Talk:Sentient Weapon (5e Class)

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Modes[edit]

I will try and focus on two "modes":

  1. The sentient weapon is acting on its own, making its own weapon attacks.
  2. The sentient weapon is being wielded; it cannot make its own attacks but enhances the wielding creature.

Each mode should have its own benefits, and I've added the clause that an attack roll of 1 or 20 means a "forced break" between weapon and wielder. Marasmusine (talk) 13:41, 22 October 2015 (MDT)

Mode 2 should still let the sentient weapon make combat choices (by selecting what kind of bonus the wielder gets, for example) Marasmusine (talk) 13:42, 22 October 2015 (MDT)

"You can be wielded in one hand." - Rationale: If you are wielded by another PC, they might still want access to equipment related to their class (spell focus, shield, free hand for whatever) or their favoured weapon. Marasmusine (talk) 12:42, 23 October 2015 (MDT)

Innate Spellcasting - Rationale: the character needs some way of manipulating objects, mage hand seems like the simplest way.

Parrying Form - Rationale: The class has d6 hit dice (because they are small and slight) but should be a front-line fighter. Resistance to weapon damage mitigates this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Marasmusine (talkcontribs) 18:56, 23 October 2015‎. Please sign your posts.

Ego - Rationale: This is an attempt at tackling the "corrupting artifact" aspect of Sentient Weapon (5e Race). The DMG already presents rules for sentient weapons taking control of a wielder, so I am taking that as a starting point (will probably need modifying a bit). This also gives the player some defense against an undesirable creature taking the weapon and succeeding on the grapple check.

Magic Weapon, Mythical Aegis- Rationale: These occur in addition to ability score increases. A sentient weapon cannot wield magic weapons or wear magic armor, so this provides basic bonuses that they would otherwise miss.

Acuity - Rationale: The idea here is to encourage mixing wielded and unwielded modes. You could start a battle wielded by an ally, release yourself to fight individually, then return to your ally's hand to buff them.

Archetypes[edit]

Godforged will have access to some cleric spells that can be cast in Mode 1. Alternatively, it can burn spell slots in Mode 2 to grant its wielder various bonuses (such as radiant damage)

Haunted will have spooky powers such as corrupting others, devouring souls, frightening people; special attacks/defenses against incorporeal things like ghosts.

Zoetic will have a few arcane abilities, but will mostly be physical in nature.

Should this be a creature?[edit]

5E isn't really my playground, but if this is an entity that doesn't have the ability to choose a class or race, shouldn't it just be a creature? Unorthodox as it may be, but then, it will be unorthodox whether it is a race, class, or creature. I don't have anything against unorthodoxy, either. --Jwguy (talk) 08:22, 3 December 2015 (MST)

