Is my adaptation of the Battle Master as a Wizard subclass balanced relative to other Wizard subclasses and to the original Battle Master?


Background Motivation

I wanted to create a subclass for Wizard that uses an expendable die resource to augment its magic and benefit its allies, similar to how the Battle Master Fighter expends superiority dice to fuel maneuvers which augments its attacks and benefit its allies.

Design Process

The following were some significant steps and motivations in my design process.

  • I called the subclass the School of Pedagogy because, thematically, a Wizard of this subclass is an academic who studies magic at a theoretical level. I called the equivalent of Battle Master maneuvers “theorems” for the Pedagogy Wizard and the equivalent of superiority dice “savant dice.”
  • I evolved the Pedagogy concept from the Unearthed Arcana Lore Master and School of Invention, but almost nothing from those inspirations remains.
  • I ported the Battle Master subclass features (at 3rd, 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th Fighter levels) into the chassis of the Wizard (at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th Wizard levels), trying to keep a similar pacing of improvements.
  • I reduced the die size progression and the utility/skill features for the Pedagogy Wizard to include only d8 and d10 savant dice to account for Wizards generally being more powerful than Fighters at higher levels and for Wizards generally having more skills.
  • I ported many of the Battle Master maneuvers directly into theorems with minimal changes to apply the benefits to spells and magical effects. However, not every maneuver was sensible to port, so I excluded some. Then I created original theorems to fill unique magical needs that exist for a Wizard but not for a Fighter.
  • I compared the resulting theorems to all subclass features of other Wizard subclasses to avoid stepping on their toes. Some features and theorems are inspired by class/subclass features from other classes, in which case I tried to avoid impeding on those as well. I specifically avoided duplicating any Sorcerer Metamagic features.
  • For wording all theorems that add or subtract a die on an attack, check, or save, I tried to use wording identical to that used in Battle Master maneuvers, Bardic Inspiration, and the bless and bane spells: if the intent is that you can add/subtract before or after the roll is resolved, it’s explicitly stated; otherwise, you add it when you make the roll.
  • I iterated the subclass many times using feedback from several other DM’s. We will be playtesting the subclass for two Wizard characters in two campaigns (one where I am the DM and one where I play the Wizard), but it hasn’t made it to the table as of this posting.

Text of the Subclass (version 1.0)

The following is the result of my design effort.

Arcane Expertise

At 2nd level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill if you aren’t already proficient in it, and your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses Arcana.

Magical Savant

When you choose this school at 2nd level, you learn magical theorems that are fueled by special dice called savant dice.

Theorems. You learn three theorems of your choice, which are detailed under “Theorems” below. Many theorems enhance a spell or other magical effect in some way. You can use only one theorem per effect.

You learn two additional theorems of your choice at 6th, 10th, and 14th level. Each time you learn new theorems, you can also replace one theorem you know with a different one.

Savant Dice. You have four savant dice, which are d8s. A savant die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended savant dice when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain another savant die at 6th level and one more at 14th level.

Theorems

The theorems are presented in alphabetical order.

Applied Studies

When you make an Intelligence (Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion) check, you can expend one savant die to add it to the check. Alternatively, when you or a friendly creature who can see or hear you makes an Intelligence (Investigation) check, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to add it to the check before or after making the check, but before any effects of the check are applied.

Beguiling Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Wisdom saving throw against being charmed or frightened, you can expend one savant die to make the spell especially beguiling and hard to ignore. Subtract the savant die from that creature’s first saving throw against the condition.

Damping Defense

When a creature damages you with a weapon attack, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your savant die + your Constitution modifier.

Distracting Spell

When you hit a creature with a spell attack, you can expend one savant die to distract that creature, giving your allies an opening. You add the savant die to the attack’s damage roll. The next attack roll against the target by an attacker other than you has advantage if the attack is made before the start of your next turn.

Dual Strike

When you cast a spell with a duration of Instantaneous and it deals damage to a creature on your turn, you can use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike in tandem. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one savant die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack against the same target, adding the savant die to its attack roll.

Elemental Flux

When you cast a spell that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage, you can expend one savant die and choose one of the spell’s damage types from that list to substitute for another type from that list for the spell’s duration. The first time you roll damage for the spell using the substituted type, add the savant die to the damage roll.

Focusing Oration

When a friendly creature that can see or hear you misses with an attack, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to refocus that creature’s efforts. Add the savant die to the attack roll, possibly changing the outcome.

Galvanizing Oration

When a friendly creature that can see or hear you makes a saving throw to end an ongoing effect on itself or to maintain concentration, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to add it to the saving throw.

