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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Illrigger by MCDM Productions



    The illrigger is MCDM’s first custom class for the fifth edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game.

    Illriggers are versatile armored warriors with a wide array of supernatural abilities that reflect the infernal
    source of their power. Depending on their contract they can be highly mobile stealthy assassins, heavily
    armored battlefield commanders, or fighting illusionists.

    In addition to the class and three subclass options, The Ilrigger contains five new spells, an illrigger NPC,
    and three illrigger retainers compatible with the rules in Strongholds & Followers.

    The MCDM crew has been working on this class for almost two years. A huge thanks goes out to everyone
    who playtested the illrigger. Your feedback made this class flavorful, unique, and balanced.

    We hope you think the Illrigger is as cool as we do. Now go forth, and raise hell!



    So a few days ago, MCDM Productions released the ILLRIGGER. I was wondering what everyone thought of the class? Personally, I think it is RAD! I really enjoy the flavor of being an agent of Hell. The subclasses are all unique and interesting. I am a big fan of the Architect of Ruin.


    Link to the MCDM Video about the Illrigger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ikKKxLsAPo
    Last edited by SunsetWaraxe; 2021-04-16 at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Love it. I think it's cool as Hell (pun intended) and has some very innovative design. I think the choice to include fiction, retainers, and an NPC statblock are strong choices that help me drop the Order of Desolation into my world.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky McDibben View Post
    Love it. I think it's cool as Hell (pun intended) and has some very innovative design. I think the choice to include fiction, retainers, and an NPC statblock are strong choices that help me drop the Order of Desolation into my world.
    I completely agree! As a DM, I am already hatching malevolent plans to introduce the Illriggers to my IRL campaign, specifically as a "frenemy" faction. That is to say, a faction that has similar goals as the PCs (stopping the BBEG) but they go about it in a very different manner. I would not be surprised if one of my players becomes tempted by the Order of Desolation and multiclasses into the Illriggers.
    Last edited by SunsetWaraxe; 2021-04-16 at 11:19 AM.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I love the narrative of the class and will likely insert the story of them into my games at some point, but mechanically it's not for me.
    Same thing I get from seeing many of these 3rd party (Pugilist, Bloodhunter, Gunslinger, etc) classes I can't help but think "isn't this just multiclass Ax+By wearing a trench coat?"

    Still a big fan of Colville's stuff, and I often point new DM's to his Running the Game stuff because he's got some real top notch stuff to learn from.
    But the Illrigger I guess will resonate better to other people than me. Different tastes.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I apologize, but shouldn't this go in the Homebrew section?

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    I apologize, but shouldn't this go in the Homebrew section?
    Nah, it's a third party supplement, and it's not like the author's coming here and asking for feedback.

    Does anyone want to give a breakdown of the class for those of us who haven't bought the book? Why should we care about this third-party class?
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I decided to take the plunge since I know a player that might want to try something like this. I'm not 100% on balance right now, but it looks fairly dynamic. You get a lot of the kind of snappy tricks that appear fun to use, and there seems to be several ways you could build it. The flavor is cool, but it's also what I'm going to end up ditching and rebuilding for homebrew purposes.

    Art, layout, and editing is also extremely well done. I've been soaking in so many crappy third party documents recently that seeing something professionally put together is honestly a delight.

    The base chassis is definitely a melee tank-type with an emphasis on damage, but not to exclusivity. It's very clearly modeled on the paladin. Medium armor and shields, all martial weapons, Con/Cha saves. You have something like a reverse Lay on Hands that can be used to heal at cost (or as a drain attack, your pick), seals that are applied to foes with bonus actions that explode when struck for 2d6 necrotic (extra 1d6 at 10th level, can apply Cha mod amount per short rest), a nice social perk at first level that helps prevent low rolls on Cha skills, something similar to Divine Sense later that susses out illusions, a more limited Channel Divinity (only once per long rest, but they tend to be pretty explosive), and a much later aura that functions like bane on everything in 15 feet of you (very nice).

    The archetypes then make you either more of a melee bruiser/tank (Painkiller), a rogue/assassin (Shadowmaster), or an illusionist caster (Architect of Ruin). They're very distinct from each other, much more than usual for subclasses.

