Player's Option: Shadow Done Right (community project proposal)

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Shadow Power Source Done Right: A community homebrew proposal


IMAGE(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/7113/wicca1.jpg)

Since the new preview of Heroes of Shadow has effectively proven that Wizards has delivered the killshot to a true Shadow Power Source, and it is a well-known fact that many of us in this community and elsewhere are highly disappointed about their choice to destroy the Shadow source and leave us with diluted half-classes which don't do justice to the full potential the Shadow Source's archetypes, I have taken it upon myself to make this thread to present a proposal to the fan community.

 I propose that we, as a group, cooperate to create three or more full 1-30 Shadow classes which we can all be satisfied with, and enjoy playing. My intention is not to debate whether WotC's decision was right or wrong, or to say the new Shadow builds are bad (since obviously we haven't seen them, and they're probably fairly good). What I think we all agree on is that the Shadow sub-classes which will apparently be presented are not the classes we wanted WotC to produce, and that we have a right to show them what could've been done.

I don't claim this will be easy. On the contrary, I'm sure making classes that can satisfy all of us will be fairly difficult due to the diversity of opinion. To mitigate this I am taking the initiative to suggest we work on creating a basic archetype for each of the classes we will create, and that we then attempt to work on "builds" of those base classes which present other options.

For example, a Necromancer could begin as a Shadow Controller, and have a build option which allows it to function as a Defender, or as a Leader. We could even go so far as to build entire sub-classes onto the original concept, if the fan community thinks this method is acceptable.

Anyone is free to participate and suggest ideas, or critique others' ideas. If this is going to succeed we'll need people with fresh ideas, but also people who are willing to listen to others' ideas and criticisms. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but if we all work together, we can make a bunch of classes that will prove to WotC that they made a big blunder by passing up on the idea to make a true Shadow Source.

If anyone wants to volunteer to help, or just offer inspiration or advice, feel free to do so. I'll update the first post as new information becomes available.
To start us off, I'll give my own ideas in basic terms. I'll update this post with basic ideas about the proposed classes until we get something definitive down. For the interests of space, it's probably best we post a complete version of the classes (if and when we finish one) and post a link to it here. Until such time, this post is reserved for basic class/build ideas.

For instance:

Necromancer - Shadow Controller (sub defender or sub leader)
Cha primary, Con or Int secondary
Implement = Staves, Orbs, Tomes?, uses selected weapons as implements
Focuses on raising armies of disposable minions, as well as necrotic, poison, and cold powers.
Heavy emphasis on debuffs and hard control over soft control or area damage.
Perhaps designed as a melee controller? Scythe implement?

Sample Power





























Grave Pulse
Necromancer Attack 1
You wrack your enemy with scathing blue-black lightning, and your loyal minions amplify the pain with their dark essence.
At-Will ♦ Implement, Lightning, Necrotic, Shadow
Standard Action - Ranged 20
Target: One, two, or three creatures
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d4 + Charisma modifier lightning damage, and the target takes a 2 extra necrotic damage for each of your minions adjacent to it.
Level 21: 2d4 + Charisma modifier lightning damage, and 4 extra damage for each minion.

 


sample features


Maker of the Dead: You gain proficiency with the scourge, flail, and whip, and may use a whip, flail, heavy flail, triple-headed flail, scourge, or spiked chain as an implement. In addition, you may add 1/2 your Constitution modifier to the defenses of creatures you summon. You gain the Raise Undead Minion power.

Leader of the Dead: You gain proficiency with the khopesh, scimitar, and double scimitar, and may use a sickle, scythe, dagger, khopesh, double scimitar, or scimitar as an implement. In addition, you may add your Intelligence modifier to the number of temporary hit points you grant with your Necromancer powers. You gain the Leech Life power.


Hexblade - Shadow Defender (sub striker or sub controller)
Dex primary, Con or Int secondary
Focuses on mobility and battlefield control (pushes and slides), debuffs, and illusion, necrotic, poison, cold, and psychic powers.
Mark is a curse with a variable effect augmented by daily powers.
Weapon user? Weapliment? Ki Focus, perhaps?
Light armor? (Batman doesn't use heavy armor)

Sample power


 






























Curse of the Bile Blade
Hexblade Attack 9
You impale your target and your curse mark pours poison into their soul. If they fail to attack you, their very blood becomes venomous.
Daily ♦ Curse, Poison, Shadow, Weapon
Standard Action - Melee Weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Fortitude
Hit: 3[W] + Dexterity modifier poison damage and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).
Curse Augment: Until the end of the encounter or until you activate another Curse Augment, any enemy who violates your Curse Mark deals 5 + your constitution modifier poison damage to itself and each of its allies adjacent to it.



Keep in mind a common feat available to all Shadow classes would be the ability to ignore resistance to necrotic and immunity to poison. 

