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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MoleMage's Avatar

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    Default D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    This is the chat and feedback thread for the D&D 5e Subclass Contests.

    Current Contest: Contest XXI: I Read this in a Book Once II
    Current Voting Thread: Coming March 8th.

    Another Useful Link: nickl_2000's Subclass Creation Guide and Analysis



    Spoiler: Previous Chat Threads
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    Chat Thread 1: Contests I - XIX
    Chat Thread 2: Contests XIX - ??? (Current Thread)


    Spoiler: Class Representation
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    Rankings are based on number of submissions first, then number of contests.
    Up to date as of Contest XIX
    Class Number of Contests Total Number of Submissions Rank
    Barbarian 14 25 3rd
    Bard 15 21 5th
    Cleric 10 12 11th
    Druid 11 11 12th
    Fighter 13 27 2nd
    Monk 17 27 1st
    Paladin 10 14 8th
    Ranger 6 13 10th
    Rogue 13 22 4th
    Sorcerer 10 13 9th
    Warlock 12 17 6th
    Wizard 11 16 7th
    Artificer 5 5 13th
    Other/Homebrew 7 7 Unranked


    Spoiler: Current Theme Pool
    Show

    Themes struck out are not being rolled in the current pool due to recent use, but will return after not being used for 9 contests.

    Bigger is Better
    Bunch of Fives
    Calling Card
    Five Stars
    Follow Me!
    From Zero to Hero
    Hold my Ale
    Hold the Line
    I Read this in a Book, Once
    It Came From Beyond
    It is Written
    It's Mind!
    It's Technical
    Keep it Simple
    Make a Choice
    My Way is Different
    Points for Everybody
    Refine Mayhem
    Scaling Strangely
    So You Don't Have To
    Something Borrowed
    Subsystems Online
    The Band
    The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
    Warriors of Old
    Well, that's Fortunate



    Spoiler: The Rules
    Show
    1. The class must fit the theme of the contest.
    2. Your class must be posted in the contest thread. If you wish, you can use external formatting, such as Google Docs or Homebrewery, though I recommend sharing it as a PDF to ensure that it works on most computers.
    3. You may only create one subclass, which must follow the normal progression for the class it belongs to. Please specify what class it is for. You can use any base class published in official material (including the Unearthed Arcana posts), or any existing homebrew class (don't make a whole base class just for your submission). If you are going to use a homebrew base class, make sure you get permission from its original creator and post a link so we know where to find it! Failure to get permission will be grounds for disqualification.
    4. Until the contest is finished, do not post your subclass anywhere else. If you are found to have done so, that subclass will be disqualified (though you will be allowed to post a new one if you wish, within reason).
    5. Your subclass must be complete by the deadline. After that, I will put up a voting thread. Any submissions or edits after that point will be considered invalid. A two week extension is implemented if at least three requests are made in the chat thread.
    6. Have fun, be respectful.

      Tiebreakers, in order:
      1. The entrant who voted during the voting period wins ties against the entrant who did not vote.
      2. The entrant who claimed a greater number of 1st-place votes wins ties against the entrant who claimed fewer.
      3. Any tie unresolved after these two rules stands, with both entrants winning.


    Last edited by MoleMage; 2021-02-15 at 03:50 PM.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    At some point I'm going to hit the character limit in post 1, especially with all the formatting woes. So I'm reserving this post to edit some of it down a post just in case.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Woo! We made it to #2 thread.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    More review.

    Spoiler: Barbarian - Path of Panic
    Show
    Panicked Attack
    I can see Disengage working with a barbarian that relies quite a bit on skirmishing tactics, but the Hide action seems like it will be hard to take advantage of. You need to be in melee to use Reckless, so you'll likely be taking an opportunity attack (that the creature will have advantage on) if you move somewhere else to hide.

    I'm No Warrior
    While it doesn't force a character to choose Stealth as the skill, typical barbarian ability score allocations and Panicked Attack will certainly push Path of Panic barbarians in that direction. Acrobatics will also be an attractive choice.

    It's some nice skill utility for a class that doesn't usually have much flexibility in that area, which I like.

    OUCH!!!
    This feels a little odd when compared to the cowardly theme you've got going for this subclass because you have to consciously choose to lean into the blow to utilize this ability. I see no issues with the balance of it and I can see the relationship with Uncanny Dodge, but it doesn't fit quite as well as the other features.

    Coward’s Sense
    Danger Sense works well with Dexterity saves because there is clear physical danger for those saves. It's harder to tell with other saves, which makes the effects of this ability slightly unclear. Does it work against poison? How about something like a Nagpa's Paralysis or a Jackalwere's Sleep Gaze? I'd have difficulty as a player or DM figuring out the right call for some effects.

    Blind Panic
    This fits well with the idea of someone who is panicking, but being blinded during it makes this a pain to use. You are reduced to normal attack rolls with Reckless and I'm not sure the bonus damage makes up for it. This also feels like a more convoluted way of giving the benefits of Great Weapon Master.

    It's cool, but I think something that mechanically conveyed losing control of oneself might fit better. Losing the pun would be a loss, admittedly. Throwing some ideas out there: attacking adjacent creatures at random, moving in a random direction each turn, becoming frightened and causing contagious fright to nearby creatures.


    I will mention that I forgot this subclass was supposed to be borrowing from another class partway through my review. I'm not sure whether to attribute that to seamless integration of rogue features or to advise that you make the inspiration more clear.

    MoleMage, a heads up - the current contest thread still links to the old chat in its first post.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    MoleMage, a heads up - the current contest thread still links to the old chat in its first post.
    Fixed it. Thanks for the heads up.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

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    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Well, this is really nice how far we've come.

    Also, tweaked a bit on some of the stuff.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Mmm, but why don't just make a dedicated topic for each contest like we already do for the base class contests?

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Replying to subscribe to new thread.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Continuing to review.

    Spoiler: Primal Path: The Path of Steel
    Show
    Trusted Steel
    Wearing heavy armour means that Path of Steel barbarians won't rely as much on having high Dexterity as other barbarians because they won't be adding it to their AC. That's nice because it frees up some choice to choose which abilities to focus on. Being unable to use Fast Movement hurts, however.

    Fighting Style
    This almost feels like a non-feature. Barbarians want to rage. Incentivizing them not to do so feels counterproductive. Would you consider something similar to the Berserker's Frenzy feature and only allow them to use the chosen Fighting Style while raging a certain number of times per day?

    Strong Flesh
    Woo! Fast Movement is back, one level late.

    This is strong, which is odd for a 6th level barbarian feature, but after the 3rd level features, that appears to be needed. A straightforward port of Second Wind. Enhancing a barbarian's tankiness through healing is a new avenue for a barbarian subclass and is absolutely one I'm a fan of.

    Steel Will
    One free reroll of a saving throw per turn. That's powerful, especially for a barbarian.

    I'm not a fan of being punished for failing a saving throw again. Failing a save twice in a row and then being forced out of rage on top of whatever nasty effect you failed to save against is no fun. Especially when you can't rage again for a minute. Sure, you could succeed on the second save and keep your rage as well, but having extremely binary results based on the result of the rerolled save makes it hard to tell the balance of this feature.

    Preventing a barbarian from doing their primary schtick does not make this feel fun.

    The Riddle of Steel
    Waiting 14 levels to be able to use Fighting Styles while raging hardly feels worth it, especially when it is so easy to multiclass one level into fighter.

    Ditto for the equivalent of Action Surge once per long rest. A minor rider on top of it does not make up for being able to take a second level of fighter and have access to Action Surge once per short or long rest.

    The Riddle of Steel feels lackluster in comparison to the other abilities that this subclass gives. I'm disappointed by that because the fluff of this subclass had led up to it being something cool. I think I was expecting something more along the lines of being able to attack three times with Extra Attack and to have access to Action Surge on top of that.

    If I compare this with the Berseker's Retaliation for example, it's pretty clear what the better feature is.




    I want to like this subclass, but I'm having difficulty doing so because of how it's features clash with enabling barbarians to rage and my issues with its capstone.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    More review.

    Spoiler: Barbarian - Path of Panic
    Show
    Panicked Attack
    I can see Disengage working with a barbarian that relies quite a bit on skirmishing tactics, but the Hide action seems like it will be hard to take advantage of. You need to be in melee to use Reckless, so you'll likely be taking an opportunity attack (that the creature will have advantage on) if you move somewhere else to hide.

