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

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Homebrew Class Concern - 5E Homebrew

    Hello everyone! I'm new to the boards, but I came here to ask the opinions of you kind fellows.

    A friend and I are arguing over a homebrew class that he chose to play for one of our 5e Homebrew campaigns. The class in question is the Arcane Lobber from the 5e Homebrew site. I would post the link but I am unable to do so at this post level. But it is through the dandwiki 5e section of classes.

    The arch-type my friend has chosen (And is now level 10) is the Arcane Ballista. While I think this class is cool and has some unique features, I feel it is bloated and way too overpowered.

    What do you feel breaks this class or makes the least amount of sense for this class to have? I personally feel the class gets too much additional damage tacked on and shouldn't have double throwing range for no reason other than inscribing runes.

    I apologize if this isn't the right place to post, but I was hoping for some feedback to help my friend better balance this class and stop breaking the rest of our campaign by one-shotting a lot of creatures before people get a turn. (Also our DM's fault for not fixing, but hey, we can't all win).


    Thank you!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Homebrew Class Concern - 5E Homebrew

    Hm, I hope the argument isn't too severe. Arguments around the table are no fun for anyone :(

    Anyway, let's break down what this class can do:

    Class Features
    • Good Arm There increases the range of thrown weapons, presumably so they can compete with bows.
    • Enhanced Lob ignores cover of various types (1+Int) times per day. It's a tad situational, so barring unusual circumstances I imagine it would apply more or less all the time. (I have no idea how it works on total cover at 18th level, but I guess a lot of stuff stops making sense in epic levels.)
    • Arcane Returning obviates ammunition as a concern.
    • Arcane Acceleration is interesting, that's for sure. +1 damage for every 5' thrown. That's actually quite worrying when combined with Good Arm There. A javelin that flies 60' will deal +12 (!) damage. Combined with Extra Attack, that's an alarming amount of extra damage. I'd replace this feature outright, but you might be able to get away with adding an extra damage die if you throw the weapon at least 30' or something.
    • Runes of Elemental Fury is supposed to be the class's main feature, I'm sure. It's kind of a Smite-like effect. I don't think it's a good smite-like effect, since it doesn't suck resources away from anything else. There's no reason not to use it against any high-priority target. I'd at least cap the damage at 5d6 (more on this later, but basically we don't want it overshadowing Paladin smites).
    • Extra Attack is standard, and Arcane Returning scales with it. Fair enough.
    • Penetrating Force is kind of a worse version of Reckless Attack that operates at range. It's clumsy, but I can't say it's broken. Not sure why it scales with level.
    • Line 'Em Up is really odd. First of all, it relies on a grid to work. IDK if you use a grid, but I sure don't; it certainly isn't assumed in official class features. Much stranger, though, is that Line 'Em Up's bonus is completely beyond the player's control. It specifically notes that Line 'Em Up doesn't work if the player tries to set it up; it only works if the GM forces enemies to land on certain spaces at the end of their turns. It's free advantage on attacks, handed out at the GM's discretion.


    As for the subclass...

    1. Arcane Might is very silly if I'm reading it right. As an action, if you're using a throwing weapon with a d6 damage die, you can increase the damage to d8... but you can only do so after initiative's been rolled? It's terrible action economy (and puzzling flavour); it's certainly not broken. The vast majority of this class's damage comes from Arcane Acceleration anyway. Why not just permanently increase the damage from the Runes of Elemental Fury charges to use d8s instead of d6s? That way high-level Paladins will always be able to out-damage it.
    2. Unlocked Arcana is pretty pointless. Force is the best option by far, afaik; barely anything resists it, and that's kind of the point of force damage. Not much reason to use Fire or Acid when you could be doing Force damage. That said, it's not like damage type is a huge deal anyway.
    3. Magical Splicing... I'm not sure what it does. Does the extra element have its own set of charges or no? If so, it helps; if not, it doesn't. The fact that I have to ask is a red flag.


    How does it measure up?
    The nearest analogue I can think of in standard classes is an Eldritch Knight specialized in throwing weapons - kind of a magical hoplite. Let's compare the two at level 10, using the same stat line (which I chose as reasonably optimal using the standard array):

    Variant Human Arcane Ballista Arcane Lobber 10
    73 HP (HD 10d8+20), init +1, proficiency +4
    Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Attack: Enchanted Javelin +8/+8 (d6+4 piercing, thrown range 60/240, +1 damage/5 ft thrown [to a max of d6+16 in comfy range or d6+52 (!!!) at long range])
    Defence 17 (base 14 breastplate, +1 Dex, +2 shield)
    Saves: Str +9, Int +7 (the class has two bad saves?? this should be Con and Int for sure)
    Skills: Any 2 of Athletics, Arcana, Investigation, Insight, History, and Perception
    Class features: Good Arm There, Enhanced Lob (ignores 3/4 cover, 4/day), Arcane Returning, Arcane Acceleration, Runes of Elemental Fury (3/4d6 force, 3/1d6 necrotic [?]), Arcane Might, Extra Attack, Unlocked Arcana, Penetrating Force, Line 'Em Up, Magical Splicing?

    Variant Human Eldritch Knight Fighter 10
    84 HP (HD 10d10+20), init +1, proficiency +4
    Str 20, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Attack: Javelin +9/+9 (d6+7, thrown range 30/120; one Javelin is bonded)
    Defence 20 (base 18 [plate armour], +2 shield)
    Saves: Str +9, Con +6
    Skills: Any 2 of Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Atletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival
    Any 1 feat
    Class features: Duelling fighting style, Second Wind (1d10+10), Action Surge (1/rest), Weapon Bond, Extra Attack, War Magic, Indomitable (1/day), Eldritch Strike
    Spells (3 cantrips known, 7 spells known, save DC 15)
    Cantrips: infinite use
    Lv1: 4/day
    Lv2: 3/day

    My analysis
    If I were the GM, I'd go for the Eldritch Knight over the Arcane Lobber. The Arcane Lobber's class features are vague (how does Magical Splicing work?), sloppy (the two bad saves), and occasionally baffling (Line 'Em Up????). Arcane Acceleration really worries me, and it sounds like it's causing problems at your table, but even aside from that, my hypothetical GM self would have to adjudicate how certain class features worked on the fly, which is not how I'd want to spend my time.

