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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Hey guys, its been a while since I dipped my spoon into the homebrew cauldron, and in 5e, no doubt. I love me some good old lizardfolk, so here's a quick something I whipped up. I'd like to fine tune it so that the average GM wouldn't mind seeing it in play, Not a lot of fluff here, I think the MM does a decent job fleshing out their role in this edition. I have big ideas for more stuff, but I want to get the bones right.

    “Lizardfolk are easy. If they hate you, they try to kill and eat you.
    Civilized folk are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.”
    -Steven Sirwin, folk hero and ranger


    The lizardfolk physiology speaks to millenia of survival as an apex predator in their ecosystem. Standing a head above the average human, clad in thick green scales, the lizardfolk look exactly as one might expect. Unlike Dragonborn, they possess a strong, muscular tail that assists them in balance and swimming as well as a mouth full of sharp teeth that can be used as a weapon when pushed. Males tend to be larger than females, with a pronounced yellow or red crest.

    See page 204 in the Monster Manual for more information on Lizardfolk.

    Lizardfolk Names
    Lizardfolk go by one name, but they also know the name of the clan to which they belong. Lizardfolk traveling in the common lands might take a Common name that is easier for friends and foes to pronounce and remember. Lizardfolk that do share their clan name translate it into Common.

    Birth Names: Ekgos, Svataril, Thraegix, Elsqat, Harroc, Shakri, Verthicha, Gewjar, Lucal, Torke, Dask, Skjall, Uxgix, Kapraliv,
    Common Names: Walker, Helmsplitter, Bloodletter, Peacemaker
    Clan Names: Strong Tail, Red Fang, Iron Flanks, Stone Flesh, Long Spears

    Lizardfolk Traits
    Your lizardfolk character has a number of traits in common with all other lizardfolk.
    Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2.
    Age: Lizardfolk reach adulthood at the age of 10. If lucky, they can survive into advanced age - between 70 and 90 years. While most lizardfolk die long before then, some individuals have been known to live past 100 years.
    Alignment: Most lizardfolk, though brutal and dangerous, are neutral in alignment - they do what they must to survive, not out of maliciousness. A number are born touched by the demon lord Sess'inek and lean towards Chaotic Evil in their aggressive bloodlust.
    Size: A lizardfolk stands between six and seven feet tall, with their weight anywhere between 180 and 300 pounds. Your size is Medium.
    Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You also have a swim speed of 15, which increases to 30 feet at level 4.
    Hold Breath: You can hold your breath for 15 minutes.
    Bite: You have a bite attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage and have proficiency with it. At 3rd level, when you take the Attack action to attack with a manufactured weapon, you may use a bonus action to attack with your Bite as well. If your Strength modifier is positive, do not add it to this attack.
    Natural Armor: You have thick, scaly hide studded with osteoderms. Your AC can't be less than 13+your Dexterity modifier, regardless of what armor you are wearing.
    Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic. The lizardfolk dialect of Draconic comes off as unrefined to other speakers, but you can communicate effectively through it.
    Subrace: There are a variety of subraces of Lizardfolk. The most common are listed below.

    Achauksta
    The Achauksta, or Green Sun lizardfolk, are by and large the most successful subrace. Achauksta shamans are revered, and tribes strive to work with nature to survive, as opposed to trying to conquer it. As an Achauksta, you possess a cunning rivaling your strength. You are a valuable asset in the wilderness and in combat alike.
    Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
    Untamed Instincts: You have proficiency in the Survival skill.