Beguiler - Shadow Leader (sub controller)
Cha primary, Int or Wis secondary
Focuses on manipulating enemies and allies with illusions and charms.
Leader abilities based on "tricking" allies into fighting harder, or casting debilitating charms that make the enemy weaker, easierr to hit, etc. Something like a cross between the Bard, Artificer, and Illusionist wizard.
Implement = Orbs, Rods, Dagger?
Might be better as a build of a more diverse class.

example feature



























Healing Charm
Beguiler Class Feature
You cast a veil of illusion over your ally, making them think they're stronger and faster than they actually are.
Encounter ♦ Shadow, Healing, Illusion
Minor Action - Close Burst 5 (10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level)
Target: You or one ally
Effect: The target spends a healing surge, but does not regain hit points as normal. it rinstead gains 1d8 hit points, and temporary hit points equal to its healing surge value. These temporary hit points last until depleted, or until the end of the target's next extended rest.
Level 6: The target regains 2d8 hit points.
Level 16: 3d8 hit points 
Level 26: 4d8 hit points
Special: You may use this power twice per encounter, but only once per round. At level 16 you can use this power three times per encounter.


Quick Beguiler: When you use your Healing Charm, the target also gains a +2 power bonus to speed until the end of their next turn. The bonus is +3 at level 11, and +4 at level 21.



Brutal Beguiler: When you use your Healing Charm, the target also gains a +2 power bonus to damage rolls until the end of their next turn. The bonus is +4 at level 11 and +6 at level 21.



Inspiring Beguiler:  When you use your Healing Charm, the target also gains a +2 power bonus to a saving throws until the end of their next turn. The bonus is +3 at 11th level, and +5 at 21st level.



Assassin (Shadowcaster)- Shadow Striker (Sub defender) ?
Dex Primary, Con secondary
Ranged weapon built, includes more ranged implement powers with controllery effects.
Focus on mobility and powers which have secondary attacks with debilitating effects?
Has class feature which allows marking target from range.

Sample feature























Shadow Gate
Shadowcaster class featurel
You open a portal between your shadow and that of other objects or creatures allowing you to fire from the darkness.
Encounter ♦ Conjuration, Shadow
Minor Action - Ranged 10
Effect: You generate a Shadow Gate in an unoccupied square within range. You may use the gate's space as the origin square for your attacks, and enemies may attack you through the gate as if you were in its space. You gain combat advantage against any creature attacked through the gate, and deal 1[W] extra damage when you hit an enemy you attacked through the gate. When you take a move action you may move the gate up to 5 squares. You may end the effect as a free action.
Level 11: 2[W] extra damage.
Level 21: 3[W] extra damage.
Special:You regain the use of this power at the end of the encounter, when you drop to 0 hit points, or when the gate's effect ends.

Veiled Shield: When you attack an enemy through your Shadow Gate you may mark that enemy until the end of your next turn. If an enemy marked by you makes an attack that doesn't include you as a target, it takes 5 + your Intelligence or Charisma modifier necrotic damage. The damage increases by 5 at 11th level, and by 10 at 21st level.




We have officially begun the brainstorming phase of our project, and have started on the preliminary work of getting down the class structures. Many variant classes are being proposed, which may be merged, or possibly kept as E-Style sub-classes until a single class tree.

If you are interested in looking at what we have so far, or want to contribute, here is the website:

shadow4e.wikidot.com/

UPDATE (1/21/11): Duskblade class ready for playtesting; levels 1-30 v. 1.0. Complete.

shadow4e.wikidot.com/duskblade-b
Since each power source tends to have two types of strikers - close and ranged - I think that the Shadow power source should have something similar in combination with the Assassin.  I'd suggest the names Sorcerer and Warlock since the name historically and mythologically have connotations of evil magic (sorcerer's being wizards/mages who get their power by making a deal with a demon and warlocks are magic users who have turned evil or have been cast out of magic's ruling body due to violations of the law), but those names are taken and nothing's immediately coming to mind.
Since each power source tends to have two types of strikers - close and ranged - I think that the Shadow power source should have something similar in combination with the Assassin.  I'd suggest the names Sorcerer and Warlock since the name historically and mythologically have connotations of evil magic (sorcerer's being wizards/mages who get their power by making a deal with a demon and warlocks are magic users who have turned evil or have been cast out of magic's ruling body due to violations of the law), but those names are taken and nothing's immediately coming to mind.



I was thinking the same thing. Maybe a ranged weapon striker? We still don't have a class that uses ranged weapliments, so maybe this would allow for that? Though it's probably better as a build of a more diverse ranged striker.

As for names, how about Shadowcaster, Lurker, or Veilbow?

Maybe Dex primary, Str or Cha secondary. Strength could be the weapliment build, and Cha could be a more straight-forward "Shadow blast" type character. My guess would be sub controller or sub defender. Maybe give him a shot at Ranged Defender?
I've been considering the feasibility of something, and this might be as good a place as any to consider it:

What about a ranged Defender?  Marking at-range with strong ranged punishments, setting up a catch-22 with 'either you attack my allies and get hit badly, or you skip attacking at all this turn' - it might suit the sort of thing I envision from the Shadow being more selfish and potentially evil than most power sources, so he'd be avoiding damage to himself AND his allies.  Maybe also/instead he could use shadow powers to grant his allies concealment/invisibility from marked enemies, forcing them to pay attention to him.

