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Thread: The Strategist

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default The Strategist

    Hey all,

    This is the first time that I've ever tried my hand at homebrewing. I compiled everything into this Google doc.

    As of this post (11/19/2015), I have an entire class in place except for a level 14 archetype ability for both archetypes. This class, though unfinished as yet, is intended for the 5e base class contest thread found here.

    The class has not been playtested, but I don't expect it to be too powerful. It's good, and its capstone is very fun, but when compared to the abilities that other classes get at the levels involved, I expect this to be around the middle of the power curve.

    What are your thoughts?
    My first homebrew: 5e Strategist

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    I'll give advice to my competition.

    Some pieces of it look strong, though it's really not beyond what your spellcasting classes can do, so it's probably fine. You might prefer to give either Constitution or Wisdom saving throw proficiency, as those are more common (Strength and Intelligence is fine, just not very good).

    I would like to see the archetypes distinguished even more from one another. As a reasonably active homebrewer, I think it's good when classes have archetype options that can really diverge. As it is, you have one more offensive and one more defensive, but I'm not sure such a binary approach is ideal for the class. I don't have real suggestions for that, however.

    For the 14th level ability, I might think of some way to replenish tactical points. Perhaps if an ally gets a critical hit or an enemy rolls a 1 on an attack could be methods for restoring them. Just some thoughts.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivellius View Post
    I'll give advice to my competition.

    Some pieces of it look strong, though it's really not beyond what your spellcasting classes can do, so it's probably fine. You might prefer to give either Constitution or Wisdom saving throw proficiency, as those are more common (Strength and Intelligence is fine, just not very good).

    I would like to see the archetypes distinguished even more from one another. As a reasonably active homebrewer, I think it's good when classes have archetype options that can really diverge. As it is, you have one more offensive and one more defensive, but I'm not sure such a binary approach is ideal for the class. I don't have real suggestions for that, however.

    For the 14th level ability, I might think of some way to replenish tactical points. Perhaps if an ally gets a critical hit or an enemy rolls a 1 on an attack could be methods for restoring them. Just some thoughts.
    Thank you very much for reading my work! You make a good point about the Strength saving throw not being very useful, and I suppose that I did that because I didn't want to make this class another "Dex-Based whatever" because that's how a lot of people are going these days. However, I probably shouldn't try to control my players like that... Constitution saves would be better (and more fitting) for this class anyway.

    I'll see what I can do to distinguish the archetypes more. It might just be a matter of writing more/better flavor text, but I'll see if I can do something to distinguish them from one another.

    I love your idea regarding recovering tactical points on certain conditions: I sense that this class will really want more of them as they progress.

    Does anyone else have any comments?

    EDIT: I just made a major revision, and I feel much better about how it's turned out. Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by ruy343; 2015-11-21 at 12:52 PM.
    My first homebrew: 5e Strategist

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Quote Originally Posted by ruy343 View Post
    EDIT: I just made a major revision, and I feel much better about how it's turned out. Thanks for your input.
    Read through the updated version, and I think there's still some conceptual overlap between your archetypes. This is just a critique of those; I didn't check to see if you changed other things.

    "Blitzkrieg" to me connotes not only mobility but also destruction, which puts it fairly close to "Annihilation." I also don't think the first archetype currently focuses on mobility like it should.

    What I would likely do is to make the first archetype a more generic "Inspiration," given that it seems to be fairly general-purpose buffs, while keeping "Annihilation" as it is. I'd also swap their level 10 features between the archetypes (they really feel like they should be). Other archetypes could be named after other concepts / ideals, such as "Alacrity" if you want a mobility focused archetype or "Fortification" for defense.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivellius View Post
    Read through the updated version, and I think there's still some conceptual overlap between your archetypes. This is just a critique of those; I didn't check to see if you changed other things.

    "Blitzkrieg" to me connotes not only mobility but also destruction, which puts it fairly close to "Annihilation." I also don't think the first archetype currently focuses on mobility like it should.

    What I would likely do is to make the first archetype a more generic "Inspiration," given that it seems to be fairly general-purpose buffs, while keeping "Annihilation" as it is. I'd also swap their level 10 features between the archetypes (they really feel like they should be). Other archetypes could be named after other concepts / ideals, such as "Alacrity" if you want a mobility focused archetype or "Fortification" for defense.
    Those are all fair points. Balance-wise, you don't forsee any major issues though? I hear that's rare on a homebrew forum...
    My first homebrew: 5e Strategist

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Being that you're going to post it over, I'm sure they will be far pickier regarding balance.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Be careful with bonus armor on Battle Meditation. When attack bonus and Armor Class are so narrowly restricted (the best a typical character will expect without magic items is +9 to attack rolls, while the best AC without magic is 21 if you get the Defender fighting style), +2 accounts for a lot. Essentially that represents a +10% boost to the highest armor character without armor, or a 1st level spell slot (Shield of Faith) which normally requires concentration to maintain, but on every party member within 30 feet of you. Formation Tactics is more reasonably balanced because its duration is very short and it requires your class resource.

