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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Nov 2017

    Default Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    So, I designed the class to pick ONE of the following forms at level 2 as a fighting style. They get a second at level 10.

    I wanted each from to be attractive in its own way, but not too over the top.

    A little more: Force points operate on the save scale as monk ki. 1 per level (max of 20).

    THE QUESTION: I feel that some are a little too attractive. Do you flavorful peeps have any input to assist in balancing them out (and hopefully maintain their flavor)?

    Lightsaber Forms
    At 2nd level, Force Wielders learn one form from the list below. At 10th level, you learn one additional from. Switching forms during combat requires a bonus action.

    Form I- Shii-Cho “Way of the Sarlacc.” While in this form, you have advantage on attacks when there are 3 or more enemies within 5 feet of you. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Force Sweep: When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may use 2 Force points to attempt to damage other creatures with the same attack. Attack all creatures within 5 feet of you. If the original attack roll would hit each additional creature, those creatures take damage equal to your Wisdom modifier+1. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.

    Form II- Makashi “Way of the Ysalamiri.” When fighting in this form, if you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in your offhand, you gain bonus damage equal to your Wisdom modifier to attacks with that weapon. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Bladework: When you make a melee attack against an enemy, you may use 2 Force points to exploit a weakness in their defense, gaining advantage on the attack.

    Form III- Soresu “Way of the Mynock.” When fighting in the form, you gain +1 to your AC. This bonus increases to +2 at level 11. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Parry: When another creature successfully hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to reduce non-magical damage by 3 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier..

    Form IV- Ataru “Way of the Hawk Bat.” While fighting in this form, you gain advantage on Acrobatics rolls and your gain a bonus +10 to movement on each of your turns.You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Flurry: Immediately after taking the attack action in which you use a melee weapon, you may use 1 Force point to deal a bonus d6 Force damage on the attack. You may use this once per turn.

    Form V- Shien/Djem So “Way of the Krayt Dragon.” While fighting in this form, the first melee weapon attack against you has disadvantage while you are adjacent to any hostile creatures. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Counterstrike: When a character misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to make a melee attack against a nearby creature within your reach. If you hit, add your Wisdom modifier to the attack’s damage roll.

    Form VI- Niman “Way of the Rancor.” While fighting in this form you gain +1 to the Spell DC of Force powers you use. This increases to +2 at level 11. In addition, you know the following Force maneuver:
    Commanding Force: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you can use 2 Force points. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Wisdom modifier to the damage roll. This effectively gives your ally a chance to attack on your turn, which allows for use of any turn based benefits including Sneak Attack.

    Form VII- Juyo “The Way of the Vornskr.” While fighting in this form, you gain the savage attacker feat. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Evisceration: When you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend up to 5 Force points and lower your AC by up to 5 until your next turn. If you do, add an amount to you attack and damage rolls equal to the Force Points spent and AC lost (+10 being the maximum bonus). This bonus does not stack between attacks. After using 5 Force points, if you use 4 additional Force points on this ability, your attacks gain the vorpal quality until the end of your turn.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    If you want more, here is a link to the class as it stands.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/11Tt...w?usp=drivesdk

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Composer99's Avatar

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    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    So, I designed the class to pick ONE of the following forms at level 2 as a fighting style. They get a second at level 10.

    I wanted each from to be attractive in its own way, but not too over the top.

    A little more: Force points operate on the save scale as monk ki. 1 per level (max of 20).

    THE QUESTION: I feel that some are a little too attractive. Do you flavorful peeps have any input to assist in balancing them out (and hopefully maintain their flavor)?

    Lightsaber Forms
    At 2nd level, Force Wielders learn one form from the list below. At 10th level, you learn one additional from. Switching forms during combat requires a bonus action.
    Let's see what we've got here. I'm going to be nitpicky about word use, by the way.

    Before going on, I've perused the class description in case there's any information pertinent to these fighting styles. There is: you only recover Force points when you finish a long rest.

    I think that's far too restrictive. They should really, in my view, model ki points more closely and refresh on a short or long rest. Otherwise, your Jedi players will hardly get to feel like Jedi most of the adventuring day, which does not sound very much fun.

    As a final word, I wonder if all the form names are really that thematic? I mean, the rancor doesn't strike me as a monster that goes in for either "spellcasting" or "leadership"/"teamwork", yet the "Way of the Rancor"'s passive benefit is a "spellcasting" benefit and its Force maneuver is a "leadership"/"teamwork" benefit.

    If this is a legacy of existing Star Wars lore that you don't want to alter, well and good. If not, I'd consider some renaming.


