A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    strangebloke's Avatar

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    Or maybe they could have it gradually grow larger and learn to fly and grow stronger flight capabilities like some other famous dragon companions of one of the most popular fantasy properties in history.

    I get not liking the mechanics - but not liking the flavor seems a bit odd.

    To each their own I guess.
    I don't like how the flavor represents the mechanics. You're developing this bond with a dragon - great, that's amazing - but what are you actually doing as best friends in combat? Just whacking things? I'd like something that feels a bit more like teamwork than just "I whack thing. I tell you to whack thing. You let me whack HARDER."

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I don't like how the flavor represents the mechanics. You're developing this bond with a dragon - great, that's amazing - but what are you actually doing as best friends in combat? Just whacking things? I'd like something that feels a bit more like teamwork than just "I whack thing. I tell you to whack thing. You let me whack HARDER."
    Ride itÖ then whack things.

    I guess, Iíd need to see how a beastmaster does a better job of this and if they donít - why would we expect different here.

    Infusing you with power (both the d6 and the breath weapon) AND being a mount seems to be pretty solid IMO.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by Hael View Post
    So its important to understand that the BA you use is competing with other potential BAs, like TWF, CBE, PAM, GWM.. So the pets attack needs to keep up with what you could be doing yourself. It does 1d6 + prof piercing + (1d6 at 7 and 2d6 at 15). Right around lvl 7 is the point where enemies start hitting magical B/P/S resistances. Which means your BA is now effectively 1d6, which is a downgrade from previous lvls and likely in practice not worth using in the first place and which likely makes the investment of a feat desirable.

    That leaves you with an effective 1d6 from the reaction.. Which sucks until lvl 11, where you get a nice damage boost, that unfortunately is rather limited in use!
    Of all of what you said the only thing it really needs to compete with is TWF, feats are an optional rule that require significant investment, that said: Are you really suggesting a PAM/GWM Ranger?

    I can kind of see a Wis focused Ranger that uses PAM+Shillelagh, but I have no idea why (from an optimisation stand point) you'd go GWM on a Ranger instead of SS with Archery. Especially when they have a lot of bonus action spells to apply for additional damage and effects.

    The damage doesn't have to even compete with those things, since the attack the drake gives you benefits from not having to be melee and offers another target to spread the encounter damage amongst.

    If it was a case of other Ranger subclasses where it was purely a damage feature sure, but the Drake doesn't just give you damage.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    strangebloke's Avatar

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    Ride itÖ then whack things.

    I guess, Iíd need to see how a beastmaster does a better job of this and if they donít - why would we expect different here.

    Infusing you with power (both the d6 and the breath weapon) AND being a mount seems to be pretty solid IMO.
    Generally speaking, "another subclass does mostly the same thing" is a pretty severe criticism of a subclass.

    The infused attack and some of the high level features are nice. I'm still overall very interested because D R A G O N. Maybe I just have unrealistic expectations, but I'd like a little more customization and utility.

    Like heck, I'd like it better if you couldn't order it to attack and it just got a reaction attack when you attacked something in it's range.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Dragons breath as a spell would have been nice

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Like heck, I'd like it better if you couldn't order it to attack and it just got a reaction attack when you attacked something in it's range.
    That would have made for a good distinction between pet commander (BM) and pet rider subclasses (DW), but i dont think this is specifically supposed to be the dragon rider subclass and more the dragon-affiliated subclass. Shame, especially since Ranger doesnt get find steed and that could have made for a niche.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-09-25 at 07:11 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Regarding the BA usage to command the drake, I think the biggest tradeoff would be effectively losing Hunter's Mark. BA to cast but (more importantly) BA to move will compete harshly with the drake command. My experience playing beside a gloomstalker ranger is that more than half the rounds of combat involve moving the Hunter's Mark (he uses HM most every combat). Above 5th level, that's up to 2d6 if both attacks hit per round. I haven't run the math, but it just seems like it would feel bad to have to decide between the two. Of course, we could just choose not to take HM at all. Favored Foe (Tasha's) doesn't use a BA, so there's that. I think the ranger has several good choices of spells at 1st level, so not having HM isn't a major loss I guess.