Maneuvering Spell

When you cast a spell with an area of effect, you can expend one savant die to direct one of your comrades to exit the area. Choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you in the area. Before the spell takes effect, that creature can use its reaction to move up to its speed, adding the savant die to its AC until it stops moving.

Mental Agility

When you roll initiative at the start of combat, you can expend one savant die to add it to the roll. When you use this theorem and aren’t incapacitated, you can’t be surprised on your first turn in combat.

Merciful Spell

When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a spell and the target isn’t killed outright, you can expend one savant die to hold back some of the spell’s energy and merely knock the target out. The target falls unconscious and is stable. You gain temporary hit points equal to the savant die roll + your Wisdom modifier.

Precision Spell

When you make a spell attack against a creature, you can expend one savant die to add it to the attack roll. You can use this theorem before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.

Reactive Cantrip

When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to cast a damaging cantrip that targets only that creature and has a duration of Instantaneous. Add the savant die to the cantrip’s damage roll.

Stirring Oration

When you cast a spell with verbal components on your turn, you can use a bonus action and expend one savant die to encourage one of your companions with an insightful speech woven into your spellcasting. Choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you. That creature gains temporary hit points equal to the savant die roll + your Charisma modifier.

Swift Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Dexterity saving throw, you can expend one savant die to make the spell especially swift and hard to avoid. Subtract the savant die from that creature’s first saving throw against the spell.

Tough Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Constitution saving throw, you can expend one savant die to make the spell especially tough and hard to withstand. Subtract the savant die from that creature’s first saving throw against the spell. This theorem can’t hinder a Constitution saving throw made to maintain concentration.

Expeditious Research

Starting at 6th level, you can use the Search action as a bonus action.

Improved Magical Savant

At 10th level, your savant dice turn into d10s.

Timely Epiphany

Starting at 14th level, when you roll initiative and have no savant dice remaining, you regain one savant die.

Question

Is this Wizard School of Pedagogy balanced relative to other Wizard subclasses and to the original Fighter Battle Master that inspired it? In other words, can the School of Pedagogy coexist with those other subclasses as a useful, distinct, and coequal option without impinging on their design? Things to watch for…

  • Flawed language with ambiguity or unintended consequences.
  • Features that are not level-comparable with similar features from other classes/subclasses.
  • Features granting benefits that are too powerful relative to existing options.
  • Features that are game-breaking within the game’s existing design.
  • Features that are so niche or unhelpful they would never be chosen or used.

I am not at all concerned with whether the Pedagogy Wizard seems thematically or mechanically similar to the Sorcerer, so any similarity between the concept of theorems and of metamagic isn’t considered to be infringing on the use case of Sorcerers for purposes of my question, unless a theorem directly replicates a particular Sorcerer metamagic option.

(To the best of my ability, I’ve followed the recommendations on Meta for how to present a homebrew balancing question. I’m happy to accommodate actionable suggestions for improvement of the question. However, if I need to iterate the subclass design again after reviewing the answers, that will be done in a separate question. Finally, sorry for the wall of text. I hope it’s easy to follow.)

Is my ‘Magical Boost’ trait balanced? [closed]

I want to create a homebrew playable race called Fools. Essentially the idea is court jesters but as a race. They have bright, multicolored skin. I want them to have the abilities of the original Fool character in my short story, but I’m afraid they might be too overpowered and/or unbalanced. I have put the current stat block for Fools in the quotes below.

Language. Fools have a language unique to their race, however, they adopt the most spoken language of their surroundings. You speak Foolish, and any language of your choosing.

I believe this is fine as having the choice of a second language is a common trait.

Alignment. Fools are rule-breakers at their core. They are almost always chaotically aligned. Fools are a very widespread and variable race, having members be good, evil, and everything in between.

Again, I’m very sure about this.

Speed. 25.

Halflings and dwarves have a speed of 25. My fools’ size range matches those of halflings and dwarves, so again, this is good as is.

Size. Any given Fool can range in height from less than three feet tall up to just over five feet.

This plays into Fools being variable. No need for change.

Links to the Arcane. Fools are notorious for their innate ability to sense magic. You get +2 to any perception check regarding magic.

This I’m not so sure about. I certainly want Fools to have some innate link to magic and I feel this ability is a good way to show it.

Ability Score Increase. Your dexterity score increases by 1.

Fools are generally very nimble, so I feel this fits.

Magical Boost. You can move ten feet in any direction on your turn. This is an Action. If you do not use this ability again next turn or end you turn on something, you begin to fall back to the ground five feet per turn.

This is the trait I am least sure about. I’m not sure if I should make it more or less powerful. Or if I should extend the range that they can move on their turn.

Is my race, as it currently is, balanced? What changes should I make? What should I add or remove?

