New Homebrew Archetypes and the Missing Classes

TomReneth
Level 11
2 weeks ago (edited)

The limited scope of the game and options in the SRD means we need to rely on homebrew archetypes and there are certainly some fun ones in Solasta. The Greenmage, Cleric Domains and the Paladin Oaths are examples of homebrew options I find to generally work out very well in the game. So a big thumbs up on those. 

Other class archetypes are less appealing, particularly for Fighter, Ranger and Rogue. This isn't just the fault of the homebrew content, because it is the SRD options that are underwhelming for Fighter and Rogue. Champion is pretty boring and does little to enhance the Fighter compared to Mountaineer or Spellblade, while the homebrewed Darkweaver seems to largely be a more usable Thief in a combat heavy campaign. So props to TA for that too.

In the interest of that, here are some ideas for homebrew archetypes that I think would be more interesting to play with than some of the options we got and that incorporates some of the flavor from the classes that (likely) won't make an appearance in the game. I would love to see more archetypes being added in DLC and stuff later on.

Feel free to suggest improvements or fill in any blank spots I leave. I include the lvls for archetype features above lvl 10 too, where I have some ideas.


Fighter - Berseker / Barbarian

We don't have a Barbarian class, so why not make one for a Fighter? These classes are already joined at the hip as non-magical martial characters!

Lvl 3:

Intimidating: You get proficiency with Intimidation. If you are already proficient, you can pick another Fighter skill of your choice.

Berserk: You can draw upon your inner fury to enter a rage for 1 minute. You increase your Str and Con scores by 4 for the duration. Your rage can be ended early as a bonus/free action or if you don't attack or take damage between the starts of your rounds.

Warcry: While raging, you can use a bonus action to let out a Warcry. Enemies within X range must succeed a Wisdom save against a (8 + Intimidation modifier) DC or be Frightened of you for X rounds. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Lvl 7:

Your Worst Fear...: You gain Expertise with Intimidation.

Greater Berserk: When raging, you can use your bonus action to make a melee attack.

Lvl 10: 

... Come to Life: You now add your Str modifier to your Warcry DC (8 + Intimidation modifier + Str modifier). You can now use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus times 2 per long rest.

Lvl 15:

Lvl 18:


Ranger - Skald / Bard

First off, why Ranger for a Bard? Because Rogue already have a caster archetype. It also harkens back to older Bards, who were more half-casters with martial and rogue elements, which the 5e Ranger has. I also happen to like the idea of Bards as wandering storytellers and loremasters.

Lvl 3:

Insightful Performer: You gain proficiency with Performance skill. You use your Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is higher) for your Charisma based skills. If you already have proficiency with Performance, you gain proficiency with a Ranger skill of your choice.

Distracting Strikes: The first enemy you attack on each of your Rounds become Distracted until the beginning of the Ranger's next round or until the Ranger falls unconscious. Attacks against Distracted enemies get a 1d4 bonus to the attack roll. Distracted enemies can use an action to make an Insight (Wisdom) check against (8 + Peformance modifier) DC to see through your ruse.

Note: Seeing as Rangers fairly commonly get bonus damage dice at lvl 3 (Colossus Slayer, Swarmkeeper, Fey Wanderer), an alternative to this could be playing around with accuracy instead and make it partially a party support ability.

Lvl 7:

Storyteller: You can spend an action to give X allies temporary HP equal to your Performance modifier for 1 hour and advantage on saving throws against Frightened and Charm. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Lvl 11:

Masterful Distracter: You can now Distract 2 enemies at a time or Distract the same enemy twice. Enemies who become Distracted twice become Confounded*, getting disadvantage on their next saving throw or ability check (like contesting a shove). Confounded lasts until they make a saving throw or ability check, until the beginning of the Ranger's next round or the Ranger falls unconscious.

*The first 2 attacks on each of the Ranger's rounds apply Distracted. Applying Distracted twice to the same enemy makes them Distracted and Confounded.

Lvl 15:

Master Performer: You gain Expertise with Performance.

Master Storyteller: Your Storyteller ability now grants temporary HP equal to twice your Performance modifier and immunity to Frightened and Charm.


Archetype spells:

Gain access to the following spells for each spell lvl available to the Ranger. Spell selection is often one of the drawbacks of a Ranger compared to a Paladin, especially since Paladins get Oath spells. Which is why I think later Ranger archetypes began giving them expanded spell lists.

1st: Charm Person, Color Spray
2nd: Blur, Branding Smite
3rd: Haste, Slow
4th:
5th: 


Rogue - Duelist

Everyone loves a dashing swordsman who fights with grace and wit to outdo his opponents. So let's do that.

Lvl 3:

Fencer: You have mastered combat in a way few Rogues do. You can pick between the Dueling, Two-Weapon Fighting and Defense fighting styles.

Quick Witted: As a bonus action, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your AC until the beginning of your next round. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest. 

