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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Nov 2013

    Default Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    I got bored!

    Tell me what you think of the class, i'm playing a fighter at the moment (purple dragon knight) and this subclass would be what would fit the best with the kind of fighter i would like to play.

    Tell me what you think, if it seems too strong, too weak, too boring, fun, whatever

    Thanks

    http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/p...-Z?dialog=true
    Last edited by Ivogel; 2017-06-16 at 02:49 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    I love what Defensive Stance is going for, but there are two design-philosophical issues.

    Firstly, I think it ties way too many effects to one action. The Fighter would have greater freedom if they could access each effect independently of the others.

    Second, I think some of these effects are too strong. Changing an attack's target to yourself AND damage resistance? Knocking a creature prone AND 0 speed? And converting attacks into reactions doesn't decrease your damage output, so there's no need to compensate with +1 to +3 AC.

    I'd suggest changes to separate effects as much as possible and balance them against existing options: offering alternatives instead of improvements. I'm putting an emphasis on area control (using tripping and grappling opportunity attacks), defending allies (using parries), and neutralizing foes (by parrying/riposting them and making opportunity attacks if they attempt to move away), all of which cost damage output.

    Spoiler: ACTIVE DEFENSE
    Show
    Active Defense: Starting at 3rd level, you've mastered techniques to become a reactive defender rather than an active aggressor. When you make an opportunity attack, you can choose to disarm, grapple or shove the target rather than attack them. In addition, you gain the following powers:
    • Brace: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one or more attacks with an equal number of extra reactions, which must be made before the start of your next turn.
    • Parry: When a creature you can see makes an attack against you or a target with your weapon's reach/range, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency to the target's AC.
    • Riposte: When a creature you can see misses an attack against you or a target within your weapon's reach/range, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against them.
    • Overwatch: As a bonus action, you can select a distance in feet within your ranged weapon's range. When a creature you can see enters or exits that radius, you can use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack against them. This is considered an opportunity attack.


    Because I've moved ripostes to 3rd level, I'd recommend a new 10th level feature, which concentrates totally on defending allies, making the Fighter an important but difficult target:

    Spoiler: LIVING BULWARK
    Show
    Living Bulwark: Starting at 7th level, you've mastered defending others along with yourself.

    When you Disengage, the movement of allies you can see within 5 feet does not provoke opportunity attacks.

    When you Dodge, any attack roll made against allies you can see within 5 feet has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and allies you can see within 5 feet make Dexterity saving throws with advantage.
    Last edited by GalacticAxekick; 2017-06-13 at 01:13 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Thanks for your reply, i like your suggestion of having a ranged option and have revamped defensive stance to have you choose which benefits you want.

    This will make it less powerful, but do keep in mind the ability is supposed to be a powerful defensive option as it halves you damage output.

    Defensive stance:
    Starting at 3rd level, Using the Attack action, you may enter a defensive stance until the beginning of your next turn.
    If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, you may enter defensive stance by using up one of the attacks instead. While in a defensive stance, you may take one extra reaction each round and select 2 of the following abilities


    -Brace: You have advantage on Strength Saving Throws and resistance against nonmagical damage
    - Bodyguard: If an opponent attacks an adjacent ally, you may use your Reaction to trade places with that ally and become the new target for the attack.
    - Parry: When a creature you can see makes an attack against you or an adjacent Ally, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency to the target's AC
    -Unbalancing blow: After using a Reaction, you may attempt to shove one opponent. If the shove is succesful, its speed becomes 0 until the start of its next turn.
    -Warding shot
    When an ally within 60 feet is targeted for a melee attack, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack. If the attack hits, the opponent's attack is made with disadvantage.
    Last edited by Ivogel; 2017-06-15 at 03:08 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivogel View Post
    This will make it less powerful, but do keep in mind the ability is supposed to be a powerful defensive option since it halves you damage output.
    What I'm trying to explain is that it doesn't halve your damage output. When you enter a Defensive Stance and you trade of normal attack for one opportunity attack, you are not trading offense for defense. You are trading active offense for reactive offense. You are making precisely the same number, accuracy and power of attacks of each round, and so your damage output remains precisely the same.

    This is fine, by itself. But when you grant other bonuses on top of this, you're creating an option with equal damage output but higher defense than the Attack action.

    To avoid this, each bonus should have a cost of its own.

    (And besides this balance issue, distinct effects should be accessible separately. The player should be able to brace against forced movement, defend allies, parry, and so forth without sacrificing their Attack action or gaining extra reactions they have no use for)

    Here's how I might rework your ideas.

