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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Martial Artist (Monk Replacement) (WIP)



RATHSQUATCH
2016-08-03, 10:21 PM
Hello,

In my world, I'm trying to develop an unarmed fighting class that isn't linked to "Traditions" or "Monasteries" but instead, just martial artists that use unarmed fighting ability on the next level. Please review the class I have below and provide any feedback you can for balance and/or flavor. Thanks so much!

http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/SyWWEr8OO


EDIT: I made some changes to the document above based on suggestions. Still not sure how balanced the usable techniques are, but the wording should make more sense.

Theoboldi
2016-08-04, 04:28 AM
From a quick look-over, I'm seeing two issues with the Techniques the class offers.

1. There are far too many Techniques that have the same effect of increasing your damage die for one attack. That's just unnescessary clutter. Combine them all into one Technique and add a note that you can take that Technique multiple times, but each use of it in a given round counts as a seperate Technique being used.

2. While I can't comment on the actual balance of the Techniques , there is a huge problem with Ear Slap, Gouge Eyes, and all the Techniques similar to them. Namely, that these are actions that pretty much anyone could already do in combat by improvising an action. Many DMs would already allow you to target a monster's ears to deafen them for a round in exchange for doing no damage, or throw sand in their eyes so they are blinded shortly.

But with your class, any character who wanted to do that would have to dip Marterial Artist and take those specific Techniques. I assume you wanted to balance these abilities against those of the Battlemaster, who can deal damage with them but can only use them so often, but this strikes me as the wrong way of going about it, since it actively reduces the options every other class has.

RATHSQUATCH
2016-08-04, 06:53 AM
From a quick look-over, I'm seeing two issues with the Techniques the class offers.

1. There are far too many Techniques that have the same effect of increasing your damage die for one attack. That's just unnescessary clutter. Combine them all into one Technique and add a note that you can take that Technique multiple times, but each use of it in a given round counts as a seperate Technique being used.

2. While I can't comment on the actual balance of the Techniques , there is a huge problem with Ear Slap, Gouge Eyes, and all the Techniques similar to them. Namely, that these are actions that pretty much anyone could already do in combat by improvising an action. Many DMs would already allow you to target a monster's ears to deafen them for a round in exchange for doing no damage, or throw sand in their eyes so they are blinded shortly.

But with your class, any character who wanted to do that would have to dip Marterial Artist and take those specific Techniques. I assume you wanted to balance these abilities against those of the Battlemaster, who can deal damage with them but can only use them so often, but this strikes me as the wrong way of going about it, since it actively reduces the options every other class has.

1. Got it. Thanks. I was do everything I could to give plenty of options, I can instead just combine a few techniques. I could always just make actual styles like "Boxing" then give techniques like Jab and the like to them as you gain levels instead of having technique points as well, that was another option I considered.

2. The reason I tried to use these is because I didn't see a rule-set for them. I know there was a vague description given along with grappling, but I can see your point here as well. I could instead put a usage requirement on these I suppose.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Theoboldi
2016-08-04, 08:00 AM
1. Got it. Thanks. I was do everything I could to give plenty of options, I can instead just combine a few techniques. I could always just make actual styles like "Boxing" then give techniques like Jab and the like to them as you gain levels instead of having technique points as well, that was another option I considered.
Honestly, I like the openness of the class as is. It's got the build versatility normally only spellcasters really have, as you can combine things as you want. While it is a lot more complicated than other martial options, that's not necessarely a bad thing. You really only need to reduce the redundant options.



2. The reason I tried to use these is because I didn't see a rule-set for them. I know there was a vague description given along with grappling, but I can see your point here as well. I could instead put a usage requirement on these I suppose.


Yeah, the rules are very vague about this kind of stuff, so I understand wanting a more specific way of resolving these kinds of actions. Still, I'm not sure how to balance them if you want them to be available all day without stepping on non-Material Artist toes. The only other class that specifically gets these actions has to use resources for it, while you want these to be at-will.

Maybe you could just write them up as standard combat actions tht everyone can do?

RATHSQUATCH
2016-08-04, 09:37 AM
Yeah, the rules are very vague about this kind of stuff, so I understand wanting a more specific way of resolving these kinds of actions. Still, I'm not sure how to balance them if you want them to be available all day without stepping on non-Material Artist toes. The only other class that specifically gets these actions has to use resources for it, while you want these to be at-will.

