Talk:Empath/Heart Mage (5e Class)

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Hello esteemed staff & members, please tell me of anything that should be rectified in this class. -- 09:52, 15 February 2018 (MST) (--Holic (talk) 03:26, 8 February 2019 (MST))

Multiclass Prerequisite[edit]

Having Insight as a prerequisite and the proficiency you gain from Multiclassing doesn't make much sense. Maybe a PC should only need the Wisdom score to align with most other Multiclass options.

“Heroic Heart” Clarification[edit]

Under the True Empath subclass there is a feature called Heroic Heart where at “Lvl 5 Allies within aura range gain the benefits of the Heroic spell as if cast at half your level rounded down.” Here’s the problem, there is no such thing as the “heroic” spell in d&d 5e, there is a Heroism spell; however, even then the language causes problems because as the spell is cast up levels it merely allows the caster to target more people with it, but in this description all allies would already be under the effect of the spell. Please clarify (and revise) this, thank you!

10:37, 5 April 2018 (MDT)


Thanks to both comments ! Edit done. ^^ Please tell me if there's anything else needing rectifying or if you have any suggestions ! --Holic (talk) 15:30, 17 April 2018 (MDT)

Praise and Suggestions[edit]

I just want to start off with saying that I really love this class! I really like how it defines what I am rather than what I do as so many other classes do (looking at you, Bard). My DM gave me the OK to run this in our new Curse of Strahd campaign, and he loves it, because it allows him to use a new tool to tell the story, especially when interacting with Strahd and the Soulless. With that said, I do have a suggestion:

  • As they stand, the archetypes/sub-classes do not feel very defined to me, and while I get the intent and flavor behind each, the way they are presented is rather confusing. Each of their features are featured on the class level table, however that is misleading seeing as how which one you get depends on your archetype, and so those can simply be represented on the table as "archetype feature". Something else that is confusing is the placement and formatting of your archetype choices as they do not have a dedicated section and are kind of just stuck in the middle of the Empath Spellcasting section. They really need to have their own section and a blurb on what they are and when they are chosen (I know it is level one or two based on the features but this is not represented in the class table or with the archetypes themselves).

--King's Hussar (talk) 15:02, 27 April 2018 (MDT)

(Late) Response to above[edit]

Hey there, sorry for the late feedback, I'm still here I just don't check everything all the time. :)

First of all, thank you for the feedback !!! Really, I mean it, and thank you again for play-testing it too !

Alright, now, I've cleared up the class table (I should have done that long ago ^^') as Archetype features have no place there.

I did give only minimal flavor texts to subclasses on purpose. It's so that players can be inspired, but also deviate and create their own versions of 'that kind of Empath' that the text and the abilities point at without defining it too much, so as to leave as much freedom for creativity as possible.

I'm not sure I answered that suggestion though... Did you mean that flavor text should be added to each feature ? Or is it more on clarifying how each feature works ? On when the Empath gets a feature ?

I'll try to clean up the page as much as possible meanwhile. ^^

Thanks again for your interest and feedback !!

Below I'll add your post in my messages and my response. ^^ --Holic (talk) 15:18, 18 May 2018 (MDT)

Empath/Heart Mage Class Discussion[edit]

Hey Holic, I just wanted to ask you about the empath class you have created and give you some play-testing data I got from playing it in a Curse of Strahd campaign. First off, have you abandoned it? I don't see why you would have, but it would be good to know. Second off are some stuff that arose from play testing.

  1. The lack of anything like a cantrip at low levels can really hurt, though with simple weapons proficiency and the d8 health it can make up for it, however this starts becoming a problem at level 5 where Fighter's start getting extra attack and you do not have all that many spell slots. It also becomes a problem when you are facing a horde of lower level enemies and you have to use up your spell slots which you can only regain after a long rest, something that isn't really an option in a dungeon.
  2. Sometimes it can break the game, but in a fun way. I managed to get Heart Grasp on Strahd in the final battle, so while my party got wiped I just kind of sat there and hung out, lol. The DM managed to make that move a really climactic scene and it kind of gave my character PTSD as she comprehended all of Strahd's millenia of pain in a single instant.
  • While I'm here and on this subject there is one request for a really simple edit to the class I have. Could you please add in a starting wealth option. I used the Sorcerer's as a base, but I feel like this class really shouldn't start out with all that much.
    • PS: I'm terribly sorry for bothering you like this, and please feel free to continue this discussion on my talk page and simply delete this one.