Does this sound like a workable idea?
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I've been considering the feasibility of something, and this might be as good a place as any to consider it:

What about a ranged Defender?  Marking at-range with strong ranged punishments, setting up a catch-22 with 'either you attack my allies and get hit badly, or you skip attacking at all this turn' - it might suit the sort of thing I envision from the Shadow being more selfish and potentially evil than most power sources, so he'd be avoiding damage to himself AND his allies.  Maybe also/instead he could use shadow powers to grant his allies concealment/invisibility from marked enemies, forcing them to pay attention to him.

Does this sound like a workable idea?



It's feasible, but the cath-22 element would be a bit broken if not balanced well. A character who can simply lock down enemies and force them not to attack at all would simply make any other defender redudant, which is bad. I do believe in the viability of a ranged defender, but I think it might be accomplished better another way.

For instance, how about a Shadow defender who's mark allows the enemy to attack him with melee attacks from a certain range, and punishes him heavily for attacking someone else. In flavor terms, the character would open a gate through his enemy's shadow with the mark, allowing the enemy to attack him through its own shadow, or face the consequences. That would solve the problem of ranged defenders who simply make it impossible for enemies to attack anyone.
There's definitely potential there - I'll work on something over the next few days and see if I can nail it down.  Shadow-swapping as a mark method is ringing bells, but I'm not quite sure how yet.  Or shadow veiling.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm in.

I don't do too much homebrew stuff, but I can offer my abilities as a PDF maker/graphic designer type thing. I don't have too much time to post here, but I wanna think about what kind of archetypes would be great as shadow classes.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
Maybe Dex primary, Str or Cha secondary. Strength could be the weapliment build, and Cha could be a more straight-forward "Shadow blast" type character. My guess would be sub controller or sub defender. Maybe give him a shot at Ranged Defender?



I'm thinking more Int based with builds for Dex (weapliment) and Chr (blaster) would be better.  My reasoning is that there are four races which are closest to the "Shadow" feel and those races would be best for something like this:  Tiefling, Drow, Revenant, and Shadar-kar.  With their racial bonuses, any one of these four races would be able to build a successful character for the class.  This class needs to stay away form melee combat since that's the Assassin's bag of tricks.  The Dex based could get closer to enemies, but would still work best from range.
Maybe Dex primary, Str or Cha secondary. Strength could be the weapliment build, and Cha could be a more straight-forward "Shadow blast" type character. My guess would be sub controller or sub defender. Maybe give him a shot at Ranged Defender?



I'm thinking more Int based with builds for Dex (weapliment) and Chr (blaster) would be better.  My reasoning is that there are four races which are closest to the "Shadow" feel and those races would be best for something like this:  Tiefling, Drow, Revenant, and Shadar-kar.  With their racial bonuses, any one of these four races would be able to build a successful character for the class.  This class needs to stay away form melee combat since that's the Assassin's bag of tricks.  The Dex based could get closer to enemies, but would still work best from range.



Check out the Shadowcaster idea in the second post. I added in some of the suggestions we've gotten so far.

Okay, so I've thought a little.


Necromancer, Shadow Controller


Intelligence primary, definitely. I know the typical necromancer trope is to summon dead things and reanimate corpses and stuff, but I think we should expand the archetype into something greater than just that. I'd really like to see necromancers have some sort of powers involving diseases, poisons, and other debilitating. It isn't that hard of a stretch to incorporate into the idea of a necromancer and it presents some interesting thematics to play around with in designing.


Also triggered powers that play off enemies dying is just an exciting concept.


Acolyte, Shadow Leader.


I do not remember where I read this (I have terrible memory problems) but I just remember LOVING the idea of a real caster leader in the form of an acolyte. The idea of playing a raving cult leader type character sounds pretty awesome to me. I can see the acolyte having powers that use shadow magic to augment and power their allies in certain ways, like... well. I'm not sure. Maybe the Acolyte could have certain ghost-y type summons that works like the shaman, right, but maybe instead of having one dedicated summon, they would have several “disposable” type summons.


Hexblade, Shadow Defender.


Pretty much what's in #2.


And I have no ideas when it comes to a shadow striker. The assassin pretty much sums it up. :\

Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
Have you considered the glasses from Goodman Games?
www.goodman-games.com/4401preview.html
I'm in, but this is something that should be done in a wiki.
I'm in, but this is something that should be done in a wiki.



Seconded. A chat would be cool too.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
I believe it was Marandahir that came up with the Acolyte, but don't quote me on it. I do think we should focus more on heroic Shadow archetypes (the cursed warrior using the powers of darkness for good), but more evil classes would certainly be an option.

 I'm not opposed to the idea of a Wiki. How would we go about making one?

As for the Necromancer, I'm inclined to agree. The summoner could easily be a build of a larger class. I'll do some thinking.

I do like the idea of a daily power summon that doesn't die with the encounter, heck to make it more unique for the necromancer, I'd suggest the following feature: "When you cast a summoning power, the creature is replaced by 4 minion versions of the creature that last until killed."  The action enconomy would be the same.  This would open up the power suite should someone really want to multiclass while making what they had fit into the flavor.

