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  1. - Top - End - #331
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    On the hexblade: WotC has to deal with an unpleasable fanbase, catching them between a rock and a hard place.
    I'm not a fan of errata, but I don't see why they can't add more invocations and spells to various needy classes/subclasses. It's new material, which is always nice, and it serves as a way of balancing the game over time. Yes it adds powercreep but then that's the point, you selectively add powercreep to classes that need it.

    I personally enjoy classes that offer interesting dips and the assorted 3.5 shenanigans (which I think is a fundamentally more interesting system than 5e), but then I concede that many players do not like this. Ultimately, 5e's great mistake is trying to cut the middle ground, which is clearly unstable territory as the years go on. Even before Hexblades, there are builds out there that are strictly superior (in every way) to others out there. I mean a lvl 20 champion fighter is just a mechanically non-optimal choice no matter how you cut it. People are always going to find those sorts of tricks. This then leads to a huge assortment of homebrews and special rules, and honestly its pretty exhausting when you play in three different tables trying to remember the minutae of everything, I would simply prefer new source material to shut everyone up.

    For instance, the endless darkness debate would be much clarified by having source material that presents a new comprehensive illumination model.

  2. - Top - End - #332
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    I will try to keep this all to one post but I'm short on time so it'll be hurried. [Edit in more later]

    For Hexblade in particular, it only needs very simple changes to fix the incentives the patron gives. First, Hex Warrior no longer gives shield proficiency. Second, Hexblade's Curse should deal damage only once each turn, and that damage should be 2 + half of warlock level. I personally don't think the class needs to have charisma for weapon attacks, but I also don't think it necessarily breaks things to allow it here.

    Pact of the Blade should enable a warlock built with Dexterity as their primary attribute. If it can also enable Strength as a good option, even better. If I had to choose one, it'd be Strength.

    Weapons start out better than your cantrip, and it's only with the addition of invocations and level-scaling that Agonizing Eldritch Blast pulls ahead.

    If Pact of the Blade, plus its specific invocation, plus one more offensive invocation gave comfortable melee attack proficiency throughout the whole game with room for some additional benefits, it would be alright.

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    On the hexblade: WotC has to deal with an unpleasable fanbase, catching them between a rock and a hard place.

    1. They can't issue large-scale errata, because fans hate errata. People bitched constantly about the errata of 4e. They know they can't ever ACTUALLY invalidate anything they've published, no matter what lessons they've learned since.
    2. They can't just leave things alone, because fans are upset with the status quo on some options (like blade warlock). It's even worse for things like Ranger or Sorcerer. Remember what happened when they tried to give Storm Sorcerers bonus spells? They had to back down because people loudly complained about that being unfair to Dragon/Chaos Sorcerers, which they can't fix because of point 1.
    3. They can't add more Invocations, because fans are already upset about the "taxes" of the Blade Pact invocations. Likewise, no new spells, because those would be even worse taxes early on, AND people would intensify their complaints re:Eldritch Blast is a class feature disguised as an optional spell (humorously, another problem that applies to Rangers).
    5. Nor could they make an alternate Pact, because the latter would be (rightly) derided as stealth errata/power creep and (rightly) told to just replace Blade Pact if that was the intent. Which they cannot do because of point 1.

    A new Patron was the only option that wasn't already a customer complaint. But, as we've seen, that wasn't acceptable either, because patrons are level 1 features and thus dippable, and dipping offends the fans. There is thus literally no option available: not rewrites/errata, not a new Pact nor Patron nor Invocation nor spell. Hell, I guarantee you if it had been a feat, it would STILL get bitching about both being a "dip" AND being a tax, with a whole extra "I shouldn't have to use optional rules to fix a BROKEN class!" layer in this burrito of bitching.

    Honest question: given the designers' pretty clear commitment to never issuing rewrites/major errata, what COULD have fixed this problem without pissing off the fanbase? Because I'm pretty sure the answer is "nothing." And doing nothing would induce *new* complaints about the designers creating new issues without addressing old ones, atop the current complaints about Blade Pact being weak and tax-heavy.[
    1. They can issue errata. They have issued errata, within limits.
    2. From my perspective, they did leave things alone. They gave essentially everything the fanbase asked for in some way or another. It's just that none of what the fans asked for addressed the goals I'd have set for pact of the blade.
    3. They did add more invocations. They added patron specific weapons (rejected), +1 (+2/+3 rejected) pact weapon as spell focus, and ultimately smite with pact weapon. They added more EB invocations. They offered even more pact boon specific invocations in the class feature's UA (which seemed well received).
    54. They never really tried for this one. They did things like this for other classes (sun soul instead of 4elements, gloom stalker instead of PHB rangers, and more in UA that didn't pass muster).