    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form I- Shii-Cho “Way of the Sarlacc.” While in this form, you have advantage on attacks when there are 3 or more enemies within 5 feet of you. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Force Sweep: When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may use 2 Force points to attempt to damage other creatures with the same attack. Attack all creatures within 5 feet of you. If the original attack roll would hit each additional creature, those creatures take damage equal to your Wisdom modifier+1. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.
    I wouldn't take this feature at 2nd level, because as things stand you can use the maneuver once per day at that level, and the passive effect is useful, but not universally applicable enough to justify the high cost of the maneuver.

    Even if you chance Force points to refresh like ki points, I'm not entirely convinced 2 Force points is the right cost. You might be okay with 1 point, but I think that needs some actual number-crunching or playtesting to determine.

    The passive feature should probably refer to "creatures hostile to you" rather than "enemies", since 5e usually uses that specific terminology. Also, is it meant to be melee attacks you get advantage on, or all attacks?

    For the Force manoeuvre, the "Attack all creatures within 5 feet of you" is probably redundant and even confusing, since it makes it seem like you're rolling to hit each other creature, but you're not: you're just comparing your original attack roll to their AC. Also, I daresay you should be able to choose targets: as worded this maneuver does not differentiate between friend and foe. Finally, most abilities in 5e that use ability score modifiers tend to have a "(minimum one [thing])" clause, so you should probably have one here, too.

    Maybe reword the maneuver like so:
    Quote Originally Posted by Force Sweep
    When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may use 2 Force points to attempt to damage other creatures with the same attack. Choose any number of creatures within 5 feet of you. If your original attack roll would hit each additional target, the target takes damage equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1 damage). This damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.


    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form II- Makashi “Way of the Ysalamiri.” When fighting in this form, if you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in your offhand, you gain bonus damage equal to your Wisdom modifier to attacks with that weapon. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Bladework: When you make a melee attack against an enemy, you may use 2 Force points to exploit a weakness in their defense, gaining advantage on the attack.
    The passive feature of this form is waaaaay too powerful. It's like a super-charged Dueling fighting style where you give up being able to wield a shield in exchange for an extra 1 to 3 damage.

    As far as the Force maneuver goes, by way of comparison, a 5th-level monk who uses Stunning Strike and Flurry of Blows could conceivably get up to three attacks with advantage for 2 ki points, plus give all their allies advantage on the stunned target until their next turn.

    So I'm not sure this maneuver needs to be 2 Force points. On the other hand, you can pick it up at 2nd level, so I'm not sure it should be usable on every attack you make, as the earlier pick-up level makes it easier to synergise with features like Sneak Attack. Maybe make it cost 1 Force point but restrict it to once on each of your turns?

    As a language nitpick, change "enemy" to "creature".



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form III- Soresu “Way of the Mynock.” When fighting in the form, you gain +1 to your AC. This bonus increases to +2 at level 11. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Parry: When another creature successfully hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to reduce non-magical damage by 3 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier..
    I'm not sure what other classes this is supposed to play with (other PHB classes, Star Wars-themed classes, or what), so it's hard to say that this form's passive effect is overpowered. It is for sure if the balance point is other PHB classes, since this class compares best to the monk's Unarmoured Defence rather than the barbarian's. Without magic items, a monk can cap out at AC 20, while a plate-wearing character with a shield can cap out at AC 21 with Defence fighting style. This can get you up to AC 22. That might be okay, because Jedi, but it is something to keep in mind. (A barbarian could conceivably get to AC 22 with a shield, but most barbarians don't care to wield shields, and they usually don't want to cap out both Dexterity and Constitution.)

    I do have to say that this Force maneuver feels like it should be generally available, rather than restricted to this form.

    The advantage of making this feature a general one is that you could make the maneuver granted by this form more offensive, to counterbalance the defensive nature of the form's benefit. Otherwise, this form as a whole might be too defensive-minded. I'm not well-acquainted enough with Jedi lore to suggest anything, though.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form IV- Ataru “Way of the Hawk Bat.” While fighting in this form, you gain advantage on Acrobatics rolls and your gain a bonus +10 to movement on each of your turns.You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Flurry: Immediately after taking the attack action in which you use a melee weapon, you may use 1 Force point to deal a bonus d6 Force damage on the attack. You may use this once per turn.
    This is definitely a weaker form. Also needs some rewording: "Acrobatics rolls" should be "Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks", and "your gain a bonus +10 to movement on each of your turns" should probably just be "your speed increases by 10 feet".

    Since you already have a Force maneuver that lets you take the Disengage action as a bonus action, I'm not sure what to suggest for this form's passive effect, other than to say that it needs a buff.