    Vuthack
    The Vuthack, or Blackscale lizardfolk, are said to be the first to be corrupted by Sess'inek. Even larger than your already considerable cousins, you are the biggest and most brutal among your kind. Vuthack are nearly eight feet tall and have much darker scales. Vuthack who find themselves among the common races often find rewarding work as bodyguards or mercenaries. As a Vuthack, you are a terror in combat, wielding physical might beyond that of the common races.
    Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 1.
    Keen Senses: You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

    Weyogol
    The Weyogol, or Poisondusk lizardfolk are far smaller and eke out their lives in the shadow of their larger cousins, earning their keep as scouts and sentries. Due to their low position among Lizardfolk tribal structure, the Weyogol learned to avoid trouble and make use of their small size to be of value. Weyogol are smaller, standing no taller than five and a half feet, and have more muted coloration. As Weyogol, you know how to escape detection and avoid conflict.
    Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
    Jungle Shadow: You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Changelog
    Changelog
    10/20
    _Added Natural Armor, suggested by Draken.
    _Changed subrace ability scores to reduce Vuthack Strength score, suggested by Durazno.
    10/22
    _Improved Bite damage to 1d6. suggested by Gnomes2169. Now scales with level.
    10/23
    _Removed damage scaling from an earlier version of Bite, thanks again to Draken. Added 'multiattack clause.'

    Suggestions NOT Currently Implemented
    _Reduction of Natural Armor
    _Athletics Proficiency (in addition to subrace skill)
    Don't like what I've done? Starcofski has a radically different take on it. So does Ralcos!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Seems pretty well designed, If a player of mine showed this to me I would let them play it.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Looks good, just missing their natural armor, which would probably be a substitution to 13+Dex.

    By the way, a Swim speed of half your normal speed literally does not do anything as far as mobility is concerned, it just opens up more weapon options in underwater combat.

    On a different matter, I'm curious about the origin of the subrace names.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    Looks good, just missing their natural armor, which would probably be a substitution to 13+Dex.

    By the way, a Swim speed of half your normal speed literally does not do anything as far as mobility is concerned, it just opens up more weapon options in underwater combat.

    On a different matter, I'm curious about the origin of the subrace names.
    Natural Armor: "You have thick, scaly hide studded with osteoderms. Your AC can't be less than 13+your Dexterity modifier, regardless of what armor you are wearing." Sound reasonable to tack on there?

    Swim speed: Yeah, but Swim 30 seemed a little much at first level.

    Subrace names: I've read that some people don't like boring, formulaic names like 'dragonborn' and 'lizardfolk'. I wasn't a big fan of the 'blackscale' and 'poisondusk' monikers either, so I dredged up some old books where Draconic translations were mentioned and butchered them a bit to be shorter. Using a different name for them also helps shake the 'direct, uninspired translation' feeling I was starting to get.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    Natural Armor: "You have thick, scaly hide studded with osteoderms. Your AC can't be less than 13+your Dexterity modifier, regardless of what armor you are wearing." Sound reasonable to tack on there?

    Swim speed: Yeah, but Swim 30 seemed a little much at first level.

    Subrace names: I've read that some people don't like boring, formulaic names like 'dragonborn' and 'lizardfolk'. I wasn't a big fan of the 'blackscale' and 'poisondusk' monikers either, so I dredged up some old books where Draconic translations were mentioned and butchered them a bit to be shorter. Using a different name for them also helps shake the 'direct, uninspired translation' feeling I was starting to get.
    I believe that natural armor wouldn't be out of order, no.

    Swim 20, then, perhaps?

    And slurred draconic sounds awfully ideal for lizardfolk.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    Looks good, just missing their natural armor, which would probably be a substitution to 13+Dex.

    By the way, a Swim speed of half your normal speed literally does not do anything as far as mobility is concerned, it just opens up more weapon options in underwater combat.

    On a different matter, I'm curious about the origin of the subrace names.
    Thanks.

    Natural Armor added, swim speed left as-is for now.

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Do any other races have the possibility of getting more than +2 to any one stat? The Vuthack getting +3 strength overall seems kind of odd.

    Should Hold Breath be a set number, or could it be modified by your Constitution? Or is it 15 minutes before you have to start worrying about holding your breath like a human would immediately?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Durazno View Post
    Do any other races have the possibility of getting more than +2 to any one stat? The Vuthack getting +3 strength overall seems kind of odd.