    People complaining about blade pact being weak and tax-heavy were wrong or exaggerating the issue. Right out of the gate, between weapons and eldritch blast, agonizing blast and pact of the blade are playing leap frog. But for a few small wording changes, I believe any patron would work for pact of the blade without requiring Hex Warrior, nor requiring its removal.
    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Unfortunately, it's less a matter of whether this is actually true, and more a matter of whether they believe it. Given the ongoing non-errata of the Ranger, despite explicit and repeated statements from the designers that it doesn't work as intended and is something they know fans are unhappy with, I'm well-convinced they believe they can't do errata. Alternatively, it's possible that they have a mandate not to, for whatever reason.
    They did errata ranger's beast companions. That doesn't mean they can or will errata the rest of the ranger's class features, but I believe the number one reason they don't is that they don't have anything to change them to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Is it physically possible for them to do so? Yes. I never argued otherwise. I'm saying that it's not a solution they will permit themselves to take. As demonstrated by the, y'know, backing down from Storm Sorcerers getting bonus spells known. (Technically they didn't totally abandon that. Divine Souls get exactly one bonus spell known, though they can change it; Shadow Sorcs get exactly one as well, darkness.)

    When the UA version of the Storm Sorcerer came out, quite a while back, fans made it very clear they thought it was unfair that only Storm Sorcerers got bonus spells. WotC even commented on this, can't remember if it was Mearls, Crawford, or someone else, but I know there were comments. They opted to simply take away those spells, rather than following the (very clear) feedback that Draconic and Wild should get bonus spells. Hence why I'm well-convinced they think they cannot rewrite PHB options, even if they want to. They (for whatever reason) seem to WANT to keep the PHB inviolate. I, of course, think this is a foolish idea; I'm not describing what is good or right, simply what their pattern of behavior appears to be consistent with.

    So, instead of just saying "no, you're wrong, they totally can do this," how would you respond given WotC's apparent reluctance to ever change the official PHB options?
    Dragon Sorcerers kind of get a free spell too, by having permanent mage armor, and their draconic presence ability is spell-adjacent. Wild Sorcerers have Bend Luck. Anyway, it is actually not physically possible for them to add bonus spells to the PHB sorcerer subclasses. One of their considerations when it comes to errata is it has to be put in the book. Since there is no space in the required section to add a table of bonus spells, it can't be done. The only way to add them would be as part of a new book.

  3. - Top - End - #333
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    An errata tweak to Pact of the Blade would end up smaller than the tweak they already made on Bastmaster Ranger.

    "Adjusting" Hexblade would be an uphill battle - in essence it (by itself) does what it is supposed to. It just plays too well with other classes.
    Why yes, Warlock is my solution for everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    Anyway, it is actually not physically possible for them to add bonus spells to the PHB sorcerer subclasses. One of their considerations when it comes to errata is it has to be put in the book. Since there is no space in the required section to add a table of bonus spells, it can't be done. The only way to add them would be as part of a new book.
    That creates an interesting design puzzle that has nothing to do with game design! I want to give it a try. Since we only have two subclasses for the Sorcerer in the PHB, and per the discussion of how they can't fit it in the book without redoing the whole book, they're not changing that. Errata has managed to squeeze a few extra words or lines here or there onto a page, or maybe edit a second page in the book as long as they can use spacing tricks to keep it to that minimum. So we can afford a couple of lines, maybe 1-2 per subclass, especially on different pages.

    Under the part describing subclasses, have it say something like, "Your bloodline gives you bonus spells known when you achieve the level in Sorcerer to let you know spells of that level."

    Under each subclass, in their level 1 powers section, have a line saying either, "You gain the following spells at the appropriate sorcerer levels: [list 1 of each level]." No need for a table, and can probably fit that on two lines pretty easily. If that's too much, "Spells you gain at the appropriate sorcerer levels are marked with a 'd' in the list of sorcerer spells." (For draconic sorcerers; a 'w' for wild mages.)

  5. - Top - End - #335
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    If they don't want to do errata, another option is to add it as an optional class feature variant for when they (hopefully) publish those.

