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Strill
2014-10-22, 10:48 PM
I'm compiling a list of houserules for D&D 5e, and I'd like feedback. Do any of them seem overpowered?

Guidance: Duration changed to Concentration: 8 hours

Reasoning: You can already go around using it every minute anyway. This way makes it less clumsy and convoluted.

Dual Wielder Feat: The following line is added: "At character level 11 or above, when you use a bonus action to make an offhand attack, you may make an additional offhand attack."

Reasoning: TWF is underpowered past level 11. This should hopefully keep it on par.

Agonizing Blast: Text changed to: "When you cast Eldritch Blast, you may add your Charisma modifier to one of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 5, you may add your Charisma modifier to a second of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 11, you may add your Charisma modifier to a third of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 17, you may add your Charisma modifier to a fourth of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls."

Reasoning: Good at-will damage should be a warlock class feature. Their spellcasting is very limited because of their at-will damage, and 2 levels shouldn't be enough for any class to pick up the Warlock's at-will damage.

Rogue: Whip added to list of weapon proficiencies.

Reasoning: How else are you gonna make an Indiana Jones Character?

Elemental Monk: Gains Elemental Focus Points equal to Monk level / 3, rounded down. These points may be spent instead of ki when using Elemental Disciplines. You recover all your Elemental Focus points on a short or long rest.

Reasoning: In terms of overall spell levels casted per day, Elemental Monk is about on par with an Eldritch Knight (assuming 2 short rests / day). However, that assumes that they never use their ki on anything else, which makes the archetype extremely restrictive. That's on top of the fact that Elemental Monks can only learn up to 4 spells, and gain no other features from their archetype. With powerful abilities like Stunning Strike and Flurry of Blows competing for their ki, it's difficult to justify spending it on elemental disciplines, especially since elmental disciplines are so expensive.

These elemental focus points are intended to help lessen the competition between elemental disciplines and baseline monk abilities, in order to ensure that elemental monks always get some uses out of their archetype, especially compared to other monk archetypes. For example, open-hand monks get powerful bonuses to Flurry of Blows at no extra cost, and shadow monks get at-will shadow step.

Warlock Blade Pact: Lifedrinker granted for free at level 11. Pact of the Blade now provides medium armor proficiency.

New Invocation: Writhing Blade. When you make a melee weapon attack with your pact weapon, choose one of the following:

* Your reach increases by 10' for this attack. If you hit a creature with this attack, that creature is pulled 10' towards you in a straight line.

* If you hit a creature with this attack, you may push it up to 10' away from you in a straight line.

Reasoning: Blade Pact requires Polearm Mastery and two invocations just to match the damage of Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast. It also has the worst MAD of any class. Lifedrinker for free means bladelocks looking to keep their damage up require the same number of invocations as blastlocks. Medium Armor Proficiency helps mitigate MAD. The new invocation provides bladelocks a melee alternative to Repelling Blast.

Shadow
2014-10-23, 12:47 AM
I'm compiling a list of houserules for D&D 5e, and I'd like feedback. Do any of them seem overpowered?

Guidance: Duration changed to Concentration: 8 hours

Reasoning: You can already go around using it every minute anyway. This way makes it less clumsy and convoluted.
Meh, I don't really see the point, but it's not like it's OP or anything.


Dual Wielder Feat: The following line is added: "At character level 11 or above, if you have the Extra Attack feature, when you use a bonus action to make an offhand attack, you may make an additional offhand attack."

Reasoning: TWF is underpowered past level 11. This should hopefully keep it on par.
addendum
It doesn't make much sense for a dual wielding rogue or wizard or whatever to attack once with their main hand and twice with their off hand.


Agonizing Blast: Text changed to: "When you cast Eldritch Blast, you may add your Charisma modifier to one of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 5, you may add your Charisma modifier to a second of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 11, you may add your Charisma modifier to a third of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls. At Warlock level 17, you may add your Charisma modifier to a fourth of Eldritch Blast's damage rolls."

Reasoning: Good at-will damage should be a warlock class feature. Their spellcasting is very limited because of their at-will damage, and 2 levels shouldn't be enough for any class to pick up the Warlock's at-will damage.
Sure.


Rogue: Whip added to list of weapon proficiencies.

Reasoning: How else are you gonna make an Indiana Jones Character?
I use the same, only I include bards as well.


Elemental Monk: Gains Elemental Focus Points equal to Monk level / 3, rounded down. These points may be spent instead of ki when using Elemental Disciplines. You recover all your Elemental Focus points on a short or long rest.

Reasoning: In terms of overall spell levels casted per day, Elemental Monk is about on par with an Eldritch Knight (assuming 2 short rests / day). However, that assumes that they never use their ki on anything else, which makes the archetype extremely restrictive. That's on top of the fact that Elemental Monks can only learn up to 4 spells, and gain no other features from their archetype. With powerful abilities like Stunning Strike and Flurry of Blows competing for their ki, it's difficult to justify spending it on elemental disciplines, especially since elmental disciplines are so expensive.

These elemental focus points are intended to help lessen the competition between elemental disciplines and baseline monk abilities, in order to ensure that elemental monks always get some uses out of their archetype, especially compared to other monk archetypes. For example, open-hand monks get powerful bonuses to Flurry of Blows at no extra cost, and shadow monks get at-will shadow step.
I actually like this. I might adopt something similar.


Warlock Blade Pact: Lifedrinker granted for free at level 11. Pact of the Blade now provides medium armor proficiency.

New Invocation: Writhing Blade. When you make a melee weapon attack with your pact weapon, choose one of the following:

* Your reach increases by 10' for this attack. If you hit a creature with this attack, that creature is pulled 10' towards you in a straight line.

* If you hit a creature with this attack, you may push it up to 10' away from you in a straight line.

Reasoning: Blade Pact requires Polearm Mastery and two invocations just to match the damage of Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast. It also has the worst MAD of any class. Lifedrinker for free means bladelocks looking to keep their damage up require the same number of invocations as blastlocks. Medium Armor Proficiency helps mitigate MAD. The new invocation provides bladelocks a melee alternative to Repelling Blast.
I think this is fine, but I disagree with the push. It should only be a pull. If they want a push then they should take repelling blast. And it shouldn't be optional (it doesn't look like it is, but I just wanted to be clear). If they use it to extend their reach, it should pull without the option to ignore the feature.