    Barbarians get speed boosts and care less about opportunity attacks than other classes because of Rage. In addition, reach weapons or Mobile completely negate that concern. Hide is there mostly for thematics, but it has niche use.

    I'm No Warrior
    While it doesn't force a character to choose Stealth as the skill, typical barbarian ability score allocations and Panicked Attack will certainly push Path of Panic barbarians in that direction. Acrobatics will also be an attractive choice.

    It's some nice skill utility for a class that doesn't usually have much flexibility in that area, which I like.

    Thanks. This idea started as a skill monkey Barbarian, but I pivoted to a cowardly one when couldn't come up with a good way to implement skill bonuses during Rage that were good enough to make you want to use it outside of combat.

    OUCH!!!
    This feels a little odd when compared to the cowardly theme you've got going for this subclass because you have to consciously choose to lean into the blow to utilize this ability. I see no issues with the balance of it and I can see the relationship with Uncanny Dodge, but it doesn't fit quite as well as the other features.

    Yes it is slightly against-theme, but I didn't want to have every feature be focused on damage mitigation. Barbarians are naturally beefy, so this little trade off shouldn't be too punishing. As for theme, it is a common trope for the weak, cowardly character to overcome fear and do something heroic. Cowardly Lion - TV Tropes

    Coward’s Sense
    Danger Sense works well with Dexterity saves because there is clear physical danger for those saves. It's harder to tell with other saves, which makes the effects of this ability slightly unclear. Does it work against poison? How about something like a Nagpa's Paralysis or a Jackalwere's Sleep Gaze? I'd have difficulty as a player or DM figuring out the right call for some effects.

    Eh, Danger Sense is an ability that requires adjudication from the get go. I've played with DM's that have said Fireball doesn't count because it appears out of nowhere at a point, and others that have said it applies to everything with a Dex save. I had been thinking about limiting this to Str and Con. Those should be mostly physical effects. I found a chart that has all of the saves for each spell and monster ability, and I think Str and Con should be fine.
    As for poison, it depends. Is it a poison breath, yes. Is it a poison bite, probably no.


    Blind Panic
    This fits well with the idea of someone who is panicking, but being blinded during it makes this a pain to use. You are reduced to normal attack rolls with Reckless and I'm not sure the bonus damage makes up for it. This also feels like a more convoluted way of giving the benefits of Great Weapon Master.

    It's cool, but I think something that mechanically conveyed losing control of oneself might fit better. Losing the pun would be a loss, admittedly. Throwing some ideas out there: attacking adjacent creatures at random, moving in a random direction each turn, becoming frightened and causing contagious fright to nearby creatures.

    Yeah, I'm not in love with this ability yet. It's too finicky. You're blind, but you're not blind. I've been brainstorming a more elegant way to phrase it but haven't struck gold yet. I will consider your suggestions.

    I will mention that I forgot this subclass was supposed to be borrowing from another class partway through my review. I'm not sure whether to attribute that to seamless integration of rogue features or to advise that you make the inspiration more clear.

    I'm gonna go with the former lol. Kidding aside, thank you for the feedback. You've given me some good points to consider during my revision.
    See italics
    Spoiler: Homebrew Subclasses by RickAsWritten
    Show

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    I don't know how you've managed to fit so many reviews in one day before, nickl_2000. It's seriously impressive.

    My current pace has me at only my second review of the day, but here's a review of your subclass.

    Spoiler: Fighter: Crusader
    Show
    Spellcasting
    Cantrips
    This text mentions that you know two cantrips and learn another at 10th level, while the table has you gaining another one at 7th level. Wait.

    Does the 7th level feature grant one?

    Ah.

    See my first comment on Divine Guidance below. It's confusing to gain another cantrip partway through the progression. I understand it now, but I was confused after just looking at this feature and the table.

    Spells Prepared of 1st-Level and Higher
    This is a significant departure from other one-third casters. Spells prepared instead of spells known and no limitation besides using the cleric list instead of a fraction of the wizard list has alarm bells going off in my head. Ritual Casting and a holy symbol for Spellcasting Focus increases the volume.

    Low level cleric spells can be incredibly potent, especially when combined with a class that naturally gets proficiency in Constitution saving throws. They also have good options for spells that can be cast as a bonus action, which fighters can make good use of. Healing word, sanctuary, shield of faith, and spiritual weapon are all bonus action spells that I'd be immediately looking at for this sort of character.

    In addition, there are a few cleric spells that can lead to some nasty combinations when used in conjunction with Action Surge. Hold person springs to mind, as does silence + grappling on a spellcaster. These combinations can be pulled off with a couple of characters normally, but having both options exist for one character means there's no trouble with timing everything properly.


    I'm of the opinion that there ought to be a limiting factor on spellcasting. It feels too strong right now.

    Divine Weapon
    Ha, I enjoy the minor effect that occurs if someone else attempts to hold the weapon.

    I have a distinct sense that this feature is sticking its tongue out at Weapon Bond and making fun of it. Am I missing something, or is this just Weapon Bond+?

    Divine Guidance
    Is this the level seven feature? It doesn't say.

    This is another strong feature, which feels like a bit much after the spellcasting section. And it encourages guidance spam. I won't deny the mechanical benefits of spamming guidance, but I personally find it annoying. Is there another cantrip this could be switched out with, like spare the dying?

    I can certainly still see cleric traits shining through in this feature.

    Shared Healing
    I'm a fan of this. No problems with the balance or flavor.

    Divine Connection
    The second part of the feature is a cool extra.

    I've got no issues with the first part, it does a nice job of making it hard for enemies to escape the fighter. It did remind me that this subclass enables a fighter with spiritual guardians, which is terrifying.

    Healing Boost
    My first reaction was thinking this feature was strong, but I'm no longer so sure.. You've still only got 11 spells per day and an additional +1 attack and damage is not a lot either, even for someone with a lot of attacks. I like this capstone. It's got pieces of the Life Domain's Blessed Healer and Divine Strike mixed together.

    Notes
    I can't say I noticed this aura piece until you called it out here.

    The rest of these comments make sense, but I'd still like to see spellcasting toned down in some fashion.
    Last edited by Twelvetrees; 2020-11-25 at 09:06 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    Continuing to review.

    Spoiler: Primal Path: The Path of Steel
    Show
    Trusted Steel
    Wearing heavy armour means that Path of Steel barbarians won't rely as much on having high Dexterity as other barbarians because they won't be adding it to their AC. That's nice because it frees up some choice to choose which abilities to focus on. Being unable to use Fast Movement hurts, however.

    Fighting Style
    This almost feels like a non-feature. Barbarians want to rage. Incentivizing them not to do so feels counterproductive. Would you consider something similar to the Berserker's Frenzy feature and only allow them to use the chosen Fighting Style while raging a certain number of times per day?

    Strong Flesh
    Woo! Fast Movement is back, one level late.

    This is strong, which is odd for a 6th level barbarian feature, but after the 3rd level features, that appears to be needed. A straightforward port of Second Wind. Enhancing a barbarian's tankiness through healing is a new avenue for a barbarian subclass and is absolutely one I'm a fan of.

    Steel Will
    One free reroll of a saving throw per turn. That's powerful, especially for a barbarian.

    I'm not a fan of being punished for failing a saving throw again. Failing a save twice in a row and then being forced out of rage on top of whatever nasty effect you failed to save against is no fun. Especially when you can't rage again for a minute. Sure, you could succeed on the second save and keep your rage as well, but having extremely binary results based on the result of the rerolled save makes it hard to tell the balance of this feature.

    Preventing a barbarian from doing their primary schtick does not make this feel fun.

    The Riddle of Steel
    Waiting 14 levels to be able to use Fighting Styles while raging hardly feels worth it, especially when it is so easy to multiclass one level into fighter.

    Ditto for the equivalent of Action Surge once per long rest. A minor rider on top of it does not make up for being able to take a second level of fighter and have access to Action Surge once per short or long rest.

    The Riddle of Steel feels lackluster in comparison to the other abilities that this subclass gives. I'm disappointed by that because the fluff of this subclass had led up to it being something cool. I think I was expecting something more along the lines of being able to attack three times with Extra Attack and to have access to Action Surge on top of that.