Personally, I'd like to see the Shadow classes as the following:

Necromancer (Shadow Leader): A leader who draws on the power of shadow to conceal or bolster allies and gimp enemies; alternalty a "pet" leader class with options to summon and bolster said summons, focusing "healing" and possibly things such as shadowy clouds around their "pets".

Two class features to choose from: One that helps with the bolstering of pets, ad one that allows the class somewhat of a stickiness to their gimps (penalty to saving throws equal to a modifier, ect)

Intelligence, Charisma for the summoner, or Intelligence, Wisdom for the healer/buffer.

Dark Knight (Shadow Defender): a defender who uses the powers of shadow to mark targets, and uses his own healing surges and the healing surges of others to punish those that break the mark.

Not sure as to the specifics of this.  Probably linked to Strength, Constitution, and Intelligence.

Shadowcaster (Shadow Controller): a controller that uses outright necromantic power or subtle use of shadow, deception and effects.

Use of staffs, rods and tomes I should think. Wisdom based, with links to Constitution and Charisma.

Shadowdancer (Shadow Striker): a striker with exceptional mobility, and a flair for using the attacks of the enemy against them, or for making them pay with opp attacks when attacked (i.e. counterattacks)

Least fleshed out of anything I can think of. Dexterity, with Intelligence or Constitution.


As an addition, perhaps another build for the original Assassin is in order? Just a thought.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I'm going to put in a vote for another assassin build while we're at it.  It really feels like the shadowdancer's been mostly folded into the assassin already, so why don't we embrace it?  I see little reason to create a separate shadowdancer class when the assassin already gets pretty much everything we'd give it.  I also vote for the necromancer and hexblade.  Hexblade as defender with curse dailies that augment the mark punishment seems a must, and considering all the debate, I'll also support necromancer as controller with sub-leader and sub-defender options.

I'm also going to throw the witch out there.  I've posted this idea a few times before, but here's a little anthropological take on witches: elderly folk were more often accused of witchcraft because of discomfort about their closeness to death, combined with a seemingly endless supply of wisdom gained through decades of experience.  Put into D&D terms, a witch is someone who is metaphysically close to death.  Perhaps they died and came back - not necessarily by magic, but even something as simple as a talented healer administering timely aid.  Having passed beyond the veil and come back, witches are privy to Death's secrets, and it has changed them.  That is why witches are so often hated and feared - they are strange and discomforting - both because of their quirks and because their very existence is a reminder of mortality.  To that throw in a healthy dose of the Wyrd Sisters, and you have a pretty good witch concept that feels obviously shadow as opposed to primal or arcane.  Build in a Second Sight sort of thing, and the witch becomes a leader from behind - a mysterious patron who sees fate before it unfolds, and sometimes reweaves it to their own ends.  Add a touch of Raistlin, and now you have somebody who has seen death and continues to see it.  Whenever they behold a person, they see the person as they will be in death.  You can easily guide your foes to death when you already know how they will die.  Shadow leader.

For those who've thrown out making the necromancer a build of some larger class, how about making necromancy and nethermany the builds?  If the core mechanic of the class is about having pets/summons, then I see two takes: the undead user, and the shadow animator.  That does seem to be a common trope for shadow magic: having an animated shadow to do your bidding.  Think the Shadow Man from The Princess and the Frog.  That felt like such an iconic villain, and such an iconic shadow concept.  Or maybe it could even be a familiar-like thing for any shadow class: the animated shadow representing your connection to the Shadowfell.
Idea for a Shadowdancer, for it's extra damage: shadow selves.

As a move action, or possibly even built into it's at-wills, the shadowdancer would move and leave behind a shadow of itself.  It would be able to give the shadowdancer flanking, and would deliver extra damage per shadow when the shadowdancer attacks.  the variance would come in the builds: one build would allow the sdhadowdancer to move across the battlefield, latching a shadow self onto enemies as it went; upon attacking the intended target (which was all the way across the field) the extra damage would be applied, not to the intended target but to the other enemies that the shadows latched onto (making that build a bit of controller as well as striker).  THe second build type would count on a high constitution to bolster HP and attack abilities as the shadowdancer surrounded a single enemy with shadow selves, then struck, delivering an attack (with flanking possible) to his intended target.  Just a few thoughts.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I'm also going to throw the witch out there.  I've posted this idea a few times before, but here's a little anthropological take on witches: elderly folk were more often accused of witchcraft because of discomfort about their closeness to death, combined with a seemingly endless supply of wisdom gained through decades of experience.  Put into D&D terms, a witch is someone who is metaphysically close to death.  Perhaps they died and came back - not necessarily by magic, but even something as simple as a talented healer administering timely aid.  Having passed beyond the veil and come back, witches are privy to Death's secrets, and it has changed them.  That is why witches are so often hated and feared - they are strange and discomforting - both because of their quirks and because their very existence is a reminder of mortality.  To that throw in a healthy dose of the Wyrd Sisters, and you have a pretty good witch concept that feels obviously shadow as opposed to primal or arcane.  Build in a Second Sight sort of thing, and the witch becomes a leader from behind - a mysterious patron who sees fate before it unfolds, and sometimes reweaves it to their own ends.  Add a touch of Raistlin, and now you have somebody who has seen death and continues to see it.  Whenever they behold a person, they see the person as they will be in death.  You can easily guide your foes to death when you already know how they will die.  Shadow leader.



