Hexblade Theme

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm not a fan of the 4th edition "Hexblade" - not for any mechanical reason, but because it doesn't even feel related to its namesake class at this point.  A suggestion that Hexblade might make a good theme caught my eye, and this is the result.

Currently, the Hexblade Theme is a work in progress.  I'll add more material as it gets completed, though.  Feedback is always very welcome.

==============================================================


Hexblade
[Version 1.0]

[Insert Picture Here]

[Insert quote here]

[Fluff fluff fluff fluff fluff]

The Hexblade on Athas
[Fluff fluff setting fluff.]

The Hexblade on Eberron
[Fluff fluff setting fluff.]

The Hexblade on Toril
[Fluff fluff setting fluff.]



Building a Hexblade



[More fluff, and build ideas.]


Hexblade Traits



     Secondary Role: Controller
     Power Source: Shadow
     Granted Power: You gain the fleeting curse power.



Hexblade Powers



The following powers are available to any character who has chosen the hexblade theme.

Fleeting Curse                Hexblade Feature
You shroud your foe with ephemeral shadows, hindering its attacks.
Encounter ♦ Implement, Shadow
Minor Action            Close burst 10
Target: One creature in the burst
Attack: Primary ability vs. Will
Hit: The target takes a penalty equal to one-half your ability modifier to attack rolls and all defenses until the end of your next turn.
Special: You can use a weapon as an implement with this power.  You use the weapon's enhancement bonus, critical hit effect, properties, and powers, but you do not add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll.


Level 2 Utility Hex



Aura of Unluck                Hexblade Utility 2
A shadowy aura surrounds you, making nearby foes more prone to failure.
Daily ♦ Shadow, Stance, Zone
Minor Action            Close burst 2
Effect: The burst creates a zone that lasts as long as the stance persists.  Enemies within the zone take a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
Special: The zone remains centered on you, even if you move.


Level 3 Encounter Hex


Curse of Cowardice            Hexblade Attack 3
The shadows sap your foe's confidence, paralyzing him with doubt.
Encounter ♦ Fear, Implement, Shadow
Minor Action            Close burst 10
Target: One creature in the burst
Attack: Primary ability vs. Will
Hit: The target takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls and cannot move or shift into any square adjacent to you or any ally until the end of your next turn.
Special: You can use a weapon as an implement with this power.  You use the weapon's enhancement bonus, critical hit effect, properties, and powers, but you do not add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 13
        Effect: As above, but a -4 penalty on attack rolls.
    Level 23
        Effect: The target cannot attack you or any ally until the end of your next turn.


Level 5 Daily Hex


Moldering Curse            Hexblade Attack 5
Shadows envelop your foe, and every strike against it makes it waste further away.
Daily ♦ Implement, Necrotic, Shadow
Standard Action        Close burst 10
Target: One creature in the burst
Attack: Primary ability vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.
Effect: When the target is hit by an attack, it takes 1d6 additional necrotic damage (save ends).
Special: You can use a weapon as an implement with this power.  You use the weapon's enhancement bonus, critical hit effect, properties, and powers, but you do not add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 15
        Hit: 3d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.
        Effect: When the target is hit by an attack, it takes 2d6 additional necrotic damage (save ends).
    Level 25
        Hit: 4d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.
        Effect: When the target is hit by an attack, it takes 3d6 additional necrotic damage (save ends).


Level 6 Utility Hex


Aura of Instability                Hexblade Utility 6
As shadows form around you, your foes cannot find a stable footing.
Daily ♦ Shadow, Stance, Zone
Minor Action            Close burst 2
Effect: The burst creates a zone that lasts as long as the stance persists.  Enemies within the zone cannot shift.  If an enemy starts or ends its movement within the zone and moves more than one-half its speed, it falls prone.
Special: The zone remains centered on you, even if you move.


Level 7 Encounter Hex


Curse of Frailty            Hexblade Attack 7
Shadows bite and tear at your foe, sapping his vitality and weakening his blows.
Encounter ♦ Implement, Shadow
Minor Action            Close burst 10
Target: One creature in the burst
Attack: Primary ability vs. Will
Hit: The target is slowed and takes a penalty to damage rolls equal to your ability modifier until the end of your next turn.
Special: You can use a weapon as an implement with this power.  You use the weapon's enhancement bonus, critical hit effect, properties, and powers, but you do not add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 17
        Effect: The target is immobilized and takes a penalty to damage rolls equal to 2 + your ability modifier until the end of your next turn..
    Level 27
        Effect: The target is dazed and takes a penalty to damage rolls equal to 5 + your ability modifier until the end of your next turn.


Level 9 Daily Hex


Dire Curse                Hexblade Attack 9
As shadows bind your foe's soul, you sieze control of its fate.
Daily ♦ Implement, Necrotic, Shadow
Standard Action        Close burst 10
Target: One creature in the burst
Attack: Primary ability vs. Will
Hit: 3d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.
Effect: Whenever the target makes an attack, it rolls twice and uses the lower result (save ends).
Special: You can use a weapon as an implement with this power.  You use the weapon's enhancement bonus, critical hit effect, properties, and powers, but you do not add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 19
        Hit: 4d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.
    Level 29
        Hit: 5d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage.


Level 10 Utility Hex


Aura of Calamity            Hexblade Utility 10
Shadows stretch around you, and in their grasp all is ruin.
Daily ♦ Shadow, Stance, Zone
Minor Action            Close burst 2
Effect: The burst creates a zone that lasts as long as the stance persists.  Whenever an enemy within the zone makes an attack and misses every target, that enemy takes damage as if it had hit itself with the attack.
Special: The zone remains centered on you, even if you move.