    Should Hold Breath be a set number, or could it be modified by your Constitution? Or is it 15 minutes before you have to start worrying about holding your breath like a human would immediately?
    Absolutely! There are a total of. . . . zero races with +3 to a single stat. Point taken. To be honest, I thought Constitution would be a better choice, but didn't want to step on the toes of the Half-Orc. I also wanted to keep the scores to Str, Wis, and Con, which are the Lizardfolk primary stat. However, a +3 implies a Str of 16 or higher, which conflicts with the core lizardfolk anyway.

    Change:
    Weyogol now gets +1 to Dexterity instead of Constitution.
    Vuthack now gets +1 to Constitution instead of Strength.

    Leaving Hold Breath as is for the moment.
    1. I like 5e because it streamlines things.
    2. While it would make sense for it to be variable based on Constitution, I've never seen nor heard of a situation where the difference between (MinutesxCon) and 15 minutes would be relevant. So yes, its 15 minutes before having to worry about it.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Two points:

    -Natural Armor should probably be reduced to 12+dex or 11+dex. As it is now, it removes (or lessens) the advantages of going Dragon Sorcerer or casting Mage Armor. Which would be a pity, as a dragon sorcerer lizardfolk sounds like something I'd like to try out.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Two points:

    -Natural Armor should probably be reduced to 12+dex or 11+dex. As it is now, it removes (or lessens) the advantages of going Dragon Sorcerer or casting Mage Armor. Which would be a pity, as a dragon sorcerer lizardfolk sounds like something I'd like to try out.
    Dragon Sorcerer also gets Toughness (essentially).
    Mage Armor can be cast on an ally. You can swap out Mage Armor when its not of use. Natural Armor is, unfortunately, a dead ability in many circumstances.

    I actually used those two to see where a baseline natural AC would make sense. It also seemed to be in line with the Monk and Barbarian unarmored AC (it seems likely that they would have a 16 in Wis or Con, respectively.)

    Reducing Natural Armor would still make one of the abilities redundant. It would just be Natural Armor that's useless for that particular setup.

    I think dropping to 12 might not be a bad idea, but is there an example of a different 'unarmored' AC that I can use as a benchmark?

    Also, what was point 2?

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    The bite attack seems a little weak to me. As it stands, you would have to use your action on a weak (1d4 or 1d6) attack, which typically won't see use. Perhaps it could be changed to a bonus action, or even just along side an attack action?

    As well, I think an argument could be made for lizardfolk having proficiency in the athletics skill, as that is one of the things that determines your swimming capabilities and general physical fitness (which you seem to heavily imply they have).

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomes2169 View Post
    The bite attack seems a little weak to me. As it stands, you would have to use your action on a weak (1d4 or 1d6) attack, which typically won't see use. Perhaps it could be changed to a bonus action, or even just along side an attack action?

    As well, I think an argument could be made for lizardfolk having proficiency in the athletics skill, as that is one of the things that determines your swimming capabilities and general physical fitness (which you seem to heavily imply they have).
    I've been chewing on this a bit.

    See, a 'free', reliable, but weak attack sounds a lot to me like a cantrip. There's quite a few spells that essentially function as backup attacks when the wizard is out of crossbow bolts. I'm spoillering my assumptions and conclusions ahead.

    Spoiler: Swim and Hold Breath add up to 2nd level.
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    I compared them to Water Walk. Not ideal, I know, but close. Both allow superior movement and attack options when a creature would otherwise have to struggle to fight and avoid drowning. Water walk only lasts for one hour. However, water walk, can, in some circumstances, act almost as a form of flight, can be used on any liquid substances, and can benefit up to 10 creatures. Its limited duration is also mitigated by its [ritual] tag, meaning that in most cases the spell can simply be cast again. Looking at how much superior a third level spell is, I figured the combination of Swim and Hold Breath would be fair at second level.