    The Force maneuver is fine balance-wise, although it really isn't thematic vis-à-vis its name. The name "Flurry" conjures up visions of the monk flurry of blows. This effect... just doesn't do that.

    It also needs some rewording. I suggest:
    Quote Originally Posted by Flurry(?)
    Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 Force point to deal an additional 1d6 force damage on a hit.


    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form V- Shien/Djem So “Way of the Krayt Dragon.” While fighting in this form, the first melee weapon attack against you has disadvantage while you are adjacent to any hostile creatures. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Counterstrike: When a character misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to make a melee attack against a nearby creature within your reach. If you hit, add your Wisdom modifier to the attack’s damage roll.
    I feel like the passive benefit could be more precisely worded. "The first melee weapon attack against you" seems like it's precise, but it comes out rather vague on closer inspection. For instance, what if a creature uses its reaction to attack you during your turn? Is that "the first melee weapon attack against you"? Is it just in between your turns? Is it the first melee attack each creature makes, or just the first attack overall? Also, "adjacent" isn't a defined technical term in 5e: "within 5 feet" is better.

    I would suggest something like this for re-wording:
    As long as you are within 5 feet of one or more creatures hostile to you, once per round you can impose disadvantage on a melee weapon attack of your choice.
    Of course, this means creatures with reach weapons (whether polearms or plain old long arms) would not be affected, which may not be your intent. In that case, I would dispense with any language of adjacency, and just impose disadvantage on melee attacks targeting you. If you intend for this benefit to trigger more often, I would replace "once per round" with "once per turn".

    The Force maneuver is fine, although I should like to clarify whether you intend for the maneuver to allow you to attack any creature within your reach or, as a true "counter"strike, whether you should only be able to target the triggering creature?



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form VI- Niman “Way of the Rancor.” While fighting in this form you gain +1 to the Spell DC of Force powers you use. This increases to +2 at level 11. In addition, you know the following Force maneuver:
    Commanding Force: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you can use 2 Force points. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Wisdom modifier to the damage roll. This effectively gives your ally a chance to attack on your turn, which allows for use of any turn based benefits including Sneak Attack.
    As a wording nitpick, since your Force powers aren't spells as such, you should refer to the DCs as "Force power save DCs", not "Spell DCs". "Spell DCs" creates an ambiguity, because it might seem like it only applies to Force powers that duplicate the effects of spells.

    But that might be unimportant, because this seems rather unbalanced. As far as I know, there is no PC class feature anywhere in 5e that allows you to pump saving throw DCs. Such a feature might be justified as a 20th-level capstone, but not as a benefit you just get all the time from 2nd level on.

    Apart from being not very rancor-esque, Commanding Force is fine - provided Force points refresh on a short/long rest basis. It seems very expensive at first glance, but I see that it's an analogue of the Battlemaster's Commander's Strike.

    If Force points refresh on a long rest basis only, this Force maneuver becomes a lot harder to justify costing 2 Force points.

    The whole sentence from "This effectively [...]" on is redundant and unnecessary.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form VII- Juyo “The Way of the Vornskr.” While fighting in this form, you gain the savage attacker feat. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Evisceration: When you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend up to 5 Force points and lower your AC by up to 5 until your next turn. If you do, add an amount to you attack and damage rolls equal to the Force Points spent and AC lost (+10 being the maximum bonus). This bonus does not stack between attacks. After using 5 Force points, if you use 4 additional Force points on this ability, your attacks gain the vorpal quality until the end of your turn.
    The passive benefit is fine, as far as it goes, because the Savage Attacker feat sucks (IMO) and isn't worth a feat. But temporarily emulating feats is not how I would frame the wording of this feature. Instead, I would just write out the feat's effect in full:
    While fighting in this form, once per turn, when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon's damage dice and use either total.
    Having said that, I do feel it's just bad form to full-on copy an entire feat effect in a class feature. (In the interest of disclosure, I have a combat maneuver system in which I replicate much of the Mage Slayer feat in one maneuver, but I revise Mage Slayer to refer to the maneuver instead of having the redundancies stand, and the maneuver is conceivably usable by characters of multiple classes.)

    The Force maneuver, on the other hand, gets a hard nope from me. It's ridiculously costed, especially if Force points only refresh on a long rest, it's fiddly and complicated, and it's overpowered if everything works out. Not to mention you can't actually get the full benefit of it if you pick it up at 2nd level.

    It seems to me that it does two things:
    (1) allow you to trade away defence for offence, like a variant of barbarian's Reckless Attack
    (2) allow you to potentially outright kill a creature

    I would focus on doing one of those things, and make it reasonable for a 2nd level character to do either.