    Regarding the drake, maybe I'm weird, but the off-putting parts of the drake are the hit points (that don't use Con per level) and the bite attack bonus (+3 from Strength that never improves). A +9 at 17th level is a little weak. Weak damage is fine if the to-hit is closer to what the PCs would have. Oh well, still looks like fun. I'm going to start a ToD campaign in the next 6 months, would be cool if someone played this subclass.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emongnome777 View Post
    Regarding the BA usage to command the drake, I think the biggest tradeoff would be effectively losing Hunter's Mark.
    Indeed. And in general Rangers have a lot of BA clog. There are quite a few spells (smites, ensnaring strike, healing word, mark). On that note, i suppose the Ranger could use magic weapon or elemental weapon on the 'mount'. I'm not a DM, so I don't know if the bite counts as a weapon or not, AFAICR there's a problem there.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by Hael View Post
    Indeed. And in general Rangers have a lot of BA clog. There are quite a few spells (smites, ensnaring strike, healing word, mark). On that note, i suppose the Ranger could use magic weapon or elemental weapon on the 'mount'. I'm not a DM, so I don't know if the bite counts as a weapon or not, AFAICR there's a problem there.
    (Emphasis Added)

    Nitpick: unless you multiclass or are a House Jorasco halfling, rangers donít get healing word.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by P. G. Macer View Post
    (Emphasis Added)

    Nitpick: unless you multiclass or are a House Jorasco halfling, rangers donít get healing word.
    Apologies healing spirit!

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    That would have made for a good distinction between pet commander (BM) and pet rider subclasses (DW), but i dont think this is specifically supposed to be the dragon rider subclass and more the dragon-affiliated subclass. Shame, especially since Ranger doesnt get find steed and that could have made for a niche.
    I mean it kind of is a mounted ranger class? There's just no real reason to mount it beyond 40 foot movement bonus and/or swim speed. Unless... Gosh. How does that work, again? If you mount your drake, does it go before or after you in initiative, and can you order it to dash without using your BA to command it?

    If it still goes after your turn then that's actively bad for everything that isn't a mounted build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emongnome777 View Post
    Regarding the BA usage to command the drake, I think the biggest tradeoff would be effectively losing Hunter's Mark. BA to cast but (more importantly) BA to move will compete harshly with the drake command. My experience playing beside a gloomstalker ranger is that more than half the rounds of combat involve moving the Hunter's Mark (he uses HM most every combat). Above 5th level, that's up to 2d6 if both attacks hit per round. I haven't run the math, but it just seems like it would feel bad to have to decide between the two. Of course, we could just choose not to take HM at all. Favored Foe (Tasha's) doesn't use a BA, so there's that. I think the ranger has several good choices of spells at 1st level, so not having HM isn't a major loss I guess.

    Regarding the drake, maybe I'm weird, but the off-putting parts of the drake are the hit points (that don't use Con per level) and the bite attack bonus (+3 from Strength that never improves). A +9 at 17th level is a little weak. Weak damage is fine if the to-hit is closer to what the PCs would have. Oh well, still looks like fun. I'm going to start a ToD campaign in the next 6 months, would be cool if someone played this subclass.
    The hitpoints are really good mechanically. Think about it this way. Every HP of damage the drake eats (outside of AOE damage) is hp you or one of your party members would have lost. In that sense the drake is a ridiculous damage sponge, its almost like you have +5 HP per level. With hit dice! I'm pretty sure that in a lot of situations the best use for your drake is to send them into the fray and dodge while you use your BA as normal. Hunter's mark is pretty often going to be dealing more damage per turn than the bite attack, and importantly HM doesn't use your BA every turn. If the enemy provokes an OA, great, your drake got to snack (though statistically this will often be less damage than just using their infused strikes reaction) If they attack your drake, even better, wasted damage. If the drake dies, well that just means you got your value. Expend a 1st level slot and bring back lil fluffy and move on.

    ...do people see why this is dumb yet?