Is this variation of the Guidance cantrip balanced? [closed]

As a player who currently can cast Guidance, I find its decision making process a little less than exciting. Essentially, if I’m not concentrating on a spell and there’s no time pressure, cast Guidance. I’d like to make the spell more meaningful. So my thought:

GUIDANCE
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Classes: Cleric, Druid

You touch one willing creature. Once before the spell ends, the target can roll one ability check with advantage. The spell then ends. The target cannot benefit from the effects of Guidance until they have completed a short rest.

I think this provides a more meaningful decision point behind the spell, since it can’t be used for every check. It could even provide a meaningful benefit in combat, if you were to use it on, say, your barbarian friend who was planning on grappling someone. I do worry if it is almost too weak, since Working Together wouldn’t stack with it. Would allowing it to be used for attack rolls or saving throws then make it too strong? (Per my understanding, those don’t qualify as ability checks).

Is this Homebrew “Boggart” balanced? [closed]

I wanted to put a Boggart into my 5e game, similar to a Boggart from the Harry Potter franchise. For those who don’t know, it’s a magical shape-shifting creature that can transform into the worst fear of whom ever looks upon it.

A point of contention I have is what type of creature should it be? Undead? Aberration? Construct? And, what Challenge Rating should the creature be? (I’m think about putting it at around 5-7). Also, if it is unbalanced in some way, how can I make it balanced? Anyway, here it is…

Boggart

medium aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class 13

Hit Points 67 (9d8+27)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover, only when unseen)

STR 6 (-2) DEX 16 (+3) CON 16 (+3) INT 12 (+1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 15 (+2)

Damage Immunities Necrotic, Poison

Damage Vulnerabilities Radiant

Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone,

Languages Can understand deep speech but doesn’t speak it

Incorporeal Detection When a Boggart is not being directly observed it is considered invisible, specifically when it comes to divination based spells. It is also immune to magics that can read its mind.

Shapechange Weakness Unlike other shapeshifters, the boggart is susceptible to transmutation spells like polymorph. If the boggart is transformed against its will into something the creature does not fear it is unable to use Terrifying Apperance.

Terrifying Appearance When a creature looks at a Boggart, the Boggart must use its reaction to immediately cast True-Polymorph on itself to transform into whatever the viewers worst fear is. The viewer must make a Wisdom Saving Throw (DC 15) or be frightened by the Bogart while it remains within line of sight. A creature can remake the saving throw at the end of their turn if they are not within line of sight, or if they willingly enact the blindness condition in some manner. It will take on all game statistics of its new form but it retains its original health. If the viewers worst fear is an inanimate object the boggart will transform into an animated version of that object as if under the Animate Objects spell. If multiple creature are observing it or if the creature has multiple worst fears, the boggart will cycle through them at random after each turn. Anytime the boggart is not in the form of whatever the viewer fears most, the viewer automatically succeeds the saving throw against being frightened.

My idea is to have Polymorph be the equivalent of Riddikulus, Is this a good idea or should I create a home-brew spell specifically for that purpose?

Would it be balanced to change True Strike from a cantrip so simply an “Aim Action” that anyone can take?

There are few things in D&D 5E on which the consensus is as overwhelming as on the fact that True Strike is an extremely poor cantrip. As discussed in many places, the main problem is the action economy. As this answer to a similar question puts it, casting True Strike is not so much a benefit as it is a trade off: You waste your action on one turn in order to gain advantage and thus use your action more effectively on your next turn. As has also been pointed out countless times, this is rarely optimal, as attacking twice without advantage still has a better chance of hitting at least once than attacking once with advantage.

The generic scenario in which True Strike actually helps is when a character needs to put all their focus into making sure that one crucial, strategically relevant attack actually hits. Putting it like that doesn’t let it sound particularly magical: the character just takes their time to aim.

Would it be balanced to introduce an Aim Action, that is available to everyone and does exactly what True Strike does (mechanically)?

I also noticed that the Unearthed Arcana Class Feature Variants include the "Cunning Action: Aim" for the rogue. Having a general Aim Action and allowing this feature variant would keep in line with the idea that the Cunning Action lets the rogue do things anyone can do, just quicker. It’s Unearthed Arcana, so this may not be a great argument, but I like how consistent it feels.

Would this homebrew version of True Strike be balanced?

True Strike has been a popular discussion point. On one hand, it’s considered one of the weakest spells in the game, but on the other, balancing it as being a bonus action seems to make it overpowered.

My approach is based on its fluff text.

Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target’s defenses.