I'm not sure what you mean. A creature as in a Monster Manual-like statblock? Marasmusine (talk) 07:02, 14 December 2015 (MST)
I mean that it isn't really a race, nor is it a class. Rather, it is a creature because its race and class are essentially already determined by the other. I feel as though this resembles a creature with racial hit dice and templated abilities, rather than a race or a class. --Jwguy (talk) 07:55, 14 December 2015 (MST)
I'm having trouble with your definitions! A regular PC with a race and class is a "creature". A monster or an NPC from the Monster Manual is a "creature". I'm not sure what you imagine this could look like: 5e doesn't have "racial hit dice". The only way to have leveled features and hit dice progression in 5e is with a class. Marasmusine (talk) 08:35, 14 December 2015 (MST)
That's because it isn't really defined, and that's kind of what I'm getting at; I know that there's no racial hit die in 5e, but as far as I know there's also no such thing as a composite race/class in it, either, and this seems to go against the established race/class definitions by making a single, albeit scaling, creature.
We recently got out of a discussion about conforming to standards set by the source material (although this discussion was started before that discussion concluded), and it seems fairly obvious that this would be outside of those standards, doesn't it? --Jwguy (talk) 07:53, 16 December 2015 (MST)
I'm completely with you on this. Though I don't know of the discussion you reference, combining race and class seems like a very poor idea to me. The Sentient Weapon was originally created as a race, as it was intended for PC use. On the Talk:Sentient Weapon (5e Race) page Marasmusine stated that the character concept featured on that page was incompatible both with existing PC races, and with existing backgrounds. The creation of the Sentient Weapon (5e Class) page is essentially a growth out of that argument. The trouble is, combining race, class, AND background makes your character look terribly flat. It removes all sorts of options a player might have, and reduces the resulting character into something that much more resembles an NPC Monster than a PC character. D&D 3.5 had an option (monster classes) which allowed that, but even some of those allowed multiclassing--which this class is explicitly stated to disallow. --Entropicscholar (talk) 17:02, 18 December 2015 (MST)
I don't know what to say.
Criticism 1: "5e doesn't have composite race/classes." There's a race component and a class component. The class is designed to handle the race's unusual physiology, since standard classes assume a humanoid shape. Same goes for background. Since they're tied together, I present them on one page. If they were on separate pages we wouldn't be having this argument.
Criticism 2: "It doesn't have the same kind of options." That's the nature of the beast (so to speak). I can make the concept as broad as possible to fit in lots of archetypes: there can be a spellcasty one, a fighty one, and so on. "Sentient Weapon" isn't my concept, I don't know fully what can go here. I'm just trying some kind of fix for the Sentient Weapon Race that as far as I can tell works even worse than this. Marasmusine (talk) 11:41, 19 December 2015 (MST)
You're not necessarily wrong; If this fit the standards set by the source material (i.e. being separate races and classes that resemble normal races and classes in balance and terminology, to be sure), we most likely wouldn't be having this argument. Wholeheartedly agreed. I also take your recognition of such as an indication that you also recognize the difference from standard 5E material, although you may not share the same consideration or concern for that difference.
But this is the sort of thing I warned you about previously, you know (although it kind of was after this argument began)? You insisted that we impose heavy standards based on the source material, and while I don't necessarily have a problem with that, it was going to be just a matter of time before it came back to this, somewhere, on some page. It always does.
I do want to note that despite that, however, I'm not pursuing this with anything other than an almost single-minded focus on the standard we've set per that previous discussion. I'll probably move on to the next one I happen to note when this is over, unless something changes. So, please do not take this with any ill will. --Jwguy (talk) 07:39, 21 December 2015 (MST)

Ruceris' Reworkings[edit]

I have made several reworks and additions to this race/class, and would like others to help improve, or judge my changes in search of imbalance. All contributions from everyone is greatly appreciated, this is my first major edit on this wiki, so please tell me if something is overpowered, underpowered, or most importantly to me, worded badly.

My edits can be found under the history tab, but I will summarize here for convenience.


I have taken away the level 18 archetype ability from the list, leaving each archetype with 4 features each.

A sentient weapon can now be any melee weapon, allowing for Dexterity builds using Finesse weapons.

I have made it so, through removing names from the list or adding stats to names, every feature on the level progression, except for the archetype bonuses, is present and given details.

The Haunted archetype has been completed, but may still be unbalanced. Comment and suggest!

The Zoetic archetype remains empty. Additions would be appreciated, I don't know what the idea for Zoetic's build is.

Thank-you for your contribution. I'll probably go through the divine stuff with a fine toothcomb at some point: 5e doesn't have "major actions" or round-counting effects (it's either 1 turn, or 1 minute, or a check each turn to see if the effect ends); "feared" should be "frightened", and many other terminology errors.
The base of the Zoetic archetype is the classic "animated object", only the object is a sentient weapon. It might have runes or gems set in by the weapon's creator for magical effects. Draw inspiration from magic weapons and items.
There should also be an emphasis (in every path) on giving different benefits depending on if the weapon is wielded or not: it should be a tactical decision and I want to avoid the PC being wielded all the time or not wielded all the time. Marasmusine (talk) 01:53, 12 November 2016 (MST)
Thank you for assisting, Maramusine. I will search for these terminology errors as I am able. I am reworking Divine Runes to synchronize better with being wielded. My intention with it was to add variety in what level of spell slot you used, but I am not very experienced with balancing spells or spell like effects, so please bear with me if the damage or radius is off.
I feel that the Haunted archetype reflects the idea of frequently swapping between wielded and unwielded well, as the attacking abilities require a wielder to be active while Possession forces a new wielder on you. However, I felt somewhat iffy about Improved Possession and it's place on the tier list. I don't see too much unbalance if it were at level 18. What do you think? --Ruceris (talk) 09:41, 12 November 2016 (MST)