    For instance, having noted the Reckless Attack analogue, the defence/offence trade-off could... well, just be Reckless Attack. If you're spending 1 Force point on it, it's already a slightly watered-down version of the barbarian feature. Alternatively, you could make this feature the "passive" benefit of the form.

    If you stick with the killing effect, that could be something like:
    Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee weapon attack against a target whose current hit points are less than half its hit point maximum, on a hit you can spend 2 force points. If you do, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. The save DC is your Force power save DC or half the damage you inflicted, whichever is lower. On a failed save, the target is reduced to 0 hit points. On a successful save, the target takes 1d8 necrotic damage.
    I'm not sure about the balance of this, but it strikes me as far more reasonable than emulating a vorpal weapon.
    Last edited by Composer99; 2019-06-24 at 10:02 PM.
    ~ Composer99

    D&D 5e Homebrew:
    This can be found in my extended homebrew signature!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Let's see what we've got here.
    I had this really great response, but now I am just sad, it logged me out via a timer and I lost the whole thing.

    I wanted to start by saying I am grateful for your responses, and I hope that you will entertain me a little more. You answered with such depth, and I wish to express my appreciation for your thoughts.

    I ripped many of your suggestions (I hope this doesn't cause you to think ill of me) as I thought the logic and reasoning were spot on. I also want to note that the class was initially like monk with ki recover, but a GM started to clip the class for . . . balance? . . reasons. In the end, the class ended up just being crippled. I hope your input, paired with some other's, will help balance this class overall.

    It is true that many of the form names don't reflect their abilities. I think Lore-wise, there was a mentality behind them, which I hope to capture a little better. But if the lore clashes with the mechanics, I would rather have it be mechanically sound.




    Form I

    How is this revision?
    Form I- Shii-Cho “Way of the Sarlacc.” While in this form, you have advantage on melee attacks when there are 3 or more hostile creatures within 5 feet of you. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Force Sweep: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may use 1 Force points to attempt to damage other creatures with the same attack. Choose any number of creatures within 5 feet of you. If your original attack roll would hit each additional target, the target takes damage equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1 damage). This damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.


    Form II

    I tried to balance this more to grow with the player, rather than be as strong as you pointed out.

    How is this revision?
    Form II- Makashi “Way of the Ysalamiri.” When fighting in this form, if you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in your offhand, you gain bonus damage equal to your proficiency bonus to attacks with that weapon. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Bladework: Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee attack against a creature, you may use 1 Force point to exploit a weakness in their defense, gaining advantage on the attack.


    Form III

    Form III was supposed to be EXTREMELY defensive. Your comments on AC made sense to me, and I hope this better reflects the focus of the form.

    I thought about your suggestions to have the previous maneuver available to anyone. At this stage, the GM I am working with an said no to any additional powers or kit abilities, as the class is "too versatile."

    How is this revision?
    Form III- Soresu “Way of the Mynock.” When a creature hits you with an attack, you may use your reaction to reduce non-magical damage by your Wisdom modifier. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Parry: You may use 1 Force point to use the Dodge action as a bonus action.


    Form IV
    Your comments made me laugh as the GM I mentioned above thought that this was the most "OP" of the forms. I hope that the changes I made give it a little more. . . buffs? and fall more in line with the "Flurry" idea.

    How is this revision?
    Form IV- Ataru “Way of the Hawk Bat.” While fighting in this form, you gain advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks and your speed increases by 10 feet. When you use your bonus action to make an attack with an offhand melee weapon, add your Dexterity modifier to the roll. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Flurry: Once on each of your turns when you make a melee weapon attack before hits are confirmed, you may spend 1 Force point and use your bonus action to deal an additional 2d6 force damage on a hit.


    Form V
    The wording on this has been rough. Thank you for helping to clean it up. It has been so hard to explain.
    The idea was to use the force of a hostile attack to counterattack something within your reach, whether it be the original offending character or another close to you.

    How is this revision?
    Form V- Shien/Djem So “Way of the Krayt Dragon.” As long as you are within 5 feet of one or more creatures hostile to you, once per round you can impose disadvantage on a melee weapon attack of your choice. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Counterstrike: When a creature misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to make a melee attack against a creature within 5 feet. If you hit, add your Wisdom modifier to the attack’s damage roll.


    Form VI
    You were right, things just didn't match here. Does this seem a but more in line?

    Form VI- Niman “Way of the Rancor.” While fighting in this form, once per round you may use your reaction to impose advantage towards a saving throw a creature makes. In addition, you know the following Force maneuver:
    Commanding Force: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you can use 2 Force points. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Wisdom modifier to the damage roll.