    If I compare this with the Berseker's Retaliation for example, it's pretty clear what the better feature is.




    I want to like this subclass, but I'm having difficulty doing so because of how it's features clash with enabling barbarians to rage and my issues with its capstone.
    This is good feedback. I guess Im too focused on the subclass by itself rather than gelling with barbarian. And I feel like I gimped myself by mixing the theme of a multiclass with what i really wanted to do, which was just the Conan movie.

    Ok So i changed it so that you get your fighting style in Rage but raging while wearing heavy armour gives you exhaustion. So you are better armed and armoured at all times, but raging is a little harder.

    Ok I added a Con mod limit to the Indomitable knock-off. This solves the issue that the stupid level 20 feature gives. Rassle Frassle.

    Ill take another run at the Riddle of Steel.
    Last edited by Lvl45DM!; 2020-11-25 at 11:50 PM.
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    Constitution-16
    Intelligence-16
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    Charisma-16

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Maybe given the title of this thread I should still make the entry I was doubting about since day one...

    Not sure I can find the time though. I'm not requesting an extension unless I have something solid in the bag.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-11-26 at 04:11 PM.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Another review!

    Spoiler: Moonlighter
    Show
    The introduction to this subclass is succinct and funny.

    Moon Shape
    The third bullet point might be better worded if it was something along the lines of "you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to use Moon Shape."

    I'm already imagining delightfully fun shenanigans with this feature. It's inventive. I'm having trouble figuring out the balance of it because it mostly enhances utility, but it seems fine at face value.

    Beasts' Cant
    This is delightful.

    Moon Shape Expertise
    Interesting. Your moon shape can now afford to take a hit.

    I'm hesitant about this, but I think between the ability to automatically cause an attack to miss and the ability to hide in an opponents space, Moon Shape Expertise might be a little strong. Compared to other rogue subclass abilities at the same level, it offers a bit too much. My suggestion would be to cut one of the last two bullet points.

    Multi-Morph
    More utility, more awesomeness, more inability on my part to figure out the balance of a feature. Nothing jumps out about it to me as broken, so I think it's fine.

    Moon Swarm
    Well that's fun.

    The boost to survivability in combination with the bonus hit points from Moon Shape Expertise makes me think this might be a bit too strong. It's right on the edge of balanced <-> too strong.

    Bonus Content
    Okay, that's just icing on the cake.


    And avoiding the double-post by editing another review into this post.

    Spoiler: Sorcerous Origin: Ultimate Magus
    Show
    I appreciate the time you took to craft the introduction to this subclass. I'm interested to see how well the features convey what you describe.

    Soulbook
    I'm reminded of the wizard in more ways that one. Spellbook? Check. Overpowered feature? Also check.

    This feature more than doubles the number of spells a sorcerer has access to in a given day. Oh, and gives access to a better spell list.

    Between the spells normally known by sorcerers and the bonus spells this feature allows you to prepare, you have access to more spells in a given day than a wizard. This needs to be toned down.

    Ultimate Savant
    Wait, you get expertise in Arcana and Investigation on top of everything else you already got at 1st level? I think this could easily be switched to just Arcana.

    I do like the ability to use a sorcerer spell as a ritual.

    Magus's Recovery
    What. I was all prepared to move on to the 6th level feature. But this is also gained at 1st level! Hmm. Can one of these features just be cut? There's too much going on right now.

    Ultimate Lucubration
    Automatic Subtle Spell on over half the spells you have access to in a given day. Also strong. This could be limited to a certain number of times per day or once between rests. I think that would make it more reasonable.

    Magus's Intuition
    This is one 6th level feature too many, in my opinion. Especially with how strong Ultimate Lucubration is in its current state. I'd advise choosing between one of these features for the 6th level feature.

    Ultimate Metamage
    Heightened and Twinned are the only metamagic effects that don't have their costs reduced to 0 with this feature. I don't even know what to suggest here.

    No? Please don't?

    Mantle of the Archmagus
    Am I missing something or is this just Spell Mastery, but better?



    I really like the Ultimate Magus as a concept. With some toning back, I think this could work quite well.
    Last edited by Twelvetrees; 2020-11-26 at 09:58 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    Mmm, but why don't just make a dedicated topic for each contest like we already do for the base class contests?
    I modeled this one off the old 3.5 contests, which had continuous chat threads. I guess I could swap it to the other format (which was used by Requilac when he first started the 5e Base Class Contests or at least the current iteration, and which I kept by request of most of the other users over there).

    I kinda like the continuous format, personally. Discussions carry over from one contest to the next sometimes, and people only have to subscribe to it once. But if there seems to be general consensus for per-contest I can flip it for the next one.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.

    Spoiler
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    This was a long one.

    Spoiler: Monastic Tradition: Way of the Chameleon
    Show
    From the introduction, I'm expecting abilities that allow a Way of the Chameleon monk to imitate others and to disguise themselves.

    Bonus Proficiency
    Being able to get any proficiency if you already have Deception is rather good, but it fits with the idea of this subclass.

    Aptitude Focus
    Why at any time during a long rest? Most long rest associated abilties happen at the end of one - what led to this design decision?

    This feature disabling Ki, half of Deflect Missiles, Stunning Strike, half of Diamond Soul, and Empty Body leads me to think these aptitudes are going to be strong. In addition, I'm wondering if you'll really still feel like a monk while focusing on one of these aptitudes.

    This line
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilerien
    When you activate a specific focus, choose one skill.
    would be better phrased as "When you activate a specific focus, choose one associated skill."

    I really like everything you've included to account for multiclassing and magic item use. That's helpful to have.

    Floating Talent
    Getting an equal number of feats as a fighter can have and being able to switch one/two out on a long rest gives you an awful lot of versatility.

    The way feats are worded also has some odd interactions with this feature. Tough, for example, increases your hit point maximum when you gain it. A RAW reading would seem to indicate that each time you selected Tough, your hit point maximum would continue to increase. I doubt this was your intention. I think it would help to have a line somehere in here about losing whatever benefits you gained from feats when you switch them out.

    Double Aptitude
    This feels like it has the potential to be extremely strong, but I haven't gotten to the Foci yet.

    Rapid Refocus
    More versatility, but doesn't appear unbalanced.

    Foci

    Common Features
    Martial Synergy is better than a Kensai's Kensai Weapons feature. Making a note of that.

    Armor proficiency conflicts with Unarmored Movement, as a note.

    Amok Focus
    Adding your martial arts die to damage rolls is better than the barbarian's bonus damage from Rage.

    You likely won't be able to make Strength-based attacks that well, but if you built a character with that in mind, I feel like you could make a better barbarian using this chassis than if you made an actual barbarian.

    Arcane Focus
    I'm guessing this will play like a different flavor of Eldritch Knight, but with access to more spells. My first instinct was that it wasn't very good, but I suspect there are some tricks that could be pulled with this.

    Divine Focus
    Reminds me of the paladin.

    Eldritch Focus
    Mystic Arcanum
    This pushes the bounds of what a non-spellcasting class can do. In addition, you have enough ki points at this level to spam these spells. If you get a couple of short rests in a day, you could cast more 7th level spells than a full caster. I'd take a hard look at this and see if it is really needed.

    Handicraft Focus
    Spellcasting
    It worries me that you can cast the same level of spells as a normal artificer.

    Heritage Focus
    Similar feeling to Arcane Focus.



    Nothing sticks out to me about the rest of these. They allow you to use other class's features. What I'm interested in now is seeing what Double Aptitude allows.

    I spent a half hour on this and didn't come up with anything particularily broken. That's a good sign.


    Adding another review.

    Spoiler: Way of the Punchimancer
    Show
    Spellcasting
    Spells Known
    Make it clear that you must choose the other school that you will get to choose spells from when you enter this subclass. When I read this the first time, I was under the impression that you could choose additional spells from whatever school you wanted each time you got to choose spells.

    Spellcasting Ability
    Needing to use Intelligence hurts. Monks are already MAD and want good Dexterity, Wisdom, and Constitution. Needing good Intelligence as well only makes it worse. This will certainly push characters using this subclass to take spells that don't rely on Intelligence in any way.

