Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

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Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby Makis83 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:47 pm

Hey adventures, I have designed another homebrew for eberron. This time i took the Phantom Knight that was presented at 3.5 Five Nations. I designed as a wizard tradition. The Phantom Knight is a wizard who specializes in skirmishes techniques. Check him out and share your thoughts.

http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/HJKlG3UAx

Knights Arcane
Specialized military group headed by Lord Darro ir'Lain and loyal to the crown. They are one of Aundair's strongest and most capable units. Most members of Knights Arcane are Fighters with the Martial Archetype of the Eldritch Knight found in Player's Handbook, pg. 74. The Knight Phantom described here is an even more specialised unit of this organization.

The Code of Conduct
Phantom Knights are no traditional wizards. They use magic in order to retrieve persons or items for the Crown, or take over strategic locations long before allies and enemies arrive. It is imperative for their duties that they are quick and effective. The Knight Phantoms always consider the demands of a mission and prepare their spells in order to evade capture, do the job efficiently, and ideally survive the process, because failure often means death. Captivity is not an option for them, and it is expected that no one will come after a captive Knight Phantom to stage a rescue — if one is captured, they have no recourse but escape on their own and report their failure back to Aundair.

Knight Phantom Spellboook

Knight Phantoms receive extensive training, both physical and magical, but focus particularly on a set of spells that are considered of paramount importance. Each receives a spellbook that includes those spells, and it is considered a violation of their code of conduct to lose that spellbook or fail to prepare as many of those spells as the Knight Phantom is able to, especially Phantom Steed.

Knight Phantom Favored Spells
Level Spells
1st Expeditious Retreat
2nd Misty Step
3rd Phantom Steed
4th Dimension Door
5th Mislead


Phantom Training
When you adopt this tradition at 2nd level, you become proficient to the following: light armor, a one-handed melee weapon of your choice, and your choice of either Acrobatics or Athletics.

Aspect of the Phantom
Starting at 2nd level, the Knight Phantom can take on a gray, semi-insubstantial appearance that allows him to move like a shadow. You activate Aspect of the Phantom as a bonus action and it lasts for as long as you concentrate on it, up to 1 minute. While in that state, your movement does not provoke Opportunity Attacks. Additionally, you hover just above the ground, ignoring difficult terrain and other impediments that don’t extend more than a few inches above the ground. You do not exert weight on the surface under you, so you can move across fragile or liquid surfaces.

Using this feature in the same turn that you cast Phantom Steed allows the steed to benefit from its effects for the duration of the spell, but only while you're mounted on it.

Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Alacrity of the Phantom
Starting at 6th level, your extensive physical training begins to synergize fully with the arcane aspects of your powers. Whenever you cast one of the Knight Phantom favored spells, or use Aspect of the Phantom or Countenance of the Phantom, and for one minute after that, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Additionally, you can cast *Phantom Steed* as if its casting time was 1 action.

Countenance of the Phantom
Beginning at 10th level, when you are attacked by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll, as you take a ghostly pallor, dark mist surrounds you, your eyes shed a baleful red glow, smoky tendrils slither at the shadows around you, and you exhude an ominous feeling of dread.

If the attack misses and the attacker is not immune to being frightened, your first attack against that attacker during your next turn has advantage.

You can expend a spell slot when using this action to add an additional 1d8 of force damage per level of the slot expended.

Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Blade of the Phantom
Starting at 14th level, you can extend the nature of the misty arcane shadows of the Phantom into your blade, turning it gray and partially insubstantial, allowing it to swing cleanly through armor while still rending flesh. As an action, choose a target within 5 feet of you. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw against your wizard spell save DC. If it fails, you make a melee weapon attack against it as part of the same action; this attack hits automatically, and deals force damage instead of the normal damage type of the weapon — any bonus effects retain their normal type.

You can expend a spell slot when using this action to add an additional 1d8 of force damage per level of the slot expended.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Last edited by Makis83 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby AvonRekaes » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:37 pm

This is awesome! I really dig it.

A few notes:

Aspect of the Phantom: I'm pretty sure you can just let this last 1 minute instead of a variable round duration. A wizard is probably going to have an Intelligence bonus of at LEAST +3 even at level 1. Most combats typically only last 3 rounds. Therefore it really isn't going to be much of an issue in terms of a single combat to let it last 10 rounds all the time, even from the beginning, and it's one less thing to keep track of for the player. I believe this is also why Barbarian Rage now lasts a flat minute instead of a variable round duration as well.