Maybe you could just write them up as standard combat actions tht everyone can do?

I tried to make the main different in the amount of damage that is dealt. Battle Master deals normal damage plus Superiority damage, which to me signifies why they are limited in use. With this class, you can just sort of apply a condition for a single turn instead of dealing damage. You're right though, I'm unsure how balanced this is. I guess it would need a Damage analysis or something along those lines done.

I also realize that the average martial artist would suffer from not being able to deal magic damage, these condition based attacks are what is suppose to supplement for that as the other party members take the target down after the Martial Artist weakens them by imposing a condition.

First things first, I'll work on redundant techniques and make sure to narrow those down. Thanks.

Lalliman
2016-08-04, 11:03 AM
This looks absolutely awesome. A few more suggestions, on top of what Theoboldi said:

1. Does using Block, Deflect Missile or Momentum Throw count towards your Technique limit? They don't take place on your turn, nor replace one of your attacks.

2. Counterstrike: One, "launch a counterattack" is not a mechanical term, and could be interpreted in many ways. I assume you mean "make one melee attack". Secondly, it says you make the attack as a reaction. Since you've just used your reaction to use Block, that makes Counterstrike technically unusable. What you meant is "as part of the same reaction".

3. Elbow Smash: It says you end your turn prone, which seems to imply that either your turn ends immediately when using Elbow Smash, or you donít fall prone until the end of your turn, even if you use Elbow Smash at the beginning. Itís a nitpick, but I couldnít resist. Since youíll be changing Elbow Smash anyways, you could simply change it to ďWhen you attack a prone target, you can make an Elbow Smash. This attack deals an extra die of damage, but causes you to fall prone.Ē

4. Ear Slap, Gouge Eyes, Heart Punch, Kidney Punch, Silencing Strike, Thigh Kick: Aside from the problems already mentioned, the time it lasts is weird. One-round conditions generally end on the turn of the person who applied them, not the victim, because in the latter case itíd create the weird dynamic where the further your initiative is from that of your target, the more potent the condition. Also, Heart Punch is obviously the most powerful of the bunch. It accomplishes the effects of most of the others combined, and is no more difficult to apply.

5. Throw is weird. It requires a successful attack roll and a failed saving throw to do anything. So either you can just use Shove for a 50% chance to knock someone prone, or you can use this for a 25% chance to knock someone prone and do 1d4 damage. That just doesnít seem like a good trade. This is assuming that the triggering attack deals no damage, because if it does, then itís a straight-up better version of Sweep.

6. And the big one: Several archetypes are supposed to be Str-based, but you didnít do a lot to make Str builds viable defensively. For instance, Boar Stance is obviously meant for a Str-based character, but is strictly better on a Dex-based one. A Str-based character with Boar Stance will cap out at 15 AC, while a Dex-based one can reach 20 AC by doing the exact same thing: raising their Con and their attack stat. Likewise, the Brawler, who is forced to use Str lest he miss out on the +2 damage bonus, will likely be stuck at 14 AC for most of the game, because theyíre a Str-based character with only light armour proficiency. The fact that their features are all about enduring damage does something to mitigate this, but high HP is not really a substitute for good AC. I suggest you give the brawler medium armour proficiency, and consider changing the unarmoured defence of some of the animal styles to add Str instead of Con.

RATHSQUATCH
2016-08-04, 12:50 PM
This looks absolutely awesome. A few more suggestions, on top of what Theoboldi said:

1. Does using Block, Deflect Missile or Momentum Throw count towards your Technique limit? They don't take place on your turn, nor replace one of your attacks.

The techniques "limit" isn't how many you can use per day, but instead what techniques you know, so yes, Block, Deflect Missile and Momentum throw would all be their own techniques.


2. Counterstrike: One, "launch a counterattack" is not a mechanical term, and could be interpreted in many ways. I assume you mean "make one melee attack". Secondly, it says you make the attack as a reaction. Since you've just used your reaction to use Block, that makes Counterstrike technically unusable. What you meant is "as part of the same reaction".

Yes, I meant you make one melee attack, which I will adjust in wording thank you. And also, yes, as part of the same reaction, I just didn't know how to word it for Counterstrike.