    Punchimancy
    This is distinctly more powerful than an Eldritch Knight's War Magic. Especially once you get Stunning Strike, it means you can cast a spell and then still likely stun a foe or two.

    Maybe you could allow a Punchimancer to make one unarmed strike for no ki points instead? Or switch the level at which you get access to this feature?

    Deflect Magic
    I would attach a ki point cost to this feature. It allows you to make your best saving throw and re-target a spell. When it comes up, that's quite good.

    Ki Magic
    Wow, this allows shield or invisibility to be cast quite a number of times. In combination with Patient Defense, you become nearly untouchable. But other than those two spells, this feature appear to be reasonable.

    Arcane Flurry
    Bonus damage is something the monk lacks, so I'm a fan of this ability.



    Overall, I think my advice would be to use another school other than abjuration. Patient Defense and shield pair a little too well together.
    Last edited by Twelvetrees; 2020-11-27 at 11:25 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    This was a long one.
    Thank you for the feedback! :)
    Bonus Proficiency
    Being able to get any proficiency if you already have Deception is rather good, but it fits with the idea of this subclass.
    I have a feeling that including the clause "choose any other skill/tool if you have it already" for bonus proficiencies is sort of lowest common denominator for not letting a character lose one "proficiency slot". After all, if you have identical proficiency already, likely you've got it from a background, and with background rules as flexible as they are you could have chosen some other proficiency without any fuss.
    Aptitude Focus
    Why at any time during a long rest? Most long rest associated abilties happen at the end of one - what led to this design decision?
    As I explained in response to nickl_2000's review, it's an attempt to formalize "first you lose anything gained from your previous active focus, then you gain effects of your new active focus". Will make a fix shortly.
    Floating Talent
    Getting an equal number of feats as a fighter can have and being able to switch one/two out on a long rest gives you an awful lot of versatility.

    The way feats are worded also has some odd interactions with this feature. Tough, for example, increases your hit point maximum when you gain it. A RAW reading would seem to indicate that each time you selected Tough, your hit point maximum would continue to increase. I doubt this was your intention. I think it would help to have a line somehere in here about losing whatever benefits you gained from feats when you switch them out.
    This whole subclass is about versatility. :) You're correct, should specify losing any benefits of a switched out feat explicitly.
    Double Aptitude
    This feels like it has the potential to be extremely strong, but I haven't gotten to the Foci yet.
    It is. A bit limited by the same ki pool, and I tried to assign ki cost to most activated features even when a feature in question is unlimited for the parent class.
    Martial Synergy is better than a Kensai's Kensai Weapons feature. Making a note of that.
    It is, and that's sort of intentional. One should be able to wield a greatsword efficiently if one has to pose as a greatsword-based fighter, which Kensei doesn't have to.
    Armor proficiency conflicts with Unarmored Movement, as a note.
    It's kind a problem indeed, and one I don't have an elegant solution for, so just decided to leave it as is.
    Amok Focus
    Adding your martial arts die to damage rolls is better than the barbarian's bonus damage from Rage.

    You likely won't be able to make Strength-based attacks that well, but if you built a character with that in mind, I feel like you could make a better barbarian using this chassis than if you made an actual barbarian.
    To invest highly into Strength is to cripple Dexterity or Wisdom, as is pointed out in the design notes. Besides, it's one less variable to keep track of, and an actual barbarian would have a subclass to boot. :)
    Eldritch Focus
    Mystic Arcanum
    This pushes the bounds of what a non-spellcasting class can do. In addition, you have enough ki points at this level to spam these spells. If you get a couple of short rests in a day, you could cast more 7th level spells than a full caster. I'd take a hard look at this and see if it is really needed.
    This is a good point, actually. I'll stick with a 6th level spell and increase the ki point cost to cast it.
    Handicraft Focus
    Spellcasting
    It worries me that you can cast the same level of spells as a normal artificer.
    I didn't want to make separate spell slot level progression because the subclass description is already extremely cumbersome, and artificer spell list is limited and doesn't contain any spells unique to the class. Though it might be indeed an issue like maybe with rangers and paladins.

    Upd: implemented some tweaks based on your feedback.
    Last edited by Ilerien; 2020-11-28 at 01:36 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilerien View Post
    Upd: implemented some tweaks based on your feedback.
    Glad to see them! I'll let you know if I stumble across any weird exploits that the Chameleon can accomplish while reviewing the rest of the entries.

    Here's the next review.

    Spoiler: School of Adaptation
    Show
    Acknowledging that wizards used to have access to metamagic in the introduction makes for a wonderful meta joke about changes across editions of the game.

    Metamagic Savant
    This feature makes it relatively easy to reduce the cost of any spell you want to copy, but gold and spell access is so dependent on campaign that I don't think it really matters.

    Metamagician
    Calculating this out:
    2nd-4th level: 2 points
    5th level: 4 points
    6th level: 6 points
    7th level: 9 points
    8th level: 12 points
    9th level: 16 points
    10th level: 20 points
    11th level: 25 points
    12th level: 30 points
    13th level: 36 points
    14th level: 42 points
    15th level: 49 poinits
    16th level: 56 points
    17th level: 64 points
    18th-19th level: 72 points
    20th level: 80 points

    Metacrush and Metasight break 5e's bounded accuracy in half. Metacrush stands out more because you could make a spell have a saving throw DC so high it was impossible to make and you'd be able to do so multiple times per day.

    Metacelerity does the equivalent of giving you access to Action Surge and the cost is low enough that you can afford to spam it. Taking away the limitation of only one leveled spell a turn leads to too much power.

    Metamorph allows you to get around resistances with ease for a really cheap cost. This would stand out as being too good if it wasn't surrounded by abilities that are even stronger.

    Metasplice and its granted ability to have two Concentration spells going for one round breaks a fundamental expectation of the game. Personal opinion, but I don't think Concentration expectations should be messed with.

    Specialty
    Where is the information on your specialty school located?



    Metadupe strikes me as being better than Twin Spell, which makes me think it is too powerful.

    Metatransfer: Can you target enemies with this? If so, how would that work?

    Metatrespass: Feign Death becomes the equivalent of a Save-or-Die spell with this option. Dimension Door allows you to teleport an enemy 500 feet straight up. Those were two examples off the top of my head. This is likely too strong. And what sort of save do foes make?

    Metaconversion: When you switch a spell to have a save, what save would it be? Do you just get a free choice?

    Empowered Metabias is better than the School of Evocation's 2nd level ability.

    Empowered Metacrush was already absurdly powerful. This makes it more so.

    Ditto for Empowered Metasight.

    Empowered Metamagnitude eventually allows for things like Tensor's transformation to be cast on your entire party. That's on the low power end of exploits this option would allow.

    Empowered Metamorph: The Cold effect is extremely debilitating. Also, sonic damage doesn't exist. I think you want Thunder damage.

    Empowered Metasplice: I really would advise against this.

    Signature Style
    This gives you access to more metamagic options than a sorcerer. That's a little much.

    Expert Spellcraft
    I don't even know where to begin with this one.




    You appear to have taken the sorcerer's metamagic options and made them better and cost less and given them to the wizard. At a minimum, I would suggest sticking with the sorcerer's normal metamagic options.


    Two more.

    Spoiler: Blade of Justice
    Show
    A Bandage and a Prayer
    This is quite comparable to the Thief's Fast Hands and is in line with the capabilities you describe in the introduction to this subclass. I appreciate how those tie together.

    Retribution Strike
    This continues to build off your introduction. I'm seeing no issues with it. Extra damage is nice.

    Tend Wounds
    At the level you gain this feature, you can heal more than a paladin's Lay on Hands if you get one short rest. And that's only if one specific creature needs healing. If you've got enough healer's kits, you can restore 25 hit points per creature per rest. That's a lot of healing. This ability doesn't improve, but its baseline is good enough that it remains powerful.

    This feature reminds me of the second bullet point of the Healer feat.

    Could you perhaps replace this with a less powerful version of Lay on Hands? Maybe a version of Lay on Hands that requires uses from a healer's kit or something like that?

    Bring Out Courage
    This stacks with the paladin's Aura of Protection, which potentially makes it too good. It works fine if you don't have to worry about that. Maybe you could add a line about it not stacking?

    Silence the Wicked
    This is comparable to an Inquisitive's Eye For Weakness and is actually likely to be weaker because of the specificity of the prerequisites that need to be met. Again, more damage is nice.