    On a larger level, I guess the issue is that the premise of "you get a dragon" is frankly just something they were never going to really deliver on. The dragon breath is cool, as is the level 15 feature. It's everything before that.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2021-09-25 at 10:38 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    ...do people see why this is dumb yet?
    .
    Indeed. Also, if your bag of hitpoints has no damage potential on its own b/c of immunities, at least allow it a reaction of some sort. Maybe like a grapple or some ability to knock prone.

    A good DM has absolutely zero reason (in tier2 when things start getting B/P/S immunity, but before it gets its lvl 11 ability) to ever target this thing if it's acting independently of the player. Its basically a walking bag of hitpoints that wastes time galomphing around the battlefield, doing almost no damage, accomplishing nothing, and essentially acting like a glorified d6 aura. Maybe its best use is as a one square tile of contested terrain.

    Relatedly, what is the design intention for having it use its reaction to provide the d6 in the first place. Why not simply make it an aura? It really seems like they're trying to pigeonhole it into being only used as a mount.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by Hael View Post
    Indeed. Also, if your bag of hitpoints has no damage potential on its own b/c of immunities, at least allow it a reaction of some sort. Maybe like a grapple or some ability to knock prone.

    A good DM has absolutely zero reason (in tier2 when things start getting B/P/S immunity, but before it gets its lvl 11 ability) to ever target this thing if it's acting independently of the player. Its basically a walking bag of hitpoints that wastes time galomphing around the battlefield, doing almost no damage, accomplishing nothing, and essentially acting like a glorified d6 aura. Maybe its best use is as a one square tile of contested terrain.

    Relatedly, what is the design intention for having it use its reaction to provide the d6 in the first place. Why not simply make it an aura? It really seems like they're trying to pigeonhole it into being only used as a mount.
    I mean the DM should have his enemies hit your summon, there's no reason they wouldn't. Unless they're a powerful mage they won't know what they're looking at most likely, and theyll treat the drake much like you would.

    The dpr is imo fine at most levels from a pure balance perspective. 2d6+2 is a lot of bonus damage at level three. It's not much at level five, but then at seven it goes to 3d6+3 or 4d6+6 if it gets an OA and that's a lot better.

    Once again, my guy is strong, it's just kinda vanilla.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I mean the DM should have his enemies hit your summon, there's no reason they wouldn't. Unless they're a powerful mage they won't know what they're looking at most likely, and theyll treat the drake much like you would.

    The dpr is imo fine at most levels from a pure balance perspective. 2d6+2 is a lot of bonus damage at level three. It's not much at level five, but then at seven it goes to 3d6+3 or 4d6+6 if it gets an OA and that's a lot better.
    .
    Fair point about the DM. The DPR is more than fine in tier1, before the immunities kick in. I mean the UA had the drake using elemental damage, and they have explicitly changed it to piercing, implying the dev team intended this state of affairs (where the BA ceases to be relevant). Of course at lvl 11, you can't allow this thing to walk around unharmed, as it can line up a monster breath attack.

    I still think its going to feel clumsy in late tier2, where other pet classes are still relevant, where summons are going to start really making this look silly and where you are mostly incentivized to use your pet as a movement buff or as a throwaway.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Quote Originally Posted by Hael View Post
    Fair point about the DM. The DPR is more than fine in tier1, before the immunities kick in. I mean the UA had the drake using elemental damage, and they have explicitly changed it to piercing, implying the dev team intended this state of affairs (where the BA ceases to be relevant). Of course at lvl 11, you can't allow this thing to walk around unharmed, as it can line up a monster breath attack.

    I still think its going to feel clumsy in late tier2, where other pet classes are still relevant, where summons are going to start really making this look silly and where you are mostly incentivized to use your pet as a movement buff or as a throwaway.
    The 1d6+prof damage is piercing and gets resisted but the bonus damage is energy damage of some sort.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Overlooked in all this, the Drake also provides resistance to an elemental damage type at level 7 too. Considering that the Drake still matches a Beast Companion in raw DPR excepting piercing resistance AND has a backup reaction in case an OA isn't provoked, that's a pretty fair trade off to me.

    And it's not like the Beast of the Sky is rideable by anyone, and the Land only by Small creatures. A clear upgrade in that regard.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Drakewarden Ranger and More

    Yeah the Drakewarden looks amazing, even better than it did in the UA. I can't wait to see it in action!

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