There are quite a few houserules that we use as well if you'd like to see some of them.

Rysan Marquise
2014-10-23, 05:59 AM
Guidance: It is pretty powerful either way. I would err on reducing its power rather than increasing it, but this is a good way to make it more manageable if you dont want to do that.

There is math elsewhere, but duel-wielding doesn't need the buff, it just feels like it does. It doesn't become godlike or anything because of this change, but it is pretty consistently powerful either way.

I would recommend restricting the bonus damage for Eldrich blast to 'this may apply once, twice, etc per target'. Gives it a bit more of a reason to hit multiple enemies, and Warlocks are pretty dependent upon it.

Want more whips? Sure.

I prefer ruling a more open interpretation of Monk abilities, subtly rounding up what you can do, but this is probably about right if you want none of that.


Your final one probably is a bit strong overall, but again doesn't cause any inherent problems. Personally, I think you should give them some bonus other than Medium armor, because they already have options for defense and this kinda cuts it down to one optimal choice. Even without it, this is a pretty significant buff to blade pact.

Perhaps something more flavorful might be recommended, like being able to summon your pact weapon with a bonus action. That would give it some unique utility without being inherently too good.

Strill
2014-10-23, 02:16 PM
There is math elsewhere, but duel-wielding doesn't need the buff, it just feels like it does. It doesn't become godlike or anything because of this change, but it is pretty consistently powerful either way.I'd like to see this. My own calculations suggest that Dual Wielding is significantly weaker than other styles.


I would recommend restricting the bonus damage for Eldrich blast to 'this may apply once, twice, etc per target'. Gives it a bit more of a reason to hit multiple enemies, and Warlocks are pretty dependent upon it. Honestly I don't see why Warlocks should be restricted to hitting multiple enemies. Their spellcasting is extremely limited otherwise. They're more along the lines of a half-caster than an actual spellcasting class.


I prefer ruling a more open interpretation of Monk abilities, subtly rounding up what you can do, but this is probably about right if you want none of that.You mean like adding new archetype features and increasing the number of Elemental Disciplines you can learn?


Your final one probably is a bit strong overall, but again doesn't cause any inherent problems. Personally, I think you should give them some bonus other than Medium armor, because they already have options for defense and this kinda cuts it down to one optimal choice. Even without it, this is a pretty significant buff to blade pact. What options do they have for defense? Light armor? Armor of Shadows? Those require high DEX. That means that a bladelock needs STR, DEX, CHA, and CON. That's the most attribute dependency of any class.

The thing with Pact of the Blade is you're investing your whole pact into this weapon, but you can already get great damage much more easily with just Eldritch Blast. You actually end up worse for damage with Pact of the Blade than if you had just gone with spamming Eldritch Blast. I'm giving them some powerful tools it's true, but my goal is not to give them any more damage or defensive potential, but to simply give them the minimum tools they need to be functional in melee combat.

So in that respect, how is this a significant buff to blade pact? Yes it's a literal improvement, but I mean what can Blade Pact do that another warlock build couldn't already do?


Perhaps something more flavorful might be recommended, like being able to summon your pact weapon with a bonus action. That would give it some unique utility without being inherently too good.Summoning your pact weapon with a bonus action is nice, but not something I'd think would merit a whole invocation. You seem to be against direct combat bonuses, which I can understand, but I do think those bonuses are necessary. Eldritch Blast + Repelling Blast + Agonizing Blast is very easy to get, and in the RAW is much much better than anything Pact of the Blade could hope for. My goal was to dig blade pact out of the metaphorical pit it was in, not to raise it above any other build. Therefore the mechanical boosts I've given it have been in direct comparison with what a Blastlock could get. Do you think that Pact of the Blade with these changes is stronger than Eldritch Blast?

I'm personally ok with Blade Pact having a little some extra utility over and above what a blastlock would get. You're giving up a lot by not choosing pact of the chain or pact of the tome. However, I don't want them to be much more powerful than a blastlock from an offensive or defensive perspective.


addendum
It doesn't make much sense for a dual wielding rogue or wizard or whatever to attack once with their main hand and twice with their off hand.Great point.


I use the same, only I include bards as well.A good observation. That sounds about right.


I think this is fine, but I disagree with the push. It should only be a pull. If they want a push then they should take repelling blast. And it shouldn't be optional (it doesn't look like it is, but I just wanted to be clear). If they use it to extend their reach, it should pull without the option to ignore the feature.No the pull is not optional. Good point on the push. I'll try coming up with something else. I'd like to give blade pact a little something extra since I don't think what they get is quite on par with the other pacts, but you're right that I should come up with something more unique.


There are quite a few houserules that we use as well if you'd like to see some of them.
Sure I'd love to see them.

Rysan Marquise
2014-10-23, 04:17 PM
First of all.

This isn't a choice between a blastlock and a meleelock. Pact of the Blade in no way obligated you not to be a blastlock. Attacking medium armor to it is just adding another way for a warlock to get armor.

Also, I believe you misunderstood my recommendation for the Eldrich Blast house-rule, but if its sufficiently confusing as to not be obvious it probably isn't worth discussing.



Two things with actually discussing.

1: Two weapon fighting out-damages great weapons at low levels, has higher AC at high levels, and can be done with finesse weapons. If you ignore feats, then two weapon fighting is very competitive with great weapon fighting, even at level 11.

-Being able to use Finesse weapons is a large bonus.
- AC bonus is significant, if you want to use the feat.
- More opportunities for multiple on-hit effects is significant.

Between all of these effects, I think two-weapon fighting is a very reasonably contender for any character that doesn't care about his bonus actions.


2: What I meant for monk was the 'traditional' way a DM deals with weakness. You allow creative behaviors, and you 'round up' rules ambiguities in their favor.
Things like
- Fangs of Fire can be used to grapple and shove, as well as manipulate objects.
- Water Whip and Fist of Air can hit enemies into the air or against obstacles if position is appropriate.
- Shape the River can make walls and fortifications.

This sort of allowing the player's creativity to make up the difference.

You might view this as burdensome, many GMs don't like this sort of thing, but consciously giving the benefit of the doubt to weaker characters and abilities is a time-honored way of dealing with problems of this scale.