I like this. I like the idea of a spirit medium type class a lot. And the whole fate weaver thing? ****ing awesome.

So... wiki? Anyone have any experience with this?

Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
I like what's been said so far, and I'm agreeing with a lot of it. A Witch type character would fit for a Shadow Leader, and a suite of Hexblade powers which allow allies to burn surges to increase the effect would certainly work! The Warlock did dabble in the "hurt allies to hurt enemies more" idea, but we could easily step that up.

I'll look into making a wiki.
This sounds great.  I'd love to contribute to some classes that I actually like.  I've adapted some of the E-concepts into things that I like, but it's been a long time since I've made a whole class.

I must admit, I'm quite eager to work on a project with the prospect of someone putting it into purdy pdfs Tongue out.
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)
I'm also going to throw the witch out there.  I've posted this idea a few times before, but here's a little anthropological take on witches: elderly folk were more often accused of witchcraft because of discomfort about their closeness to death, combined with a seemingly endless supply of wisdom gained through decades of experience.  Put into D&D terms, a witch is someone who is metaphysically close to death.  Perhaps they died and came back - not necessarily by magic, but even something as simple as a talented healer administering timely aid.  Having passed beyond the veil and come back, witches are privy to Death's secrets, and it has changed them.  That is why witches are so often hated and feared - they are strange and discomforting - both because of their quirks and because their very existence is a reminder of mortality.  To that throw in a healthy dose of the Wyrd Sisters, and you have a pretty good witch concept that feels obviously shadow as opposed to primal or arcane.  Build in a Second Sight sort of thing, and the witch becomes a leader from behind - a mysterious patron who sees fate before it unfolds, and sometimes reweaves it to their own ends.  Add a touch of Raistlin, and now you have somebody who has seen death and continues to see it.  Whenever they behold a person, they see the person as they will be in death.  You can easily guide your foes to death when you already know how they will die.  Shadow leader.



I like this. I like the idea of a spirit medium type class a lot. And the whole fate weaver thing? ****ing awesome.

So... wiki? Anyone have any experience with this?




Thank you.  I've posted this idea maybe a half dozen times in about as many months.  If I go hunting down these old posts, I might find some of the ideas I came up with.

I'm also thinking about assassin support for this.  Really, it's looking like the Essassin won't be getting enough support without us either.  So I started asking myself about a third build.  What archetypes do the current builds represent?  Bleak disciple represents people who get their jollies from hunting down new targets.  Night stalker represents the boogie man style terror in the night.  What third type of assassin is there?  How about Angel of Death?  The guild training could work against "meddlers" - basically providing a defensive boost or dealing damage to attackers you haven't shrouded.  Which I think makes for a fun style of assassin - it encourages you to really focus on taking down one mark, while helping you to avoid any interlopers.  Concealment against un-shrouded enemies while you have an enemy shrouded is perhaps another option, but I suspect it would create too many headaches - attempts to abuse it, plus issues with it not being useful when you're already hiding in the shadows.  I got the idea from attempts at the bounty hunter as a martial controller - there was a bounty mechanic that rendered your effects harder for a single target to shrug off, and you got AoOs when a non-bounty attacked you.  It never came to fruition, but it showed promise.  It's nice to dust off one of those ideas.

As another assassin possibility, I find it lacking that we don't have Int involved.  A cunning assassin does fit an archetype.  But then again, that plays less nicely with Dex-based classes, and the assassin already is a glass cannon.  Still, I'd like to see development of assassin as a trap-planter and ambush artist.  A cunning assassin should be very hard to get away from, getting immediate reaction shifts when a shrouded target moves or shifts, and stuff like that.  This one's less fleshed out though.
And I got some ideas banging around in my head, so I'm going to write them down.

For the witch:

Cryptic Word: You have the reweave fate and greater destiny powers.  You can use these two powers in any combination up to two times per encounter (3 times at 16th level).

Reweave Fate * Healing, Shadow
Minor Action * Close
burst 5 (10 at 11th, 15 at 21st)
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target spends a healing surge and regains hit points equal to its healing surge value.  Increases with level as normal.

Greater Destiny * Healing, Shadow
You see that your ally has hidden potential.  You help them realize that potential.
Minor Action * Close burst 5 (10 at 11th, 15 at 21st)
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target spends a healing surge but does not regain hit points.  Instead, the target gains temporary hit points equal to its healing surge value.  While these temporary hit points last, the target can score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.

How does everyone feel about witches getting the Alchemist feat as a class feature?  The class is probably Wisdom-based, but what secondaries?  And what distinguishes the two?