    This could use a few tweaks for balance, but it's got a solid base. I will note that there's not particularly anything jumping out to me as something that would make me excited to play a Blade of Justice. Could be personal taste, so I'd be interested in seeing others' opinions.


    Spoiler: Woodcarver
    Show
    Tool proficiency and Woodcarver casting
    Nothing sticks out to me here.

    Nature's Blessing
    What sort of action does it take to command the animal figure?

    Anything with a fly speed is going to be a strong choice.

    Druidic knowledge
    Shillelagh allows you to do a bit more damage in melee, but on its own I'm not foreseeing any issues.

    Wooden quickness
    This is comparable to the Battle Smith's Extra Attack. No problems that I can see.

    Wooden Armor
    Having a maximum AC of 19 if using this feature and a shield will not change much. And wearing wooden armor is cool, so that's a fun bonus!

    Root Down
    This feels underpowered in the middle of combat, especially because you don't have a way of breaking out of it once you start it. Out of combat, it's free healing to full hit points, which is too strong. I think setting a number of uses on this ability, perhaps changing how much healing you get to correspond with an ability score, and making it so you can end the ability would help.

    Mighty Oak
    I'm reminded more of the barbarian than the druid with this feature. I don't think this is strong enough, especially because artificers aren't likely to be relying too much on either ability. I'd look over the druid and see if there is another feature you could use.
    Last edited by Twelvetrees; 2020-11-28 at 06:08 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    The barbarian Path of Possession is up.

    Sorry I wasn't around to vote in the last one.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    Keeping in mind that I love the flavor, Arcane Expulsions is near broken, Indwelling requires a player centric reimagining, and Jealous Occupation is weak for a capstone.

    Arcane Expulsions: 1/turn Eldritch Blast (even without invocations) on top of regular barbarian damage is going to skew far too strong and that's as a pure Barbarian, Chill Touch would be nearly as bad. As a Hexblade/Barbarian Multiclass EB would be nuclear.
    The comparison to the Zealot's bonus damage is relevant here. The Zealot's bonus damage is 1d6+half barbarian level. So at 10th level that's 8.5 average damage, at 15th it's 10.5, and at 20th it's 13.5. A firebolt or eldritch blast (without invocations, which is another issue) will deal 17.5 average damage at 11th-16th levels and 22 at 17th-20th. So the Zealot's feature only deals around 50-60% of the damage of the Possessed, but as long as you hit with a weapon attack the Zealot's damage is automatic, while the Possessed damage also relies on the save/attack of the cantrip. So as long as the chance to hit a given target is around 50-60% (which is reasonable, considering it uses the barbarian's secondary stat) the two subclasses should be reasonably balanced against one another.

    I do have concerns about the use of an invocation-boosted eldritch blast here. I could always just have them to use the sorcerer spell list instead of the warlock spell list. It's less thematically appropriate, but it would resolve this issue.
    EDIT: Change made.

    Indwelling: I understand the flavor but that means your level 6 ability is "you're an NPC for a few rounds." That's not fun. I've written a few classes and subclasses that provide additional personalities for the player to manage, I always put in a sidebar to discuss any conflicts with the DM and party at chargen so there's a good story to tell, and make it explicit your PC's actions are you, the player's decision even if some other force is supposed to be in charge of them bc this is something they're choosing (unlike say, a failed save vs Dominate Person).
    For one thing, your level 6 feature will in many cases not result in you losing control at all. Much of the time I expect it would be used to extend a rage through rounds where the barbarian cannot attack, or to keep a rage going from one encounter to another. You don't lose control if you aren't incapacitated. Because you only lose control of yourself during a period of time when you would be unable to act anyway, there's no net loss of agency here. The passenger only takes the wheel if you aren't holding it anyway.

    Jealous Occupation: Assuming it comes up at all (those save types come from spells and if the DM doesn't make regular use of psychic type monsters or Enchanter wizards, then this feature may never see use), using your reaction to use a good save is pretty weak. I would say either "While Raging add Con mod to Int/Wis/Cha saves and deal psychic damage of d12 + your Barbarian level to caster" so even if you fail the save there's a chance you break their concentration. Alternatively you could just make the Barbarian immune to the Charmed condition while raging, but you can move that down to level 6 like the berserker.
    I suppose getting rid of the reaction requirement would be fine. I disagree about how uncommon such saves are though.
    EDIT: I rolled a simpler version of this into the level 10 feature and replaced the level 14 feature.

    Personally I think a Partial Possession capstone would be more fun where the Barbarian creates a weak Charm effect when initiating rage, like:

    Partial Possession
    Beginning at 14th level the influence of your Dark Passenger is stoked by your rage such that smoky tendrils of its power can emerge from your body to touch the minds of nearby creatures. While raging, you can use a bonus action to force a creature within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom Saving throw against your Spell DC. On a failure they must make a melee attack against a creature of your choosing on their next turn. If they aren't within reach of their target they must use their movement or Dash to try and get within reach. If an affected creature is friendly to you, it can use its reaction to make this attack instead. You can use this Bonus action twice and regain all uses when you next Rage.

    This is a powerful but limited control effect, evokes the Mindflayer of Stranger Things, it's something that's always useful even if you're fighting a solo target, maybe making it waste a turn running around to focus attacks on you or another hard target.
    I'm into it. I'll think about something like this, it's a good idea.
    EDIT: Change made. The version I went with is weaker than what you proposed but also isn't limited to twice per rage.
    EDIT2: Thumbing through Tasha's, it only just now occurs to be how similar this is to the Path of the Beast feature. I'm going to take some time to reconsider my capstone here.

    Altogether, good flavor/concept but needs some work. Good luck!
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2020-11-30 at 06:34 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    I don't know how you've managed to fit so many reviews in one day before, nickl_2000. It's seriously impressive.

    My current pace has me at only my second review of the day, but here's a review of your subclass.

    Spoiler: Fighter: Crusader
    Show
    Spellcasting
    Cantrips
    This text mentions that you know two cantrips and learn another at 10th level, while the table has you gaining another one at 7th level. Wait.

    Does the 7th level feature grant one?

    Ah.

    See my first comment on Divine Guidance below. It's confusing to gain another cantrip partway through the progression. I understand it now, but I was confused after just looking at this feature and the table.

    Spells Prepared of 1st-Level and Higher
    This is a significant departure from other one-third casters. Spells prepared instead of spells known and no limitation besides using the cleric list instead of a fraction of the wizard list has alarm bells going off in my head. Ritual Casting and a holy symbol for Spellcasting Focus increases the volume.

    Low level cleric spells can be incredibly potent, especially when combined with a class that naturally gets proficiency in Constitution saving throws. They also have good options for spells that can be cast as a bonus action, which fighters can make good use of. Healing word, sanctuary, shield of faith, and spiritual weapon are all bonus action spells that I'd be immediately looking at for this sort of character.

    In addition, there are a few cleric spells that can lead to some nasty combinations when used in conjunction with Action Surge. Hold person springs to mind, as does silence + grappling on a spellcaster. These combinations can be pulled off with a couple of characters normally, but having both options exist for one character means there's no trouble with timing everything properly.


    I'm of the opinion that there ought to be a limiting factor on spellcasting. It feels too strong right now.

    Divine Weapon
    Ha, I enjoy the minor effect that occurs if someone else attempts to hold the weapon.

    I have a distinct sense that this feature is sticking its tongue out at Weapon Bond and making fun of it. Am I missing something, or is this just Weapon Bond+?

    Divine Guidance
    Is this the level seven feature? It doesn't say.

    This is another strong feature, which feels like a bit much after the spellcasting section. And it encourages guidance spam. I won't deny the mechanical benefits of spamming guidance, but I personally find it annoying. Is there another cantrip this could be switched out with, like spare the dying?

    I can certainly still see cleric traits shining through in this feature.

    Shared Healing
    I'm a fan of this. No problems with the balance or flavor.

    Divine Connection
    The second part of the feature is a cool extra.

    I've got no issues with the first part, it does a nice job of making it hard for enemies to escape the fighter. It did remind me that this subclass enables a fighter with spiritual guardians, which is terrifying.