Shadow
2014-10-23, 04:36 PM
Sure I'd love to see them.


(Note: this entire list is fluid)
Character Creation

No evil characters allowed. Neutral is fine, but if so then good tendencies are preferred. Even neutral characters know the difference between right and wrong. They may not always act for the greater good, but they know and appreciate that it exists. This is an heroic game. I expect players to treat it and themselves as such, if not all of the time, at least more often than not.
This is not to say that certain concepts are disallowed. For example, a Red Wizard or Zhentarim Agent is not required to be evil simply because the organization is. Exceptions exist, and as players, you are those exceptions. You don't even need to write an alignment down on your sheet if you don't want to, as long as you act in a manner befitting your concept and background traits, appropriate to the campaign, and not disruptive to the party. A concept and character cohesive to the party is more important than a two word description of alignment.
(the above is for my game, the rest are for all of our games regardless of DM)

Feel free to mix and match options from various backgrounds (or create your own options with approval) to create a background that you like, with one stipulation: Your Bond must involve another party member in some, possibly indirect, way. Because of this, feel free to create your entire background and personality, but leave the Bond open until you see what characters others are playing -- or team up with someone to create your backgrounds together as childhood friends, relatives, etc. If done this way, make sure to take into account any age differences due to race, and other things like that.

Inspiration will be awarded for good role playing, so make sure to create a background and personality that you can identify with at least somewhat, and play your character well. This is an amazing mechanic which allows me to reward good RP with a benefit that you can use in combat.

The first two levels are considered apprentice levels. You don't actually become true adventurers until you reach level three. This is (a) intended, (b) the reason that most classes don't choose a subclass or archetype until that time, and (c) the reason that the XP required to gain a levels 1-3 is so low compared to levels above 3rd.

Multiclassing is allowed, but because of the apprentice levels, you must reach level three in your starting class before multiclassing becomes an option. Not only must you reach level three in your starting class, but you must find an in game reason/tutor/study time/whatever in order to multiclass. You will not be allowed to simply grab a random level or two of another class without first spending time learning the tricks of the class. I will not be harsh on your ability to do so, but I will enforce that I need to be aware of the fact that you're trying to learn something new before you actually learn it.

All races, classes, backgrounds and feats in the PHB are available (although some have been altered slightly). As far as classes go, if you have a concept that is not represented by any available sublass then we can work together to create an appropriate sublass and at least get close to the character you want thematically and mechanically.
Examples: An Inquisitor (ala Pathfinder) might be a Rogue subclass similar to Arcane Trickster with some different subclass abilities, or a Ranger or Paladin subclass, depending on what you want from it; while a Beguiler would be a Bard subclass with a few more proficiencies, and some different subclass abilities.... just like the beguiler shown in a moment. (edit: I didn't add that homebrewed subclass for you to see in a moment)
The idea of subclasses in place of PrCs is both elegant and easier to homebrew options for.
I am absolutely willing to work with you to create the character that you want to play.

General Houserules and Clarifications updated as needed

Sorcerers are proficient in all simple weapons rather than the weapons listed. --Why the change?
Rogues and Bards are proficient with the whip in addition to the weapons listed. --Ditto!

The effects of the Dual Wielder feat allowing non-light weapons and the Two-Weapon Fighting style allowing modifier to damage have been swapped. DW now allows mod, TWF now allows non-light. --Anyone can now dual wield effectively, but only fighters or rangers (or splashes) can dual wield better weapons.
If you have the Extra Attack feature, once you reach 11th level the bonus action granted from TWF or Martial Arts grants two additional attacks instead of one, and Flurry of Blows grants three additional attacks instead of two. --TWF was supremely inferior to gw-fighting or polearm-use and they get even better due to feat support. This should even the ground a bit.

Druids using wildshape do not use separate hit point pools for their wildshape and humanoid forms as the PHB states. Instead, when they use wildshape, they gain temporary hit points equal to one half of the beast's normal hit points, and revert back to humanoid form when their normal hit point total reaches zero unless they decide to revert earlier. --Wild shape, especially for moon druids, was far too powerful.

Critical Hits: I will be implementing a critical confirmation roll. If you do not confirm the crit, you roll weapon damage dice twice just as the PHB states. If you confirm the crit, the first weapon die does max damage and you roll the second normally. If the confirmation is a crit, all dice are maximized. --This way any crit will have additional effect, confirmed crits will be especially deadly, and double crits become even deadlier still.

Warlock Invocations require class levels rather than character levels. --Ambiguity clarification.
Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters choose one extra school to use in addition to the two listed.

Standard 27 point buy as shown in the PHB, with one stipulation noted below.
Ability score increases gained at class levels have been separated into major feats and minor feats to attempt to rectify the mutually exclusive nature of feats and ASIs, especially where the weaker feats are concerned. With the exception of the feats which grant armor proficiency, any feat which inherently offers a +1 to a stat has had that benefit removed (and is now a minor feat, so if you choose it instead of an ASI you get a +1 to any stat of your choice instead of the one listed in the feat's description). This was done to make some of the less desirable feats somewhat more desirable.
Each character starts with one ASI at creation, but [option one] below is not availabe for this ASI, and no stat can be raised above 17 at creation after racial boost and initial ASI/feat. --The max of 17 conforms to the normal point buy rules via standard 15pt max buy and +2 racial, so this extra ASI is for a feat, a more balanced character, or a little of both, without changing that max.