    Defensive Stance:
    Starting at 3rd level, Using the Attack action, you may enter a defensive stance until the beginning of your next turn. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, you may enter defensive stance by using up one of the attacks instead. While in a defensive stance, you may take one extra reaction each round and select 2 of the following abilities
    Defensive Stance:
    Starting at 3rd level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one or more attacks with an equal number of extra reactions, which must be made before the start of your next turn.


    This way, the feature is much more flexible: you can trade as many attacks as you have, instead of just one. But at the same time, it's better balanced: you can use offensive or defensive reactions, but you have to pick, instead of getting defensive bonuses and extra opportunity attacks.

    Brace: You have advantage on Strength Saving Throws and resistance against nonmagical damage
    Brace: When you are hit by a source of nonmagical damage, you can use your reaction to half the damage dealt. When you must make a saving throw or ability check to resist movement or being knocked prone, you can use your reaction to stay automatically succeed.

    Turning Brace into a reaction makes it one of the defenses you might trade an attack for.

    Bodyguard: If an opponent attacks an adjacent ally, you may use your Reaction to trade places with that ally and become the new target for the attack.
    This can stay unchanged because it already includes a cost: your reaction. Good work here!

    Parry: When a creature you can see makes an attack against you or an adjacent Ally, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency to the target's AC.
    Another good defensive reaction! Nice!

    Unbalancing blow: After using a Reaction, you may attempt to shove one opponent. If* the shove is succesful, its speed becomes 0 until the start of its next turn.
    Combat Reflexes: When you make an opportunity attack, you may instead attempt to disarm, grapple or shove the target.

    You absolutely need to understand that knocking a creature prone and reducing their speed to 0 is too powerful. It makes the target immobile, vulnerable and unable to fight back: three nerfs easily worth as much as as an attack or reaction. When you give the player this kind of power on top of every reaction, you are giving them the equivalent of a free attack at least (which is especially powerful since your Fighter can make multiple reactions).

    I've made speed reduction (as grappling), and shoving available as alternatives to the opportunity attack, along with disarming. This offers the same outcomes, but demands more spending and strategy from the player.

    Warding shot: When an ally within 60 feet is targeted for a melee attack, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack. If the attack hits, the opponent's attack is made with disadvantage
    Warding Shot: When a creature you can see enters or exits your weapon's range, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack against them. This is considered an opportunity attack.

    First of all, the arbitrary 60 foot limit means characters with long-ranged weapons will need to come uncomfortably close to benefit. "Within your weapon's range" lets characters use longbows, slings, and other powerful sniping tools at the range they were balanced for.

    And speaking of sniping, the most basic reaction is the opportunity attack, and ranged weapon should have access to that before they gain "trick shots" that disrupt attackers, defenders, or whathaveyou. This is especially true because (A) it makes ranged weapons powerful tools for area control, (B) it prevents ranged weapons from firing into melee, against targets with cover, and (C) it makes more thematic sense; sniping a fleeing or approaching foe is definitely more archer-like than shooting a sword aside.
    Last edited by GalacticAxekick; 2017-06-15 at 03:49 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by GalacticAxekick View Post
    What I'm trying to explain is that it doesn't halve your damage output. When you enter a Defensive Stance and you trade of normal attack for one opportunity attack, you are not trading offense for defense. You are trading active offense for reactive offense. You are making precisely the same number, accuracy and power of attacks of each round, and so your damage output remains precisely the same.

    This is fine, by itself. But when you grant other bonuses on top of this, you're creating an option with equal damage output but higher defense than the Attack action.

    To avoid this, each bonus should have a cost of its own.

    (And besides this balance issue, distinct effects should be accessible separately. The player should be able to brace against forced movement, defend allies, parry, and so forth without sacrificing their Attack action or gaining extra reactions they have no use for)

    Here's how I might rework your ideas.



    Defensive Stance:
    Starting at 3rd level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one or more attacks with an equal number of extra reactions, which must be made before the start of your next turn.


    This way, the feature is much more flexible: you can trade as many attacks as you have, instead of just one. But at the same time, it's better balanced: you can use offensive or defensive reactions, but you have to pick, instead of getting defensive bonuses and extra opportunity attacks.



    Brace: When you are hit by a source of nonmagical damage, you can use your reaction to half the damage dealt. When you must make a saving throw or ability check to resist movement or being knocked prone, you can use your reaction to stay automatically succeed.

    Turning Brace into a reaction makes it one of the defenses you might trade an attack for.


    This can stay unchanged because it already includes a cost: your reaction. Good work here!


    Another good defensive reaction! Nice!



    Combat Reflexes: When you make an opportunity attack, you may instead attempt to disarm, grapple or shove the target.