  6. - Top - End - #336
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    Dragon Sorcerers kind of get a free spell too, by having permanent mage armor, and their draconic presence ability is spell-adjacent. Wild Sorcerers have Bend Luck. Anyway, it is actually not physically possible for them to add bonus spells to the PHB sorcerer subclasses. One of their considerations when it comes to errata is it has to be put in the book. Since there is no space in the required section to add a table of bonus spells, it can't be done. The only way to add them would be as part of a new book.
    I think you are mistaken here. It would be trivial, for instance, to take a picture out of the book and add a table of bonus spells. I am not a designer or diagrammer, but I imagine that pictures are assigned to fill up spaces in the text. More text, less pictures, same number of pages.

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Luccan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    I think you are mistaken here. It would be trivial, for instance, to take a picture out of the book and add a table of bonus spells. I am not a designer or diagrammer, but I imagine that pictures are assigned to fill up spaces in the text. More text, less pictures, same number of pages.
    Eh, there's really only one picture in the sorcerer section (beyond the introductory pic, which they won't remove). The real trouble is the wild magic table, which takes up a page on its own. I believe sorcerers should and can have bonus spells, but I don't think that's a workable solution. Maybe they could remove a picture or two elsewhere, but that would probably require even more reformatting than if it were a narrow range of pages.

    That said, at this point I don't actually want bonus spell lists, I just want more spells known and the game to let me pick them. The spell lists in UA are thematic, sure, but what if I wanted to do that theme a little differently? In trying to figure out a telekinetic sorcerer, I figured a storm sorcerer was the best option, but while I'd want to take advantage of their bonuses with Thunder damage, I wouldn't want to be handed a bunch of Lightning spells I'm not gonna use. Even if I just wanted to build a thunder mage, I wouldn't want lightning spells when I could have more thunder
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  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    That said, at this point I don't actually want bonus spell lists, I just want more spells known and the game to let me pick them. The spell lists in UA are thematic, sure, but what if I wanted to do that theme a little differently? In trying to figure out a telekinetic sorcerer, I figured a storm sorcerer was the best option, but while I'd want to take advantage of their bonuses with Thunder damage, I wouldn't want to be handed a bunch of Lightning spells I'm not gonna use. Even if I just wanted to build a thunder mage, I wouldn't want lightning spells when I could have more thunder
    Formatting issues aside, what you're asking is an interesting question about player and DM psychology and game design.

    Functionally, is there a difference between saying (simplifying for ease of discussion here) "You know 2 spells of every level you are able to cast, and have a list of 9 spells (one of each spell level) you learn automatically as you get their spell levels, determined by your subclass," and then having a section in the rules saying that, with DM permission, you can customize your subclass spell list...and simply saying "You know 3 spells of every level you are able to cast?"

    In theory, there's little difference. The need for DM permission is something that, at least in TO discussions, we usually assume will be granted. In practice, though, by saying "you have these as unrestricted choices, and these chosen for you for theme, but you can change out the pre-chosen ones" will have people at least thinking along the lines of justifying WHY the trade-out is viable and in-theme, and keep them from picking just any old spell they want. When the DM re-enters the picture as something more than a theoretical and permissive construct, he, too, looks at it differently when the rules suggest he should let players customize their thematically-chosen pre-selected spell list, versus when it simply says they have one more spell known than otherwise.

    Sure, he COULD still let the Storm Sorcerer pick up fireball as his third level "Storm Sorcerer Spell" in place of the lightning bolt his list gave him, but few DMs seem liable to allow that trade, where they might be persuaded that fly is an acceptable substitution. Or even that lightningball (an element-swapped fireball) is an acceptable choice.

    The optional "customize the list for theme" rule enforces the notion of theme and simultaneously provides examples of what is "in theme."

    You COULD say that you get 2 free picks and 1 thematic pick per spell level, but then you have all sorts of arguments over what "theme" means here, and the same issue with lack of guidelines that the skill system runs into. By having a default subclass spell list, and then permitting customization within the same theme, you simultaneously set people in mind of what the theme is, and provide guidelines as to what kinds of spells the designers think fit it.

  9. - Top - End - #339
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Whether they’ve held true to it or not, WotC (or at least Crawford) has maintained that errata isn’t to fix problems with the classes, but to clarify their rules intent. I imagine this is why you won’t see these types of changes: because they intended these features to work the way they do (for good or bad).