--- Ability Score Increase options ---
option one: +2 to one stat (not available at creation)
option two: +1 to two stats
option three: +1 to one stat and gain one minor feat
option four: gain one major feat

--- Minor Feats (18) ---
Actor (+Cha removed)
Athlete (+Str/Dex removed)
Charger
Dungeon Delver
Durable (+Con removed)
Grappler
Healer
Inspiring Leader
Keen Mind (+Int removed)
Linguist (+Int removed)
Magic Initiate
Medium Armor Master
Observant (+Int/Wis removed)
Ritual Caster
Skilled
Spell Sniper
Tavern Brawler (+Str/Con removed)
Weapon Master (+Str/Con removed)

--- Major Feats (22) ---
Alert
Crossbow Expert
Defensive Duelist
Dual Wielder (+mod, light only)
Elemental Adept
Great Weapon Master
Heavily Armored (+Str remains)
Heavy Armor Master
Lightly Armored (+Str/Dex remains)
Lucky
Mage Slayer
Martial Adept
Mobile
Moderately Armored (+Str/Dex remains)
Mounted Combat
Polearm Master
Resilient
Savage Attacker
Sentinel
Sharpshooter
Shield Master
Skulker
Tough
Warcaster


The PHB and DMG have a high regard of and expectation for DM rulings rather than attempting to create a rule for every concievable situation. Because of this, there are sometimes inconsistencies and/or ambiguities within the rules as printed. If there is any question as to how something can be interpreted, especially if it involves a mechanical aspect of your character, make sure to ask me how I see it before basing your concept around the idea, as that idea may not be kosher with me.

There are also a very few things which were poorly thought out (such as the slimy doom option of the contagion spell). These things have been removed. Basically, if it looks broken or seems like an "I win" button, chances are it is banned. Use common sense, and ask me if you're unsure.


***updated due to formatting issues from the copy/paste leaving some things out

Strill
2014-10-23, 05:36 PM
First of all.

This isn't a choice between a blastlock and a meleelock. Pact of the Blade in no way obligated you not to be a blastlock. Attacking medium armor to it is just adding another way for a warlock to get armor. Ok. If they want to spend their pact on armor instead of a permanently invisible familiar, or instead of a normal familiar plus every ritual spell, then that doesn't seem like an unreasonable trade to me.


Two things with actually discussing.

1: Two weapon fighting out-damages great weapons at low levels, has higher AC at high levels, and can be done with finesse weapons. If you ignore feats, then two weapon fighting is very competitive with great weapon fighting, even at level 11.

-Being able to use Finesse weapons is a large bonus.
- AC bonus is significant, if you want to use the feat.
- More opportunities for multiple on-hit effects is significant.

Between all of these effects, I think two-weapon fighting is a very reasonably contender for any character that doesn't care about his bonus actions.Ignoring Feats is a fatal flaw in your analysis. Both Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master give you bonus action attacks. In fact, Polearm Master also gives you a reliable reaction attack, making it even better than two-weapon fighting in that regard.

You can't compare Two-Weapon Fighting in a vacuum. I can understand that being able to focus exclusively on DEX is a significant advantage, but I don't think it's enough to make up for the damage difference. Heck, even Shield Master gives a bonus action shove which can potentially give Advantage to each of the shield-user's melee attacks. I'd say that's worth about as much as a bonus-action attack.



2: What I meant for monk was the 'traditional' way a DM deals with weakness. You allow creative behaviors, and you 'round up' rules ambiguities in their favor.
Things like
- Fangs of Fire can be used to grapple and shove, as well as manipulate objects.
- Water Whip and Fist of Air can hit enemies into the air or against obstacles if position is appropriate.
- Shape the River can make walls and fortifications.

This sort of allowing the player's creativity to make up the difference.

You might view this as burdensome, many GMs don't like this sort of thing, but consciously giving the benefit of the doubt to weaker characters and abilities is a time-honored way of dealing with problems of this scale.You're assuming the character will take these ambiguous abilities rather than straight-forward abilities like Fireball or Burning Hands. I also find it ironic that the abilities you suggest involve shove and prone. That's stepping on Open-Hand monks' territory.

Rysan Marquise
2014-10-23, 05:40 PM
For the record, this involves a great deal of discussion on the two-weapons balance issue. Especially later on.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378357-No-Penalties-on-Two-Weapon-Fighting

You are welcome to do what you feel is right for your table. I have never said any of your ideas would break the game.

AgentPaper
2014-10-23, 11:50 PM
I did quite a bit of math and Dual wield does indeed fall behind at level 11, but only very specifically for a fighter. I haven't done the math on the other classes, but it seems pretty obvious it would be unbalancing, since they have only 1-2 attacks normally. I'd suggest simply baking it into the Extra Attack feature that the Fighter gets.

If there's another class that you think Dual Wield is sub-par in, I'd be more than happy to do the math on it as well.

Strill
2014-10-24, 12:19 AM
If there's another class that you think Dual Wield is sub-par in, I'd be more than happy to do the math on it as well.

Ranger obviously. They can't benefit from Hunter's Mark and Dual Wielding in the same turn, and their spells, like Swift Quiver and Lightning Arrow, all apply to ranged attacks but not melee. Mechanically, Ranger is far better off with two-handed weapons than dual wielding, especially once you get Whirlwind.

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 02:28 AM
Ranger obviously. They can't benefit from Hunter's Mark and Dual Wielding in the same turn, and their spells, like Swift Quiver and Lightning Arrow, all apply to ranged attacks but not melee. Mechanically, Ranger is far better off with two-handed weapons than dual wielding, especially once you get Whirlwind.

Challenge accepted.

First, let's get something straight: A ranger will never ever use a great weapon. Without the GWF style, they do almost as much damage with a Rapier and the Duelist feat. The difference is 0.5 less average damage per hit, nowhere near worth giving up on using a shield for, not to mention all the benefits of maxing out dexterity instead of strength. So, the competitors here are a duelist ranger using a rapier, an Archery ranger using a longbow, and a Two-Weapon fighting ranger using two scimitars.

I'm also going to be assuming no feats, and thus no Dual Wield or Crossbow Expert. If those are allowed, TWF only becomes even more attractive anyways. Duelist falls way behind, and a Crossbow Expert with a heavy crossbow only just about keeps up.

Hunter's Mark: From level 2-4, a TWF loses one attack compared to a bow user or duelist, losing half of their damage done on the round they cast Hunter's Mark. However, a TWF at these levels deals 55-60% more damage than the other two while Hunter's Mark is up, which means that they more than make up for the loss of their first bonus action as long as they get to attack a second time, compared to a duelist or longbow user.

From level 5-20, the gap closes significantly and a TWF deals only 20% more damage while Hunter's Mark is up, however the TWF also loses less since they give up one attack out of 3, instead of half. This means that the TWF ranger breaks even with the other two on the second round, and then once again beats them as long as they get three full rounds of attacking.

So in conclusion, unless you have a habit of using Hunter's Mark on enemies that die in one round anyways, TWF gets at least as good a benefit from it, and often much more.