--King's Hussar (talk) 00:58, 18 May 2018 (MDT)

Empath/Heart Mage Class Discussion[edit]

Hey there, thanks you for your interest in the class I made ! ^^

Also, a great many thanks for play-testing it and giving constructive feedback !

Hmmm, I see, I made this class a bit early on and it's no surprise that it's not well balanced.

I've added Cantrips at the begining. . My Re-specified some things.

Please let me know if there are any other suggestions you'd like to make on this class.

Once again, thank you for reaching out ! :) I'm glad you enjoyed playing it !!

--Holic (talk) 15:18, 18 May 2018 (MDT)

Empath/Heart Mage Class Discussion (Contd.)[edit]

Thank you so much for your response, again, I'm terribly sorry for bothering you on your talk page, so I'm gonna try to take this discussion back where it belongs.

  • Ok, to answer your question on what I meant on the archetypes, you have already fixed a lot of it, and largely the abilities of each really gives them the flavor (which it seems was your intention). The Thorn Heart is like a hurricane of emotion, seeking to impose their emotions upon others and doing damage, while the True Empath is like the Eye of the hurricane, passive and tranquil; controlling the emotions of those around them, rather than being overwhelmed by their own. Then you have the Heart Mage who is a warrior above other things, but that one can sometimes feel like it lacks it's own identity, being more of a compromise between the other two. My personal favorite is the Thorn Heart because it turns Overflow from a class feature into a truly usable mechanic. It would also be interesting, however, to see how the other two archetypes deal with overflow.
  • Next on is the cantrips. I really appreciate you taking my suggestion to heart, however not all of them really fit with the flavor of the class, and so I have a few suggestions in that area.
  1. First I would drop Heart Jolt down to a cantrip and boost the damage die to a d6 (sorry Holic, but at d4 you might as well just chuck a rock) and have that damage go up as you gain levels (as for Heart Burst, to prevent it from being lost in the meta, I would treat it like the Pokemon move "Rollout", where each successful hit does even more damage, but it kind of locks you in (a good way to do this is to treat it as a concentration spell such as Witch Bolt)). That way it can function like the Eldritch Blast cantrip does for warlocks.
  2. Second is really just about Empath Spellcasting in general. I think one of the coolest spell combos in it is Heart Grasp and Heart Delve, and I think "chaining" spells like this could be a really cool feature for this class, and something that can really make it stand out (Mind you, smart Wizard players always have chained sets of spells with them. I have yet to be moved from my favorite combo: Grease, Fireball).
  3. Finally is just some questions on some of the "spells" this class has. My main gripe on this issue is that several spells do not have provisions for when you cast them up-level such as Aura of Encouragement, Mass Color Emotion, Warp Focus, among others. While I understand that not all spells really can be cast up-level as it wouldn't make much sense (such as Read Heart) these spells deal with scale-able effects and numbers.
    • Again, thank you so much for your response and consideration.

--King's Hussar (talk) 01:28, 19 May 2018 (MDT)

Empath/Heart Mage Class Discussion (Contd.)[edit]

Hey there and thanks again for providing feedback !!

"I'm terribly sorry for bothering you on your talk page" You're not bothering me at all, so relax ! :)

  • Lots of great suggestions there, so let's see them one by one :

1. Heart jolt dropped down to a Cantrip, damage increased, special mechanic added. Heart Burst also modified.

2. Agreed, I'll have to find more spells to "chain" as I do like the concept for this class. Feel free to drop some suggestions here ! ^^ Boosted the usefulness of Heart Delve quite a bit with that mechanic in thought.

3. All spells mentioned updated to scale in some way with cast level. :) I gave the rest a once over, but let me know if there are some I missed that should be updated.

