), so only one benefits from the Dual Wielder feat. Edit: (i forget that using enter on cell causes the comment to be immediately be sent) There is an infusion that allows you to add 1d8 force to the gauntlets of the armour, improving guardian more. \$\endgroup\$
    – TheBumba
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yapp, forgot about the melee restrictions on Dual Wielder... I feel the desperate need for a Guns Akimbo feat. But what infusion are you talking about? Do you mean the Propulsion Armor? That gives you just another set of gauntlets and doesn't improve existing ones... at least that is how I read the stats of that unfusion... but I might be wrong about that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ The gauntlets of the Guardian count as simple melee weapons but even tho the armor recieves this property, the following feature down the line allows the armour to count as separate pieces and then you can add 2 extra infusions if they are part of it. That means none of the armour pieces are counted as magical items or you wouldn't be able to use infusions on it. Also having gauntlets as main weapons, you won't benefit from other magical weapons, so probably they designed the propulsion armour to give Armourers an upgrade in the engame \$\endgroup\$
    – TheBumba
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 18:57

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