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Talk:Way of the Blue Mage

One Year Review

After a year of regular playtest, the Way of the Blue Mage has proven itself to be somewhat underpowered and underwhelming. While the powers can have a significant impact, the DCs and Attack rolls are not keeping up as the game moves on, and neither are the opportunities to replace lower skills with higher ones. Perhaps in a straight dungeon crawling game this would be acceptable, but the class needs to perform well in epic scale adventures like the Tyranny of Dragons as well as in dungeon crawl stories like the Tales from the Yawning Portal.

The big problems identified so far are as follows:

  • Monster Ability DCs and Attack rolls don't scale.
  • The balance between powers and ki cost for Monster abilities is awkward.
  • Ki pool reduction is awkward.
  • Too much access to higher level spells and abilities.

Subsequently, a few design goals need to be stated and met with a revisit of the class:

  • Monster ability DCs and attack rolls must scale with level. Ideally, these should be treated as spells using the monk's Wisdom as their spellcasting ability.
  • Spell access should be similar to a Paladin or Ranger's half access, and no greater.
  • Ki costs should be balanced around spell equivalencies.

The following is an attempt to realize that goal:

Way of the Blue Mage 1.1.0

<lore should be transcribed from the current class>

Azure Lore

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells or monster abilities. Blue mages refer to both spells and monster abilities as lore, and you must go out of your way to learn new lore during your adventures.

Basic Lore. You learn 3 cantrips selected from the Sorcerer spell list. You learn another cantrip of your choice at 10th level.

In place of cantrips, you can learn "basic monster abilities", which are weapon attacks taken from any beast with a CR less than 1*. When you take the Attack Action on your turn, you may choose to use a basic monster ability instead of your weapon or unarmed attack. Like cantrips, basic monster abilities can be used without expending any ki or spell slots.

Lore Costs. To cast a spell of 1st level or higher, you must expend a number of ki equal to the Spell's level. To use a monster ability, you must expend a number of ki equal to the monster's CR.

Once you reach 5th level in this class, you can spend additional ki points to increase the level of a blue lore spell that you cast, provided that the spell has an enhanced effect at a higher level, as burning hands does. The spell's level increases by 1 for each additional ki point you spend. The maximum number of ki points (its base ki point cost plus any additional points) that you can spend on the spell is 2. This maximum increases to 3 at 7th level, 4 at 13th level, and 5 at 17th level. You are never limited in the number of ki you can spend to activate a monster ability.

Lore Known of 1st-level and Higher. Blue mages do not automatically learn their lore; instead, you are required to seek out new experiences which grant access to lore as you level.

In order to learn a new spell or monster ability, you must first experience the effects of that spell or monster ability by being targeted by it, or by being in the spell or ability's area of effect. During a short or long rest, you may attempt to learn a new lore that you have experienced in the past 24 hours by making a Wisdom check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell's level or the monster's CR.

The Lore Known column of the Blue Mage Lore table shows how many spells or monster abilities you can learn. The Maximum Spell Lore column determines the maximum level of spell you may learn, and the Maximum Monster Lore column determines the maximum CR of a creature from which you can gain lore.

During any short or long rest, you may choose to forget a lore you already know and attempt to replace it with a new lore that you have experienced in the last 24 hours.

Casting Lore. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your lore spells. You use your Lore whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a lore spell or monster ability, and when making an attack roll with one.

Lore Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Lore attack modifier = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Azure Affinity

You gain proficiency with scimitars and tridents, and your scimitars and tridents count as monk weapons.

Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. If you lack proficiency in the required skill, you are treated as having it only for the purposes of these monster knowledge checks. (Proficiency bonus would not be doubled in this case).

Blue Mage Lore
Blue Mage Level Basic Lore Known Lore Known Infusions Known Maximum Spell Lore Maximum Monster Lore
3rd 3 3 1st 2
4th 3 4 1st 2
5th 3 4 2nd 3
6th 3 4 2 2nd 3
7th 3 5 2 2nd 4
8th 3 6 2 2nd 4
9th 3 6 3 3rd 5
10th 4 7 3 3rd 5
10th 4 8 3 3rd 6
11th 4 8 4 3rd 6
12th 4 9 4 3rd 7
13th 4 10 4 4th 7
14th 4 10 5 4th 8
15th 4 11 5 4th 8
16th 4 11 5 4th 9
17th 4 11 5 5th 9
18th 4 12 5 5th 10
19th 4 13 5 5th 10
20th 4 13 5 5th 10

Azure Infusion

At 6th level, you gain the ability to consume the monsters you fight to gain even more of their power. You can attempt to learn a monster's passive abilities (movement, natural armor, damage resistances, senses, save or skill proficiencies, languages, and special traits) in a manner similar to how you gain Lore.

To gain an Azure Infusion, you must first experience that ability by attempting to consume a part of the monster who possesses it. You must eat enough of the monster to constitute a meal, and then make a Wisdom check with a DC equal to 10 + the monster's CR. On a successful save, the Blue Mage learns one of the monster's passive abilities as an infusion.

The Infusions Known column of the Blue Mage Lore table determines how many infusions you may know, and you are still limited to creatures whose CR does not exceed your Maximum Monster Lore.

The blue mage's form often changes to reflect the abilities learned. If you gain the natural base armor 14 of the Galeb Duhr, then your skin can take on a rocky appearance.

Azure Consumption

By 11th level, through your study of spells and monsters, you gain the ability to consume the magic thrown against you, and turn it back on its creator. If you are targeted by a spell, or in its area of effect, you can use your reaction to make a Wisdom check against a DC equal to 10 + the spell's level. On a success, the spell fails and has no effect.

Until the end of your next turn, you know the spell that you have consumed and can cast it with your own ki, even if the spell requires more ki to cast than you are normally allowed to spend on a spell at your level.

Once you have used Azure Consumption, you cannot do so again until you have completed a long rest.

Azure Assimilation

At 17th level, you have learned to absorb not only a monster's powers, but the monster itself. As an action, you can touch a creature and attempt to absorb it. The creature must make a Charisma saving throw against your lore save DC. On a failed saving throw, the target is banished to a demiplane associated with your existence, and you are transformed into that creature.

The target remains there for up to ten minutes, or until it escapes or you fall unconscious. The target can use its action to attempt to escape. When it does so, it makes a DC 20 Intelligence check. If it succeeds, it escapes and the spell ends. When the spell ends, the target reappears in the nearest unoccupied space next to you.

While transformed into the target, you gain the target's appearance and all of its equipment, and your statistics and ability scores become those of the target, except for your Hit Points, Intelligence, and Wisdom scores. You may use any of the creature's abilities or powers as if you were that creature.

Once you have used Azure Assimilation, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.
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