Swift Quiver: This allows a bow ranger to attack twice as often, after the first round. Compared to a TWF ranger, this causes them to deal ~12 more damage per round than them. In comparison, a TWF ranger could cast Conjure Volley, dealing 27 damage per enemy hit, assuming they fail their save half the time (which is probably generous) This means that for every target the TWF ranger hits with his volley, the bow archer needs to be firing their bow for two rounds to deal as much damage with their 5th level spell.

Even in a fight against a single target (ie: the BBEG), the fight needs to last at least 3 rounds for the bow archer to start dealing more with swift quiver than the TWF who cast Conjure Volley and then used his bonus action to attack on the first round. With two targets (even if one dies early on), the battle needs to last 5 rounds. Three targets, 7 rounds. Four targets, 9 rounds just to break even.

Don't get me wrong, Swift Quiver is certainly a nice spell, and I'm sure it has it's uses, such as taking out a specific enemy really quickly, or in long range fights, or when enemies are too far apart to hit them with Conjure Volley, but it by no means invalidates the TWF.

Lightning Arrow Despite the spells name, you can use a thrown dagger for this. Simply drop your scimitar, draw and throw a dagger to cast it, then next round pick up your scimitar and go back to work. If you have the dual-wield feat, you can stow your scimitar rather than dropping it, making it even easier to cast this. Even if you find fiddling with throwing daggers too, well, fiddly, you can instead opt to use one of the ranger's other fine level 3 spells, notably Conjure Barrage, which like it's bigger brother, deals much more damage to large groups.

Whirlwind/Volley: This is actually pretty easy. A TWF ranger deals ~75% as much damage with each attack compared to a duelist or archer ranger throughout level 11-20. A TWF also gets exactly one more attack no matter how many targets are being hit, since he can still use his bonus action to attack with his off-hand weapon as normal. Assuming 3 targets, a TWF thus deals exactly as much damage as a duelist or archer. With 4 targets, the duelist and ranger deal ~7% more damage. With 5 targets, they deal 10% more damage. 6 targets, 12.5% more damage. Even assuming a full 8 targets for the duelist, that's only 25% more damage. A bow archer can potentially do much more due to hitting a larger area, but that still relies on fighting that many enemies bunched up into a neat little ball for you to snipe, whereas a melee ranger is more likely to be surrounded by enemies hoping to overwhelm him. In any case, while this is an advantage to the duelist and archer, it's not enough to invalidate the fact that a TWF deals more damage normally.

And finally, the real nail in the coffin: From level 1-4, a TWF deals 50% more damage than an archer each round, and 40% more than a duelist. From level 5-20, this changes to 15% more than an archer, and 11% more than a duelist. Of course, this doesn't mean that a duelist ranger or an archer ranger are useless: the duelist gets 2 extra AC from his shield and is a bit better against large groups of enemies with whirlwind, while an archer has the obvious advantage of attacking from far away, great AoE with volley, and can use Swift Quiver when the situation calls for it.

TL;DR: A two-weapon ranger is more than competitive with the other ranger builds, trading range or defenses for higher overall damage.

Strill
2014-10-24, 03:03 AM
Challenge accepted.

First, let's get something straight: A ranger will never ever use a great weapon. Without the GWF style, they do almost as much damage with a Rapier and the Duelist feat. The difference is 0.5 less average damage per hit, nowhere near worth giving up on using a shield for, not to mention all the benefits of maxing out dexterity instead of strength. So, the competitors here are a duelist ranger using a rapier, an Archery ranger using a longbow, and a Two-Weapon fighting ranger using two scimitars.

Don't be silly. Polearm Master is great for Rangers. Great Weapon Master is great too. Heck, even Duelist's saving grace is Shield Master, giving them a bonus-action shove. If you're not going to even consider the primary competition, why even bother doing an analysis at all?


I'm also going to be assuming no feats, and thus no Dual Wield or Crossbow Expert. If those are allowed, TWF only becomes even more attractive anyways. Duelist falls way behind, and a Crossbow Expert with a heavy crossbow only just about keeps up.Again, this is a fatal flaw in your analysis. The primary reason you take 2-handed weapons is because of how powerful the feats are, not because of the fighting style. You can easily take Defense style and use a two-handed weapon.

Why in the world would you use Crossbow Expert with a heavy crossbow instead of a hand crossbow?


From level 5-20, the gap closes significantly and a TWF deals only 20% more damage while Hunter's Mark is up, however the TWF also loses less since they give up one attack out of 3, instead of half. This means that the TWF ranger breaks even with the other two on the second round, and then once again beats them as long as they get three full rounds of attacking.What are you talking about? Activating Hunter's Mark is a bonus action. Why would Duelist or Archery styles have to give up an attack? They'd be dealing 2 hits every round, just like usual.


Swift Quiver: This allows a bow ranger to attack twice as often, after the first round. Compared to a TWF ranger, this causes them to deal ~12 more damage per round than them. In comparison, a TWF ranger could cast Conjure Volley, dealing 27 damage per enemy hit, assuming they fail their save half the time (which is probably generous) This means that for every target the TWF ranger hits with his volley, the bow archer needs to be firing their bow for two rounds to deal as much damage with their 5th level spell.

Even in a fight against a single target (ie: the BBEG), the fight needs to last at least 3 rounds for the bow archer to start dealing more with swift quiver than the TWF who cast Conjure Volley and then used his bonus action to attack on the first round. With two targets (even if one dies early on), the battle needs to last 5 rounds. Three targets, 7 rounds. Four targets, 9 rounds just to break even.

Don't get me wrong, Swift Quiver is certainly a nice spell, and I'm sure it has it's uses, such as taking out a specific enemy really quickly, or in long range fights, or when enemies are too far apart to hit them with Conjure Volley, but it by no means invalidates the TWF.Against a single enemy, Archery deals two shots for a total of (1d8+5)*2 = 19 damage. That's assuming there's no other damage boosts in play, like magic weapons, or Colossus Slayer, at which point the damage easily meets or exceeds 27. That means that against a single enemy, Swift Quiver will break even with Conjure Volley on the very first round. I have no idea where you're getting 3 rounds from.