    You absolutely need to understand that knocking a creature prone and reducing their speed to 0 is too powerful. It makes the target immobile, vulnerable and unable to fight back: three nerfs easily worth as much as as an attack or reaction. When you give the player this kind of power on top of every reaction, you are giving them the equivalent of a free attack at least (which is especially powerful since your Fighter can make multiple reactions).

    I've made speed reduction (as grappling), and shoving available as alternatives to the opportunity attack, along with disarming. This offers the same outcomes, but demands more spending and strategy from the player.



    Warding Shot: When a creature you can see enters or exits your weapon's range, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack against them. This is considered an opportunity attack.

    First of all, the arbitrary 60 foot limit means characters with long-ranged weapons will need to come uncomfortably close to benefit. "Within your weapon's range" lets characters use longbows, slings, and other powerful sniping tools at the range they were balanced for.

    And speaking of sniping, the most basic reaction is the opportunity attack, and ranged weapon should have access to that before they gain "trick shots" that disrupt attackers, defenders, or whathaveyou. This is especially true because (A) it makes ranged weapons powerful tools for area control, (B) it prevents ranged weapons from firing into melee, against targets with cover, and (C) it makes more thematic sense; sniping a fleeing or approaching foe is definitely more archer-like than shooting a sword aside.


    First point, you say sacrificing an attack for an extra reaction produces the exact same damafe output: this is not the case since you're offering a guaranteed attack for a potential one that might not happen.

    A clause could be added that you cannot make the same type of reaction twice in the same round.

    The options offered in Defensive stance are passive bonuses like the shove and brace abilities, and options that utilize your extra reaction like parry and bodyguard.

    I might have to look into the free shove, the idea behind reducing the speed to 0 for the turn is that they can't just take the shove, and then just continue their movement as normal and still hit the squishy.
    The cost for the free shove however is that you may only choose 2 defensive stance abilities, so you are less flexible on other fields but more focused on locking down opponents

    Perhaps...

    Unbalancing blow: If an opponent misses you or an adjacent ally with a melee attack, you may attempt to shove that opponent. If the shove is succesful, its speed becomes 0 until the start of its next turn.

    10th level: Riposte
    After succesfully shoving an opponent as part of a reaction, you may make a free melee attack that deals an extra damage die

    The 60 foot restriction on warding shot is there because you are timing your shot and trying to hit an arm or other small target, which is very difficult from far away.
    Your suggestion does not really add something to the 'protector' aspect of the class
    Last edited by Ivogel; 2017-06-15 at 05:07 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    I'll offer my perspective:

    I like trading offense for defense, but it feels a bit funny. Before level 5 when you use your feature you attack... not at all? And since offense is generally better than defense, the trade-off doesn't feel right. It only feels okay to lose an attack after level 11, when you have 3 attacks.

    What if we just used superiority dice? Then you keep your attacks, do cool defense things, and have a standard to compare it to.

    Otherwise, I think it's pretty cool stuff. I'd have more comments after you reply though.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by zeek0 View Post
    I'll offer my perspective:

    I like trading offense for defense, but it feels a bit funny. Before level 5 when you use your feature you attack... not at all? And since offense is generally better than defense, the trade-off doesn't feel right. It only feels okay to lose an attack after level 11, when you have 3 attacks.

    What if we just used superiority dice? Then you keep your attacks, do cool defense things, and have a standard to compare it to.

    Otherwise, I think it's pretty cool stuff. I'd have more comments after you reply though.
    Until level 5, you will have to decide whether to make a single attack or enter defensive stance. It's a tactical choice and not always the best option, but in most battles it would be a handy ability to freely activate.

    I don't really like superiority dice, to me it doesn't make sense that the battlemaster has to rest for an hour before he can try to parry if he tripped too many opponents the previous combat.

    A system where you focus less on offense and more on defense if you choose seems more real to me.

    Edit: changed the lvl 10 feature to be less restrictive, and added a reaction cost to unbalancing blow
    Last edited by Ivogel; 2017-06-15 at 09:31 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivogel View Post
    First point, you say sacrificing an attack for an extra reaction produces the exact same damafe output: this is not the case since you're offering a guaranteed attack for a potential one that might not happen.
    What the attack loses in guarantee it gains in area control. It remains a powerful option, and so significant additional bonuses only unbalance it.

    A clause could be added that you cannot make the same type of reaction twice in the same round.
    This doesnt address the problem: trading one attack for one reaction AND a bonus is an extreme net positive, especially when the bonus (damage resistance, for instance) spans a whole round.

    Besides, adding additional rules and restricting the scope of player strategy is an inelegant and unfun way to balance. Ideally, a feature should follow simple rules and apply itself in many ways. It should be balanced by cost: some kind of action, movement or resource.