    • I'm the one to thank you for your enthusiasm with this class I made, so thank you.

--Holic (talk) 04:12, 19 May 2018 (MDT)

ps : Your example of the use of Heart Grasp with Strahd and the following PTSD got me thinking and I made a new spell : "Inflict Madness" ^^' I worry I might have gone overboard with this and would appreciate some feedback there... ^^'

Here's the relevant page info :

Inflict Madness Discussion[edit]

Ok, Holic, I'm back. On the subject of Inflict Madness, there is already a base Madness Effect used in game (and would be better for a level 6 spell), and I would recommend it with the Madness table recommended as an alternate ruleset based on DM discression. The effect I will list here:

  • Each target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target is driven insane for 1 minute. An insane creature can't take actions, can't understand what other creatures say, can't read, and speaks only in gibberish. The GM controls its movement, which is erratic.
    • Alternatively, I would move the spell up up level 7 and have the effects as follows:
  1. When cast at level seven, you may inflict short term madness in an area of 10 by 10 ft, the effect lasts for 1d10 minutes, unless the target makes an intelligence saving throw (in which case the effect is mitigated or negated).
  2. When cast at level 8, you may inflict short term madness (in same area as described above) for 2d10 minutes, or you may inflict long term madness in an area of 5 by 5 feet for 1d6 days.
  3. When cast at level 9, you may inflict short term madness (same area) for 3d10 minutes, may inflict Long Term madness (same area) for 2d6 days, or may target a single creature and inflict long-term madness, this effect is permanent until cured.
  • In all of these cases, the effect is determined by rolling percentile die on the relevant table.

--King's Hussar (talk) 12:33, 22 May 2018 (MDT)

Inflict Madness Discussion[edit]

Hey King's Hussar, thanks for giving me more feedback on this topic.

Cool, I never used the madness effect in any of my games, so it's a novelty for me. :)

The effect you describe, although different, seems like a more powerful version of feeble mind, so I don't see it as a 6th level thing. In combat mechanics, it basically annihilates all creatures that fail their saving throw.

For the revised version of the Empath spell :

1. Nope, empath spells are single target or aura-wide AoE only and the Aura-wide thing would be way too powerful in my eyes. Having to roll for duration isn't my thing but for this spell, why not. As it is an Empath spell, I would prefer a Wisdom save, but then again, it might be good to diversify the saves a bit. I'm still hesitating on that regard but I'll change it for now.

2. The scaling with duration I approve. I still want it to start at 6th level and since the use of it is so different (the short term is combat useful, the other 2 are not), so I don't see the need to forbid inflicting indefinite or long term with the base version. Also keep in mind it's single target and thus less powerful than your version.

3. It also seems like this would be an empath specific spell and not a spell that a wizard could cast. I would imagine the equivalent wizard spell for this would indeed be 7th level, but for an empath, it should be easier.

Those are my thoughts for the moment.

--Holic (talk) 06:08, 23 May 2018 (MDT)

Inflict Madness Discussion Contd.[edit]

Ok, Holic, I see where you are coming from. Here is the reason I see that you should restrict Indefinite Madness with this spell: When you inflict Indefinite Madness of a character, you are doing more than just inconveniencing them, by adding a character flaw you are changing an integral part of that character's personality and mores. The ONLY spell that can do that outright, to my knowledge, is the most powerful spell in the game, Wish. My other thoughts revolve around that this may not be a spell outright, but rather a side effect of a certain chaining of combinations and spells, or perhaps a side effect of Overflow. Also, the reason I recommend moving it to level seven, is simply that, in game, the earliest spell which can outright cause madness is a 7th level spell (you can find it on the Madness Table page, or alternatively look up the spell Symbol). Another alternative to this spell might be to make it a counterpart of the spell Heart Grasp (I would call it Heart Rend) Which does some psychic damage with a small chance of inflicting madness which increases as it increases casting level.

--King's Hussar (talk) 07:01, 23 May 2018 (MDT)

Inflict Madness Discussion Contd.[edit]

Yep, ok, you're right, I moved it to level 7 since as a level 6 it's too powerful...