Feats


Staggering Misfortune
Prerequisite: Hexblade theme
Benefit: When an enemy subject to a hexblade power's effect or within a hexblade power's zone misses a creature with an attack, you can slide that enemy 1 square as a free action.

Stolen Luck
Prerequisite: Hexblade theme
Benefit: When you hit an enemy with one of your hexblade attacks, you gain a +1 bonus on the next attack roll you make before the end of your next turn.

Twinned Curse
Prerequisite: Hexblade theme, fleeting curse power
Benefit: When you use your fleeting curse power, you can target an additional creature within the burst.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Well, looky here.

I was momentarily surprised that you chose to spin it as a controller, but after looking at the bursts and zones and effects, I changed my mind to, "Oh, of course."

The primary ability + implement (and weapon counts as implement) looks like an elegant approach-- though, does my warlock or wizard have an incentive to employ a weapon as opposed to a wand?

The effects on some of these, like the Aura of Calamity, seem mean-spirited. Bonus damage for allies, proning, self-inflicted damage... that's the sort of thing I want to see in a hexblade. Powers that will ruin somebody's day.
Well, looky here.

I was momentarily surprised that you chose to spin it as a controller, but after looking at the bursts and zones and effects, I changed my mind to, "Oh, of course."


Right.  I considered going Striker with it, but I felt it could have a stronger niche with a focus on the "de-buffing" aspects of it.

The primary ability + implement (and weapon counts as implement) looks like an elegant approach-- though, does my warlock or wizard have an incentive to employ a weapon as opposed to a wand?


No, no reason for Implement users to use a weapon.  When I get around to the fluff and the "Build a..." sections, I'll just make a point that, despite the name and tradition, implement users can benefit from the theme as well as weapon users.

The effects on some of these, like the Aura of Calamity, seem mean-spirited. Bonus damage for allies, proning, self-inflicted damage... that's the sort of thing I want to see in a hexblade. Powers that will ruin somebody's day.


Haha, yeah, that's the idea.  I toyed with the idea of having the Auras affect both enemies and allies - but I decided I'd rather have less-powerful effects that are more likely to see actual use in a party.

I think Aura of Calamity might be a bit too much at that level.  Still, the actual area it effects is pretty small, and it's only usable once per day, so... I dunno.


It's not saying much (since I wrote it), but I totally want to play one of these now.  Maybe a Brawler Fighter Hexblade, for that old "one-handed weapon + free hand" feel.

Oh, and I need feats and a Paragon Path.  Feats shouldn't be to hard, but I have no idea where to go for a Paragon Path.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Hmm, paragon path, paragon path...

Powers and features are not the hard part, I think-- you can pull more auras and curses inspired by the original class, and I'm guessing an additional use and/or improvement of the primary Fleeting Curse is a shoe-in. But what angle to actually take with the paragon path, and a good name? Yeah: surprisingly elusive, since "hexblade" is kind of already taken.

Just brainstorming, but when I speculate about a paragon hexblade, I'm picturing somebody like a(n old-school) blackguard/anti-paladin, only... less personal about it. Dire and menacing, but not zealous or creepy. By paragon tier, this is someone who's caused a lot of bad luck, and seen a lot of people fall victim to improbable accidents (to which he/she admittedly contributed). Kind of like Daria, if her cynicism could actually wish people to death. The funny part is, having this jinx around is phenomenally fortunate for the party-- the hexblade is controller-ish, after all, and can set the stage for others' success.

Maybe something about a broken sword? Something about one bad turn deserving another? (This is a little abstract, I admit.) It'd be nice to see another of those mean auras involved.

EDIT: Oh, duh! Players Handbook II, the "dark companion" alternate class feature (pg 47). Okay, so turning the hexblade into a pet class might not prove popular, but there's something very controller-y about a bad shadow that the hexblade can sic on a target. (And maybe there's a way to do it without making it too much of a pet.)

The encounter powers seem slightly anemic.  Instead of restricting their actions directly and inflicting conditions, I would have the powers inflict 2d6/3d6/4d6 psychic damage if the target chooses to do the things the powers are currently outright prohibiting (I like the idea of inflicting excruciating pain on a target that tries to fight the curse better than just limiting their actions).


The encounter powers seem slightly anemic.  Instead of restricting their actions directly and inflicting conditions, I would have the powers inflict 2d6/3d6/4d6 psychic damage if the target chooses to do the things the powers are currently outright prohibiting (I like the idea of inflicting excruciating pain on a target that tries to fight the curse better than just limiting their actions).



The only problem there is that it takes away a lot of your control - if the enemy can pick, it's going to pick whichever is better for it.  As-is, these should be fairly decent, especially as minor-action vs. Will attacks.  The only major issue I see is that the Encounter and Daily powers are all single-target control powers - that's kind of weaksauce for a Controller.  As a theme though, I think I can get away with that.  After all, most of these are fairly potent "debuffs".


As for the Paragon Path, I'm considering something like "Living Blight" or "Walking Curse" or "Unraveller of Fate", or some better name having to do with being a big steaming pile of "Oh hell, not him again."  I'm thinking either an Action Point feature or a Utility power that lets you force an enemy to re-roll an attack, check, or save, and use the lower result.  The encounter and daily power can both be curses, along the same lines as those here.  Not sure about the other Paragon Path features though - I need something "controllery" for levels 11 and 16 still.  *shrugs*
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Added feats.  They're decent, but I don't feel they're really anything "special".
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
The feats for themes rarely are.

One question: Why is the level 9 power an exploit?

Seems pretty solid otherwise.
One question: Why is the level 9 power an exploit?


Aw, yeah, copy-paste errors.  It's what you get when you use a a different theme as the template, and don't pay enough attention. 
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)