    The options offered in Defensive stance are passive bonuses like the shove and brace abilities, and options that utilize your extra reaction like parry and bodyguard.
    I'm aware. I'm saying that those passive bonuses are too powerful to be passive, and that its limiting to tie them to an unrelated option (the attack-reaction trade)

    I might have to look into the free shove, the idea behind reducing the speed to 0 for the turn is that they can't just take the shove, and then just continue their movement as normal and still hit the squishy.
    It costs half of your movement to stand up, and crawling halves your speed. They already can't continue their movement as normal, meaning that if they catch up to the squishy, it's because the squishy was standing unreasonably close.

    No attack should totally neuter it's target just to protect a poor strategist.

    The cost for the free shove however is that you may only choose 2 defensive stance abilities, so you are less flexible on other fields but more focused on locking down opponents
    Except that's not true at all. You can make two opportunity attacks, switch spaces with two allies, parry twice, or mix and match two of these, and in all of these cases shove twice. There's no "focus on locking down opponents". You're doing all of what other fighters do and more.

    Focus on locking down opponents would mean a dedicated lockdown reaction as an alternative to taking blows for allies, defending yourself or dishing damage.

    Unbalancing blow: If an opponent misses you or an adjacent ally with a melee attack, you may attempt to shove that opponent.
    You've changed the trigger but instituted no cost. You haven't addressed the problem. This must cost a reaction.

    If the shove is succesful, its speed becomes 0 until the start of its next turn.
    This combination remains too strong to cost a single attack/reaction, let alone to be free.

    10th level: Riposte
    After succesfully shoving an opponent as part of a reaction, you may make a free melee attack that deals an extra damage die
    Free stuff on top of free stuff is both overpowered and unfun. Bundling everything in one option means the player isn't strategizing or even building: they're spamming.

    The 60 foot restriction on warding shot is there because you are timing your shot and trying to hit an arm or other small target, which is very difficult from far away.
    A sling shot at a knight in full plate has an even smaller target. But we don't impose restricted range. The difficulty of the target manifests as improved AC.

    Instead of forcing all ranged weapons to conform to an arbitrary range where some excel and some don't - instead of closing the scope of player strategy - why not give the attack a -2 penalty or disadvantage?

    Your suggestion does not really add something to the 'protector' aspect of the class
    Sniping incoming foes isn't protection? Using the disarming/grappling/shoving opportunity attack to disarm, trip and pin distant enemies with projectiles doesn't count as protection?

    But parrying, tripping and reducing speed to 0 in close range does? Why the changing standard?
    Last edited by GalacticAxekick; 2017-06-15 at 05:54 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivogel View Post
    Until level 5, you will have to decide whether to make a single attack or enter defensive stance. It's a tactical choice and not always the best option, but in most battles it would be a handy ability to freely activate.

    I don't really like superiority dice, to me it doesn't make sense that the battlemaster has to rest for an hour before he can try to parry if he tripped too many opponents the previous combat.

    A system where you focus less on offense and more on defense if you choose seems more real to me.
    I agree with your assessment of superiority dice. But I still feel weird about trading attacks for defensive tricks. Any good bodyguard attacks a foe as much as they protect their charge - and your archetype doesn't reflect this.

    As an alternative, take a look at the Battle Dancer in my homebrew signature below. The class uses Momentum points, - a resource you gain by striking enemies, and use for battlemaster-like effects (without the dice to damage).

    Perhaps you would want to alter the feature so that you gain Momentum (or whatever you wanna call it) when you are attacked. This would encourage the player to put themself in harm's way, and reward them with combat tricks.

    Just my thoughts. My design philosophy is that features should never take away - they should grant opportunity. Abilities should cost an action type, or a limited resource - not the abilities you already have. A heroic character is a person that has built upon themselves.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Not another fighter subclass: Knight protector

    Quote Originally Posted by zeek0 View Post
    Just my thoughts. My design philosophy is that features should never take away - they should grant opportunity. Abilities should cost an action type, or a limited resource - not the abilities you already have. A heroic character is a person that has built upon themselves.
    I disagree, I think the ability to give up one bonus in return for another is a perfectly valid way to give the player round by round decisions that aren't limited to the extents of your resource pool. I feel that it places more emphasis on the decision because the drawback of using it is experienced immediately, instead of being potentially experienced in the future. (The drawback in the latter case is running out of resources.) It's also intuitive to imagine what such an ability represents, as opposed to being an abstraction. So I like abilities like Reckless Attack and GMW's -5 / +10 feature (if it wasn't so powerful) a lot more than than superiority dice or ki points.

    I've only skimmed the rest of this discussion, so I don't necessarily disagree with Zeek0's earlier points, but I just want to emphasise that his opinion on this isn't universal. You (Ivogel) are the one who is most likely to use it, so you should use the design approach that fits your preferences.

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