But for now, I still want to keep it the way it is, although i might change my mind later.

Please tell me though, as someone who play-tested it if you find the effects would benefit from a re-fit. :)

Also, I feel level 6 should have at least 2 Empath-specific spells... mind helping me out with a suggestion ? :D

Sorry for the response delay... stuff... happened.

Thanks again for all your contributions and for the love you gave this class ^^.

--Holic (talk) 15:29, 16 July 2018 (MDT)

Inflict Madness Discussion Contd. Contd.[edit]

Hope you don't mind me cutting into your discussion. I think I have a suggestion on how to improve Inflict Madness.

Basically, my thought is that, rather than increase the number of madnesses for using higher-level spell slots, maybe you should increase the rank of madness based on the slot used.

So basically, if you cast it as a 7th-level spell, it inflicts a short-term madness. Then at 8th level, it inflicts a long term madness, and then an indefinite madness at 9th level. And maybe, to make up for the fact that you'd have to use a 9th-level slot for indefinite madness, you could increase the psychic damage it does. Just a thought.

As for another 6th-level Empath spell, might I suggest you use Mental Prison from Xanathar's Guide? A simple name change, and boom! New spell. It'd even make sense, since the spell is basically described as the creature being forced to percieve the terrain around it as dangerous. Change that to the Empath exploiting the creature's fears in such a way that it's now surrounded by the things it fears most, or something like that, and it sounds like it could really work.

This class looks really good, and I can't wait to give it a try!

--Paladin Of Deneir (talk) 18:32, 24 August 2018 (MDT)

Re : Inflict Madness Discussion Contd. Contd.[edit]

Hey there Paladin of Deneir, thanks for the suggestions ! I think this might be a good idea for the Inflict Madness and I've changed it.
Great spell idea !! I made "Mind Phantasms", look it up and tell me what you think.
Thanks for the feedback :)  --Holic (talk) 20:04, 27 December 2018 (MST)

Empath/Heart Mage Archetype Spell Lists[edit]

Hello there, gonna start off by saying this is probably one of my favorite homebrew classes! ^-^ but I did notice something...

Under the Empath Spell Lists, it states that empaths gain additional spells based on their archetype, but the page that is linked directs to the 5e Subclasses page, which I could not find anything related to this class on. If you could put these archetype spells somewhere I can actually find them, that would be greatly appreciated. :)
--LolaLopunny (talk) 15:23, 27 October 2018 (MDT)

Re : Empath/Heart Mage Archetype Spell Lists[edit]

Oops ! I don't know how that got there. Sorry to disapoint, but no extra spells based on Archetypes. Archetypes are intended more as a playstyle influence, not additionnal 'matter' to flesh up the class. Anyways, thanks for pointing out the typo ! --Holic (talk) 20:09, 27 December 2018 (MST)


Like so many people have already said, I absolutely love this class, and it looks amazing. But also like so many other people, I wouldn't be saying anything here if I hadn't noticed something I wanted to bring up. Specifically, it's about the Overflow feature. The way it's triggered is not only vague, but kind of confusing. It says: 'Rolling a 1 on any Empath spells cause loss of control of the building emotions, causing them to be released in a wave called "Overflow".' What roll are you making that could result in a 1? I know some spells have attack rolls, so a 1 on those attack rolls would definitely trigger an Overflow, but what about the spells that have no attack roll, and are either resisted with a saving throw or just an automatic hit? You're not rolling anything for those, so there's nothing to get a 1 on. Now, I decided to use this class for an NPC in a homebrew campaign I'll be running soon, but there were a couple of ambiguities I had to work out myself while implementing the class to the character. If you're interested, I'll list for you what I've written for each of the 1st level class feature on the NPC's sheet, and also give you my further thoughts on changes you can make relating to each feature.