Lvl 9: 

Pinpoint Strike: Once per turn, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll and damage. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Lvl: 13:


Lvl 17: 



Typos happen. More so on the phone.

1 week ago


Fighter - Berseker / Barbarian


We don't have a Barbarian class, so why not make one for a Fighter? These classes are already joined at the hip as non-magical martial characters!

This is an excellent idea. An alternative would be to make it a ranger subclass.


Lvl 3:

Intimidating: You get proficiency with Intimidation. If you are already proficient, you can pick another Fighter skill of your choice.

Advantage on intimidation checks would be better.


Berserk: You can draw upon your inner fury to enter a rage for 1 minute. You increase your Str and Con scores by 4 for the duration. Your rage can be ended early as a bonus/free action or if you don't attack or take damage between the starts of your rounds.

This is based on the 3rd edition version of Rage. 5e should be +2 bonus to damage, resistance to S/P/B. I would make it usable once per short or long rest.


Warcry: While raging, you can use a bonus action to let out a Warcry. Enemies within X range must succeed a Wisdom save against a (8 + Intimidation modifier) DC or be Frightened of you for X rounds. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

I think a third ability at level 3 is too much with regard to the baseline Solasta fighter. And barbarians don't get warcries in 5e.


Lvl 7:

Your Worst Fear...: You gain Expertise with Intimidation.

Greater Berserk: When raging, you can use your bonus action to make a melee attack./

Reckless Attack (advantage on all attacks in exchange for everyone having advantage attacking you) would be more 5e. As a fighter subclass it gets better attack progression than a barbarian anyway.


Lvl 10: 

... Come to Life: You now add your Str modifier to your Warcry DC (8 + Intimidation modifier + Str modifier). You can now use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus times 2 per long rest./

Currently Solasta fighters don't get a subclass feature at level 10 (although they should).


Personally I think this would be a better option than actually having the barbarian base class. However, I think "eventually adding bard" should be a door kept open.

Lawful Tired
Level 2
1 week ago

Another (albeit much more time-intensive) option would be simply to include the missing classes into the game. This could be done via DLC, like they're doing with the sorcerer. I know that's a more expensive route to take, but the classes missing are in the SRD, so it isn't as if TA would get into any trouble by adding those other classes. It would add even more replayability too.

Again, I know that's a much more resource-heavy route to take. And might not be worth it to TA. I don't know. If I recall, they've said something to the effect of "we'll put out more content if there's interest in it" but their primary concern had been getting the game to release (we're here, yay!) and then post-launch QA and getting the sorcerer going. Who knows what they'll be up to afterwards.

Druid in particular I can imagine as a pain development-wise with wildshape.

mrfuji3
Level 4
1 week ago

I'd gladly buy DLC for additional classes. I'd less-gladly buy DLC for additional subclasses, but still would.

TomReneth
Level 11
6 days ago

Personally I think this would be a better option than actually having the barbarian base class. However, I think "eventually adding bard" should be a door kept open.

I think most would prefer that, but there's always a chance that they won't and that implementing a subclass with 2-3 abilities might be a more realistic alternative. Besides, mixing flavor across classes is already something subclasses does, like the Bladesinger wizard or barbarian's Zealot and Wild Magic paths.

More than that, seeing as we've got to settle for mostly having homebrewed subclasses, using those to bridge the gap between what we have and what hasn't been added seems like a good idea to me. We could argue about the balance between various classes and subclasses, but the Greenmage is still a fun variant on the wizard that I am glad is in the game (luckily it didn't get multiattack). Not just because it changes how said wizard plays, but because it also tells us something about the world: The Elves' elite scouts are dedicated spellcasters that can mimic divine/primal magic through arcane means, though this prevents them from using healing spells.

This is in part why I suggested Ranger for the role of Bard: They already share elements between the classes, mixing martial, caster and skill-based elements into a Jack of all Trades, just with most of the focus on martial instead of caster in 5e. Bards are often portrayed as wanderers, for which the Ranger is the most natural fit of the classes we know we'll get. Rogues, the most obvious candidate, already has a spellcasting subclass and I think most who want to play a Bard would want magic. Using Ranger would also allude to the real old school Bards from 1st Edition AD&D, where they were then (kinda like Rangers are now) a mix of Fighter, Thief and Druid.


As for your feedback on the Fighter, I tried to make it recognizable as a Barbarian archetype while not overlapping directly with the Barbarian class mechanics should it be added later. The Barbarian's own Rage is heavily geared towards HP tanking, so I skeewed the Berserker idea more towards unchecked aggression. On top of that, since we're not going past lvl 10 in the full release for now, Fighters really do need all the help they can get as anything but AC tanks, being stuck at 2 regular attacks per turn. Action Surge is useful, but I wouldn't place it above the abilities Rangers and especially Paladins get. Adding a little bit of crowd control seemed fair. And fun.


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

Rokahn
Level 3
6 days ago

Fighter - Berseker / Barbarian

We don't have a Barbarian class, so why not make one for a Fighter? These classes are already joined at the hip as non-magical martial characters!