Countenance of the Phantom : My issue with this ability stems from my personal opinion of the lore, not the mechanics. So feel free to ignore it completely. But my concern is that this cleaves too closely to the "terrifying ghost" meaning of "Phantom", where I think that the basis for naming the order "Phantoms" was that they can move unimpeded and/or unseen. Basically I think looking like and actual scary ghost isn't really supposed to be part of the idea of being a Knight Phantom. I would try to find another feature entirely for this level, but that's just me.

Perhaps, as a reaction to being attacked, you teleport and turn invisible?
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby ThePurple » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:36 am

AvonRekaes wrote:My issue with this ability stems from my personal opinion of the lore, not the mechanics. So feel free to ignore it completely. But my concern is that this cleaves too closely to the "terrifying ghost" meaning of "Phantom", where I think that the basis for naming the order "Phantoms" was that they can move unimpeded and/or unseen.


Iirc, the "Phantom" in "Knights of the Phantom" is derived from their expertise with the "Phantom Steed" spell, not with general ghostliness. They were extremely fast light cavalry, most effectively likened to dragoons in the real world (which started off as mounted infantry, which used horses to get where they needed to be extremely quickly but still fought on foot when they got there; the "dragoon" name actually came from their use of firearms), rather than elite special forces or spies, which is what this path seems to be likening them as.

I've always thought that it would be much more interesting if the feature made Phantom Steed more combat viable, such as providing mounted combat bonuses while riding it and other similar features.
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby AvonRekaes » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:27 am

I completely retract my complaint about Countenance of the Phantom. It's been so long since I took a look at the actual PrC that I failed to realize it was a faithful conversion of an actual ability of the Knight Phantoms. My bad!

Looking at their first level ability to cast Phantom steed a bunch of times, I wonder if you could add an ability to your conversion that lets them cast Phantom Steed once without using a spell slot, and they can do it again after a short or long rest?
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby Makis83 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:06 am

AvonRekaes wrote:I completely retract my complaint about Countenance of the Phantom. It's been so long since I took a look at the actual PrC that I failed to realize it was a faithful conversion of an actual ability of the Knight Phantoms. My bad!

Looking at their first level ability to cast Phantom steed a bunch of times, I wonder if you could add an ability to your conversion that lets them cast Phantom Steed once without using a spell slot, and they can do it again after a short or long rest?


You know this is not a bad idea. I let him do it at second level.

Thepurple wrote:I've always thought that it would be much more interesting if the feature made Phantom Steed more combat viable, such as providing mounted combat bonuses while riding it and other similar features.


I had the same thoughts when i first designed the class. But then again Phantom Knights would use Phantom Steed to get somewhere fast rather than fighting in mounted combat like a paladin or a knight. I walked down this path it would make things more complicated for the class. Got any mechanic suggestions in mind though?

AvonRekaes wrote:Aspect of the Phantom: I'm pretty sure you can just let this last 1 minute instead of a variable round duration. A wizard is probably going to have an Intelligence bonus of at LEAST +3 even at level 1. Most combats typically only last 3 rounds. Therefore it really isn't going to be much of an issue in terms of a single combat to let it last 10 rounds all the time, even from the beginning, and it's one less thing to keep track of for the player. I believe this is also why Barbarian Rage now lasts a flat minute instead of a variable round duration as well.


Well this ability is pretty strong for a second level wizard to let it one minute. I mean think about it. Phantom Knight is an able melee combatant but still above all is a wizard that relies heavily on spells. I would say that most combats last more than 3 rounds and it would be pretty beneficial for a wizard to be able to move around the battlefield without provoking attacks of opportunities. Think of this ability more as mean for the Phantom Knight to bypass a soldier's wall formation in a blink of eye to get where he wants to be rather than using it for melee combat. I mean this is my intention.
Last edited by Makis83 on Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby ThePurple » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:30 am

Makis83 wrote:
AvonRekaes wrote:I had the same thoughts when i first designed the class. But then again Phantom Knights would use Phantom Steed to get somewhere fast rather than fighting in mounted combat like a paladin or a knight. I walked down this path it would make things more complicated for the class. Got any mechanic suggestions in mind though?