    Form VII
    Yea, this whole thing has been extremely complicated. I liked your suggestions, and felt that this version of the form synergized well. The lore component is that people used VII to decapitate (hence the vorpal version) but I think your version is more fun and interactive. It also might scale well.

    How is this revision?
    Form VII- Juyo “The Way of the Vornskr.” While fighting in this form, once per turn, when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Evisceration: Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee weapon attack against a target whose current hit points are less than half its hit point maximum, on a hit you can spend 2 Force points. If you do, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. The save DC is your Force power save DC or half the damage you inflicted, whichever is lower. On a failed save, the target is reduced to 0 hit points. On a successful save, the target takes 1d8 necrotic damage.
    Once again, thank you. I wish you could have seen my original post. Not even the auto saved content button worked.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Composer99's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    I had this really great response, but now I am just sad, it logged me out via a timer and I lost the whole thing.

    I wanted to start by saying I am grateful for your responses, and I hope that you will entertain me a little more. You answered with such depth, and I wish to express my appreciation for your thoughts.

    I ripped many of your suggestions (I hope this doesn't cause you to think ill of me) as I thought the logic and reasoning were spot on. I also want to note that the class was initially like monk with ki recover, but a GM started to clip the class for . . . balance? . . reasons. In the end, the class ended up just being crippled. I hope your input, paired with some other's, will help balance this class overall.

    It is true that many of the form names don't reflect their abilities. I think Lore-wise, there was a mentality behind them, which I hope to capture a little better. But if the lore clashes with the mechanics, I would rather have it be mechanically sound.

    [...]

    Once again, thank you. I wish you could have seen my original post. Not even the auto saved content button worked.
    I've had that happen a few times when writing out a long and detailed post, and I've taken to copying the post and pasting it to Notepad or a similar application to store the text and formatting just in case.

    I certainly don't object to your taking any of my suggestions into account when revising your Force forms, adapting or just copying them at your discretion - if I didn't want you to use them, I wouldn't have suggested them in the first place.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form I

    How is this revision?
    Quote Originally Posted by Form I
    Form I- Shii-Cho “Way of the Sarlacc.” While in this form, you have advantage on melee attacks when there are 3 or more hostile creatures within 5 feet of you. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Force Sweep: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may use 1 Force points to attempt to damage other creatures with the same attack. Choose any number of creatures within 5 feet of you. If your original attack roll would hit each additional target, the target takes damage equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1 damage). This damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.
    Having suggested this revision almost word for word, I would feel a fool suggesting many further changes, apart from any nitpicks I might have with my own wording. It looks good to me! That said, you might want someone to test it and see whether a restriction to either the number of creatures you can affect, or a restriction to how often you can use the Force maneuver, or both, is advisable.




    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form II

    I tried to balance this more to grow with the player, rather than be as strong as you pointed out.

    How is this revision?
    Quote Originally Posted by Form II
    Form II- Makashi “Way of the Ysalamiri.” When fighting in this form, if you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in your offhand, you gain bonus damage equal to your proficiency bonus to attacks with that weapon. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Bladework: Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee attack against a creature, you may use 1 Force point to exploit a weakness in their defense, gaining advantage on the attack.
    That doesn't really seem appreciably better, balance-wise.

    By way of comparison, the only other "martial" class I can think of that has a scaling flat bonus to damage rolls is the barbarian. The damage bonus scales in two ways: directly, because the bonus grows as the barbarian gains levels, and indirectly as the barbarian gets more rages in which the bonus applies and can make more attacks courtesy of Extra Attack. Fighters, paladins, and rangers get flat bonuses to damage via their fighting styles (possibly by means of attack bonuses improving their hit percentages, as with Archery), but these bonuses don't scale directly - only indirectly through their Extra Attack features. Monks boost their damage with more attacks (Extra Attack plus either Martial Arts or Flurry), most of which cost a bonus action, and rogues do it from behind - I mean, with Sneak Attack, which they can apply once per turn.

    All that's to say, getting proficiency bonus to all damage rolls is fine when you're matching, say, the Dueling fighting style, but once you go beyond that bound, it starts getting out of hand unless there's some additional cost involved.




    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form III

    Form III was supposed to be EXTREMELY defensive. Your comments on AC made sense to me, and I hope this better reflects the focus of the form.

    I thought about your suggestions to have the previous maneuver available to anyone. At this stage, the GM I am working with an said no to any additional powers or kit abilities, as the class is "too versatile."

    How is this revision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Form III
    Form III- Soresu “Way of the Mynock.” When a creature hits you with an attack, you may use your reaction to reduce non-magical damage by your Wisdom modifier. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Parry: You may use 1 Force point to use the Dodge action as a bonus action.
    This is pretty good. I think the revised passive effect could stand to be stronger, though. The Heavy Armour Master feat, for instance, gives you a permanent "damage reduction" of 3 against nonmagical weapons as long as you're wearing heavy armour, while this feature will give you anywhere from 2 to 5 reduction at the cost of your reaction.