  10. - Top - End - #340
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    Anyway, it is actually not physically possible for them to add bonus spells to the PHB sorcerer subclasses. One of their considerations when it comes to errata is it has to be put in the book. Since there is no space in the required section to add a table of bonus spells, it can't be done. The only way to add them would be as part of a new book.
    *facepalm*

    So, I'm being nibbled to death by (at least) two groups using exactly opposite meanings of things. Alright. To clarify, because apparently it's impossible to say something without it getting nitpicked to death:

    Are the designers THEMSELVES physically incapable of issuing errata?
    No. Designers have the physical capacity to issue errata, and have done so.

    Do the designers have reasons for NOT issuing errata of the desired type and scale?
    Yes. As noted, they cannot physically publish the errata into the books themselves, and they don't want to change the books to any major degree. Which, if you had read my previous post, was part of my point. Changing the books is by choice verboten.

    There. You may disagree with my position. You may assert that the types of changes involved should not be considered "major." You may argue for a variety of reasons that my extrapolations or conclusions are not guaranteed by the evidence (since, of course, they are not). You may even say that I'm telling just-so stories, which ouch, but not wholly inaccurate (it is reasoning after the fact, rather than before). But for goodness' sake, at least try to read it charitably?
    Last edited by ezekielraiden; 2020-04-11 at 12:16 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Solidarity *facepalm*

    I agree with you completely, and kudos for attempting to make your already crystal clear point somehow less opaque, but here be a thread that just spun off into yet another "darkness debate."

    This way lies madness.

  12. - Top - End - #342
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    But for goodness' sake, at least try to read it charitably?
    No, you. "They can't issue large-scale errata, because fans hate errata." "I'm well-convinced they think they cannot rewrite PHB options, even if they want to. They (for whatever reason) seem to WANT to keep the PHB inviolate." I'm telling you that despite what you remember, they are willing to change the PHB and have done so, but they've made it clear any changes have to be printed in the PHB, which means any future changes have to be able to be printed in the PHB. There has to be room in the section for the material to be rewritten or added. I think they have shown some reluctance towards removing anything from the PHB, so actually replacing one thing with a different thing isn't something I expect. My point is to highlight the design challenges, because I think it's interesting to present a solution in a way that could be fit into errata, like the Beast Master changes. But I ran out of time to get to my suggestions.

  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    The devs have an evergreen policy for a simple reason. The majority of D&D players are not forum going geeks who care about minutia. All they care about is they bought the PHB they can sit down with someone who bought it two years ago and play the same game without the rules being different.

    Now the public in general is used to the idea that eventually games, apps, computers OS, etc get updated editions. But nobody except early adopters likes the transition period. So doing it too frequently is bad. And TRPGs are like operating systems. About once a decade is pushing it. And like an OS stealth partial updates that changes the game just pisses off most of the user base.

  14. - Top - End - #344
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    The way to handle "errata" like that is with "player's options" sorts of things. Something like Xanathar's Guide can have a pure power-up in it. "If the DM allows, you may add these 9 spells known to your sorcerer of this subclass at the appropriate levels" would be perfectly fine to include in a book. It's an optional rule, just like variant familiars, but unlike variant familiars, it's not stepping on any existing mechanics' toes; it's just a power-up.

    (My big problem with Versatile Spellcasting from that UA a bit back was not that it was a power-up for the classes that got it, but that it made them better at having the spell they need given a bit of time than wizards were. And that there's no way to "fix" that without ditching the wizard spellbook entirely and just making them able to prepare the way clerics and druids do.)

  15. - Top - End - #345
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    I wonder if Hexblade should have been a Fighter subclass. You gain the spellcasting and invocations of a Warlock one-third your Fighter level.

  16. - Top - End - #346
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    Luccan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why the hate on hexblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Adventurer View Post
    I wonder if Hexblade should have been a Fighter subclass. You gain the spellcasting and invocations of a Warlock one-third your Fighter level.
    Maybe just invocations instead. Spells makes it a little redundant with the EK, but just Invocations means you aren't spending them on Eldritch Blast or Pact Boon upgrades, so it might lead to different picks. Utility invocations rarely chosen (like the Jump one) might also see more use.

    Edit: For those that let you cast a spell by expending a spell slot, you could say instead that you could cast it once or twice per long rest
    Last edited by Luccan; 2020-04-11 at 05:55 PM.
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