I don't think this is a good idea. Hopefully, they will add the Barbarian eventually, at which point there will be too much overlap.


Lvl 3:

Intimidating: You get proficiency with Intimidation. If you are already proficient, you can pick another Fighter skill of your choice.

Berserk: You can draw upon your inner fury to enter a rage for 1 minute. You increase your Str and Con scores by 4 for the duration. Your rage can be ended early as a bonus/free action or if you don't attack or take damage between the starts of your rounds.

This seems a lot stronger than the other Fighter features at lvl 3. Granted, those are all rather weak. But it would make this subclass the default choice, which is unfortunate.


Warcry: While raging, you can use a bonus action to let out a Warcry. Enemies within X range must succeed a Wisdom save against a (8 + Intimidation modifier) DC or be Frightened of you for X rounds. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Having this as an AoE at level 3 seems too strong. Maybe the level 7 feature could be an upgrade making it an AoE.

I do really like the idea of a Warcry based Warrior, and it's a very different niche than a Barbarian. Maybe this could be expanded further by adding taunts (disadvantage to attack others) or temp hp buffs.

Ranger - Skald / Bard

Again, not a fan of emulating existing classes with subclasses, but there are some good ideas in here. I like the idea of a Ranger using illusion magic - a Gloomweaver or fey-touched Ranger. Distracting strike is a very good idea for that.

Rogue - Duelist

Everyone loves a dashing swordsman who fights with grace and wit to outdo his opponents. So let's do that.

Lvl 3:

Fencer: You have mastered combat in a way few Rogues do. You can pick between the Dueling, Two-Weapon Fighting and Defense fighting styles.

Quick Witted: As a bonus action, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your AC until the beginning of your next round. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest. 

Lvl 9: 

Pinpoint Strike: Once per turn, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll and damage. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

This is an archetype that was very much missing from the game and I think your suggested features are spot-on.

TomReneth
Level 11
6 days ago

Fighter - Berseker / Barbarian

We don't have a Barbarian class, so why not make one for a Fighter? These classes are already joined at the hip as non-magical martial characters!

I don't think this is a good idea. Hopefully, they will add the Barbarian eventually, at which point there will be too much overlap.

I tried to design it so that there wouldn't be much mechanical overlap. This is more of an all out DPS Fighter than an HP Tank martial.


Lvl 3:

Intimidating: You get proficiency with Intimidation. If you are already proficient, you can pick another Fighter skill of your choice.

Berserk: You can draw upon your inner fury to enter a rage for 1 minute. You increase your Str and Con scores by 4 for the duration. Your rage can be ended early as a bonus/free action or if you don't attack or take damage between the starts of your rounds.

This seems a lot stronger than the other Fighter features at lvl 3. Granted, those are all rather weak. But it would make this subclass the default choice, which is unfortunate.

Mountaineer is pretty solid for an AC tank build and an improved spell selection could go a long way to help Spellblade. But, yeah, getting a new 'default' Fighter doesn't sound bad at all to me =)


Warcry: While raging, you can use a bonus action to let out a Warcry. Enemies within X range must succeed a Wisdom save against a (8 + Intimidation modifier) DC or be Frightened of you for X rounds. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Having this as an AoE at level 3 seems too strong. Maybe the level 7 feature could be an upgrade making it an AoE.

I do really like the idea of a Warcry based Warrior, and it's a very different niche than a Barbarian. Maybe this could be expanded further by adding taunts (disadvantage to attack others) or temp hp buffs.

The thing is that Figthers get very little at lvl 3-4, but they get bonus ASI/feats at lvls 6 & 10, so this felt like a more natural fit at lvl 3. Giving the Fighter some CC also feels fair, seeing as we're likely not going to have more than DC12 or 13 until lvl 7. Going all in on Warcry would be a significant investment, as it requires Cha early on, spreading the Fighter more thinly.

Ranger - Skald / Bard

Again, not a fan of emulating existing classes with subclasses, but there are some good ideas in here. I like the idea of a Ranger using illusion magic - a Gloomweaver or fey-touched Ranger. Distracting strike is a very good idea for that.

I personally find that the archetypes that do mix elements are often the most interesting ones and a perfect fit for a system that both has a limited number of classes and relies heavily on homebrewed archetypes.

Rogue - Duelist

Everyone loves a dashing swordsman who fights with grace and wit to outdo his opponents. So let's do that.

Lvl 3:

Fencer: You have mastered combat in a way few Rogues do. You can pick between the Dueling, Two-Weapon Fighting and Defense fighting styles.

Quick Witted: As a bonus action, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your AC until the beginning of your next round. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest. 

Lvl 9: 

Pinpoint Strike: Once per turn, you can add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll and damage. You can use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

This is an archetype that was very much missing from the game and I think your suggested features are spot-on.

I don't understand why we got both the Thief and Darkweaver for Rogue. They seem to overlap too much.


Typos happen. More so on the phone.