    Since you're no longer getting a buffed Unarmoured Defence feature, you could maybe just make the effect passive/always-on. You're giving up a lot of damage potential, so I don't think it's unbalanced relative to the other forms, or to what other classes can do at 2nd level.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form IV
    Your comments made me laugh as the GM I mentioned above thought that this was the most "OP" of the forms. I hope that the changes I made give it a little more. . . buffs? and fall more in line with the "Flurry" idea.

    How is this revision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Form IV
    Form IV- Ataru “Way of the Hawk Bat.” While fighting in this form, you gain advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks and your speed increases by 10 feet. When you use your bonus action to make an attack with an offhand melee weapon, add your Dexterity modifier to the roll. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Flurry: Once on each of your turns when you make a melee weapon attack before hits are confirmed, you may spend 1 Force point and use your bonus action to deal an additional 2d6 force damage on a hit.
    Well, positioning is well and good in 5e, but it's not like Blood Bowl or WW2 wargame World in Flames, where it ranges from being a vital part of strategy or game plan to game-making-or-breaking, at least IMO. In 5e, the most important parts of combat are action economy, followed by damage output. The position game matters, but either boosting your action economy or denying it to the enemy (by killing them or inflicting conditions) is usually the most important, and of course dead == 0 DPR, so killing enemies is usually better than being faster than them (unless you're running away from or pursuing them).

    As far as the revised form itself goes, for the passive benefit, are you adding your Dexterity modifier to the attack roll? You already add your ability modifier to the attack rolls when fighting with two weapons, so this seems a bit redundant. Usually, the boost that's needed is to the damage roll. You might want to reword this sentence to more or less just match the two-weapon fighting style.

    I think the original version of the Force maneuver works better with the revised Form benefit. Right now, both the Form benefit and the Force maneuver compete for your bonus action, and there's no meaningful choice between them: either you will always use the Force maneuver because it deals more damage (which will be the case while your offhand damage is less than 7) or deals reliable damage to something that resists nonmagical weapon damage, or you will always use the Form benefit with two-weapon fighting (which will be the case once your offhand damage is greater than 7).

    All that's to say that I think either the Form benefit should use your bonus action, or the Force maneuver should, but not both.

    What if you had the Flurry ability work the way the monk's Flurry of Blows did - that is, spend a Force point to get two weapon attacks as a bonus action? To avoid people rocking the two-handed weapons, just specify you have to make those attacks with an unarmed strike or a light weapon. I think that would be powerful enough that you don't need to buff the Form benefit - it would be fine just with the Acrobatics and movement buffs. Although if you wanted to improve it and stick to the mobility theme, you could make it so climbing doesn't cost extra movement, say, or let you move normally along vertical surfaces (i.e. running along walls) as long as you don't end your move there, or something like that.




    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form V
    The wording on this has been rough. Thank you for helping to clean it up. It has been so hard to explain.
    The idea was to use the force of a hostile attack to counterattack something within your reach, whether it be the original offending character or another close to you.

    How is this revision?
    Quote Originally Posted by Form V
    Form V- Shien/Djem So “Way of the Krayt Dragon.” As long as you are within 5 feet of one or more creatures hostile to you, once per round you can impose disadvantage on a melee weapon attack of your choice. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Counterstrike: When a creature misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to make a melee attack against a creature within 5 feet. If you hit, add your Wisdom modifier to the attack’s damage roll.
    I realise upon reading this revised form, which cribs my suggested revision, that the revision is also too imprecise, for which I apologise. Your original version at least made it clear that the attack was targeting you. The revision does not match that intent. I'd suggest yet more re-wording:
    Once per round, when a creature within 5 feet of you targets you with a melee weapon attack, you force that creature to make the attack with disadvantage

    Thanks also for your clarification on the intent.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form VI
    You were right, things just didn't match here. Does this seem a but more in line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Form VI
    Form VI- Niman “Way of the Rancor.” While fighting in this form, once per round you may use your reaction to impose advantage towards a saving throw a creature makes. In addition, you know the following Force maneuver:
    Commanding Force: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you can use 2 Force points. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Wisdom modifier to the damage roll.
    That's better.




    Quote Originally Posted by cdax View Post
    Form VII
    Yea, this whole thing has been extremely complicated. I liked your suggestions, and felt that this version of the form synergized well. The lore component is that people used VII to decapitate (hence the vorpal version) but I think your version is more fun and interactive. It also might scale well.