    Healing Boost
    My first reaction was thinking this feature was strong, but I'm no longer so sure.. You've still only got 11 spells per day and an additional +1 attack and damage is not a lot either, even for someone with a lot of attacks. I like this capstone. It's got pieces of the Life Domain's Blessed Healer and Divine Strike mixed together.

    Notes
    I can't say I noticed this aura piece until you called it out here.

    The rest of these comments make sense, but I'd still like to see spellcasting toned down in some fashion.
    I find it extremely important to do the reviews. While we are here to compete and make the best received subclass, the real goal is to make a subclass that is playable and works in a game. I frequently send people to these contest posts because the entries are such high quality. I find that the peer review process it be extremely important in coming up with the best entries, so I try to make sure that I take a look at everything I can. That being said, I've spent a lot of time reviewing and analyzing subclasses, so I can do it a little faster than others. Also, the stream on conscious style to my reviews is faster than reading it through 4 times and having it a little more coherent (so that helps me as well).



    Thank you for taking a look at mine as well. I really value all feedback from people!

    Spells - I fixed the cantrips, I still left it the way that it was but explained it a little bit better and made the progression more standard. As for prepared vs known, you have a very solid point and argument. I also got rid of rituals, you are right that it gives power that probably shouldn't be there (even though I like it, but hey no one wants to make an overly powered subclass).

    Divine Weapon - This was superior to the EKs weapon bond, so I tamed it down some. The first being that it no takes an action to summon/change the weapon type instead of a bonus action. That alone should take away some of the versatility of this feature. The light part of it was more for the sake of cool rather than being very helpful, in fact at early levels it's actually more of a negative than a positive.

    Divine Guidance - Fixed the level things. Thank you for catching that!

    So, the thing with Guidance is that every single person who has this subclass is going to take guidance. It is just way to good not to. Oddly though, I didn't see the bonus action guidance as being that powerful in combat. Guidance takes concentration, so you can't have Shield of Faith, Bless, or Spirit Guardians up and running when you cast it. Beyond that, it is helpful in grappling and spotting others in combat. The real gain is leaving it on someone with Counterspell/Dispel Magic though. Still, since it's concentration it is only on one person at a time and you can't concentrate on anything else. Plus it competes with other bonus actions for fighters. I will think about it more, but as of right now I think this one is fine the way it is.

    Divine Connection - That combination of this with spirit guardians is what I was going for actually. It is brutal and nasty to go against, luckily the damage from spirit guardians isn't all that high when you are at level 15.


    Thanks again for taking a look. I will try and take a look at the last 2 and provide comments today.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    We have a bunch of good ones! Blade of Justice is pretty clever!

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Getting those last reviews in before the deadline.

    Spoiler: Blade of Justice
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    Bandage and a Prayer - A good ability, pretty low impact and slightly takes away from the thief's use and object as a bonus action. However, I don't see this as a huge deal since it just for stabilization purposes and there are lots of other ways to do that. What about if you have the healer feat? Can you use the healing action as a bonus action as well, or is that left out on purpose?

    Retribution Strike - I like it, very fitting, very appropriate, and useful. The only part I don't particularly like is adding an additional sneak attack die. At low levels this will be absolutely amazing in the difference in damage. At high levels more meh. Either way, it's more work to keep track of and remember.

    Tend Wounds - This is interesting and a significant amount of healing per person. I might consider scoping it with a stat or proficiency modifier instead of a flat use of 5 kit usages. That way you see increases over time.

    Bring Out Courage - What about Bless, does it stack with that? Bardic Inspiration? You have two choices for how to handle this, either say it doesn't stack with the Paladin's Aura or give it the same name as the Paladin's Aura. Either way it makes it clearer that Bless and Bardic Inspiration are okay.

    Silence the Wicked - I don't think this is a bad ability, but tracking it might be a nightmare in actual play. Just a warning.


    Overall I like the feel of this subclass. It's got some great things going on with it. I really like the mechanic of getting sneak attack by someone attacking an ally. This would be even more fun with sentinel on this rogue






    Spoiler: Barbarian: Path of Possession
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    The dark passenger term sounds familiar, did you or someone else in the contest name a feature a dark passenger before?

    Dark Passenger - wow... two skills, with expertise on both of them, allowed to use a primary Barb stat, and a language? That is a lot, especially considering that there is more at level 3.

    Arcane Expulsions - Whenever you gain a level... just note that it has to be a legal choice. I.e. no BB/GFB clearly.

    A cantrip for free? That's actually huge for a damage difference. Personally I would choose Shocking Grasp and Mind Sliver since my goal would always to be within melee range. Although True Strike has some interesting potential here, weird potential since how it is phrased, but still interesting. I forgot to ask about spells that require concentration? If you cast Create Bonfire, can you keep concentration on it?

    Symbiotic Resistance - Making int/wisdom/cha saves as Con is pretty amazing on it's own. I don't think you need the damage resistance.

    Infective Possession - Hello Rogue friend who just doubled their damage. Making your allies get a reaction attack every single round as a bonus action may end up being overpowered. You would have to play test to make sure, but I think you may need to limit the amount of times this can be done to someone (pass or fail the save).






  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    EDIT2: Thumbing through Tasha's, it only just now occurs to be how similar this is to the Path of the Beast feature. I'm going to take some time to reconsider my capstone here.
    Thanks.
    The damage of Zealot is reliable, but I think you might be underestimating the potential of EB's additional chances to Crit, but statistics aren't my specialty.

    IME the number of times you can be incapacitated without being reduced to 0 hp is significant and I took it that your Ridealong got to act during any of them (Hypnotic Pattern, Stunning Strike, Sleep, some Charm effects, etc). But if that's not your intent, then perhaps my reading was weak.

    Didn't realize there'd be overlap with Beast path. I stopped reading the new one when I saw they bumped the Thagomizer down a die size or 2. In that case I'd go with a Magic Jar-lite capstone.

    Partial Possession
    Beginning at level 14, when you're reduced to 0 hp your Dark Passenger can drag your soul from the realm between life and death into the body of a creature within 60 feet. The target creature must make a Charisma save vs your spell DC or become Possessed by you. For the duration of the possession, at the beginning of the creature's turn you can decide whether you'll control its movement, its action, or its bonus action and the creature will behave as you direct, it is then free to use the remainder of its turn as it chooses. The possession ends when you regain hit points, are stabilized, or die.
    If the creature is reduced to 0 hit points before the possession ends, the departure of its spirit empowers your Dark Passenger. Your spirit returns to your body and you regain hit points equal to your Barbarian level. You can use this feature once, you regain its use after a short or long rest.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    Spoiler: Moonlighter
    Show
    The introduction to this subclass is succinct and funny.

    Moon Shape
    The third bullet point might be better worded if it was something along the lines of "you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to use Moon Shape."

    I'm already imagining delightfully fun shenanigans with this feature. It's inventive. I'm having trouble figuring out the balance of it because it mostly enhances utility, but it seems fine at face value.

    Beasts' Cant
    This is delightful.

    Moon Shape Expertise
    Interesting. Your moon shape can now afford to take a hit.

    I'm hesitant about this, but I think between the ability to automatically cause an attack to miss and the ability to hide in an opponents space, Moon Shape Expertise might be a little strong. Compared to other rogue subclass abilities at the same level, it offers a bit too much. My suggestion would be to cut one of the last two bullet points.

    Multi-Morph
    More utility, more awesomeness, more inability on my part to figure out the balance of a feature. Nothing jumps out about it to me as broken, so I think it's fine.

    Moon Swarm
    Well that's fun.

    The boost to survivability in combination with the bonus hit points from Moon Shape Expertise makes me think this might be a bit too strong. It's right on the edge of balanced <-> too strong.

    Bonus Content
    Okay, that's just icing on the cake.
    Thank you for the review. I definitely agree with your wording for cunning action. Moon Swarm may be a bit strong but at that level you have wizards wielding spells like Wish for the easiest example.

