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The Imperial Class (5e)
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The Imperial Class (5e)

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"When raw force isn’t sufficient, you aren’t using enough."

Imperials specialize in the ways of Drive Weapons, modified armaments designed to unleash exceedingly powerful attacks. They can pinpoint, as well as abuse, an enemy's weakness, through either weakening the target or by unleashing a powerful elemental blows. They center around dealing massive damage in singular strikes, rather than protracted damage through multiple small attacks per turn. As they gain experience, Imperials learn new attacks to unleash as well as features that help make the most out of every swing.

The Imperial is a 5e class inspired by a class of the same name from Etrian Odyssey IV. The goal of this class was to create a player option with similar damage output to melee Fighters, but with more complex decision making and combat abilities while staying mostly true to the source material.

If you decide to give Imperial a try, please let me know how it went in the reviews/discussions! Any feedback would be incredibly appreciated in the effort make Imperial as fun and balanced as possible, bonus points if you include logs or data.  

Front page artwork designed and painted by Rogier van de Beek for use in this document.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Cull M April 23, 2018 1:04 am UTC
Are you gonna create any archetypes, like a archetype that focuses on speed. Or an archetype that increase the range of your attacks? Cause this class could use some stuff that helps hit difficult to reach opponents.
Customer avatar
finn D October 30, 2017 11:07 am UTC
Hey, I've been letting my player play with this class for a while now, since it is a relatively simple yet still cool class, however I have noticed that the whole class just feels weak at around the level we are playing (started playing at level 3 now level 6), so I did some calculations in comparison to the other classes from PHB (champion fighter, battlemaster fighter, barbarian and paladin) and noticed that at level 5 he got easily outdamaged by all of the classes within the first 2 rounds, paladin even outdamaged him within the first round.

On top of all that it just seems my player has bad luck, with the recharge and with the hit roll, which just feels extra bad because he misses his super cool attack and then can't do anything for the rest of the fight.

Heatsink, at least at lower levels, is extremely action economy inefficient, while it does provide a nice guaranteed cool attack for roleplay, it is not good damage wise.

Even though I really like the class thematically,...See more
Customer avatar
Ari S November 04, 2017 3:35 am UTC
Thanks for putting a comment here! I'm really grateful that you found the class interesting enough to play. About how you say the class is currently low damage, I'm having trouble understanding your spreadsheet calculations. Would you mind discussing it with me a bit further? My email is, I'd appreciate you contacting me if you are willing to take another step towards helping make this class more balanced.

Either way I appreciate your feedback!
Customer avatar
finn D November 04, 2017 11:47 am UTC
Of course! I will send you an email explaining the basic premise of the calculations, if you have any other questions feel through to send me emails back.
Customer avatar
finn D November 04, 2017 12:52 pm UTC
I meant free, not through
Customer avatar
Matthew C September 15, 2017 6:28 am UTC
I'd like to see a lot more development on this. It seems like a strong foundation for an interesting tech based class.
Customer avatar
Ari S September 17, 2017 4:20 am UTC
Thanks!! I also appreciate that you left a review too!
Customer avatar
Isaac M September 12, 2017 7:32 pm UTC
Ok so two things really quickly, first and most importantly: this is a really cool class idea and I really enjoy it! That being said, the elemental drive and accel drive are WAY overpowered in extra damage for having just a rolled cooldown. This needs to be tweaked to fit the level that the skills come into, 6d8 is more than most spell damage for a 6th level character, and that appears to be extra damage on top of the attack. You should also come up with some sub classes to go with this classes. Despite this critique, I absolutely love the concept and will probably try to use it in my campaigns that I run. It seems to be pretty unique and very impact-ful from a storytelling perspective. I look forward to seeing this grow and change as you work with it!

Also, as a side note, Galantine is a french chicken dish
Customer avatar
Ari S September 17, 2017 4:33 am UTC
Glad to hear you liked the concept! Here's my response to some of your constructive criticism:

1. The numbers on the drives are big for sure, but they can be very deceptive. This class doesn't get any extra attacks per turn, and they can't wield two weapons because their Drive Weapons are two-handed. This class isn't about consistent damage but huge bursts, so while a single spell cast may do less damage individually than a Drive, a spell can be reliably cast every turn for higher dps while Drives cannot. In my play testing data, Fighter tends to out damage Imperial so until I get data saying otherwise I will probably keep the numbers where they are now.

2. I would like there to be subclasses but staying true to the source material is very important to me, and many of the abilities in the class are integral to it's functioning anyway so I didn't want to remove abilities to make them exclusive to an archetype.

3. LMAO I totally didn't know that about galantine... I'll find...See more
Customer avatar
Daniel H September 12, 2017 12:31 pm UTC
It seems a few of the abilities are either at the wrong level, or the class table is incorrect. In the class table, you seem to have the Imperial's 3rd level feature (Rear Guard) swapped with the 7th level feature (Finisher), whereas in the feature description, you have them at the other feature level.

On a related note, have you thought of subclasses? Maybe one that makes Drive Attacks stronger, variations on them, or some such?

One thing I can think of, having a system sorta like Ki points, that allows you to introduce riders onto the Drive Attacks, such as spend 2+X Drive Points for a knockback effect on Assault Drive, which instead of knocking the enemy prone in their squre, pushes them back then prones them 5ft per X Drive points.

Another one that is spend 1+X Drive Points to change the element of the Element Drive to a different element not of the three normally, and 2+X+Y to combine elements, at the cost of lower chance of recharging the Drive Weapon via Enlightenment....See more
Customer avatar
Ari S September 17, 2017 4:40 am UTC
Good catch on the finisher/rear guard shenanigans, I'll have that fixed in a jiffy.

Talked about sub-classes in an above comment but I don't think they're something I'd be able to do for this class without removing key abilities. Plus why would alternative builds be necessary in an alternative class, right? That's my logic at least, but I get what you're saying.

Thanks for the feedback!
Oh you've played EOIV? It's really, really good even compared to the newer untold games. Imperial gets unlocked after the 4 strata so stick with it! EOV looks incredible though, the demo is on the e-shop and it gives me goosebumps thinking about how fun it was to run through.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on September 12, 2017.