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Here is a homebrew class I made, and I want you guys to determine if it's balanced or not.

I'm trying to create a class with a lot of otherworldly flavor and a DEX/INT split. The arcane talisman and the subclasses are the points of concern, and the class is supposed to be a way to flavor and power an entire character around planes, whereas the ranger subclass has the flavor, but very little power. The idea of "adventurer steals power from the Planes" sounded like a really cool concept, and I built off that.

A Dexterity score of 13 or higher and an Intelligence score of 13 or higher is required to multiclass in or out of this class.

The Planar Protector

Class Features

As a planar protector, you gain the following class features:

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per planar protector level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per planar protector level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons Tools: one gaming set of your choice, herbalism kit

Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence Skills: Choose two from Sleight of Hand, Athletics, Medicine, Arcana or Stealth

Equipment

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

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) five javelins or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • (a) leather armor or (b) a chain shirt
  • a heavy crossbow and a case of 20 bolts

Fighting Style

You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Archery. You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

Great Weapon Fighting. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Thrown Weapon Fighting. You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon. In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll.

Two-Weapon Fighting. When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Stolen Knowledge

Also at 1st level, you have stolen a small amount of arcane knowledge. You can add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make to disarm magical traps. In addition, you can cast the Mage Hand cantrip.

Arcane Talisman

At 2nd level, you gan a sliver of arcane energy taking the form of a special talisman. You can choose the appearance of your talisman or roll it on the talisman appearance table.

Talisman Appearance
Task Difficulty Roll(d6)
Deity 1
Gemstone 2
Gear 3
Teardrop 4
Eye 5
Crab 6

While this talisman is on your person, you gain certain abilities. The level at which you gain such abilities will be noted below. You can use each of these abilities a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier, and you regain all expended uses on a long rest.

Spark of Power

2nd level

As a bonus action, you infuse your weapon attacks with a spark of arcane energy. You can expend one use, and for 2 rounds after activation, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your weapon attacks as force damage.

Arcane Sensing

2nd level

You can tap into the pathways of the arcane. You can cast the spell detect magic at will, expending one use if you do so.

Focused Mind

5th level

You become able to devote your entire focus to a certain task. The next time you make an ability check after activating this ability, you can cancel all forms of disadvantage on the check. The ability then ends.

Magnetic Strike

5th level

Your strikes can be infused with repulsive or attractive forces. You can expend one use when you make a weapon attack to either force the attacker to move 10 feet towards or away from you.

Warping Power

7th level

You gain the power to teleport in or out of battle. You can expend one use to cast misty step. At 9th level, you can also expend two uses to cast dimension door.

Greater Power

9th level

Your arcane powers are further strengthened in battle. As a bonus action, you can expend up to a number of uses equal to your proficiency bonus, and add a number of d4s equal to the number of uses expended to your next damage roll. On your next turn after using this ability, you cannot take any actions or bonus actions, as your body needs to regain energy.

Planar Archetype

At 3rd level, you choose the path to walk as a Planar Protector. Choose from the Divine Guardian or the Infernal Hunter, detailed below the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 6th, 11th and 14th level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Quick Thinking

At 9th level, your sharpness of mind allows you to think quickly on your feet in dire situations. You can add your Intelligence modifier to two different saving throws of your choice(excluding Intelligence).

Talisman's Might

Starting at 15th level, your arcane talisman has reached new heights of power. When you are forced to make a saving throw, you can add 1d4 to the roll. In addition, when you are targeted for an attack, you can expend one use of your Arcane Talisman feature and use your reaction to fire a bolt of arcane energy at the attacker, using your Intelligence modifier as the attack modifier. If the attack hits, the target of your attack takes 1d10 foece damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you.

Warping Influence

At 18th level, the influence of the planes has altered you to a great extent. You can cast the spell plane shift at will, expending 2 uses from your Arcane Talisman feature each time you do so. If you cast plane shift in this way, the shift always successfully transports you to the desired location.

Master of the Planes

At 20th level, your attunement with the arcane has grown further, allowing you to tap into the powers of almighty beings. The number of uses for your Arcane Talisman feature doubles. In addition, your Dexterity and Intelligence scores increase by 4, as does their maximum. You can now use the following abilities as part of your Arcane Talisman feature.

Arcane Blast

As a bonus action, you can expend a number of uses up to your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier to infuse your next weapon attack with the essence of magic. Your next weapon attack has advantage on the attack roll. In addition, if the attack hits, you add a number of d8s equal to the uses expended with this ability to the damage roll, and all damage dealt by the attack is converted to force damage.

Ultimate Arcanum

You can cast any leveled spell from the warlock or cleric spell lists, expending a number of uses equal to the spell's level if you do so.

Planar Archetypes

Every planar protector has stolen power from the planes beyond, whether that be from the gods or the demons. Two such paths for the planar protector are the Divine Guardian and the Infernal Hunter. Some subclass features require saving throws, and the DC for such features is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your intelligence modifier. :::

Divine Guardian

Those who emulate the Divine Guardian have taken power from the gods, and they use it for righteous causes.

Channel Divinity

When you take this subclass at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options. When you use your Channel Divinity, you expend one use from your Arcane Talisman feature. If a Channel Divinity effect requires a saving throw, the DC is equal to your subclass save DC.

Sacred Weapon. As an action, you can imbue one weapon that you are holding with positive energy, using your Channel Divinity. For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon (with a minimum bonus of +1). The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration.

You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

Turn the Unholy. As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring fiends and undead, using your Channel Divinity. Each fiend or undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can't take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Sworn Warrior

Also at 3rd level, your divine power allows you to channel radiant energy in battle. You can expend up to a number of uses for your Arcane Talisman equal to your Intelligence modifier to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 1d8 for each use expended, to a maximum of 5d8.