    As for Moon Shape Expertise, my current D&D group had a player lose a character recently and the DM agreed to let him playtest this subclass. The group was level 11 and the penalty for character death is that your new character comes in at 1 level lower than the rest of the group. They usually catch up at the end of the current campaign before we swap out DMs. The auto miss rarely came up because of his tendency to remain in moon shape once transformed. Even when it did the two auto-misses per rest were not game breaking. The extra 40 hp from having two moon shapes at level 10 plus Uncanny Dodge did make for a tankier than normal rogue. Not too tanky though since that hp is wrapped up in an easy to smash low AC tiny bundle of fluff. I think my favorite part was the shenanigans he got into with an orc tribe by "hiding" on the backs of various tribe members as a spider. Lots of, "Don't move! I smash for you." He did ask me why I mentioned a murder squirrel in the intro but didn't make a stat block for a squirrel so I added that to the latest version.

    Speaking of which version 3 of the moonlighter is up with the changed line in Moon shape and an additional stat block for a squirrel in the Bonus Content section.

    I also updated the changelog.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Managed to find time for another review!

    Spoiler: Circle of Spirit
    Show
    Spirit Points
    Being more mobile appears to be the primary benefit this feature provides when it is first acquired. It's helpful, but a little underwhelming. The most use I can think of for this feature is to preserve your concentration on spells by enabling you to get out of range of foes.

    Mental Fortress is incredibly good if you need to make any of those saves, but feels like a waste of points to use if you don't know the capabilities of your foes that well.

    Wholeness of Mind
    This can really add up to a lot of healing. But when Circle of the Moon exists, this is no issue in comparison.

    Improved Spirit Points
    Mental Fortress starts to become more useful at higher levels, so I can see an improved version being an attractive choice. There's also a good chance that Mental Fortress is something you have points to spare for at this level, so it won't feel like a loss if you use it and then don't need to make a save.

    Become as Wind gives benefits that don't seem to do much for druids. The increased speed doesn't do a lot for a claass that has many ranged options and the weapon attack doesn't do much for a class that relies so heavily on spells.

    Wholeness of Mind is probably the best option here. It will always be helpful when you choose to use it and it gives you a much better healing effect now as well. I think the other two options could offer some additional benefits to make them competitive with this one.

    Tongue of the Wild
    Yep, this is useful. And particularly strong when doing anything other than fighting.



    My major takeaway here is that a Circle of Spirit druid is well suited to healing their own wounds.


    Edit: Two more.

    Spoiler: Path of Possession
    Show
    I really like the flavor at the beginning. This is certainly a character archetype that I've seen before in stories, so I'm exciting to see how the features work out.

    Dark Passenger
    Giving a barbarian a route to using Intelligence-based skills and giving them an extra language fits well with the idea of having a passenger living inside of you. The only thing that I feel is missing from this feature is the story reasoning behind being able to use Constitution for these checks. Do you need to be particularly hardy to bear the strain of the truths your passenger communicates to you? Is it that you must fight to regain control of your body after your passenger speaks through your mouth to say what it knows?

    Arcane Expulsions
    Woah, wait. This is barbarian combined with sorcerer. I was expecting warlock. Okay.

    This is better than the Eldritch Knight's War Magic. You get to make your attacks as normal and then cast a cantrip as well. I think this needs to be toned back, despite how well it gets across the idea of an entity living inside of you being the one casting the spell.

    Indwelling
    The most common use for this ability that I can see would be when your character drops to 0 hit points. Continuing to stay up after that point is quite the risk to take and would more than likely result in death. If your party has the resources to spare to bring you back to life, this ability is extremely strong, but if they don't then it likely won't see much use.

    I think this might be work better if it was something you could activate when you dropped to 0 hit points. Maybe you could remain at 1 hit point and gain a certain number of temporary hit points and still lose control of yourself?

    Symbiotic Resistance
    I can get behind this. Nothing much to comment on here, this seems solid.

    Infective Possession
    This appears most similar to the Berserker's Retaliation feature. I think they are about the same strength, with this feature potentially being the weaker of the two. Can you explain why you made the choice to allow a creature that saves against this feature to be immune to it for 24 hours? I'm wondering if that is necessary.


    Spoiler: Gymnast
    Show
    Special Requirements
    What's the reasoning behind requiring them to already have Expertise in Acrobatics instead of giving them it as a 3rd level feature?

    Unarmored Defense
    Okay. This is a slight boost to AC if the rogue has good Intelligence.

    Wind Sprint and Jump Kick
    I don't feel like a rogue gets much out of either of these abilities, surprisingly. Rogues can already use Cunning Action to move quickly and their weapons will outclass Jump Kick until 17th level. The unarmed strikes also aren't magical and don't ever become magical, which is a hinderance.

    Light as a Feather
    There's a lot going on here and it all feels quite convoluted. The climbing could apply to all movement with no issue. A Thief can do so from 3rd level, so I wouldn't see it being an issue. Falling damage being reduced by Acrobatics works but is quite variable. I think a set value would work better (and emulate the monk better).

    Drop Attack feels unnecessarily complicated. I feel like it could be replaced with something along the lines of "If you fall on your turn and take no damage from the fall, deal +X extra damage this turn if you make a Sneak Attack."

    Spinning Kick
    More opportunities to land a Sneak Attack are useful

    Leaf on the Wind
    All of this feels too particular. As a player, I want to see new features, not slight expansions on old ones.

    Walking on Air
    I feel like the second paragraph of the monk's Unarmored Movement could replace this and be more clear. The saving throw granted by this feature is so specific that a character could go their entire career and never make use of it.

    Tornado Kick
    I think a set saving throw would be more appropriate than the saving throw DC set by an Acrobatics check.
    Last edited by Twelvetrees; 2020-12-04 at 10:04 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    I wrote the Path of Possession a new capstone, Dark Conduit. While raging, the Possessed Barbarian acts a gateway to his passenger's home plane, and he can use bonus actions while raging to produce Dark Underlings. These are quite weak as far as summons go, but he can produce several of them as the rage goes on, based on his constitution modifier. I don't think there's a summoner barbarian build yet so... here you go!

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    The dark passenger term sounds familiar, did you or someone else in the contest name a feature a dark passenger before?
    IIRC, that was the phrase used to describe Diablo during the part of Diablo II when he was bound in the body the hero of the first game.

    Dark Passenger - wow... two skills, with expertise on both of them, allowed to use a primary Barb stat, and a language? That is a lot, especially considering that there is more at level 3.
    But they aren't good skills. Neither knowledge checks nor languages are likely to move the needle in a typical game, so I consider this a ribbon.

    Arcane Expulsions - Whenever you gain a level... just note that it has to be a legal choice. I.e. no BB/GFB clearly.
    I'll look into clarifying this, thank you. EDIT: Change made

    A cantrip for free? That's actually huge for a damage difference. Personally I would choose Shocking Grasp and Mind Sliver since my goal would always to be within melee range. Although True Strike has some interesting potential here, weird potential since how it is phrased, but still interesting. I forgot to ask about spells that require concentration? If you cast Create Bonfire, can you keep concentration on it?
    I went other the math I feel justifies the damage in an earlier response: compared to a Zealot's bonus damage, the Possessed's cantrip breaks even assuming it hits between 50 and 60% of the time (depending on what level we're doing the comparison). As for concentration, I had written wording allowing it in an earlier version, but I realized it wouldn't work well with the way I had limited the cantrip to only effecting creatures who you had hit with a weapon attack that turn: on subsequent turns would be bonfire just stop burning them even if it was still there? I could have rewritten that prohibition to allow for bonfire to be functional (I admit it would be neat on a grappling barbarian) but I decided it wasn't worth the added complexity of the wording, so I just cut it. As written, the bonfire would deal its damage once then immediately fizzle.

    Symbiotic Resistance - Making int/wisdom/cha saves as Con is pretty amazing on it's own. I don't think you need the damage resistance.
    You're probably right. EDIT: Change made

    Infective Possession - Hello Rogue friend who just doubled their damage. Making your allies get a reaction attack every single round as a bonus action may end up being overpowered. You would have to play test to make sure, but I think you may need to limit the amount of times this can be done to someone (pass or fail the save).
    This ability has been replaced. As written the old ability was far too similar to an ability one of the TCoE barbarian subclasses gets.



    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    The damage of Zealot is reliable, but I think you might be underestimating the potential of EB's additional chances to Crit, but statistics aren't my specialty.
    I changed this ability to pull from the Sorcerer spell list instead of Warlock, so EB shenanigans shouldn't be an issue.