    EDIT: For multiclassing, this is yet another class that plays nice with the Charisma Mafia. I'd say it's not a particularly strong pick for Sorcerers, not the best choice for Bards, a sidegrade for a Paladin compared to the Sorcadin and the Pallock, and, hilariously? A very strong dip class for a Warlock. Oh how the tables have turned.
    Last edited by Waterdeep Merch; 2021-04-16 at 05:31 PM.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    If you have time, Colville kind of breaks it down here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ikKKxLsAPo

    It's a little sales-pitchy, but it gets across the high points of the class.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I like that the subclasses do a lot to define the character, possibly as much or more than the class. I feel this would actually be a good design principle for 6e, assuming it keeps subclasses similarly to 5th edition. It would certainly help people who feel some base classes are a little too general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterdeep Merch View Post
    The base chassis is definitely a melee tank-type with an emphasis on damage, but not to exclusivity. It's very clearly modeled on the paladin.
    My understanding is the name comes from an old article in the 1e or 2e days about Paladins for alignments other than LG. Colville seems to hold a particular fondness for those classes, so it makes sense this is a new take on anti-Paladins.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    It looks pretty good to me. I agree his video was sales pitchey, but he said two things that really resonated with me - first, that he anchored the lore to his own world because he believes concepts get stronger with a firm tie in the lore (paraphrased), something that I feel often gets forgotten in 5e D&D. Second, he said he intentionally went against the grain when it came to standard class design, and that's something I am now completely, adamantly, 100% in favor of and something I hope more 3rd party publishers embrace. One of my biggest complaints with 5e is how samey all the officially published materials are, and unlike what's been presented in books and UAs for years, the Illrigger looks like something that's actually fun to play!

    (I'd probably rename it to Hellknight at my table though...)

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Nah, it's a third party supplement,
    Third party supplements are just homebrew from people who can format PDFs :)
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Third party supplements are just homebrew from people who can format PDFs :)
    And first party supplements are just homebrew that happens to come from a specific group of people. :p
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Third party supplements are just homebrew from people who can format PDFs :)
    I kind of differentiate them based on whether I had to spend money on it or not. If I did, it's third party. If I didn't, it's homebrew.

    (yes, this means I consider Unearthed Arcana to be homebrew)

    This isn't necessarily an indication of quality, mind you. Good rules and cool story don't have a preferential medium, just differing levels of pretension, earned or not.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterdeep Merch View Post
    (yes, this means I consider Unearthed Arcana to be homebrew)
    And honestly, the quality doesn't usually even place it on the high end of homebrew...

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    And honestly, the quality doesn't usually even place it on the high end of homebrew...
    True enough. There is some incredible homebrew out there, a lot of which I've yoinked from this very forum. My first thought when I want a feature in a game is to see how others have tried it in the past.

    Being a connoisseur of these things, I'd tentatively grade this Illrigger towards the high end, very similar to Kobold Press third party materials. I really need to grok math and do some comparisons, though. I can see some fearsome melee DPR coming off of this thing, possibly better than barbarians, fighters, and paladins can output. That said, they don't have as many defensive tools as any of those. I need to figure out if they're specialized or overtuned. It's very difficult to tell at a glance.

    First step will be building them and trying to break it on purpose.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I do like that the Illrigger basically eats the Hexblade's lunch with the Lies fighting style (though limited to two-handed weapons).

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    If you scroll down a tiny bit to the comment from catchandthrowaway, it seems that at least one of the subclasses is very very very powerful.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/3d6/comment...les_illrigger/

    I have not seen the pdf so I'm not sure about the rest. Getting feats as class features feels off to me
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by micahaphone View Post
    Getting feats as class features feels off to me
    Then I suggest you not play the cavalier fighter or the war wizard. ;P

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    My understanding is the name comes from an old article in the 1e or 2e days about Paladins for alignments other than LG. Colville seems to hold a particular fondness for those classes, so it makes sense this is a new take on anti-Paladins.