Also, you've got the rules wrong. TWF can't use a bonus action attack if they haven't used the Attack action that turn. Using Conjure Volley is your entire turn.


Whirlwind/Volley: This is actually pretty easy. A TWF ranger deals ~75% as much damage with each attack compared to a duelist or archer ranger throughout level 11-20. A TWF also gets exactly one more attack no matter how many targets are being hit, since he can still use his bonus action to attack with his off-hand weapon as normal. Assuming 3 targets, a TWF thus deals exactly as much damage as a duelist or archer. With 4 targets, the duelist and ranger deal ~7% more damage. With 5 targets, they deal 10% more damage. 6 targets, 12.5% more damage. Even assuming a full 8 targets for the duelist, that's only 25% more damage. A bow archer can potentially do much more due to hitting a larger area, but that still relies on fighting that many enemies bunched up into a neat little ball for you to snipe, whereas a melee ranger is more likely to be surrounded by enemies hoping to overwhelm him. In any case, while this is an advantage to the duelist and archer, it's not enough to invalidate the fact that a TWF deals more damage normally.

Again, the TWF user cannot use a bonus action together with Whirlwind Attack. You have to take the Attack action to get your bonus attack. Whirlwind is not the Attack action.

Sindeloke
2014-10-24, 04:16 AM
What are you talking about? Activating Hunter's Mark is a bonus action. Why would Duelist or Archery styles have to give up an attack? They'd be dealing 2 hits every round, just like usual.

I think the comparison is vs low-level TWF, not the other styles. IE, Before you get your second attack, you give up 1 out of 2 possible attacks to cast Mark. Once you have it, you're giving up 1 out of 3 so it's no longer as onerous, which is apparently some compensation for TWF no longer being as comparatively potent at those levels.

I'd like to see a breakdown of paladin. Mark and smite seemed at first glance like the only two ways to make it at all worthwhile, and I'm with you on it looking a lot like Mark's not enough. And the ranger at least gets to pick the style....

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 12:13 PM
Don't be silly. Polearm Master is great for Rangers. Great Weapon Master is great too. Heck, even Duelist's saving grace is Shield Master, giving them a bonus-action shove. If you're not going to even consider the primary competition, why even bother doing an analysis at all?

Polearm Master is good, dealing almost as much damage at level 1-4 and dealing 15-25% more damage at level 5+. I did forget to include that in my calculations, and it does indeed kinda out-class dual wielding, but not so much as to completely invalidate it. You are still giving up dexterity-based defenses and the option of picking up a bow when the need arises, so there's argument either way. Polearm master is certainly the highest DPR for a ranger though, I won't argue that.

Great Weapon Master, on the other hand, is not great. Without the GWF style, you lose out on a ton of damage, putting you just barely above what a duelist with a rapier does. The feat doesn't add directly to your damage in any way, instead only increasing it circumstantially, when you kill something (which you can't rely on happening every round), and increases your damage slightly against low AC enemies (the increased chance to miss really bites into what the +10 gives you).


Why in the world would you use Crossbow Expert with a heavy crossbow instead of a hand crossbow?

Because then you're dual wielding again, and dealing less damage, because if you can pick up a feat then the TWF picks up dual wield and uses a rapier. Sure, you have range, but that's a tradeoff, not a superiority.


What are you talking about? Activating Hunter's Mark is a bonus action. Why would Duelist or Archery styles have to give up an attack? They'd be dealing 2 hits every round, just like usual.

They don't, and I never said they did. The TWF ranger falls behind slightly in the first round, but then makes up for it in the second, and further pulls ahead after that. Hunter's Mark is better for a TWF ranger than for the other types (except Polearm Master, which gets equal benefit), not worse.


Against a single enemy, Archery deals two shots for a total of (1d8+5)*2 = 19 damage. That's assuming there's no other damage boosts in play, like magic weapons, or Colossus Slayer, at which point the damage easily meets or exceeds 27. That means that against a single enemy, Swift Quiver will break even with Conjure Volley on the very first round. I have no idea where you're getting 3 rounds from.

Also, you've got the rules wrong. TWF can't use a bonus action attack if they haven't used the Attack action that turn. Using Conjure Volley is your entire turn.

I factored in chance of missing, as well. If you assume that Conjure Volley also never misses, then it's dealing 36 damage per hit, but neither of those is likely to be the case.

And my bad on the rules bit, I wasn't aware of that. However, it doesn't change things all that much, at most it means one less round the combat needs to last for Conjure Volley to pull ahead. Alternatively, the TWF uses that bonus action for something else, say a Lightning Arrow attack with a dagger.

And for the damage boosts, Colossus Slayer is once per turn, so you don't get a ton of benefit from extra attacks (just a bit more reliability in getting at least one hit). Magic weapons favor TWF rangers (and polearm masters), not bow or duelist rangers, since the former gets more attacks naturally. You're only getting one extra attack's worth of magic weapon while Swift Quiver is up compared to a TWF, so it only closes the gap very slightly, and in return increases the gap of damage dealt whenever Swift Quiver isn't up.


Again, the TWF user cannot use a bonus action together with Whirlwind Attack. You have to take the Attack action to get your bonus attack. Whirlwind is not the Attack action.

Yup, my bad again. This means that a duelist, polearm master, or archer ranger gets more use out of these special abilities, but TWM still remains competitive in other areas, and even with whirlwind, he's still doing a lot of damage, just a bit less than the others.


So, in conclusion, I would say that there are four main ranger builds:

1) Polearm master: Deals the most damage, but is lacking on the defensive side, unless you take another feat to get heavy armor, but then you're even further behind on your main stat and your dex save still sucks.
2) Two-Weapon Fighting: Second best damage, second best defenses, and second best ranged attack due to the ease of stow/draw/throw from the dual wield feat, then draw and attack normally next turn.
3) Duelist: Slightly sub-par damage, but decent AoE with whirlwind, and the best defenses with their shield and dexterity.
4) Archer: Lowest damage, but still competitive, and obviously the best at range. Good AoE with Volley, and good single-target sustained with Swift Quiver.

I don't think you can say that any one of these is completely superior to the others. Polearm Master might be the all-around best, assuming you start as a variant human to get the feat at level 1, but its lack of defenses or ranged capability compared to the others keeps it from being strictly better.

