I am in the process of creating a homebrew class.
or potentially a subclass...
I haven't decided yet if I wanted to make this class a type of caster or martial character, but either way, I want it to be a primary support class. It will use abilities/spells to buff allies and debuff enemies. Its raw damage output potential is limited, but when working with allies, the overall damage output potential is increased. The class will be themed after Japanese Ofuda (the paper talismans you see in anime and old shrines that were used to ward off demons and spirits in ancient Japan.
This ability will be the core of this class's theme, so I want it to be accessible at a low level where character identity is formed.
When I was formulating this, I had the Blade Ward cantrip in mind. I found it reasonable to prevent 5- to 20ish points of damage considering a cantrip has the potential to block 20+ damage from enabling resistance.
Edit for clarity. There are three things presented with this post; a class ability, a cantrip, and a spell. I will only be using one of them. I am presenting them as ideas for balancing purposes. Would it be better to make this a class feature, a cantrip, or a spell?
Here are my variations of what the ability will do.
As a class ability, I have this:
At 1st level, you gain the ability to create protective wards. You spend 10 minutes praying over a stack of paper in an attempt to enchant them with magical protective properties. At the end of the 10 minutes, you create a number of protective wards equal to half your [class] level + your Intelligence modifier. Of you attempt to create more wards and would create more than your maximum, the additional wards disintegrate. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain expended uses when you take a long rest.
You can use an action to magically adhere a single ward to a creature or object. If the creature or object would be damaged [by a creature of an origin outside the Material Plane], reduce that damage by 1d6 + your Intelligence modifier. After this effect occurs once, the ward disintegrates. A creature can only be affected by a single ward at any given moment. If a second ward were to be adhered to a creature, then both wards disintegrate cancelling the effect of both wards.
When you create these wards, you may expend a spell slot to increase the negated damage by 1d6 per spell slot expended. (If you expend a 1st-level slot, the total damage would be 2d6+intelligence, 5th-level slot would be 6d6+intelligence, etc.)
As a Cantrip, I have this:
Toshiro's Otherworldly Ward
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (A piece of paper approximately 2 inches wide by 6 inches long)
Duration: Up to 1 hour
You wave your hand over the piece of paper while muttering a prayer of protection, enchanting it with magical energy. Words of the prayer appear on the paper in a language of your choosing that you know turning it into a protective ward.
The ward magically adheres to the next creature or object it touches. For the duration, the next time the creature or target is damaged by any creature that does not originate from the Material Plane, reduce that damage by 1d4 + 2. After this effect occurs once, the ward disintegrates.
At any given time, you can have a maximum number of active wards equal to your proficiency bonus. If you try to create more than the maximum, the oldest ward disintegrates. A creature may only be affected by one ward at a time. Objects can have more than one ward applied at a time.
At Higher Levels. This spell’s damage reduction increases by 1d4 + 1 when you reach 5th level (2d4 + 3), 11th level (3d4 + 4), and 17th level (4d4 + 5).
As a 1st level spell, I have this:
Toshiro's Otherworldly Ward
1st level Abjuration
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Components: V, S, M (A stack of paper approximately 2 inches wide by 6 inches long)
You wave your hand over a stack of paper while muttering a prayer of protection, enchanting it with magical energy. Words of the prayer appear on the paper in a language of your choosing that you know turning it into a stack of protective wards.
When you cast this spell, create a protective ward for each minute spent casting it. You can have a number of active protective wards equal to your half your [class] level rounded down (minimum 1) + your Proficiency Bonus. If you attempt to cast this and would create more wards than you are allowed, the extra wards disintegrate, nullifying their magical properties.
A creature may use a bonus action to adhere the ward to a creature or object. For the duration, the next time the creature or target is damaged by any creature that does not originate from the Material Plane, reduce that damage by 1d4 + the caster’s Intelligence modifier. After this effect occurs once, the ward disintegrates.
A creature may be affected by only one ward at a time. If you attempt to use two wards on a single creature, they cancel each other out and both disintegrate ending, the effect of both. Objects are not held to this restriction.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the ward reduces an additional 1d4 damage.
A couple of specific questions I would like to know regarding the balancing:
I know it is difficult to create new spells while keeping in mind all the possible scenarios. Are there any game-breaking combos that this can be abused with?
Should this be a higher level spell/ability?
Does the wording make sense?
Are there any other spells or abilities that this one is stepping on the toes of?
I know it is generally considered bad practice to create something that steals from the proficiencies and provisions of other aspects of the game. I am keeping that in mind and doing what I can to keep that overlap to a minimum, but I have noticed that all of the classes have some form of support role, especially the Bard, so it will be difficult, if not impossible, to keep the venn diagram from overlapping at all.
Also, many of you out there are far more elegant with your words than I am, so if you have any suggestions for flavoring, I'd greatly appreciate it!