    Yep. From the 1E days, in Dragon Magazine #106 (February 1986)

    Myrikhan (NG)
    Garath (CG)
    Lyan (LN)
    Paramander (N)
    Fantra (CN)
    Illrigger (LE)
    Arrikhan (NE)

    Thus, when combined with the Paladin (LG), and the Anti-Paladin (CG) previously published in Dragon #39, you had a Paladin for each alignment.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2021-04-17 at 08:17 PM.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    So I've watched the video and, well a good portion of it seems different for the sake of different whilst also missing a glaring issue:

    He repeatedly says that it is a class more defined by it's subclass than usual (debatable), but then designed it as a subclass at 3rd chassis... why? That's already an issue with mainstream classes where you want to be x but don't get your subclass right away, he may as well have addressed this.

    Otherwise I'm a little concerned about it outside of a vacuum tbh, I like Matt Colville, but he's very much a PHB person and story first, I can see him not really taking into consideration how this class would interact with official materials, especially anything released after the PHB.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by micahaphone View Post
    If you scroll down a tiny bit to the comment from catchandthrowaway, it seems that at least one of the subclasses is very very very powerful.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/3d6/comment...les_illrigger/

    I have not seen the pdf so I'm not sure about the rest. Getting feats as class features feels off to me
    While I'm not particularly convinced on the balance myself, I don't think the feat thing is an issue. It's 1/3 of Warcaster. And they actually still might want it- they didn't get the part where they don't need a free hand to cast spells with somatic components.

    I've just noticed that they don't gain proficiency in any type of spellcasting focus. This would mean they'd either need a spell component pouch or a multiclass dip. Weird. I wonder if that's an intentional problem.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Honestly, in my opinion, anything that isn't official WotC or officially sponsored is homebrew.

    Some folks publish and sell their homebrew and others don't but it doesn't change the fact that it isn't official content, it isn't officially play tested or approved. It may or may not have been play tested, it may be the product of one person or several, but just publishing content doesn't make it any less "homebrew" than something I make up at home. Publishing something doesn't give it any greater claim to balance, interest, fun, or any other aspect - they only thing it might do is make the homebrew more widely available.

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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    Honestly, in my opinion, anything that isn't official WotC or officially sponsored is homebrew.

    Some folks publish and sell their homebrew and others don't but it doesn't change the fact that it isn't official content, it isn't officially play tested or approved. It may or may not have been play tested, it may be the product of one person or several, but just publishing content doesn't make it any less "homebrew" than something I make up at home. Publishing something doesn't give it any greater claim to balance, interest, fun, or any other aspect - they only thing it might do is make the homebrew more widely available.
    I agree. And I actually go one step further. Anything outside of core requires permission on a case by case basis. And I'm not going to just approve it because it's 1st party. My general acceptance levels are:

    1. My own homebrew.
    2. Core, with some changes for setting (gno gnomes).
    3. Other stuff I've bought personally, accepted piecemeal.
    4. Everything else on a case by case basis, with a strong bias toward denial. Generally I'd prefer to brew something for a player than to use someone else's work.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueJK View Post
    Yep. From the 1E days, in Dragon Magazine #106 (February 1986)

    Myrikhan (NG)
    Garath (CG)
    Lyan (LN)
    Paramander (N)
    Fantra (CN)
    Illrigger (LE)
    Arrikhan (NE)

    Thus, when combined with the Paladin (LG), and the Anti-Paladin (CG) previously published in Dragon #39, you had a Paladin for each alignment.
    That's the best part of it for me, the deep dive. Illrigger and Paramander get the award for Cool Names That Mean Something.
    (Part of me feels the medium armor might be a callback to the original).

    But honestly, I'm seeing Paladin with Tweaks. There is a lot here that sounds like flips and variants on what is essentially an (un)holy chassis - harm hands, evil aura, etc. If I needed a nasty badass that doesn't play well with others, taking a paladin and inverting the features would be a strong sell. But this does have enough going on that if you weren't into making ACFs, building a new class is the way to go.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    I am a big fan of the sub-class choice more heavily influencing how the class plays and feels, like it does with the Illrigger. Even if it is not the best example of a class that does this, I still enjoy the concept quite a bit. I hope WotC goes more in this direction whenever 5.5 or 6E come out.

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueJK View Post
    Yep. From the 1E days, in Dragon Magazine #106 (February 1986)

    Myrikhan (NG)
    Garath (CG)
    Lyan (LN)
    Paramander (N)
    Fantra (CN)
    Illrigger (LE)
    Arrikhan (NE)

    Thus, when combined with the Paladin (LG), and the Anti-Paladin (CG) previously published in Dragon #39, you had a Paladin for each alignment.
    Paramander sounds really cool!.. But... What would a true N Paladin's code be like? I need to find that dragon and see!