3. Elbow Smash: It says you end your turn prone, which seems to imply that either your turn ends immediately when using Elbow Smash, or you donít fall prone until the end of your turn, even if you use Elbow Smash at the beginning. Itís a nitpick, but I couldnít resist. Since youíll be changing Elbow Smash anyways, you could simply change it to ďWhen you attack a prone target, you can make an Elbow Smash. This attack deals an extra die of damage, but causes you to fall prone.Ē

Again, thanks for understanding where I was going with this, I'll be making the adjustment.


4. Ear Slap, Gouge Eyes, Heart Punch, Kidney Punch, Silencing Strike, Thigh Kick: Aside from the problems already mentioned, the time it lasts is weird. One-round conditions generally end on the turn of the person who applied them, not the victim, because in the latter case itíd create the weird dynamic where the further your initiative is from that of your target, the more potent the condition. Also, Heart Punch is obviously the most powerful of the bunch. It accomplishes the effects of most of the others combined, and is no more difficult to apply.

Yeah, I just noticed as I was going through conditions again that Heart Punch is obviously the best choice. I may just combine all these techniques into one and make the technique selectable multiple times that way you can choose which condition the attack causes and leave Heart Punch out.


5. Throw is weird. It requires a successful attack roll and a failed saving throw to do anything. So either you can just use Shove for a 50% chance to knock someone prone, or you can use this for a 25% chance to knock someone prone and do 1d4 damage. That just doesnít seem like a good trade. This is assuming that the triggering attack deals no damage, because if it does, then itís a straight-up better version of Sweep.

I'll have to look at this when I get home today. I don't have access at work. But the intent was, I thought it would be too strong of any ability to just throw someone and deal 1d4 damage and leave them prone, but maybe not.


6. And the big one: Several archetypes are supposed to be Str-based, but you didnít do a lot to make Str builds viable defensively. For instance, Boar Stance is obviously meant for a Str-based character, but is strictly better on a Dex-based one. A Str-based character with Boar Stance will cap out at 15 AC, while a Dex-based one can reach 20 AC by doing the exact same thing: raising their Con and their attack stat. Likewise, the Brawler, who is forced to use Str lest he miss out on the +2 damage bonus, will likely be stuck at 14 AC for most of the game, because theyíre a Str-based character with only light armour proficiency. The fact that their features are all about enduring damage does something to mitigate this, but high HP is not really a substitute for good AC. I suggest you give the brawler medium armour proficiency, and consider changing the unarmoured defence of some of the animal styles to add Str instead of Con.

I didn't think it made sense to allow Strength to determine your AC. CON at least makes since cause it kind of replaces what you used to get from Natural Armor. I see your point though for sure, I guess you could always say that your "thick muscles" can provide protection against attacks the same way CON does with your toughness. I'll see if there are any other comments about this before moving on.

Thanks a lot for the feedback.

Lalliman
2016-08-04, 02:48 PM
The techniques "limit" isn't how many you can use per day, but instead what techniques you know, so yes, Block, Deflect Missile and Momentum throw would all be their own techniques.
I meant the limit of one per turn/round. Excuse the unclear wording.

PapaQuackers
2016-08-04, 11:27 PM
So if I may just put out a small stylistic criticism. I think if you're intending to differentiate this from the monk having those two Ki based fighting styles seems a little detrimental. It also steps on the toes of the monk a bit I believe also. If you were to offer this class to players in your game would you do it instead of the monk? And if a fighter is using Ki that he's gained through focus in training does that not mean he's at least partially a monk by D&D standards. I like the mechanics of the class but I feel like the "fluff identity" is a tad confusing for me.

RATHSQUATCH
2016-08-05, 07:46 AM
So if I may just put out a small stylistic criticism. I think if you're intending to differentiate this from the monk having those two Ki based fighting styles seems a little detrimental. It also steps on the toes of the monk a bit I believe also. If you were to offer this class to players in your game would you do it instead of the monk? And if a fighter is using Ki that he's gained through focus in training does that not mean he's at least partially a monk by D&D standards. I like the mechanics of the class but I feel like the "fluff identity" is a tad confusing for me.

Yes, my intention would be to replace the Monk class with this class. I wanted an unarmed (or in the case of the Ki Swordsman, armed) warriors that were not linked to monasteries or traditions and instead just unlocked the power within themselves.

EDIT: To fix grammar.