Talk:Blood Mage, Variant (5e Class)
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"Spells known" says that new spells "must be of a level for which you have spell slots", but this class does not have any spell slots.
How does spellcasting compare with a sorcerer?
- With a standard array and the quickbuild suggestion, I have Con 15 (+3) and Cha 14 (+2)
- I have 8 hit points
- A 1st level sorcerer has 2 1st level spell slots, i.e. I can cast two 1st level spells before requiring a rest.
- A 1st level blood mage looses between 2 and 5 hit points to cast a 1st level spell. On average this is 3.5 hit points, so I can cast two 1st level spells (then I'm at 1 hit point).
- If I've taken damage from another source, I might not get to cast any 1st level spells today.
- A sorcerer also has the benefit of their sorcerous origin.
- The blood mage's spell attack and DC is one point behind the sorcerer.
- Therefore at this stage, not only is the blood mage worse than the sorcerer, they are a liability to the party. Marasmusine (talk) 05:43, 17 August 2017 (MDT)
- I will adding a feature akin to the Reserves feature but different to help address the weakness of the class at 1st level. I will probably also have to add another feature at 1st level, given how inherently weak the class is at this stage. I also agree on the fact that this class in its current state is not balanced, and requires a lot of further refinement. --Blobby383b (talk) 16:35, 17 August 2017 (MDT)
- So I am not sure that this really needs a "balance stub" but just a normal stub that some features aren't traditional. I am curious about the archetype feature Leech Life. Since there is a cap (10 hit points) would it be easier to gain hit points equal to spell level vs the 1/10 ordeal? or something else just to eliminate the fraction? Overall I think this is very interesting. I don't think it will be too effective do to hit point costs though. BigShotFancyMan (talk) 07:44, 7 November 2017 (MST)
Not to be that guy, but the third level feat (Healthy) appears to be completely redundant, as the class is already proficient in constitution saving throws. --Chara TFFC (talk) 14:19, 19 December 2017 (MST)
- Healthy gives you advantage on Constitution saving throws, not proficiency.--Blobby383b (talk) 15:13, 19 December 2017 (MST)
Spell HP Cost
- They scale that way for 2 related reasons: so low level spells don't cost little to no hit points with the class's subclass features that reduce the hit point cost of spells in one way or another and for a similar reason, so you can not cast a broken amount of lower level spells at higher levels.
- Also, say for example you are a high level bard or druid and you multiclass into this class. It would not be balanced to allow them to cast 30 1st level spells(if the spell cost was static) if they had 150 HP for a single level dip into this class.--Blobby383b (talk) 02:36, 27 December 2017 (MST)
I get that it needs to be scaled, but you're not factoring the use of HP for taking damage there. Of course you don't want someone casting 30 1st level spells with 150 HP because that would reduce them to 0 HP. Not only that, but they'll also likely be taking damage during battle. Ranged attackers tend to target the mage, after all. So scaling the HP cost is important, but the amount required in the current formula is incredibly high. Maybe 3 * spell slot level instead of 5 * spell slot level.
Balance/Main Class Feature Comparisons
After playing with this class for a little while, running over the features, and comparing it to other classes, this class feels underpowered in terms of its versatility.
While the main focus of the class is the flexibility of spellcasting from health, most of the features of this class are either straight up used to mitigate the amount of hp cost or are rather unhelpful side effects. The side effects aren't the important part of the class, so for the most part the fall to the wayside in terms of focus, but they are underwhelming to say the least. But because of these two issues the versatility that other classes get is lacking in this one.
The Spellcasting versatility is, for the most part, great (the ability to ignore concentration checks is awesome, but the spell list is rather strange). Instead of only having one 9th level spell at later levels, you can cast multiple. That's incredibly powerful to be sure. However, comparing the spell list overall to what a sorcerer or wizard can cast (other straight casters), if you take average hp every level and have a con mod of 5, a Blood Mage falls incredibly shy of being able to cast the same amount of spells as a Sorc/Wiz. Having done the calculations with Steadfast (and I imagine Vampiric will be similar if you succeed with every spell cast for recovery purposes), the Blood Mage has 473 hp at 20th level (including Blood Buffer), but is required to use 454 hp to cast the same list, leaving 19 hit points to take damage. This problem is similar at earlier levels (Sorc/Wiz costs 7 more points than a BM has at 14th level, and almost 100 at 10th). Features like Minor Regeneration and Spell Sap can only do so much to help at that point. And once again, I understand BM sacrifices spells cast for flexibility, but that's a lot of spells lost. Now of course Blood Buffer is a great mitigating feature here, but it's in no way comparable to Sorc/Wiz early abilities because those exist on top of the regular casting, not to make regular casting more viable.
While we're comparing with Sorcerer and Wizard, we should look at the strength of those abilities granted. In BM, most features are used to mitigate hp costs, but the ones that don't are fairly bland and/or conditional. Healthy and Death's Door, for instance, are quite tame. Compared to "Font of Magic" and "Arcane Recovery" (both of which scale with the caster using them), Healthy is severely limited and conditional. Sure, advantage is quite useful, but for a very small amount of instances that don't really scale aside from prof. bonus and con stat, which already scale. If you look at any other class they have some form of early feature that scales in this regard, be it the Bard's inspiration dice scaling or Monk's Ki points, or they have something that gives them a hefty advantage in battle even when they're at high level like a Ranger's Fighting Style or Barbarian's Reckless attack. Meanwhile Death's Door is good for the resistance, but the Necromancy spell list is small and many of them are beneficial rather than harmful or apply only to dead creatures, so being immune is pretty conditional as well (the only two spells that jump out as being GREAT for an immunity are Inflict Wounds and Finger of Death because they're so often used). Obviously you wouldn't want immunity to evocations, but still. Whereas at this stage a Paladin has the ability to outright end a spell against themselves or a willing creature they touch, and can use the ability a number of times equal to their Cha mod before a long rest. Meanwhile, a Bard has received their second set of any two spells of a level they can cast (level 7 at that point) from another class's spell list, and a Barbarian only stops raging if they're unconscious or see fit to end the rage. Obviously these are different power fantasies, but you can see how much more versatile they are for their class compared to very conditional resistances and immunities of BM.
I think much of the BM class would be freed up if the expense costs were lowered so that fewer features were needed to mitigate them (each subclass currently uses 5 features just to deal with HP costs including Blood Buffer and Blood Boil, though those are both better features and should stay as they are). If the spell cost formula was half your total level rounded down + (3 * spell slot level) rather than 5 * spell slot level then it would be less expensive and fewer features would be required. Robust Constitution and Drain Kill could then be replaced (after some shuffling of what level the feature happens) with other features that match the power fantasy of the class and subclass perhaps replacing them with bonus action abilities or advantages that scale. Something like blood rituals that function like warlock invocations could work, or maybe adding your proficiency bonus to AC with magical Blood Armor that is cast using a bonus action to summon, lasts 8 hours, and the casting is recovered on a short rest. Heck, if you take away most of features so there's a baseline to run from, then compare a Blood Mage's HP to Sorceror's (which it basically is), adjust the Blood Buffer and Spell Costs to scale fairly evenly with each other for casting, then keep a couple good damage mitigation features in the class and you can use the rest for cool abilities like other classes get.
I know this class was made a while ago and might not be changed at all, or the person who originally made it might not even see this. This post is MOSTLY to organise my thoughts, and if it's in the wrong place I apologise. I think there's a lot of potential in this class idea and still want to play it, so I'm gonna work on it with my DM and report back again.