I'm not really proficient with 5e so I can't really provide specific mechanical ideas, but I can give general ones. The one that immediately springs to mind is the ability to dismiss your Phantom Steed at the end of a charge in order to get some kind of bonus. You could probably tie a number of different bonuses or effects to it, getting access to more and more of them as you level up.
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby Makis83 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:03 am

Here's the thing. My initial thoughts was to make the Phantom Knight as fighter subclass similar to the eldritch knight focusing on all these. I mean giving this king of bonuses with the mount. Then again I decided that it would be to focused. The Phantom Steed is his signature spell only because it gives him mobility unlike any other rider in Khovaire. But still in the core he is a wizard who can stand his ground in melee combat. The way I see it the Phantom Knight is a the wizard that will get what he wants when he wants it, quickly and efficiently without relying too much on one ability or spell. Besides Phantom Steed is mobility spell not a combat one. All in all if i focused too much on the Steed i would design an arcane cavalier than a phantom Knight.
Maybe one day i will make that type of subclass you know :P
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby AvonRekaes » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:28 pm

Makis83 wrote: Well this ability is pretty strong for a second level wizard to let it one minute. I mean think about it. Phantom Knight is an able melee combatant but still above all is a wizard that relies heavily on spells. I would say that most combats last more than 3 rounds.


I would respectfully disagree with you here. I believe it is common designer knowledge that most fights in a D&D game last 3 rounds or less. For instance, when you are designing a monster (something which I have a lot of practice in, if you've been checking out my Quori conversions), to calculate their offensive capabilities, you average the highest amount of damage they can possibly deal in 3 rounds. 3, not 5, or 10, but 3. This is because the game fully expects this monster, and all others in an encounter, to die in 3 rounds. This is the quintessential combat encounter.

Therefore, you should not waste design space on calculating the duration of a class feature that lasts any more than 1 round but less than 1 minute. Because in the vast majority of cases, whether it lasts 3 rounds or 4 or 10, it doesn't matter because it probably lasted for 1 entire encounter anyway. Again, that's why barbarian rage lasts 1 minute now.

Also, counting individual round durations is a headache, which was another reason they deliberately moved away from it. Trust me, it's worth it for ease of play at the table to just make it 1 minute. I promise you it will not be any more broken than 3 rounds (which I consider the absolute minimum duration, as no wizard worth their salt would start the game with less than 16 Int.)

If you're worried about this ability being too powerful for an entire encounter, (which I insist it will, either lasting 3 rounds or 1 minute), you can use the concentration mechanic to limit it. Replace:

"You activate Aspect of the Phantom as a bonus action and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Intelligence modifier, or until you take a bonus action to dismiss it."

With:

"You activate Aspect of the Phantom as a bonus action and it lasts for as long as you concentrate on it, up to 1 minute."
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Re: Wizard Tradition: Phantom Knight

Postby Makis83 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:00 am

AvonRekaes wrote:
Makis83 wrote: Well this ability is pretty strong for a second level wizard to let it one minute. I mean think about it. Phantom Knight is an able melee combatant but still above all is a wizard that relies heavily on spells. I would say that most combats last more than 3 rounds.


I would respectfully disagree with you here. I believe it is common designer knowledge that most fights in a D&D game last 3 rounds or less. For instance, when you are designing a monster (something which I have a lot of practice in, if you've been checking out my Quori conversions), to calculate their offensive capabilities, you average the highest amount of damage they can possibly deal in 3 rounds. 3, not 5, or 10, but 3. This is because the game fully expects this monster, and all others in an encounter, to die in 3 rounds. This is the quintessential combat encounter.

Therefore, you should not waste design space on calculating the duration of a class feature that lasts any more than 1 round but less than 1 minute. Because in the vast majority of cases, whether it lasts 3 rounds or 4 or 10, it doesn't matter because it probably lasted for 1 entire encounter anyway. Again, that's why barbarian rage lasts 1 minute now.

Also, counting individual round durations is a headache, which was another reason they deliberately moved away from it. Trust me, it's worth it for ease of play at the table to just make it 1 minute. I promise you it will not be any more broken than 3 rounds (which I consider the absolute minimum duration, as no wizard worth their salt would start the game with less than 16 Int.)

If you're worried about this ability being too powerful for an entire encounter, (which I insist it will, either lasting 3 rounds or 1 minute), you can use the concentration mechanic to limit it. Replace:

"You activate Aspect of the Phantom as a bonus action and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Intelligence modifier, or until you take a bonus action to dismiss it."

With:

"You activate Aspect of the Phantom as a bonus action and it lasts for as long as you concentrate on it, up to 1 minute."


I see no harm changing this after all. I will do the change.
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