    IME the number of times you can be incapacitated without being reduced to 0 hp is significant and I took it that your Ridealong got to act during any of them (Hypnotic Pattern, Stunning Strike, Sleep, some Charm effects, etc). But if that's not your intent, then perhaps my reading was weak.
    No, your reading was accurate, the Passenger would take the wheel if you were effected by those spells. But the point is, those spells normally prevent you from acting. So you aren't giving up actions to your Passenger, your Passenger is taking actions you would otherwise not have been able to take at all. When those spells stop effecting you, you would immediately be back in the driver's seat.

    Didn't realize there'd be overlap with Beast path. I stopped reading the new one when I saw they bumped the Thagomizer down a die size or 2. In that case I'd go with a Magic Jar-lite capstone.

    Partial Possession
    Beginning at level 14, when you're reduced to 0 hp your Dark Passenger can drag your soul from the realm between life and death into the body of a creature within 60 feet. The target creature must make a Charisma save vs your spell DC or become Possessed by you. For the duration of the possession, at the beginning of the creature's turn you can decide whether you'll control its movement, its action, or its bonus action and the creature will behave as you direct, it is then free to use the remainder of its turn as it chooses. The possession ends when you regain hit points, are stabilized, or die.
    If the creature is reduced to 0 hit points before the possession ends, the departure of its spirit empowers your Dark Passenger. Your spirit returns to your body and you regain hit points equal to your Barbarian level. You can use this feature once, you regain its use after a short or long rest.
    I went a different way with it, opting to get rid of the offensive-possession concept entirely and go with a summoning ability instead.



    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    I really like the flavor at the beginning. This is certainly a character archetype that I've seen before in stories, so I'm exciting to see how the features work out.

    Dark Passenger
    Giving a barbarian a route to using Intelligence-based skills and giving them an extra language fits well with the idea of having a passenger living inside of you. The only thing that I feel is missing from this feature is the story reasoning behind being able to use Constitution for these checks. Do you need to be particularly hardy to bear the strain of the truths your passenger communicates to you? Is it that you must fight to regain control of your body after your passenger speaks through your mouth to say what it knows?
    My interpretation: whenever the Passenger interacts with you, it hurts. It's voice might feel like a ringing in your ears or a burning in your brain. The higher your tolerance to pain, the more intimate and meaningful your connection to your Passenger can become. But that's fluff, and in general I don't like to get too in depth with that within the description of a given ability. Maybe one player's Passenger opens a Magic Mouth on the barbarian's chest to opine about the meaning of ineffable sigils. Maybe another Passenger feeds directly on the lifeforce of his host, and thinks more clearly if he's got more to feed on. Heck, maybe the passenger is an illithid tadpole that took a wrong at Albuquerque and took up residence in its host's liver instead of his brain, and so directly translates the vitality of its host into cognitive ability because his liver is kind of a secondary thinking organ.

    Arcane ExpulsionsWoah, wait. This is barbarian combined with sorcerer. I was expecting warlock. Okay.
    Blurry line I suppose. The Passenger is not a Patron, though comparisons can obviously be drawn. Mostly the core reason for using the Sorcerer spell list for this feature is mechanical: I didn't want Eldritch Blast to be a legal choice.

    This is better than the Eldritch Knight's War Magic. You get to make your attacks as normal and then cast a cantrip as well. I think this needs to be toned back, despite how well it gets across the idea of an entity living inside of you being the one casting the spell.
    War Magic isn't limited by a daily resource like Arcane Expulsions is limited by Rage uses, so we expect features which only work while raging to more powerful than features that work all day. It's also relevant that Arcane Expulsions doesn't allow Booming Blade or Greenflame Blade, while War Magic does.

    Indwelling
    The most common use for this ability that I can see would be when your character drops to 0 hit points. Continuing to stay up after that point is quite the risk to take and would more than likely result in death. If your party has the resources to spare to bring you back to life, this ability is extremely strong, but if they don't then it likely won't see much use.
    I expect the most common use of this ability would be to stretch the duration of your rage from one encounter to another (a use which wouldn't cause you to lose control of yourself, I'll note). If you use it to stay standing after hitting 0 HP there's the risk of death, yes. It's weaker than the Zealot's Rage Beyond Death in this way, but then it should be weaker as the ability comes much sooner. As you get more rages/day the utility of stretching out your rages will diminish, but will become relevant again once you get Dark Conduit. Because your underlings vanish when your rage ends, by stretching out one rage you would prevent yourself from having to resummon your droogies after you start a new rage.

    I think this might be work better if it was something you could activate when you dropped to 0 hit points. Maybe you could remain at 1 hit point and gain a certain number of temporary hit points and still lose control of yourself?
    That starts to step on the toes of the Zealot more than I would like.

    Infective Possession
    This appears most similar to the Berserker's Retaliation feature. I think they are about the same strength, with this feature potentially being the weaker of the two. Can you explain why you made the choice to allow a creature that saves against this feature to be immune to it for 24 hours? I'm wondering if that is necessary.
    As noted, this ability has been replaced.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2020-12-05 at 06:32 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    I'd really like feedback on this:

    Dark Conduit
    Starting at 14th level, your dark passenger can use your body as a portal to its native plane. When you enter your rage, and as a bonus action while raging, you can summon a Dark Underling to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your constitution modifier and regain all uses of it when you begin a new rage.
    • See its game statistics in the Dark Underling stat block.
    • You determine the creature's appearance; your choices have no effect on its game statistics.
    • When you gain this ability, pick one creature type (for example, fiend, fey, undead, aberration, etc): your underlings have that creature type
    • In combat, your underlings share your initiative count, but they take their turns immediately after yours. They follow your mental orders (no action required) to the best of their ability.
    • A Dark Underling vanishes when your current rage ends or when it is reduced to 0 or fewer hitpoints. Your Dark Underlings act on your initiative, taking their turns after yours. They follow your mental orders (no action required) to the best of their ability.


    Dark Underling
    Tiny
    __________________________________________________
    Armor Class 10
    Hitpoints 1
    Speed 30 ft., Fly 30 ft.
    __________________________________________________
    STR
    DEX
    CON
    INT
    WIS
    CHA
    10 (+0)
    10 (+0)
    10 (+0)
    10 (+0)
    10 (+0)
    10 (+0)
    __________________________________________________
    Damage Immunities Any damage types dealt by cantrips chosen for your Arcane Expulsions feature
    Senses Darkvision 60 feet, Passive Perception 10
    Languages The language granted by your Dark Patron feature

    Actions___________________________________________
    Dark Underling Strike Melee Weapon Attack: Your spell attack modifier to hit, reach 5 ft., one target you can see. Hit: 1d6 Slashing Damage. This damage is considered magical.
    They're deliberately low-paperwork minions. No HP to track, all saves at +0, AC at 10. They can be casually swatted away by just about anything, but even that's a win: an attack that gets wasted on an Underling doesn't land on you or your allies. Of course an AoE attack will wipe them out unless it's a damage type they're immune to, but even then you can call that a victory because you're getting that AoE dropped on your frontline instead of on top of your casters.

    It's worth noting that the Possessed barbarian is unique in that he can "pre-rage" if he feels like it, using Indwelling to feed his rage with a Hit Die instead of needing to attack. So if the situation allows for it, he can take a minute and pre-summon a little swarm of these guys before he runs into battle.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    Damon_Tor, I'm not the sharpest knife in the Caesar but usually abilities that either increase your party's action economy or reduce the enemy's action economy are usually very powerful. In this case, other classes get access to much more powerful abilities much sooner. I'd say its probably okay. It has the potential to be among the weakest or the strongest of the level 14 path abilities based on whether they snowball or not. It depends on the DM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Edea's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Subclass Contest Chat Thread 2: Joke Entries Win with Alarming Frequency

    I'm withdrawing my entry, sorry. I simply don't have the time right now to go over it, Christmas On a Very Icy Day had wreaked havoc with my work schedule. Best of luck to other entrants.
    "Come play in the darkness with me."
    Thanks for the avatar, banjo1985!

    Spoiler
    Show

    I guess I'm a Neutral Good Human Wizard (4th Level)
    Ability Scores:
    Strength- 14
    Dexterity- 15
    Constitution- 17
    Intelligence- 20
    Wisdom- 20
    Charisma- 12
    Take the 'What D&D Character am I?" Quiz!


    Somehow I doubt the veracity of this quiz :P
    Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?

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