    EDIT: "A paramander seeks to maintain that balance, often by manipulating (and, when necessary, destroying) high powered beings of deep alignment convictions (e.g., paladins and anti-paladins) or by aiding weak opponents of those beings... The paramander must justify every action in the interests of pure neutrality."

    Huh, that a) sounds cool and b) sounds like something that would be difficult to play in a normal party of adventurers. Having said that, I *totally* want to include an NPC Order of Paramanders into my next campaign. Just release them into the wild and see how the party reacts.

    Which is also what I want to do with these Illriggers. Toss a bunch of them into the world and see how the players help/hinder them.
    Last edited by SunsetWaraxe; 2021-04-19 at 03:54 PM.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by SunsetWaraxe View Post
    I am a big fan of the sub-class choice more heavily influencing how the class plays and feels, like it does with the Illrigger. Even if it is not the best example of a class that does this, I still enjoy the concept quite a bit. I hope WotC goes more in this direction whenever 5.5 or 6E come out.



    Paramander sounds really cool!.. But... What would a true N Paladin's code be like? I need to find that dragon and see!

    EDIT: "A paramander seeks to maintain that balance, often by manipulating (and, when necessary, destroying) high powered beings of deep alignment convictions (e.g., paladins and anti-paladins) or by aiding weak opponents of those beings... The paramander must justify every action in the interests of pure neutrality."

    Huh, that a) sounds cool and b) sounds like something that would be difficult to play in a normal party of adventurers. Having said that, I *totally* want to include an NPC Order of Paramanders into my next campaign. Just release them into the wild and see how the party reacts.

    Which is also what I want to do with these Illriggers. Toss a bunch of them into the world and see how the players help/hinder them.
    IIRC, those weren't intended as player options (even though Matt only knows about them because his DM suggested he play one way back when). So being kind of impossible for regular D&D, even more than regular Paladins, probably wasn't a concern.
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    IIRC, those weren't intended as player options (even though Matt only knows about them because his DM suggested he play one way back when). So being kind of impossible for regular D&D, even more than regular Paladins, probably wasn't a concern.
    Good to know because I have no clue how a Paramander would work as a player character!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunsetWaraxe View Post
    EDIT: "A paramander seeks to maintain that balance, often by manipulating (and, when necessary, destroying) high powered beings of deep alignment convictions (e.g., paladins and anti-paladins) or by aiding weak opponents of those beings... The paramander must justify every action in the interests of pure neutrality."

    Huh, that a) sounds cool and b) sounds like something that would be difficult to play in a normal party of adventurers. Having said that, I *totally* want to include an NPC Order of Paramanders into my next campaign. Just release them into the wild and see how the party reacts.
    Mordenkainen gives a good example of the Paramander philosophy: Breaking Balance breaks the Multiverse, and I am the thumb on the scales. As Luccan notes, these were cooked up as NPC classes, but it could work in a Player group as Evil Acts, Good Reacts. Working with a Good Party typically re-establishes balance (though the TN is more likely to let the villain escape, so that Evil does not go away entirely.)
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    Default Re: The Illrigger by MCDM Productions

    Quote Originally Posted by SunsetWaraxe View Post
    EDIT: "A paramander seeks to maintain that balance, often by manipulating (and, when necessary, destroying) high powered beings of deep alignment convictions (e.g., paladins and anti-paladins) or by aiding weak opponents of those beings... The paramander must justify every action in the interests of pure neutrality."

    Huh, that a) sounds cool and b) sounds like something that would be difficult to play in a normal party of adventurers. Having said that, I *totally* want to include an NPC Order of Paramanders into my next campaign. Just release them into the wild and see how the party reacts.
    True Neutral as 'maintain the balance' was a particular obsession at the time. That was also part of the druid's schtick, and more than a few D&D gods bore that mantle as well. There was some back and forth, I think, on whether neutral was supposed to be the most common alignment or some rarity and most people being good or evil (or really lawful or chaotic, as a lot of this was in the oD&D era).

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