Empath Abilities. All Empath "spells" are not considered magic, but are to be treated as psychic-like abilities. Many Empath spells are automatic hits, allowing targeted creatures to make a Wisdom saving throw to resist the effects or take half damage. Empath spells have a normal spell DC if the target is visible. The spell DC increases by 4 if there is skin contact, and decreases by 8 if there is no visual sight on the target (the target still must be within aura range). As a general rule, one can consider all Empath spells to have only one component: V (Visual). For this reason and the fact that Empath abilities are not spells, they are much harder to detect when used discretely in everyday life. The range of all spells is determined by the Empath's Heartfield Aura size.

Heartfield Aura. Empaths have a certain range within which their intent and emotional energy can affect those around them, called their Heartfield Aura. Your aura dictates the range of all your Empath abilities and spells, and begins with a radius of 30 feet. This radius increases at certain levels. (Further Thoughts. For Heartfield Aura, you should do one of two things: 1) Don't name the aura range increases at 7th and 15th levels and just list them in the feature like "At 7th level, your maximum aura range increases by 10 feet." and "At 15th level, your maximum aura range further increases by 20 feet." OR 2) Remove the 7th and 15th level parts from the Heartfield Aura feature and list Empowered Aura and Aura Mastery as separate features.)

Overflow. When casting an Empath spell, if it does not have an attack roll, roll a d20. On a 1, you lose control of the building emotions, causing them to be released in a wave called "Overflow". For Empath spells with an attack roll, rolling a 1 on the attack roll will cause an Overflow. When an Overflow is triggered, the intended Empath spell is not cast, but you still lose the spell slot you spent for it. Instead, an Overflow causes a number of random targets within your aura range equal to one more than a third of your Empath level rounded up to take psychic damage equal to the spell's level in d6 (1d6 for cantrips). Targets may make a Wisdom saving throw against your Empath Spell Save DC, taking half as much damage on a success. (Further Thoughts. What I went with here is my interpretation of how to handle the "classic approach" you listed as an alternative in the Overflow feature, but you can keep the original approach as well, which really is fine as it is already. The important part here is that you need to elaborate how exactly you could potentially roll a 1 on Empath spells; as you can see, I opted to force a d20 roll on spells that don't already have an attack roll to essentially "check" for an Overflow. I also elaborated a bit on the alternative Overflow effect, since the way you had it to decide how many creatures get affected, though cool, is a bit complicated. When I say "one more than a third of your Empath level rounded up", I mean that you take your current Empath level, divide it by 3, round up, then add 1. So, at 1st level, that would be 2 random targets; at 4th level, that would become 3, 4 starting at 7th level, and so on until you're hitting 8 random targets at 20th level. My take on your "classic approach" is more some food for thought than anything, so you don't have to change it if you don't want to, but the main point here is that you need to think of a way to elaborate on how an Overflow can be caused, since not many Empath spells have the Empath rolling a d20 on their own.)

Other than the couple of very minor tweaks I made to the wording of Empath Abilities and Heartfield Aura, Overflow is really the only thing I've seen much of an important issue with. But, if you can get that fixed, then I really think this class will truly shine. Also, I'm not trying to impose onto you what you "should" or "must" change the wordings of your class features to, I just gave my two cents on what I put for them to make it a little easier for myself to remember how they work. You can take inspiration, or leave it. Anyway, thanks for listening to my very long-winded ramblings. - Alice-chan (talk) 11:15, 19 December 2018 (MST)

Re : Overflow[edit]

Hey ! Thanks for your feedback and enthusiasm for this class ^^

Okay, so, step by step :

1) Rolling a 1 : I'm talking about when you use a spell that makes you roll a spell attack on a d20. But you're absolutely right, the wording was bad, I corrected it, I think.

2) Empath Abilities : O_O wow, yeah, uhm, okay. ... ... ... mind if I just copy paste ? Its all perfect.

3) Heartfield Aura : O_O again, its perfect, I'll just copy paste this.

4) Overflow : :) here, I want to leave the first choice. I'll incorporate your idea but leave the first option. Thanks, I realise my "classic approach" was... unplayable. Your suggestion also made me do a little edit to the Broken Soul Archetype. No wis save for those hit by its Overflow ;) .

5) I love long winded ramblings ;)

Thank you. A lot. This class needed it.