I propose that, similarly to the Fighter’s Know Thy Enemy feature, True Trike would grant advantage on an attack in the next turn, as before, and, additionally,

The DM tells you if the creature is your equal, superior, or inferior in regard to two of the following characteristics of your choice:

  • Intelligence score
  • Wisdom score
  • Charisma score
  • Armor Class
  • Current hit points
  • Total class levels, if any
  • Total spellcasting levels, if any

I’m not sure if two characteristics is too much, compared with the Fighter’s 7th level feature. This would be one of the few ways (if any?) to get information about a creature’s mental scores, and it clearly has more of a caster-vibe than Know Thy Enemy.

How balanced would this be?

Would it be balanced to change True Strike from a cantrip to a 1st level spell?

True Strike is often considered as a poor or at least very situational cantrip, as is also discussed in the question Why would I ever cast True Strike?. On the other hand, the answers also show that there are indeed situations in which the cantrip can be very useful. I like these scenarios, and I would like to see them in more games, but players hardly ever pick True Strike.

From my experience, the main problem is its high opportunity cost: Most characters get only few cantrips, so choosing a cantrip with such situational benefit is not very attractive. If it were a 1st level spell, it would even get a bit weaker in the sense that it now would consume a spell slot, but learning it would be much less of an investment. Since the cantrip does not scale with the character level, changing it to a 1st level spell wouldn’t need any further mechanical adjustments. Hence my question:

Would it be balanced to change True Strike from a cantrip to a 1st level spell in order to encourage players to choose it at all?

Is the unofficial Arcane Puppeteer subclass balanced to play with official classes?

One of my players asked me to play this subclass.

It is written there that it has not been playtested, so I am a bit scared to allow him to play that class.
Do you know if it is safe to play? Or more in general, do you have any tip to identify the strength of a class before playing it?

Balanced sub-sequence

Consider two strings $ S$ and $ T$ of length $ n$ .Here both the strings $ S$ and $ T$ consists of only $ “(“$ and $ “)”$ that is made of parenthesis. I need to find a string $ w$ which is balanced parenthesis and it should be sub-sequences of both $ S$ and $ T$ among all those strings $ w$ i need the maximum length strings.

This problem is clearly a dynamic programming problem,but i am having hard time in finding states and also their transitions .Could anyone help me.

P.S – Problem E ,but it is in Russian

Is this Waking Dream spell balanced?

This homebrew spell for dnd 5e is based largely on the Scry spell and the Dream spell. Conceptually, I wanted something that functions similarly to the "force-bond" that Rey and Kylo Ren share in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Is this spell balanced? Are there any class lists that shouldn’t have access to this spell? Are there any notable exploits?

Note that the spell only functions while both parties are conscious, making long-distance assassinations difficult. Similarly, the wording prevents one from casting a high-level Witchbolt and continuing to apply damage after the Waking Dream ends. It would allow a dangerous spellcaster (like Strahd) to solo one party member down to unconsciousness, but that shouldn’t be deadly, especially if surrounded by friends.

Waking dream
5th level Illusion

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Special
Components: V, S, M (a focus worth at least 1,000 gp, such as a crystal ball, a silver mirror, or a font filled with holy water)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You step into a creatures vicinity, visible and tangible only to them. Choose a creature known to you as the target of this spell. The target must be on the same plane of existence as you, and you must both be conscious when the spell is cast. If the caster or the target becomes unconscious, the spell immediately ends. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw, which is modified by how well you know the target and the sort of physical connection you have to it. If a target knows you’re casting this spell, it can fail the saving throw voluntarily if it wants to be contacted.

\begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline \textbf{Knowledge} & \textbf{Save Modifier}\\hline \text{Secondhand (you have heard of the target)} & \text{+5}\\hline \text{Firsthand (you have met the target)} & \text{+0}\\hline \text{Familiar (you know the target well)} & \text{-5}\\hline \end{array}

\begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline \textbf{Connection} & \textbf{Save Modifier}\\hline \text{Likeness or picture} & \text{-2}\\hline \text{Possession or garment} & \text{-4}\\hline \text{Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, or the like} & \text{-10}\\hline \end{array}

On a successful save, the target isn’t affected, and you can’t use this spell against it again for 24 hours.

On a failed save, an illusion of you appears in view within 10 feet of the target, while an illusion of the target appears in an equivalent position relative to you. Both illusions mirror the actions and words of their image. Only you and the target can see, hear, and interact with these illusions, and both you and the target have no perception of the other person’s true surroundings.

For you and the target, it is as if the other were actually there, including for the purposes of attacking, targeting spells, and other effects, though other concentration spells cast end if the target is no longer in casting range when this spell ends. Any damage taken by the illusion is taken by its mirror creature. Objects can also be transferred from one location to another with this spell if they are on the illusion’s person when this spell ends.

Finally, should any edits be made to wording to make this spell more clear?