    If I were the player, I'd still go for the Eldritch Knight over the Arcane Lobber. The Eldritch Knight is more interesting, to be blunt. It has spells, a wider selection of class skills, greater defensive versatility, and better team support options, not to mention more ASIs that it could use on a variety of interesting feats (Tavern Brawler for more thrown weapon fun, Sentinel to protect allies in tight spaces, Martial Adept to trip/push/frighten/etc. the victims of a spear throw...) or higher stats (note that my example, which left out feats, had higher STR). With the Duelling fighting style, throwing is still a reasonably effective fighting style that allows the simultaneous use of a shield, and Weapon Bond helps alleviate the need for ammo (albeit not entirely). The Arcane Lobber throws stuff and that's it. In a cramped corridor, it has very few advantages over the fighter. It also can't use its magic for anything but damage, while the Eldritch Knight gets cool options like Earth Tremor, Booming Blade, Flaming Sphere, and Dust Devil that give it area control abilities.

    If I were the player and I specifically wanted to imbue my weapons with power, I'd consider playing a Paladin. I don't think paladins and range get on very well because for some reason smites don't work at range (hrm) but the Arcane Lobber uses a variant of Paladin smiting for its elemental damage anyway. Paladins get all kinds of cool stuff (Aura of Protection!!!) and it's easy to refluff it into an arcane-style elemental warrior (smites deal, idk, Fire or whatever the player wants instead of Radiant).

    If the player really wants to play the arcane lobber, I tried drawing up a feat for Eldritch Knights below. As a last-ditch compromise, for a quick and dirty fix, make some of the changes I suggested earlier and you'll probably have a workable, if sloppy and redundant, class on your hands. That said, it seems clear that the Arcane Lobber is disrupting balance at the table from your description, and it's literally a broken class in that I can't quite tell how it works. An Eldritch Knight or Paladin seems like more fun for everyone involved from where I sit.

    Alternatively
    I tried making an Eldritch Knight feat that sums up the most important Arcane Lobber class features:

    Arcane Lob (feat)
    Requirements: Must have the Fighter's Weapon Bond class feature and be capable of casting spells
    Text: When you choose this feat, choose one of the following damage types: fire, cold, lightning, acid (or insert whatever other damage types you want - I'd recommend against Force, but it doesn't really matter). Once per round (or once every six seconds out of combat), when you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack using a weapon with the Thrown property, if that weapon is bonded to you with your Weapon Bond class feature, you can expend one spell slot to deal damage of the chosen type to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 2d6 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d6 for each spell-level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d6.

    Now someone else is going to have to comment on the balance of that - slapping smite on an Eldritch Knight whose spells are mostly utility could be a terrible mistake for all I know. I'd see if the player would be willing to go pure Eldritch Knight and work from there. But I figure the feat is another option, and I think it works better than the Arcane Lobber out of the box, at least.


    ...I really need to write shorter replies to these things. ^^;
    Last edited by Yddisac; 2018-09-16 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Why did I keep writing Eldritch Fighter?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Homebrew Class Concern - 5E Homebrew

    Quote Originally Posted by Yddisac View Post
    Arcane Lob (feat)
    Requirements: Must have the Fighter's Weapon Bond class feature and be capable of casting spells
    Text: When you choose this feat, choose one of the following damage types: fire, cold, lightning, acid (or insert whatever other damage types you want - I'd recommend against Force, but it doesn't really matter). Once per round (or once every six seconds out of combat), when you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack using a weapon with the Thrown property, if that weapon is bonded to you with your Weapon Bond class feature, you can expend one spell slot to deal damage of the chosen type to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 2d6 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d6 for each spell-level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d6.

    Now someone else is going to have to comment on the balance of that - slapping smite on an Eldritch Knight whose spells are mostly utility could be a terrible mistake for all I know. I'd see if the player would be willing to go pure Eldritch Knight and work from there. But I figure the feat is another option, and I think it works better than the Arcane Lobber out of the box, at least.
    Nah, it's fine. It's usable less often than Pally Smite, it's not a terribly efficient use of spell slots, and EKs have even less to spare than Paladins. Plus you can't stack it with Battlemaster dice like paladin smites can.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Homebrew Class Concern - 5E Homebrew

    Hi Yddisac,

    I wanted to say that thankfully it wasn't a huge argument between us. He just thought the class was fine until he one-shot a Mind Flayer at level 8 and then proceeded to one-shot another one (he rolled above 100 on the damage because he was at max Acceleration Range).

    Thank you for taking the time to plan a well thought out response to my concerns with this homebrew class. I don't think any long post is bad. I enjoy reading everyone's ideas on a matter because it helps me identify if I'm arguing something that isn't even a concern.

    After reading your response I'm now sure that you're right in the Acceleration and Runes of Elemental Fury being too strong of features for a class with (2) attacks. My friend and I came to an agreement that the class was on the strong side. While it'll be hard to re-do everything we decided to work together to change those two features to be less strong and have more clarity.

    I don't recall the exact changes because he's still working on them, but I think your Eldrich Knight solution makes a lot of sense and would be much easier for a DM to work around since it's not homebrew. :)

    I appreciate your time in responding and hope you have a great night!

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