--Holic (talk) 20:49, 27 December 2018 (MST)

nb : actually, would care to suggest maybe one or two Empath spells for the list ? I'd be interested in your suggestions Alice-chan.

(anyone esle is welcome to join in too btw)

--Holic (talk) 20:56, 27 December 2018 (MST)

No problem! I love this class to death, and I just want to do my part to help it reach a completely playable state. If I see anything else that needs tweaking while I play (I'm actually using it in a campaign~!), I'll be sure to let you know.
Actually, speaking of which, the DM of that game told me he thought the damage of the heart jolt cantrip was a bit high, and asked me to remove the Wisdom modifier from the damage. The DM and I both understand that the main balancing point for the cantrip's damage is the risk of an Overflow, but the DM told me that if it weren't for that, he'd have asked me to reduce the damage die from a d6 to a d4. Just thought you should know that. - Alice-chan (talk) 21:01, 27 December 2018 (MST)
Addendum ~ Also, if I come up with any spell ideas, I'll be sure to let you know about them. - Alice-chan (talk) 21:03, 27 December 2018 (MST)
Actually, here's an idea for a 5th level spell. I'm not yet sure what to call it, but one idea I've had for the name is Manual Overflow, though I feel it could possibly use a better name than that.
"Action, All enemies within your aura must make a Wisdom saving throw. A creature takes 4d8 + your Wisdom modifier psychic damage and is stunned until the end of their next turn on a failed save, and takes half as much damage and isn't stunned on a successful one."
I just thought an area of effect spell could be fun. - Alice-chan (talk) 21:19, 27 December 2018 (MST)

Hey there, thanks for the input ! Okay, so I changed the cantrip because I think your DM is absolutely right. I added the 5th level spell "Share Inner Pain" (do you like the name ?) which is what you suggested and I think it's perfect as a 5th level and that kind of AoE was indeed missing.
As for the concept of "Manual Overflow", I want to keep that open to flavor and player/DM choices. For example, you could play a character that regularily just... does it. You or your DM could just roll a d20 everytime you arrive somewhere new and, on a bad roll, you activate "Flavor" Overflow in random situations : Your're chatting up a merchant and all of a sudden, people around you pass out. Maybe you do as well. Just because that's your character. I think the possibilities for fun with this concept of the low-self-control Empath are endless ! :)
Technically in my mind, there's nothing stopping you from activating even the "real", serious, damaging and potentially lethal (especially to normal people) Overflow at any given time. You just need to explain it in context : madness, emotionnal trauma, shock or surprise, orgasm, tickles... you get the idea. ;)
Once again, thanks for joining in and sharing your ideas and suggestions. --Holic (talk) 03:00, 8 February 2019 (MST)

Dead Level[edit]

Ah... I've just noticed, but 18th level is a dead level for the class. If you don't know what a dead level is, it's a level where a class gets absolutely nothing; in this case, the Empath doesn't get anything at 18th level. Now, usually, this would be a problem since 5e classes aren't supposed to have any dead levels normally, but Empath is honestly a bit of a special case, so I think it might be fine to leave that level as it is, but you could always add something for that level if you'd like. I just thought I'd point it out for the sake of propriety. - Alice-chan (talk) 23:57, 27 December 2018 (MST)

Re : Dead Level[edit]

Saw that, added this :

Ease of Practice At level 18, you may choose a 1st level Empath spell. You may cast this spell at its base level without using a spell slot.

^^ --Holic (talk) 02:36, 8 February 2019 (MST)


Came back to this class, and noticed a contradiction between part of the Empath Abilities feature and Spell Limits and Requirements of the Empath Spell List section. The former mentions increasing Spell Save DC by 4 on contact and decreasing it by 8 if you lack visual of them, while the latter states increasing the difficulty or decreasing the save DC by 10 if you lack visual of the target, and obviously, 8 and 10 are two different numbers. I think this contradiction should really be addressed. - Alice-chan (talk) 13:00, 11 May 2019 (MDT)

Re: Contradiction[edit]

Thanks for the tip, edited it to 8 everywhere. --Holic (talk) 15:06, 18 May 2019 (MDT)

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