And here's some thought on the hexblade.  I'm in strong support of the curse's mark punishment being changed by daily powers, and I'm going to try out someone's idea of also tying in healing surges.  So here's an alpha version:

Hexblade's Curse * Shadow
Minor Action * Close
burst 10
Target: one creature in burst
Effect: The target is marked (save ends).  While the mark persists, whenever the target makes an attack that does not include you as a target, it grants combat advantage and takes a -2 penalty to saving throws until the end of its next turn.
Special: When you use this power, you can spend a healing surge.  Yout do not regain hit points.  Instead, the target takes a -2 penalty to saves against this effect, and the penalty to attack rolls that do not include you as a target increase to -5.

Thoughts: save ends is new for a mark effect, but it feels right for a hexblade's curse.  The mark punishment might be weak on its own, I'm not sure.  But here's a thought: maybe the mark-augmenting powers don't supercede the punishment - they're in addition to it!  If we do that, a weaker basic punishment is fine.  Also, there's the healing surge improvement.  I know someone here suggested it as a possibility.  Now, I don't know about you, but I find that healing surges for defenders are incredibly valuable, so I want something like this to be valuable.  Especially since "save ends" means you might be pumping in quite a few healing surges to keep the penalty going.  That's definitely why I made a penalty to saves part of the benefit of spending a healing surge.  Now, -5 may sound pretty steep, but I know from experience that at least two warden powers can make the mark penalty -5.  And I had those by level 8.  And there was no cost to slapping down that penalty.  So it might be worth it.  And one final note, I also tried to water down the mark penalty because there's no action involved in triggering it!  That's definitely a powerful benefit.  But really, it seems like a must for the hexblade.  It's a curse - you're not concentrating to maintain it.  You just cast it and forget it.  It just feels a lot more curse-like to be save ends and not require an action on your part.

And now I get to my first Curse power.

Curse of the Treacherous Footing
Daily * Curse, Shadow, Weapon
Standard Action * Melee
weapon
Target: one creature
Attack: Cha vs AC
Hit: 3[W]+Cha damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Miss: Half damage.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, when a creature marked by your hexblade's curse makes an attack that does not include you as a target, it is also knocked prone after resolving the attack.

And another, just for kicks.  This one is probably epic, and it's a more complex idea.

Eye's Own Betrayal (or Curse of the Lying Eyes)
Your foe sees what is not, and sees not what is.
Daily * Curse, Illusion, Psychic, Shadow, Weapon
Standard Action * Melee
weapon
Target: one creature
Attack: Cha vs Will
Hit: 4[W]+Cha psychic damage, and up to three allies or you and two allies within 10 squares can make a stealth check to become hidden from the target.  You can make this check even if you do not have cover or concealment.
Miss: the target is dazed until the end of its next turn.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, whenever a creature marked by your hexblade's curse makes an attack that does not include you as a target, conjure a phantom assailant adjacent to the triggering enemy, which lasts until the end of the triggering enemy's next turn.  Creatures except for the triggering enemy can occupy the same square as the phantom assailant, and the phantom assailant counts as an ally for the sake of flanking the triggering enemy.

Hang on, that power's useless, and needlessly complicated.  You get the idea though - ignoring the curse makes your eyes deceive you, seeing foes where there are none.  Counting as a flanking buddy would be useful, if you weren't already granting CA.  Also, making it only count for the triggering enemy makes it such a pain to word.  Any thoughts on a simplified version?  Well, here's a beta:

Hit: 3[W]+Cha psychic damage, and you choose for the target to either attack another creature of your choice or be dazed until the end of its next turn.
Miss: half damage.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, your hexblade's curse gains the following effect: when an enemy marked by your hexblade's curse makes an attack that does  not include you as a target, any allies ajdacent to the target can use a free action to make a stealth check to become hidden from the target as if they had total concealment.

Better.  Still complicated.  I should just remove the choice between basic attack and dazed.
I can't put my finger on why, but I'm really of the mind that the Shadow power source should be mostly Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma based...I think it has to do with the fact that the strongest, the smartest, and the most charismatic (and those with the least wisdom) are the ones who turn to the Dark Side as it were.
Going back to the concept of a ranged Defender: I've been messing around with some ideas, but all of them leave me a little unsatisfied with the idea that a character miles away has to take melee hits from his marked enemy in order to satisfy the catch-22 situation.  I can think of a bunch of mechanisms for this, but all of them strike me as basically being in the melee only not actually standing in it, which kind of invalidates the purpose of making it a ranged character, which would be to avoid taking damage, rather to make your enemies question whether they want to attack at all.

So, instead, I wonder about an ally-marking ability.  You choose an ally (probably the most physically-vulnerable in the melee, the most physically-dangerous, or the one whose survival is most important) and you 'mark' him, giving enemies a to-hit penalty against him - either they can choose to try to hit the character you've marked and take a punishment and you reduce damage inflicted by taking it on yourself IF they succeed (I think punishing for the attempt with this concept would be overly harsh - you'd take say half the damage on yourself, but might be insubstantial for the purposes of the attack, to counteract the low health you'd have as a ranged character), or they go ahead and attack unmarked allies who are less squishy, dangerous or important depending on why you put your mark on in the first place.  It strikes me as the sort of selfish, single-minded thing that Shadow powers might do.  At higher levels multi-marking would probably be a possibility.  Possibly also penalties for ignoring the marked allies could be instituted as well.