    I feel like Channel (Unity Strategy) is pretty strong. Maybe make it once per short rest or long rest? Alternately, make it require Battle Meditation. Just from an eyeball perspective though, I guess your ally is still spending all of those resources so in the "day resources" you still come out even.

    For Combat Inspiration, maybe make it work like Bardic Inspiration dice instead of Inspiration, or require it be used before the end of their next turn, or make it a reaction whenever an ally makes an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that only applies to that check. Otherwise Strategists are just going to give everyone in the party Inspiration, start a short rest, and everyone will have Inspiration.

    United Front is either quite strong (given Strategist's bonus to initiative rolls), or quite weak (in games where dungeon masters already use group initiative). Maybe make it one ally? Or once per long rest, you choose another ally to take an extra turn right after your turn?

    I love the class overall, I also tried to bring intelligence more into the spotlight (though I made a spellcaster). I marked in orange things which I think should be changed because they are too strong, and in blue things which I wanted to say something but wouldn't cry foul if they were left in.

    Related non-mechanics: 5e doesn't much use the free action terminology. Generally it is described with "as part of X action" or "on your turn". Everything else is either bonus action, action, or reaction. Also, once per day is typically written as "once per long rest" or, "you regain all uses of this ability on a long rest".

    EDIT: Look at my Runecaster and tell me what you think?
    Last edited by MoleMage; 2015-11-24 at 11:30 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Thank you, Mole Mage, for your candid remarks. I'll take the time to read through your class tomorrow (I skimmed it earlier but I didn't comment)

    Regarding the United Front abilities: I wanted to take things in a new direction with this subclass, and the initiative order was something that hasn't really been explored in any version of D&D that I've run across. Being a game designer, I couldn't help but want to mess with it. In general though, the United Front Battle Meditation ability does something interesting in allowing them to attack as a team, with the detriment that the opponent gets the same. Going first, though, can really help out in a combat. I'm torn as to whether it's too powerful, or whether it's just unique and cool like some of the abilities in the PHB that you read (remember when you read "reliable talent" for rogues? Whoa.).

    However, you pointed out two of the abilities that I've been worried about being broken: Channel and the AC boost as part of Battle Meditation. I'll look into those further and see if I can come up with replacements.

    Was Arcane Connection OK? I worry about people thinking it's broken (which is why I attributed so many detriments to it).
    My first homebrew: 5e Strategist

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    I think you got the right spot on Arcane Connection. Being as it is at the end of the class it seemed fairly balanced to my eyes. It has everything an endcap should have: enough power to make the class enticing over multiclass, not so much power that the class is the only choice, and it feels cool.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

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    Ninja_Prawn's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Firstly: an apology to ruy. I haven't read your class yet. Maybe I'll get around to it tonight, but I am kind of busy...

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    I marked in red things which I think should be changed because they are too strong
    My reason for posting is advice for MoleMage. Red text is generally reserved for the mods on these fora and it always puts us on guard when we see it. You might want to consider an alternative.

    Edit:...Though you've been around long enough to know that. Was there a particular reason for the red here?
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2015-11-24 at 11:29 AM.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Firstly: an apology to ruy. I haven't read your class yet. Maybe I'll get around to it tonight, but I am kind of busy...



    My reason for posting is advice for MoleMage. Red text is generally reserved for the mods on these fora and it always puts us on guard when we see it. You might want to consider an alternative.
    Oh right I forgot. I'll edit it for...I guess orange.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Last edited by MoleMage; 2015-11-24 at 11:30 AM.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

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    My Patreon content. It's mostly setting development and short fiction about the adventuring party in one of my games in the same setting.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Strategist

    Looking over this again.

    I agree with the concern about increasing allies' AC, though I'm having trouble thinking of an alternative for Battle Meditation. Perhaps it actually gets nothing at all from the base class and is purely based on the archetype chosen, even--that might help expand the possible archetypes you'd like to do.

    I also noticed that Extra Attack seems odd to grant a 3rd attack. It also generally seems like combat classes get an Attack improvement at 11th level (see Paladins and Rangers). Perhaps a Command option at 11th level like, "When you take the Attack action on your turn, you may (as a bonus action?) choose one ally within 30 feet that can hear and see you. That ally can use their reaction to make a melee attack." You can move the current 11th and 13th to 13th and 15th.

    Unity does seem like a good name for the first archetype.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoleMage View Post
    I think you got the right spot on Arcane Connection. Being as it is at the end of the class it seemed fairly balanced to my eyes. It has everything an endcap should have: enough power to make the class enticing over multiclass, not so much power that the class is the only choice, and it feels cool.
    I pretty much agree with this. It also drains some resources to do it, so I think it works. You might prefer to have it cost TPs based on how many creatures are affected by the ability, though, if it still seems too strong?

    Overall, I think it's fairly close to something I'd consider using.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Strategist

    You should consider adding a multiclass section. Attributes necessary to multiclass (maybe 13 str/int), skills and proficiencies you get for multiclassing (1 skill, light/medium armor, simple/martial weapons)

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