Shouldn't the Archetype/Background be chosen at level one in a similar way to a Sorcerers Bloodline? --VorpalMedia (talk) 21:51, 11 December 2016 (GMT)

I hadn't done so because the class already has a lot on it's plate at level 1, seeing as it has a racial section alongside Live to Fight, Parrying Form, Psionics and Ego to write down as well. If it annoys you from a lore perspective, it could be written out to say that the class archetype is predetermined, but that the differences between weapons only manifests at third level. Similarly to the paladin from the PHB.
Alternatively, the abilities from the prior list could be spread out, though I would at most move Live to Fight, as everything else is pretty essential to either survival(in the case of Parrying Form as the class only has d6 hit dice), to utility(Psionics allow the weapon to interact with the world around it beyond the use of it's weapons basic form, otherwise it has very little out of combat capability for as long as it takes to get psionics).
In the end, if you want to make a change, feel free. I just thought that the idea of the class/race as a whole was too good looking to not have a shot at improving, hopefully enough so to inspire others to improve it as well. --Ruceris (talk) 17:00, 11 December 2016 (MST)

Zoetic Addition[edit]

-Timcombs12 I added an ability to the Zoetic archtype. it feels appropriate to me being a weapon made by a magic user. if anyone thinks it should be changed, feel free, I have no attachment to the change.

Thank-you, looks okayish! Marasmusine (talk) 07:41, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Long Rest vs Recharge at Dawn[edit]

I've been wondering, now that there are more "charge" based system in this class. Would it be better to have the composite class take a trance/long rest lookalike as a racial trait? Or to let them always be awake and to regain their feature's charges daily at dawn, like magic items and sentient items do? Would the latter be too powerful? As it is, features are marked as "end of long rest" recharges, even though the race doesn't need to sleep. --Ruceris (talk) 10:14, 27 August 2017 (MDT)

The concept of a "long rest" is independent from needing to sleep. Elves and warforged don't need to sleep, but they still have to take 8 hours to rest and regain their stamina, etc. — Geodude671 (talk | contribs | email)‎ . . 10:55, 27 August 2017 (MDT)
If the case is still that they should take a pseudo-rest, then I'll write into their race that they take a trance-like state instead. I'll be defaulting to "4 hours, semiconscious", like the elves have. Thanks for the clarification. --Ruceris (talk) 11:41, 27 August 2017 (MDT)

Ersatz and Varmint Archetype[edit]

I've added two Archetypes to this Class. Both are the first ones I've ever made, so they could be/are very broken. Feel free to change anything. --Padeiro (talk) 10:22, 2 March 2019 (MST)

Subclasses/races racial traits[edit]

Since this class archetypes also are its subraces, they could've have some 1st level features in addition to the base racial traits. This is my suggestion:

Ersatz

Ability Score Increase. Intelligence increases by 1.
Thermography. You are able of seeing infrared radiation, making it possible to see one's environment with or without visible illumination, seeing by differences in temperature. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Godforged

Ability Score Increase. Wisdom increases by 1.
Blessed Awareness. You gain proficiency in the Insight and Religion skills.

Haunted

Ability Score Increase. Charisma increases by 1.
Ghostly Presence. At 1st level, choose either Intimidation or Stealth. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses the chosen proficiencies.
Thaumaturgus. You learn the Thaumaturgy cantrip

Varmint

Ability Score Increase. Constitution increases by 1.
Abomination. Thanks to your gruesome looks, you can add your strength modifier to Intimidation checks.

Zoetic

Ability Score Increase. Intelligence increases by 1.
Mystical Heirloom. You learn one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list, Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.

The class options are not subraces. You don't choose a class option until 3rd level. The sentient weapon race component could have subraces, but they would be independent of class options and their balance has to be taken into account (the base race is already quite powerful). Marasmusine (talk) 08:31, 14 March 2020 (MDT)

Is it ready for play?[edit]

I quickly read through your class and I was wondering if it was to a point I could use it in a campaign I am running? Or is there some key details that haven't been added? --Catmanaz (talk) 11:50, 10 May 2019 (MDT)

It desperately needs playtesting, please go ahead and use it and report back. Marasmusine (talk) 08:31, 14 March 2020 (MDT)

Fighting styles?[edit]

What happens when you can give two fighting styles to your wielder? Such is the case if you are a heavy weapon giving the great weapon style and you have the Mythical Edge subclass granting another. What if you are being used by a class with fighting styles? do they all stack or is one chosen? it is unclear.