The idea sort of sprang from the point that Defenders are specialised Controllers - most Controllers are ranged rather than melee characters, so why not Defenders too?

It may be a hopelessly unworkable concept, in which case a traditional melee-tanking Defender might be better.  But it sounded interesting to me.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
For the past week or so I've been toying with the idea of making a Shadow Defender that uses shrouds as its mark mechanic. I will also look at the Assassin and see whether there is build idea I can squeeze out of it.

@Omnirahk_half-Rahkshi: Look at the feat "Death's Pall". That already does the concealment idea and as such would be completely wasted as a class build. I do like the idea of following a shrouded target though. I will look into it and see what I can come up with.


A feat that is mandatory for this book and for all Assassins everywhere:
[Feat Name]
Prerequisite: Assassin, assassin’s shroud power
Benefit: Your shrouds do an extra 1 damage each. This increases to 2 at 11th level, and 3 at 21st level.

I'll post my ideas up soon.

Edit:
Shadowdancer (Assassin 3rd build)
Shadowdancer: At the start of your turn, as a minor action, you may teleport adjacent to a creature that is affected by one or more of your shrouds. You may only teleport a number of squares equal to your Intelligence modifier.
The major hole that I just thought about this is that it makes Shadow Step worthless. Back to the drawing board I suppose.
For the wiki, you can use this.

www.wikidot.com/

I've used it in the past for RPG wikis and it is really simple, but feature-filled. It supports comments to pages, forums, blogs, categories, templates, forms, and much more.

One thing for your project: I approve only partially because I like the options in the preview (and the essentials line in general), but I would like some full shadow classes, too, and your concepts sound pretty cool.

Just this thing: don't try too hard on covering all the roles. Start first with the concept of the class you are designing and then see what roles it could fill (maybe you could do two subclasses with different roles).

I also advise to design with the Essentials class design layout, even if you wanna use the standard at-will/encounter/daily scheme and dislike the Essentials mechanics. It will help getting the classes to more people and, admit it, the new class layout is just clearer.

If you need help setting up the wiki I could do it for you, also I could help in reviewing and designing the classes (even if I have not a great deal of time to do this).

Some tips: start with some base assumptions and goals with what you want from this project. Once all the people involved agree on some basic points it will be easier to decide on some matters, just by reconducing them to the basic principles. Also it will be easier if someone new wants to join, he can see immediately the project's goals and not waste time.

For the names: try not to step up on WotC's toes too much (necromancer is fine, as necromancy is just a school, hexblade is not, as hexblade is a different class/subclass). First it would generate much confusion in players, even those who choose to ignore wotc's offers. Second, you would have the remote possibility of getting the project published if you just edited the names (even if you don't want it now, you could want it in the future, .

I'm also very good at desktop publishing, so if you wanted to make a pdf out of your work I would be delighted to do it. 
I can't put my finger on why, but I'm really of the mind that the Shadow power source should be mostly Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma based...I think it has to do with the fact that the strongest, the smartest, and the most charismatic (and those with the least wisdom) are the ones who turn to the Dark Side as it were.



I'd say that all the abilities except Wisdom are acceptable.
I can't put my finger on why, but I'm really of the mind that the Shadow power source should be mostly Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma based...I think it has to do with the fact that the strongest, the smartest, and the most charismatic (and those with the least wisdom) are the ones who turn to the Dark Side as it were.



I'd say that all the abilities except Wisdom are acceptable.



What is wrong with using wisdom?  Are we trying to say that people who decide to use the powers of darkness are not wise?  Because I find that hard to swallow.  As hard as saying that only unintelligent people would use shadows as a power source.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Yeah, you're right. Primary abilities should depend on class concept only.
Given the moddability that has been introduced into the CBC, perhaps wikispaces would be good, since that's where the CB modding program's wiki is located.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Wikispaces is a bit more noob-friendly, but lacks any of the advanced features Wikidot offers.

Oh, the hell. Read this.

blog.wikidot.com/blog:what-makes-wikidot...


The only advantage to wikispaces is the wysiwig editor.
In exchange, wikidot gives you full customizability in all aspects, including the theme, forums, custom CSS, sidebar, permissions, live templates, forms,  etc.

Check this example site I just built by using wikidot:

zombiesjustwanthugs.wikidot.com/ 
Sounds good to me.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.

I'll throw my hat in.  I'm only just starting out in homebrew... more of a design/layout/copy edit guy.  Hooray crowdsourcing!

We should also consider including character themes, as well.  That is, if folks can come up with some general ideas that are Shadow-source related and work well with the character theme mechanics.

I've put a few of them together, and they're not very difficult.  The only difficulties I had with building them were where I was going out on a limb in a direction the existing mechanics didn't quite cover yet.
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)
So it looks like we've got quite a group going for this, more than I've seen for any other homebrew effort.

I'm quite excited to get this off the ground.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
We should also consider including character themes, as well.  That is, if folks can come up with some general ideas that are Shadow-source related and work well with the character theme mechanics.