    Spoiler: Bite (1d6) is a Cantrip
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    Bite is, in its current form, a backup that can be used when the character's better weapons or options are taken away. There aren't many circumstances in which a simple 1d6 attack is your best option - much like Cantrips. Attack Cantrips gain an additional die at levels 5,11, and 17. Because the increased damage doesn't require heightened spell slots, the races can use them at their increased damage. Also note that with the exception of Thorn Whip, these cantrips only use V,S components, meaning you can only really stop them in situations where you'd also be able to prevent a Bite attack.
    List of Cantrips requiring Attack Rolls
    Chill Touch. 1d8 scaling, 120 foot range and prevents healing.
    Eldritch Blast. 1d10 scaling, 120 foot range and can be split up at higher levels.
    Fire Bolt. 1d10 scaling, 120 foot range and can ignite unattended objects.
    Produce Flame. 1d8 scaling. 30 foot range and sheds light.
    Ray of Frost 1d8 scaling. 60 foot range and reduces movement.
    Shocking Grasp. 1d8 scaling, denies reactions and has advantage against metal armor.
    Thorn Whip. 1d6 scaling, 30 foot reach and can move targets.

    Spoiler: Natural Armor (13+Dex) is 1st Level
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    Mage Armor only lasts for 8 hours, but can be cast on another creature.

    Spoiler: Races/Subraces are Balanced.
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    I want to make sure Lizardfolk are a fair choice when compared against the core races, not against the rigors of min-maxers. I also can't really begin to address any deep and inherent flaws or unbalances in a system I've known for less than a year. This is a big assumption, but a necessary one to make any balance.

    Spoiler: Tiefling are a good benchmark.
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    Out of the three races/subraces that have innate spellcasting, only Tieflings lack any particular weakness such as being slow, small, or sensitive to light. In addition, all of their traits are very comparable to spell effects.

    Spoiler: Darkvision is 2nd Level
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    Darkvision (spell) only lasts for 8 hours, but can be cast on another creature. Say. . . that sounds familiar.

    Spoiler: Resistance to Fire is 2nd Level
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    This one was kinda tough. Protection from Energy is 3rd level and only lasts for an hour (Concentration). However, it can be cast on other creatures and can also be custom tailored to the coming challenges. Resistance to Fire is situationally powerful, but rarely would I prefer to have the static effect over the spell.

    That's a lot of assumptions, I know, but my thought process got carried away. The end result is this:

    Lizardfolk
    • 1 Cantrip (Bite)
    • 1 1st Level (Natural Armor)
    • 1 2nd Level (Swim and Hold Breath)
    • 1 Skill Proficiency


    Tiefling
    • 1 Cantrip (Thaumaturgy)
    • 4 2nd Levels (Darkvision, Hellish Resistance, Hellish Rebuke, Darkness)


    Supposition: Skill Proficiency is not worth 2 2nd level spells, even if two of those spells don't come until 3rd and 5th level.
    Conclusions: Lizardfolk can actually benefit from a slight buff versus its current form and many racial traits do scale with level.
    Results:
    Natural Armor: Keeping at 13+Dex. Keeping it in line with similar effects, and I don't think its too powerful.
    Bite: Bringing it more in line with Cantrip damage scaling. 1d6, increasing by 1d6 at 5/11/17. Still a weakish option at those levels, but less blatantly bad.
    Skill proficiency: Leaving at one, dependent on subrace. Swim speed makes an Athletics proficiency somewhat redundant for its suggested focus, and the race also gets a bonus to strength already. Lizardfolk in MM don't have a bonus to Athletics either.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Erm. Your bite attack as it stands is actually incredibly potent, because it is an attack, not a cantrip. So, like any other melee attack, it can be used repeatedly with an attack action past a certain point.

    I mean, at its maximum, it is basically a large-sized greatsword, minus most advantages of being a heavy two-handed weapon, but also minus the disadvantages of it.

