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    Default Berserker level 3 reworking

    Design goal: The Frenzy mechanic seems too little for too much cost. This may go too much the other way, but the desire is to capture the "really out of control ragebarian" without going to the point of "hazard to the party," while making it worth the cost. I also add a mitigation of the cost to make it more playable. This mitigation may go too far based on the increased power of the Frenzy, but I invite people to weigh these and discuss, please.


    Frenzy
    At third level when you take the Berserker archetype, you gain the ability to take a level of exhaustion and enter a frenzy when you enter your rage, or on your turn as a bonus action while raging. When you enter a frenzy and as a bonus action while frenzying, you may make a weapon attack that uses your strength modifier. While frenzying, you ignore all effects of exhaustion and unconsciousness.

    Your frenzy does not end while you rage, and your rage does not end as long as you can see an enemy unless you make a DC 15 Wisdom save to voluntarily end it. You may attempt such a save once per round on your turn. Creatures by which you are Charmed do not count as enemies for purposes of your frenzy.

    While in a frenzy, you cannot take any actions that are not weapon attacks or dashing towards an enemy you can see while frenzying. If anything compells you to take an action other than this, your frenzy ends before you take the action.

    Voracious Energy
    At third level, when you take the Berserker archetype, your metabolism becomes a furnace: demanding of fuel but overflowing with energy. When you spend and roll a hit die to heal during a short rest, you can eat a full day's rations and drink a full day's water. If you do, you remove a level of Exhaustion. Other than alleviating a level of Exhaustion in this fashion, the food and water consumed for this purpose does nothing to alleviate hunger and does not count towards your normal daily requirements.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    I've seen the "Eat a crapload of food on a short rest to remove some Exhaustion," suggested before, and I still like it.

    I do NOT like constraining player actions-you should never put a character on autopilot.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    I've seen the "Eat a crapload of food on a short rest to remove some Exhaustion," suggested before, and I still like it.

    I do NOT like constraining player actions-you should never put a character on autopilot.
    I can see that peeve. The main reason I imposed it was based on some interactions: I like having "immune to unconsciousness" leading to "keep fighting while at 0 hp, even though you're making death saves," but I didn't want it to enable a self-heal. (I have less problem with others healing him, and no problem with pop-up healing, personally.) The notion of the frenzy requiring a save to not just be in "attack! attack! attack!" mode is old, at least going back to the 3e frenzied berserker and, I think, back to the barbarian of 2e. It doesn't dictate who has to be attacked, and as long as they're moving to try to get in position to attack, they can still do things. Grappling and shoving are attack actions. edit: but not weapon attacks, Seg. Geeze, remember what you yourself wrote.

    I mainly don't want a "frenzying" berserker to calmly drink potions and the like. I do want them to have an easier time maintaining the rage during which they're frenzying (so they don't have to self-harm and can still dash if an enemy is trying to kite them).

    I'm open to suggestions to improve on this.
    Last edited by Segev; 2021-03-05 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    I suppose the really really simple version of a fix is to remove exhaustion from it. It's not exactly overpowered compared to other Barbarian subclasses that get bonus action activities while raging.

    Frenzy
    When you become a Berserker at level 3, your rages become frenzied. When you enter a rage, and as a bonus action on your turn while raging, you can make a melee weapon attack.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I suppose the really really simple version of a fix is to remove exhaustion from it. It's not exactly overpowered compared to other Barbarian subclasses that get bonus action activities while raging.

    Frenzy
    When you become a Berserker at level 3, your rages become frenzied. When you enter a rage, and as a bonus action on your turn while raging, you can make a melee weapon attack.
    Heh, convergent evolution.

    This is what I've been doing in every game which includes Feats.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Heh, convergent evolution.

    This is what I've been doing in every game which includes Feats.
    Why specifically games that include feats?



    I'm still tempted to try to add some sort of feature that makes the rage easier to maintain. Something that says, "I'm frenzied, so I don't calm down just 'cause I don't attack or get hit."

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Why specifically games that include feats?
    Availability of Bonus action attacks.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Yeah, the easy access to Bonus Action attacks and similar does greatly undermine the Berserker and highlights just how terrible that exhaustion cost is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'm open to suggestions to improve on this.
    I'm remined of while back in this thread (and also here in another of your threads, Segev), where I wanted to try out rolling Berserker into baseline Barbarian.
    This of course is only if maintaining the Frenzy feature as it currently exists, where the main hurdle is how to make it compete against other Barbarian subclasses.
    None of my players have gone Barbarian yet, so have not had a chance to test...

    Staying as a subclass in it's own right, cutting the exhaustion element of Frenzy is good, but I'm unsure if it to TOO good.
    An alternative could be to mimic Relentless Rage, each time that Bonus Action attack is used it's a DC10 Constitution save (or maybe even start at DC5), climbing by 5 each round, failure bestowing a level of exhaustion, and resetting the DC on each new rage. Very low risk, almost negligible cost on short fights, but gives a sense of urgency and a need to race to the kill so the fight doesn't draw out too long into those high DC ranges. Given the Barbarian's Constitution save proficiency, paired with their stat/feature inclination to boost Constitution as they level up, that safe range of DCs will extend a bit into those higher levels, making longer Frenzies less risky. Just a thought.