I've put a few of them together, and they're not very difficult.  The only difficulties I had with building them were where I was going out on a limb in a direction the existing mechanics didn't quite cover yet.




Surely themes are something to look into, but let's set our expectations now.  Just how much shadow content are we going to build?  Just these four classes?  Themes?  Items?  Paths and Destinies?  Dare I say, alternate/repair builds to the Assassin?  


We should also consider including character themes, as well.  That is, if folks can come up with some general ideas that are Shadow-source related and work well with the character theme mechanics.

I've put a few of them together, and they're not very difficult.  The only difficulties I had with building them were where I was going out on a limb in a direction the existing mechanics didn't quite cover yet.




Surely themes are something to look into, but let's set our expectations now.  Just how much shadow content are we going to build?  Just these four classes?  Themes?  Items?  Paths and Destinies?  Dare I say, alternate/repair builds to the Assassin?  




Ha, I was just about to post and say the same thing Tongue out.

If we want to be really ambitious, we could attempt to cover everything that we can think of that will apply.  But really, the standard I'd like to see us stick to is making things only if/when we have an idea for them - not, for instance, making themes just to make themes.  If (and/or when) someone has an idea for something that will work (well) for a theme, then we can flesh-out that idea.

The basics though, are classes.  But making a class is always more involved than just making the class - feats and Paragon Paths are a natural component of class design - sometimes items too.

I would say we aim for a total of six shadow classes (including the Assassin) - but treat that as an upper limit (unless we come up with more ideas).  The four classes outlined in the second post of this thread seem like a decent place to start.

Just jumping off from those then, we're looking at "core content" along the lines of:


  1. Beguiler Class

    1. [Beguiler Build A]

    2. [Beguiler Build B]

    3. Beguiler Paragon Paths (3-4)

      1. [Beguiler PP A]

      2. [Beguiler PP B]

      3. [Beguiler PP C]


    4. Beguiler Feats


  2. Hexblade Class

    1. [Hexblade Build A]

    2. [Hexblade Build B]

    3. Hexblade Paragon Paths (3-4)

      1. [Hexblade PP A]

      2. [Hexblade PP B]

      3. [Hexblade PP C]


    4. Hexblade Feats


  3. Necromancer Class

    1. [Necromancer Build A]

    2. [Necromancer Build B]

    3. Necromancer Paragon Paths (3-4)

      1. [Necromancer PP A]

      2. [Necromancer PP B]

      3. [Necromancer PP C]


    4. Necromancer Feats


  4. Shadowcaster Class

    1. [Shadowcaster Build A]

    2. [Shadowcaster Build B]

    3. Shadowcaster Paragon Paths (3-4)

      1. [Shadowcaster PP A]

      2. [Shadowcaster PP B]

      3. [Shadowcaster PP C]


    4. Shadowcaster Feats


  5. Shadow Related Epic Destiny (1+)

Anything beyond that is more "supplemental" - which is fine, but probably shouldn't be the emphasis.  It looks like a lot, but from experience, a lot of the sub-elements of each class will become self-evident during the design process.

Anywho.  Just some thoughts.
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)
It may or may not be coming in Heroes of Shadow, but I'd be highly remiss if we never got a playable Incunabula race.  Chalk that down as something to try, perhaps?  

Necromancer- I could see this as a Controller, Striker or Defender, honestly.  The pet using aspect leans pretty defender/controller as need be, what with the  healthy supply of summoned meatshields you'd presumably get.  If it gets the Diablo 2 treatment with the diseases and the poisons and whatnot, that's a pretty natural striker build methinks.  Open-ended opportunity in execution, but it's a fine line to walk to keep it separate and unique from the Wizard.   

Hexblade-  That name needs to change.  Blackguard, Duskblade, Nightmare, I don't know, but we really and truly ought to avoid double-dipping previously used name elements.  Presumably Defender?  The Shadow Warrior to the Assassin's Shadow Rogue?  I'm entirely uninspired at the moment.  

Beguiler- Might have some legs, actually.  I definitely like the idea of the leader that uses their party rather than assist them.  Like Ardents in the 'get out of my head!" sense.  Love the idea of the cult leader archetype, too.  Could easily second Controller with the illusions and whatnot.

Shadowcaster-  I'm not sure what I'm seeing just yet.  Striker?  Assassin/"Hexblade" seems to have the weapons-wielding end covered... and we've got a lot of cloth-y types already.  A witch seems appropriate, but the issue is differentiating it from the Warlock.  

I think each class should have a unique link to the Shadowfell.  Assassins traded part of their soul for their abilities, right?  Well, what about the rest?  It was mentioned upthread that the Witch could be a class back from the dead.  I love this idea.  "Your brush with the hereafter hasn't left you entirely... whole.  Something of you was left behind.  A piece of your very soul still resides in the inky murk of the Shadowfell." Perhaps another class takes a part of the Shadowfell with them; Lets the darkness inside, maybe.  Who knows.  It's a unifying piece of flavor for the whole of the power source we'd do well not to overlook.