    I would make it "just" a shortsword you can't lose (1d6+Whatever) and maybe make a racial feat that boots it later, (maybe allowing you to use it as a bonus action) along with other thematic benefits.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    Erm. Your bite attack as it stands is actually incredibly potent, because it is an attack, not a cantrip. So, like any other melee attack, it can be used repeatedly with an attack action past a certain point.

    I mean, at its maximum, it is basically a large-sized greatsword, minus most advantages of being a heavy two-handed weapon, but also minus the disadvantages of it.

    I would make it "just" a shortsword you can't lose (1d6+Whatever) and maybe make a racial feat that boots it later, (maybe allowing you to use it as a bonus action) along with other thematic benefits.


    Oh dear. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't quite understand what you meant at first, but once I did, I facepalmed. Literally. In Real Life. At myself.

    For anyone similarly oblivious, the issue is that, for martial characters that get bonus attacks (and Attack will still be their most common combat action), its multiplicative. For instance, when a Barbarian gets a second attack at level 5, damage potential from that Attack is now 2(2d6). That is on par with a Greatsword, sure, but at 11th level that increases to 2(3d6) and so on.

    Tentative New Bite:

    Bite: You have a bite attack that deals 1d6 damage and have proficiency with it. At 3rd level, when you take the Attack action to attack with a manufactured weapon, you may use a bonus action to attack with your Bite as well. If your Strength modifier is positive, do not add it to this attack.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Missing the damage type, for the record.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    Missing the damage type, for the record.
    Clarified. Thanks again.

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    I dig it, especially the custom subrace names. Amazing how much more flavor that adds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    [SIZE=1]
    Natural Armor: You have thick, scaly hide studded with osteoderms. Your AC can't be less than 13+your Dexterity modifier, regardless of what armor you are wearing.
    This would seem to suggest that you still get your full Dex bonus in medium and heavy armor. Granted, if your Dex is that high I don't know why you'd be wearing armor to begin with, but it's still a bit weird. You might want to just say that you have a +3 bonus to AC that doesn't stack with worn armor, or something.

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    I dig it, especially the custom subrace names. Amazing how much more flavor that adds.

    This would seem to suggest that you still get your full Dex bonus in medium and heavy armor. Granted, if your Dex is that high I don't know why you'd be wearing armor to begin with, but it's still a bit weird. You might want to just say that you have a +3 bonus to AC that doesn't stack with worn armor, or something.
    Actually, the wording of other natural armors is incredibly similar to that. Take the draconic bloodline for sorc, for instance, which basically says, "While you are not wearing armor, your armor class is 13+dex."

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    Default Re: Lizardfolk (Playable Race, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    I dig it, especially the custom subrace names. Amazing how much more flavor that adds.

    This would seem to suggest that you still get your full Dex bonus in medium and heavy armor. Granted, if your Dex is that high I don't know why you'd be wearing armor to begin with, but it's still a bit weird. You might want to just say that you have a +3 bonus to AC that doesn't stack with worn armor, or something.
    Thanks for the feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomes2169 View Post
    Actually, the wording of other natural armors is incredibly similar to that. Take the draconic bloodline for sorc, for instance, which basically says, "While you are not wearing armor, your armor class is 13+dex."
    Pretty much this. Also, the +3 bonus to AC would allow for some ugly stacking with every similar effect (Monk, Barbarian, Draconic Sorceror, Mage Armor, Wild Shape, etc). Phrasing this to exclude each of those instances would require more convoluted wording and DM interpretation than what it currently is.

    As an update, I got to playtest a Level 1 Weyogol Wizard yesterday and it did fairly well, but not too well. Its AC was 15 (on par with the Monk), but it had less hit points. Its bite was a decent melee action, but with the Wizard's low HP I wasn't keen on wading in on it. I ended up playing it guerrilla style. The Bite was +4 to hit, 1d6+2 damage, compared to the Monk's +5 to hit, 1d4+3 (times two!). If it weren't for clever use of water and hit and run tactics (thanks Ray of Frost) we would have wiped.

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