    How is this revision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Form VII
    Form VII- Juyo “The Way of the Vornskr.” While fighting in this form, once per turn, when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Evisceration: Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee weapon attack against a target whose current hit points are less than half its hit point maximum, on a hit you can spend 2 Force points. If you do, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. The save DC is your Force power save DC or half the damage you inflicted, whichever is lower. On a failed save, the target is reduced to 0 hit points. On a successful save, the target takes 1d8 necrotic damage.
    Well, I like it, but I may be biased.

    I do wonder the following on second reading:
    - whether the damage the target takes on a successful save ought to scale a bit at higher levels (maybe increase to 2d8 at 11th level) - but then, as your opponent's hit points scale with level or CR, you're going to be able to use this Force maneuver to greater and greater effect, so maybe that's scaling enough
    - whether the damage ought to be something other than necrotic; since the lore of this form involves decapitation, maybe it should match the damage type of your weapon (normally slashing for cutting off of heads, but you're using force damage for lightsabres). Now I come to think of it, you should probably specify that the weapon you're wielding either has to be a lightsabre or deal slashing damage to be able to use this Force power - if you want to be true to the decapitation lore, that is. If the "possible instant death effect" matters more than it strictly being decapitation, then don't worry about it - one can crush a skull or poke a big hole in it as well as sever it from the rest of its body.
    ~ Composer99

    D&D 5e Homebrew:
    This can be found in my extended homebrew signature!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Balancing Lightsaber Forms

    Wow, another thought download haha.

    I think your ideas have helped solidify the goals a lot better. I hope to put some of the fixed ones to bed now, and we can take a look at the last few that are still. . . "eeeek." haha



    Form I
    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Having suggested this revision almost word for word, I would feel a fool suggesting many further changes, apart from any nitpicks I might have with my own wording. It looks good to me! That said, you might want someone to test it and see whether a restriction to either the number of creatures you can affect, or a restriction to how often you can use the Force maneuver, or both, is advisable.
    I think the numbers are something to test for sure. as far as the AOE, I think the damage is pretty minimal. I'll definitely try to play test it just to see. Putting it to bed.




    Form II

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    That doesn't really seem appreciably better, balance-wise.

    By way of comparison, the only other "martial" class I can think of that has a scaling flat bonus to damage rolls is the barbarian. The damage bonus scales in two ways: directly, because the bonus grows as the barbarian gains levels, and indirectly as the barbarian gets more rages in which the bonus applies and can make more attacks courtesy of Extra Attack. Fighters, paladins, and rangers get flat bonuses to damage via their fighting styles (possibly by means of attack bonuses improving their hit percentages, as with Archery), but these bonuses don't scale directly - only indirectly through their Extra Attack features. Monks boost their damage with more attacks (Extra Attack plus either Martial Arts or Flurry), most of which cost a bonus action, and rogues do it from behind - I mean, with Sneak Attack, which they can apply once per turn.

    All that's to say, getting proficiency bonus to all damage rolls is fine when you're matching, say, the Dueling fighting style, but once you go beyond that bound, it starts getting out of hand unless there's some additional cost involved.
    I think adding in a clause to make it specifically dueling might be the fix.
    Form II- Makashi “Way of the Ysalamiri.” When fighting in this form, if you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in your offhand, you gain bonus damage equal to your proficiency bonus to attacks with that weapon when you attack an enemy and there are no allies or hostile creatures within 5 feet of yourself or 5 feet of your target. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Bladework: Once on each of your turns, when you make a melee attack against a creature, you may use 1 Force point to exploit a weakness in their defense, gaining advantage on the attack.
    Thoughts?



    Form III

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    This is pretty good. I think the revised passive effect could stand to be stronger, though. The Heavy Armour Master feat, for instance, gives you a permanent "damage reduction" of 3 against nonmagical weapons as long as you're wearing heavy armour, while this feature will give you anywhere from 2 to 5 reduction at the cost of your reaction.

    Since you're no longer getting a buffed Unarmoured Defence feature, you could maybe just make the effect passive/always-on. You're giving up a lot of damage potential, so I don't think it's unbalanced relative to the other forms, or to what other classes can do at 2nd level.
    I think throwing out that the reaction solidifies this Form. Ill put it to bed removing the reaction clause.



    Form IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Well, positioning is well and good in 5e, but it's not like Blood Bowl or WW2 wargame World in Flames, where it ranges from being a vital part of strategy or game plan to game-making-or-breaking, at least IMO. In 5e, the most important parts of combat are action economy, followed by damage output. The position game matters, but either boosting your action economy or denying it to the enemy (by killing them or inflicting conditions) is usually the most important, and of course dead == 0 DPR, so killing enemies is usually better than being faster than them (unless you're running away from or pursuing them).