Galen
2014-10-24, 02:23 PM
I think you're completely off-base trying to 'fix' TWF. It's plenty good on levels 1-5, at least on par with any other style on levels 6-10, and only loses steam on levels 11+, and even that only when compared to at 3+ attacks (a lot of classes only get 2 attack ever). Which is a nice balancing factor.

Your fix would basically make TWF the superior choice on any level. If it ain't broken, don't fix it, I say.

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 02:50 PM
Your fix would basically make TWF the superior choice on any level. If it ain't broken, don't fix it, I say.

It's not the superior choice at any level, though. From level 1 to 10 it is comparable to the other styles, with tradeoffs between each. At level 11+, it's simply worse than the other styles and you fall behind in expected damage significantly. Giving it the a find bonus attack simply keeps it in line.

Strill
2014-10-24, 04:09 PM
I think you're completely off-base trying to 'fix' TWF. It's plenty good on levels 1-5, at least on par with any other style on levels 6-10, and only loses steam on levels 11+, and even that only when compared to at 3+ attacks (a lot of classes only get 2 attack ever). Which is a nice balancing factor.

Your fix would basically make TWF the superior choice on any level. If it ain't broken, don't fix it, I say.

My change only applies to characters at level 11+. What's wrong with it?


1) Polearm master: Deals the most damage, but is lacking on the defensive side, unless you take another feat to get heavy armor, but then you're even further behind on your main stat and your dex save still sucks.They'll have taken Defense fighting style though. That brings their defense back up.


4) Archer: Lowest damage, but still competitive, and obviously the best at range. Good AoE with Volley, and good single-target sustained with Swift Quiver.+2 hit and they still have the lowest damage?

Shadow
2014-10-24, 04:26 PM
1) Polearm master: Deals the most damage, but is lacking on the defensive side, unless you take another feat to get heavy armor, but then you're even further behind on your main stat and your dex save still sucks.
That's not true in all cases.

One example:
Monk6 / rogue+
Dex build quarterstaff user, PM and GWM
1d8+mod + 1d8+mod attack, 7d6 sneak attack, 1d6+mod martial arts bonus attack
1d8+mod OA when an opponent enters reach
bonus action disengage to force the OA every round
cleave, power attack, stunning strike
AC=10+D+W, proficiency in Dex saves, uncanny dodge, evasion, deflect missles, shadow jump with bonus action hide to escape

Lacking on the defensive side? I don't think so.
And that's without any styles.

Drop rogue 14 in favor of fighter 1 and get second wind for 1D10+1 and GWF style to reroll any 1s & 2s (and shoot your damage through the roof if your DM deems sneak attack as weapon damage, which by RAW he should... RAI might be another matter).

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 04:47 PM
They'll have taken Defense fighting style though. That brings their defense back up.

You'll have 17-18 AC with medium armor (depending on whether you care about sneaking or not), equivalent to a TWF (17-18 with Studded depending on whether you take the feat). If you take a feat to gain heavy armor, your AC goes up to 19, which is quite good, though again you give up on sneaking. Where you're really hurt, though, is on dexterity saves, and indirectly losing out on con and/or wis, since you're needing to get Dex up to 14 or using up an ABI to get there. You'll also lose out on initiative and the dex-related skills.

It's certainly not a crippling loss, and if you go heavy armor you probably have the second best defenses behind a duelist with shield, but it's still a disadvantage.


+2 hit and they still have the lowest damage?

Yup. +2 hit is (very) slightly worse than +2 damage most of the time, putting it just behind a duelist. Against targets that are hard to hit, or when being ranged allows you to attack more often, it certainly does start to shine more, though.


That's not true in all cases.

One example:
Monk6 / rogue+
Dex build quarterstaff user, PM and GWM
1d8+mod + 1d8+mod attack, 7d6 sneak attack, 1d6+mod martial arts bonus attack
1d8+mod OA when an opponent enters reach
bonus action disengage to force the OA every round
cleave, power attack, stunning strike
AC=10+D+W, proficiency in Dex saves, uncanny dodge, evasion, deflect missles, shadow jump with bonus action hide to escape

Lacking on the defensive side? I don't think so.
And that's without any styles.

Drop rogue 14 in favor of fighter 1 and get second wind for 1D10+1 and GWF style to reroll any 1s & 2s (and shoot your damage through the roof if your DM deems sneak attack as weapon damage, which by RAW he should... RAI might be another matter).

Quarterstaff is not a Finesse or Ranged weapon, so you can't sneak attack. Martial Arts only allows you to use dex instead of str for monk weapons, it doesn't turn them into finesse weapons. Sneak attack is not weapon damage by any kind of RAW reading, it's very obviously extra damage. This is irrelevant though since, as said before, you can't sneak attack with anything that you could apply GWF to.

Galen
2014-10-24, 04:57 PM
It's not the superior choice at any level, though. From level 1 to 10 it is comparable to the other st less, with tradeoffs between each. At level 11+, it's simply worse than the other styles and you fall behind in expected damage significantly. Giving it the a find bonus attack simply keeps it in line.

Let's check. Single attack, ability bonus +4. Combat style investment, but no feat investment.

Great Weapon: one attack for 2d6(reroll 1,2) + 4 = 12.33
Dual-Wield: two attacks for 1d6+4 = 15.00 (+21% compared to GW)

And now, two attacks, ability bonus +5, again with Combat style investment, but no feat investment.

Great Weapon: two attacks for 2d6(reroll 1,2) + 5 = 26.66
Dual-Wield: three attacks for 1d6+5 = 25.50 (-4% compared to GW)

So, with no Extra Attacks, TWF is clearly the best DPR. With one extra attack it falls behind very slightly. With three attacks, I won't do the math, but concede it falls behind significantly. With four attacks, ... who cares, only one class has four attacks, and only for 1 level.

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 05:16 PM
Let's check. Single attack, ability bonus +4. Combat style investment, but no feat investment.

Great Weapon: one attack for 2d6(reroll 1,2) + 4 = 12.33
Dual-Wield: two attacks for 1d6+4 = 15.00 (+21% compared to GW)

And now, two attacks, ability bonus +5, again with Combat style investment, but no feat investment.