Protective Aura

Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Intelligence modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Valorous Soul

At 11th level, your soul overflows with courage. You are immune to being frightened. In addition, you can add an additional 1d6 radiant damage to all of your damage rolls for weapon attacks.

Defence of Heaven

At 14th level, you gain resistance to necrotic damage.

Infernal Hunter

The power of the Infernal Hunter was taken from the beings of the Lower Planes. Whether consuming demonic essence, stealing demonic artiffacts or whichever way can do so, Infernal Hunters refuse to let evil overcome them.

Occult Research

Your research and stolen knowledge have granted you limited power. At 3rd level, you gain a number of eldritch invocations equal to your Intelligence modifier. If an eldritch invocation has prerequisites, you must meet those prerequisites to take the invocation. You cannot take any invocations regarding the Pact of the Tome or the Pact of the Chain, however you can take invocations requiring the Pact of the Blade, selecting one weapon to treat as your pact weapon. When you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the invocations you know and replace it with another invocation that you could learn at that level.

Cheating the Fight

Also at 3rd level, your infernal knowledge has taught you underhanded tactics in battle. You can expend one use of your Arcane Talisman feature to add your Intelligence modifier to your next initiative roll. In addition, if you make an attack, you can expend one use of your Arcane Talisman feature to gain advantage on the attack roll.

Corruption Tolerance

At 6th level, your tolerance to the corrupting force of the Lower Planes has built up considerably. You have advantage on saving throws against effects made by fiends.

Targeted Rage

At 11th level, you can focus your ire on a specific enemy. As a bonus action, you can mark a specific creature as the target of your ire for 1 hour, expending one use of your Arcane Talisman feature if you do so. When you make a weapon attack against the marked creature, the target of your attack takes an additional 1d6 necrotic damage from the attack. If the marked creature dies before the one hour passes, you can use your bonus action to mark another creature.

Reversal of Fate

At 14th level, you can channel the power of the Nine Hells to reverse your fate. If you are the target of an attack or spell that will drop you to 0 hit points, you can expend all remaining uses of your Arcane Talisman feature to reverse time by a number of rounds equal to half the number of uses expended(rounded up). You then suffer one level of exhaustion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You've clearly got some effort in this! It would help us if you could take a look at these recommendations for homebrew review and add some commentary on what you're trying to do fill with this class and also identifying areas wher eyou think balance is a concern. It may also help to cover why the Ranger subclass for planes wouldn't fill this niche. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the body is pretty bloated, I'll give updates down here. I'm trying to create a class with a lot of otherworldly flavor and a DEX/INT split. The arcane talisman and the subclasses are the points of concern, and the class is supposed to be a way to flavor and power an entire character around planes, whereas the ranger subclass has the flavor, but very little power. \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please don’t update in comments, those can be deleted at any time. Please add to your question l, likely at the top. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just fixed it, hope it helps \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but it doesn't have the flavor that I would be looking for, and I feel that a class built around the planes would be an intereesting concept. \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Oct 30, 2023 at 18:04

3 Answers 3

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IMHO, I don't know that the class is really adding value to a game. Really most of this could be the narrative for your character/world rather than a class of its own.

But just looking at the balance, it seems a bit powerful. Mostly in the fact that both the best sorcerer utility spells and the most useful ranger/fighter abilities are combined into one class. The unlocks seem to have a good curve. If combat is my focus, why would I play any other class if this is available?

If the goal is to have a class that "steals" plane powers why are they starting with melee/range abilities? It looks to me that your archetypes are being used as mini versions of classes. They're stealing paladin/cleric or warlock abilities in both the archetypes makes more sense to me that one of the archetypes has more physical combat focus.

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Narrow comment on Stolen Knowledge: "You can add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make to disarm magical traps." The official way to detect and disarm magical traps is with an Intelligence (Arcana) check. Arcana is on your class's skill list, and with only five skills to choose from, there's a decent chance it will be chosen.

What happens if they take Arcana? Do they get the equivalent of Expertise in this scenario? Or is this feature useless if they chose Arcana as a skill proficiency? If they get narrowly tailored Expertise, it might make sense to phrase it similarly to Dwarven Stonecunning, e.g.:

Stolen Knowledge: Also at 1st level, you have stolen a small amount of arcane knowledge. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Arcana) check related detecting or disarming magical traps, you are considered proficient in the Arcana skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus. In addition, you can cast the Mage Hand cantrip.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That looks like a good errata, thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Nov 1, 2023 at 17:27
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Not a full review but..

Just looking at reversal of fate which reverses time by a number of rounds.

How do you expect anyone to remember where they were and what hp they were on several rounds ago? Does it raise people from the dead? Just this one power alone being (sorry to say this) very badly designed makes me worry about the rest of the class.

You have also stated that your aim is to be more powerful than the ranger class, and while I think the ranger is a poor class, wanting to outperform an existing class is a bad place to start usually.

Advice: revisit this, and drop the 3 different paths. Just get the class and one path reviewed (after taking into account whatever feedback you get elsewhere too) and let us review that. Once you have a balanced base class and single subclass, then you can start asking about other subclasses too. All 3 subclasses at once is a lot of work for a reviewer, especially given that this uses brand new mechanics.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the reversal of fate paragraph, not only it's hard for the players to remember where they were several rounds ago, it sounds like a nightmare for a DM, how am I supposed to figure out the state of all the monsters X rounds ago? \$\endgroup\$
    – AnnaAG
    Nov 1, 2023 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fixed, I changed the effect to healing yourself and damaging the attacker. \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Nov 1, 2023 at 11:32

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