This month, Dungeon Master’s Workshop is proud to present a brand new class: the Battlemage. The Battlemage is an arcane half-casting class, similar to the paladin, but with an arsenal of arcane spells and abilities that help control the battlefield and deal damage to your foes—a middle ground, as it were, between the Fighter and the Wizard. If you have been left frustrated by the limitations of your eldritch knight’s arcane education, or frustrated that your War Wizard can’t take a hit, the Battlemage is the class for you!
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Arcane Emporium is a catalogue of homebrew rules, weapons, spells, monsters, and much more. New issues will be published at the end of each month with additional material. If you like what you see, please consider becoming a patron on our Patreon. This will help us post regular content for everyone’s enjoyment as well as look into other ways to improve the material.
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Really, you’ve summarized our exact thoughts on the matter. The EK just seems like a fighter with some magic stapled onto it. The cantrips from SCAG really helped a lot to fix that, but the design of the class is just not flavoured as what it purports to be: a warrior who blends might and magic. Plus, it’s a real bummer that they don’t get the single best “gish” spell in the game—steel wind strike—because it’s a 5th-level spell. Not to mention that they have to use a component pouch for their spells because they don’t get the ability to use a spellcasting focus.
By contrast, the Battlemage loses out on the cantrips (as half-casters do), but can use spells that compliment their martial abilities (the smites) AND can use their bonded weapon as an arcane focus. No more having to drop your sword/shield in order to pull out an adder’s stomach for Melf’s acid arrow.
Honestly, just by itself, this way to circumvent such a cumbersome spellcasting mechanic would get us to pick the Battlemage over the EK or the War Wizard. The class has other comparable abilities that can make up for not having a Wizard’s 9th-level spell slots or a Fighters additional extra attacks, but this simple addition with the weapon focus just makes such much difference to actually getting the full mileage out of the class.
– the Archmage