    On the topic of Voracious Energy, I can see that working for a game I run, where food/water requirements are leaned into. I worry it'll just be ignored in other groups, where food/water consumption/tracking tends to get thrown out alongside encumbrance. Neat idea, but likely to be ignored if this forums userbase is an accurate representation of the average table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'm still tempted to try to add some sort of feature that makes the rage easier to maintain. Something that says, "I'm frenzied, so I don't calm down just 'cause I don't attack or get hit."
    Already exists in Persistent Rage, so it'd just be doubling up on class features
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2021-03-11 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Availability of Bonus action attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Yeah, the easy access to Bonus Action attacks and similar does greatly undermine the Berserker and highlights just how terrible that exhaustion cost is.
    Indeed. Even in games without feats, other barbarian subclasses get things that don't cost exhaustion (and sometimes don't even cost bonus actions) which are comparable to an extra attack. Maybe not exactly on par, but definitely comparable. The Zealot's extra damage, the stormbarian's lighting-from-the-chest, etc. It all makes the subclass that costs Exhaustion to use its feature just...unappealing. And rather not worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    I'm remined of while back in this thread (and also here in another of your threads, Segev), where I wanted to try out rolling Berserker into baseline Barbarian.
    This of course is only if maintaining the Frenzy feature as it currently exists, where the main hurdle is how to make it compete against other Barbarian subclasses.
    None of my players have gone Barbarian yet, so have not had a chance to test...
    Combining Berserker just straight into Barbarian would be an overall buff for the class. I'm not sure if it is overkill, either, which says something about the rough power level of the class. (Or possibly just about my own ability to judge power. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Staying as a subclass in it's own right, cutting the exhaustion element of Frenzy is good, but I'm unsure if it to TOO good.
    Do you mean to say you think it might be too good, but aren't sure, or that you aren't sure that the assertion that it's too good is true? (Slightly different connotations, here.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    An alternative could be to mimic Relentless Rage, each time that Bonus Action attack is used it's a DC10 Constitution save (or maybe even start at DC5), climbing by 5 each round, failure bestowing a level of exhaustion, and resetting the DC on each new rage. Very low risk, almost negligible cost on short fights, but gives a sense of urgency and a need to race to the kill so the fight doesn't draw out too long into those high DC ranges. Given the Barbarian's Constitution save proficiency, paired with their stat/feature inclination to boost Constitution as they level up, that safe range of DCs will extend a bit into those higher levels, making longer Frenzies less risky. Just a thought.
    Bounded accuracy makes DC 10 not THAT low-risk, and DC 15 actually surprisingly risky, at least when there's a persistent effect rather than a chance to overcome the effect again later next round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    On the topic of Voracious Energy, I can see that working for a game I run, where food/water requirements are leaned into. I worry it'll just be ignored in other groups, where food/water consumption/tracking tends to get thrown out alongside encumbrance. Neat idea, but likely to be ignored if this forums userbase is an accurate representation of the average table.
    Yeah, the exploration/encumbrance side of 5e is...not well-supported.

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    Default Re: Berserker level 3 reworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Combining Berserker just straight into Barbarian would be an overall buff for the class. I'm not sure if it is overkill, either, which says something about the rough power level of the class. (Or possibly just about my own ability to judge power. )
    It is a buff, but very minor when looking at bonus action usages of the other subclasses, or the common trend with feat selections of GWM and/or PAM. Investing in the feat will still be the stronger option (as investment should be), but relegates Frenzy to the same type of option as Reckless Attack, getting a combat boost at a cost.

    The other subclass features are also generic enough that they'd seem like things a Barbarian should be able to do regardless of subclass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Do you mean to say you think it might be too good, but aren't sure, or that you aren't sure that the assertion that it's too good is true? (Slightly different connotations, here.)
    That it IS good, but might possibly be TOO good but I'm unsure of the extent.
    For this I'm think of other classes and subclasses that grant bonus action attacks, where they seem to be a more limited resource (outside of TWF, but that for the other thread).
    Limited to a number of Bonus Action attacks equal to WIS modifier, Proficiency Bonus, costing Superiority Dice.
    Frenzy on the other hand is giving a Bonus Action Attack every round so long as you maintain the Frenzy. Granted Rage is a limited resource, but comparing how many round a Rage will be up in combat to be used with Frenzy times the number of Rages a Barbarian has to spend, and you end up with double to triple the number of Bonus Action attacks compared to the others.

    Now Monks using Martial Arts have a very reliable Bonus Action Attack that is resourceless so long as they don't Flurry, but being restricted to unarmed strikes does put it in a very different design space. Early levels that die being rolled is small compared to the option of using a 2d6 or 1d12 the Berserker gets, and the compatibility with strong magic items can be rather potent, same with GWM attacks, and high level Brutal Criticals

    Hence thinking it might be TOO good to cut out the exhaustion entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Bounded accuracy makes DC 10 not THAT low-risk, and DC 15 actually surprisingly risky, at least when there's a persistent effect rather than a chance to overcome the effect again later next round.
    At lower levels yes. that's most for the reason I went back with the edit to possibly go for a DC5 as a starting point.
    If Relentless Rage didn't exist I'd have gone for DC10 and increasing by 1 or 2 per Bonus Action attack, resetting on a short or long rest, but for consistency I'm more in favour of keeping class mechanic numbers the same where possible to avoid confusion, so 5's are the standard to keep.

    High level Barbarian that invest into Constitution though will laugh at DC15 checks with CON save modifiers often getting to +10's, +11's or even up to +13 on the extreme end.

    But still, this is a repeated check, so there may not be a need for the increasing value, so a static DC may suffice. Cumulative binomial probability should offer sufficient risk on longer fights with just a DC10, and it would take a high enough level of investment to negate the overall risk that allowing the Barbarian to just out level it shouldn't be too much of a problem, since by that level other Bonus Actions would have also scaled up to be strong alternatives also.
    yeah, the more I think on this, simple is better. A static DC10 should be fine.
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2021-03-11 at 10:18 PM.

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