    As far as the revised form itself goes, for the passive benefit, are you adding your Dexterity modifier to the attack roll? You already add your ability modifier to the attack rolls when fighting with two weapons, so this seems a bit redundant. Usually, the boost that's needed is to the damage roll. You might want to reword this sentence to more or less just match the two-weapon fighting style.

    I think the original version of the Force maneuver works better with the revised Form benefit. Right now, both the Form benefit and the Force maneuver compete for your bonus action, and there's no meaningful choice between them: either you will always use the Force maneuver because it deals more damage (which will be the case while your offhand damage is less than 7) or deals reliable damage to something that resists nonmagical weapon damage, or you will always use the Form benefit with two-weapon fighting (which will be the case once your offhand damage is greater than 7).

    All that's to say that I think either the Form benefit should use your bonus action, or the Force maneuver should, but not both.

    What if you had the Flurry ability work the way the monk's Flurry of Blows did - that is, spend a Force point to get two weapon attacks as a bonus action? To avoid people rocking the two-handed weapons, just specify you have to make those attacks with an unarmed strike or a light weapon. I think that would be powerful enough that you don't need to buff the Form benefit - it would be fine just with the Acrobatics and movement buffs. Although if you wanted to improve it and stick to the mobility theme, you could make it so climbing doesn't cost extra movement, say, or let you move normally along vertical surfaces (i.e. running along walls) as long as you don't end your move there, or something like that.
    I was thinking about the interactions last night after I left my response, exhausted. I think that a flurry should be a flurry. So I was drafting a version where the monk flurry gets back in, and you suggest the light weapon. I think this works better.

    Form IV- Ataru “Way of the Hawk Bat.” While fighting in this form, you gain advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks and your speed increases by 10 feet. When you make an attack with an offhand melee weapon, add your Dexterity modifier to the damage roll. You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Flurry: You may use 1 Force point as a bonus action to make 2 melee weapon attacks. These attacks must be made with a weapon which has the light property, or as unarmed strikes.
    Assuming I didn't goof it, I think it can be put to bed too.



    Form V

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    I realise upon reading this revised form, which cribs my suggested revision, that the revision is also too imprecise, for which I apologise. Your original version at least made it clear that the attack was targeting you. The revision does not match that intent. I'd suggest yet more re-wording:



    Thanks also for your clarification on the intent.
    I shifted the wording again, because yea, I didn't catch it either (nor did my play group who I shared some of the suggested changes with). This is MUCH better. We also made another tweak to the counterstrike, as a bonus to it from Wisdom seemed a bit much, when it was already getting Dexterity, instead it got balanced with another part of the class. Perhaps this works out better?

    Form V- Shien/Djem So “Way of the Krayt Dragon.” While fighting in this form, once per round, when a creature within 5 feet of you targets you with a melee attack, you may force that creature to make an attack with disadvantage. Additionally at level 3, you may reroll dice used for the deflection feature and take either roll. You also ignore the range of the deflection feature ranged attack You also gain the following Force maneuver:
    Counterstrike: When a creature misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction and 1 Force point to make a melee attack against a creature within 5 feet.


    Form VI
    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    That's better.
    Enough said. haha BOXED!



    Form VII
    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Well, I like it, but I may be biased.

    I do wonder the following on second reading:
    - whether the damage the target takes on a successful save ought to scale a bit at higher levels (maybe increase to 2d8 at 11th level) - but then, as your opponent's hit points scale with level or CR, you're going to be able to use this Force maneuver to greater and greater effect, so maybe that's scaling enough
    - whether the damage ought to be something other than necrotic; since the lore of this form involves decapitation, maybe it should match the damage type of your weapon (normally slashing for cutting off of heads, but you're using force damage for lightsabres). Now I come to think of it, you should probably specify that the weapon you're wielding either has to be a lightsabre or deal slashing damage to be able to use this Force power - if you want to be true to the decapitation lore, that is. If the "possible instant death effect" matters more than it strictly being decapitation, then don't worry about it - one can crush a skull or poke a big hole in it as well as sever it from the rest of its body.
    I think their might be something to increasing the d8 with levels, so there is a benefit to using this ability for a damage boost even when you are above the 50% mark, I will have to see if I can make the argument appropriately. The GM is once again trying to give BOTH of the abilities the original had, and I shot that down, as I think you were right, keep with a single feel for the Form. Once we take another look, I'll send it to you again, you might find a way to improve it further. haha

    You are stellar. Thank you for your insights, and your time. Heaven knows this is no quick task.

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