Great Weapon: two attacks for 2d6(reroll 1,2) + 5 = 26.66
Dual-Wield: three attacks for 1d6+5 = 25.50 (-4% compared to GW)

So, with no Extra Attacks, TWF is clearly the best DPR. With one extra attack it falls behind very slightly. With three attacks, I won't do the math, but concede it falls behind significantly. With four attacks, ... who cares, only one class has four attacks, and only for 1 level.

As I said before, I already did the math on this. TWF deals ~30% more damage than a GWF from level 1 to 4,~5% more from 5-10, 6% less from level 11-19, and 22% less at 20. With the extra attack, this changes to 17% more damage from 11-19, and 6% more at level 20.

As noted, this does give a TWF the best baseline damage. However, if a GWF gets extra attacks, whether they're opportunity attacks or cleave attacks from the feat, their damage can easily over-top a TWF, coming out even if both get one more attack than usual each round (ie: both get an opportunity attack), and coming out well ahead if the GWF is able to get a cleave attack. And of course, a GWF gets better AC by default (TWF can catch up by spending 15 on STR), though they're lacking a bit in saves.

Galen
2014-10-24, 05:32 PM
As I said before, I already did the math on this. TWF deals ~30% more damage than a GWF from level 1 to 4,~5% more from 5-10, 6% less from level 11-19, and 22% less at 20. With the extra attack, this changes to 17% more damage from 11-19, and 6% more at level 20.
What I find interesting here is that on average across a character's 1-20 level career, TWF's baseline deals 3% more damage.
(1.30 x 4 + 1.05 x 6 + 0.94 x 9 + 0.78 x 1)/20 = 1.03



And of course, a GWF gets better AC by default (TWF can catch up by spending 15 on STR), though they're lacking a bit in saves.
TWF can be Strengh-based too. A finesse weapon, like Shortsword, means you can use your Dex bonus instead of Str, not that you have to. A STR-20/DEX-10 fullplate-wearing Fighter can just as well fight with shortswords.

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 05:47 PM
What I find interesting here is that on average across a character's 1-20 level career, TWF's baseline deals 3% more damage.
(1.30 x 4 + 1.05 x 6 + 0.94 x 9 + 0.78 x 1)/20 = 1.03

Adding them up in my spreadsheet, it actually comes out to 4.4% more. With the homebrew, it's 15.8% more. However, that's with the Dual Wield feat to use larger weapons, which means that the GWF also has cleave and power attack to potentially boost their damage. TWF deals more by default in this scenario, but the GWF has tools to catch up if they can use them at least occasionally.

Without feats, the overall difference changes to TWF dealing 8% less damage than a GWF over all levels, or 2.3% more than GWF with the homebrew change.

Shadow
2014-10-24, 07:31 PM
1: Quarterstaff is not a Finesse or Ranged weapon, so you can't sneak attack. 2: Martial Arts only allows you to use dex instead of str for monk weapons, it doesn't turn them into finesse weapons. 3: Sneak attack is not weapon damage by any kind of RAW reading, it's very obviously extra damage. 4: This is irrelevant though since, as said before, you can't sneak attack with anything that you could apply GWF to.

I'll take these in order.
1 & 2: Mearls disagrees with you. As a monk can use Dex with them, it is a finesse weapon for a monk. Google or check thesageadvice it if you don't believe me.

3: Great Weapon Fighting style reads: "When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit."
Was the attack made with a weapon you were wielding in two hands? Yes.
Does the weapon have the versatile property? Yes.
Is sneak attack a damage die from this attack? Yes.
By the RAW of GWF, sneak attack gets rerolled as well. But like I said, RAI may be another matter.

4: I have just proven that there is indeed one situation where you can sneak attack with a weapon that you can apply GWF to, according to the RAW. And Mearls agrees with me. You know, one of the designers.

Side note: I would never allow rerolls on GWF for sneak attack damage, because RAI is more important that RAW. But by RAW you most certainly can.

AgentPaper
2014-10-24, 07:58 PM
I'll take these in order.
1 & 2: Mearls disagrees with you. As a monk can use Dex with them, it is a finesse weapon for a monk. Google or check thesageadvice it if you don't believe me.

3: Great Weapon Fighting style reads: "When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit."
Was the attack made with a weapon you were wielding in two hands? Yes.
Does the weapon have the versatile property? Yes.
Is sneak attack a damage die from this attack? Yes.
By the RAW of GWF, sneak attack gets rerolled as well. But like I said, RAI may be another matter.

4: I have just proven that there is indeed one situation where you can sneak attack with a weapon that you can apply GWF to, according to the RAW. And Mearls agrees with me. You know, one of the designers.

Side note: I would never allow rerolls on GWF for sneak attack damage, because RAI is more important that RAW. But by RAW you most certainly can.

By RAW you cannot sneak attack with a quarterstaff. I read that quote from mearls, and he said he'd allow it because it doesn't break anything. That doesn't change that, by RAW, it doesn't work.

By RAW, after reading it again I agree that by RAW this applies to sneak attack damage. However, mearls had another tidbit where he stated that GWF is only meant to affect the dice from the weapon, and not extra ones such as from a paladin's Smite.

So, by RAW, you can't sneak attack with a quarterstaff, and by RAI, you can't boost the sneak attack damage with GWF. Trying to interpret one thing by RAW and another by RAI is basically the definition of munchkining, so I doubt you'll get it to work at any table. At any rate, it's irrelevant to the conversation.

At any rate, the original thing you were quoting from me was very specifically talking about ranger builds, not monk or multiclass builds. You could certainly play a polearm master Monk who uses a quarterstaff and has great defenses, but that's irrelevant. I'd offer to do the math on monks to compare TWF and other style there as well, but given that a monk can attack once or even twice with their bonus action already, no matter the build, I doubt it would produce much of interest. If your DM allows you to 2H a quarterstaff and still make unarmed attacks (and he probably should), then do that. If not, then use a shortsword or whatever, eventually it won't matter because any weapon you can use will deal 1d10 anyways.

Rysan Marquise
2014-10-24, 08:16 PM
Just going to bring up. This is about this guys houserules, not this specific entrenched argument.


There are better places for it.

DiBastet
2014-10-24, 11:41 PM
Aye.

Good point on guidance. Plenty of rp potential wiyh such a duration