There should be no case where you grant a style to your host. Any features that say so need to be rewritten. Marasmusine (talk) 08:31, 14 March 2020 (MDT)


Feature distribution[edit]

I belive the current feature distribution of this class is a flaw, having many levels without features and way too much features alongside ASI, even though those levels without features, or "dead" levels, exist in 5e, spellcasters have those, non-spellcasters do not. Having the Magic Weapon and Magic Resistance feature moved a level could solve this without losing their purpose, not needing to add new features. Having dead levels makes leveling up feel empty for a non-spellcasting class, as for example, the only thing gained from leveling up from the 17th level to the 18th level is, averagely, 7 hit points, while some other levels are frontloaded with features, like leveling from 3rd level to 4th level, 11th to 12th, 15th to 16th and 18th to 19th where you are potentially gaining Magic Weapon/Resistance twice, having a bump of +2 AC/Attack Roll. Other flaws of this class is its low hit dice, combined with lackluster defensive options, that makes this class a very very frail melee class, as there is nothing that says that you can't be targeted while you are being wielded. --Padeiro (talk) 12:32, 16 March 2020 (MDT)

The class has empty levels because it isn't finished yet. Someone erroneously changed the "stub" template to "needs review".
4th, 12th level etc aren't frontloaded. You get your normal ASI, and a bonus to make up for the fact you can't wear or wield magic items. If a human fighter found a +1 magic sword, the DM wouldn't say "sorry, you can't have that yet, you got your abiltiy score improvement this level." :)
I'm not sure what you mean about "gaining magic weapon/resistance twice". You only get the feature once.
The class has low hit dice to represent that is a Tiny or Small construct, and to push towards the weapon being wielded by a host where it is better protected. It also gets some powerful defenses (a versatile sentient weapon has resistance against all weapon attacks!). In any case, the class should be considered a striker, not a defender. Marasmusine (talk) 03:38, 17 March 2020 (MDT)
Padeiro, what you could help me with is this.
As the stub says, this is a "proof of concept to see if such a character could work".
Disregarding any minor balance issues / missing features for now, do you detect major or game-breaking problems with the basic design? For example, the PC would not be humanoid in shape, so are there any important aspects of the game that this affects negatively? I have not had chance to playtest. Marasmusine (talk) 03:50, 17 March 2020 (MDT)

Marasmusine, as of currently, the class/race does a good job of making it viable. Innate spellcasting, that I think should be alongside the racial traits, allows item manipulation, but mage hand can't activate magic items(meaning the player problably can't as well) and limits the carrying capacity of the player to 10 pounds. What I meant with gaining the same feature twice is thatif you use ASI on str your attack/damage roll increases by 1, and then you gain magic weapon, increasing your attack/damage roll by 1 also, mathematically, is the same feature twice, in the same level. Also, I don't know how being wielded protects you and how the creature is affected by antimagic/dispel magic

Thanks. I'm not too worried about not having a hand to activate magic items, as most magic items have either a constant effect or a command word. I'm not sure what to do about the carrying capacity, as it would be strange if a flying sword was also wearing a backpack - unless you could put items into a nondimensional space, which I'm not sure yet should be a core feature. The ASI/+1 issue I've addressed above. Marasmusine (talk) 06:07, 18 March 2020 (MDT)

Magic Resistance/Weapon Feature sugestion for replacement[edit]

Magical Improment[edit]

At 4th level, your magical enchantment grows stronger. You become a magic weapon, you also gain a magical endurance against effects that dispel or negates your magic, becoming immune to said effects. When you gain this feature, and whenever you receive the ASI feature, you can gain or improve one of these traits:

Magical Strike.

You add +1 to the attack and damage rolls you make. This bonus icreases by +1 when you improve this trait, to a maximum of +3.

Magical Steel.

You add +1 to your armor class. This bonus icreases by +1 when you improve this trait, to a maximum of +3. Rationale: this gives the player more control of their build, while basically granting the same bonuses.

Magical Aegis[edit]

(Move to level 13) At 13th level, you gain a mystical shine that covers you, creating a barrier against any harm, when you gain this feature, you become proficient with all saving throws. (Not crazily overpowered, the monk gains this feature one level later, being a more robust buff to the overall bulk of the class, considering its low hit dice and function, this is a need.)

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