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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Need opinion about the balance of some ideas



Citan
2015-10-07, 12:34 PM
Hi all!

I'm writing a homebrew class. I have made a first draft, very rich in ideas (too much? ;)) and currently trying to clean up things and trying to avoid OPness.

My problem is, I have difficulty to gauge the interest and mechanical balance of some of my ideas. So I'd like the opinions of experienced DD5 players/dmers.

Thanks.

1. Allowing a character to make "melee weapon attacks" at a range of 30 feet
The fluff is, in short, that the character learns how to make "kamaitachi". The obvious combo I see is with GMW/GWF, but it would work with any weapon so...
a) Would it be OP whatever the case?
b) Or would it be acceptable as a high-level ability (like, lvl 15 or more)?

2. Allowing all attacks to bypass physical damage immunities (capstone).
I couldn't think of any potential cheese with this, I'm in fact afraid that it would be a bit "light" for a near-capstone ability since I don't see many creatures being immune to physical. Am I wrong?

3. Allowing to dual-wield heavy weapons (capstone)
So, you could combine dual-wield feats with heavy weapons feats. I feel that it could lead to overpowerness, but still requires a heavy investment in feats and dedicated builds. So, would it be acceptable as lvl 20 ability?

4. Giving a "Manoeuver-like" ability (on weapon attack, per short rest) at lvl 7 that provides additional damage AND good effect for a turn such as "slowed", "no reactions" or "stunned"?

Thanks a bunch for your feedback.

LordotTrinkets
2015-10-07, 01:31 PM
Well, I'm only familiar with 3.5, so my opinion probably has no impact on this. Just hear me out and see if any of the points I provide apply to 5e:

Ranged Melee attacks: By itself, I think would be relatively benign. I can see this ability extending to more stuff than just melee attacks by some basic rules lawyering. (In 3.5 at least) Grapples count as melee attacks, and it's a childishly simple trick to make that apply to 'grappling' that key/lantern/stolen gear 30ft away. If you plan to keep this ability this way, I would just change the wording to having a reach of 30ft.

Oh! Disarming, and Sundering now come to mind. You can now knock enemies's weapons from their hands and smash them from 30ft away, possibly getting past attack of opportunity. Just something to consider.

Bypass physical damage immunities: Capstone aside, there are actually quite a few things in the world that have least resistance to physical damage. All items have a hardness score, damage reduction for non-creatures. Unless the capstone is kept relatively low, this guy can easily break through adamantium walls.

You know that trope of the hulking behemoth fighting the hero on a bridge? Yeah, expect wise-guys with this ability to start smashing the bridge beneath the troll, making it fall to its death, from a cushy 30ft away.

Also, unless the different rules say otherwise in 5e, the only things that are 'immune' to physical damage are incorporeal creatures. Even then, that's bypassed by magic weapons (with a miss chance) and ghost-touch weapons (guaranteed hit). Again, if kept as written, it might be better to say that all attacks are treated as ghost-touch. Very little abuse can come from that.

Dual wield heavy weapons: ...EEP!:smalleek: If I'm reading correctly and you're saying that you can literally dual-wield heavy weapons (and even then, if the only one heavy weapon rule applies), things have started getting terrifying. People with all these abilities are now thwacking people with heavy war hammers from 30ft away, adamantine becomes no better than tin-foil; give this guy an extra arm, tower shield for cover, and the heaviest armor around and you have a living tank. By now, dexterity has become a dump skill as moving has become obsolete for the most part.

Also worth noting, if one of the class abilities require a specific build to take full advantage of, something has gone horribly wrong.

Maneuvers: Cherry on top of the banana-split-super-tank.

Again, maybe I'm wrong with this assessment, maybe this is a perfectly stable class in 5e. This appraisal has been done according to 3.5 rules, so things might be done differently.

Citan
2015-10-08, 04:04 AM
Hi!

Thank you for your feedback.
I should have precised that all abilities given in example weren't available to the same character (although most do indeed ;)). So you couldn't make ranged attack from dual-wielded heavy weapon that would bypass all physical immunities. ^^

One of your sentence "worry" me a bit though:
Also worth noting, if one of the class abilities require a specific build to take full advantage of, something has gone horribly wrong.
I understand well the principle behind, being that "you have to enjoy a class even if it's not optimized".
But isn't normal to suppose at least a reasonable distribution of stats? I mean, take the Barbarian, one couldn't expect a player to make a Barbarian with dumped STR/DEX and instead put everything in INT/WIS could he?

I have been trying to make the class "dual-stat" dependant (such as Barbarian or Monk), while also providing some bonus that are third-stat dependant, in order to encourage more balanced stats (and because it's coherent fluff-wise).
Meaning that you always get the bonus, but it will be better if you pumped this stat (while still being useful if you dumped the stat). Would that be a bad idea in any case in your opinion?

JNAProductions
2015-10-08, 04:10 AM
Honestly, it's hard to say without anything else. These abilities are just kinda in a vacuum-you need a class or subclass around them to really figure out how (un)balanced they are.

Citan
2015-10-08, 05:50 AM
Right. Duly noted.
Still have lots of work on the class though (several things are overly complex as it is compared to 5e overall mechanics) :/
I'll post the (first version of the) class as soon as I can but won't be before at least a week (not much time to spend on it unfortunately).

Thanks anyways for your answers.

Stan
2015-10-08, 06:46 AM
For capstone, you can kinda go nuts, they almost never come up anyway.

I think what Lord of Trinkets was saying is that dual wielding heavy weapons is very powerful but you have to take the dual wielding options along the way to really get use out of it so the capstone pushes towards particular (non-optimal) build.

Citan
2015-10-08, 07:02 AM
For capstone, you can kinda go nuts, they almost never come up anyway.

I think what Lord of Trinkets was saying is that dual wielding heavy weapons is very powerful but you have to take the dual wielding options along the way to really get use out of it so the capstone pushes towards particular (non-optimal) build.
Ok, thanks for the clarification. I didn't think such a requirement would be bad (because someone who builds up to 20, I suppose he have a bit of planning in mind) but in that case, maybe I'll integrate a part of the dual-wielding feats or fighting style to avoid problems.

Amnoriath
2015-10-08, 10:19 AM
Like others have said I can't really say if its balanced or not but currently you don't have enough of rounded concept to even have a subclass much less a base class. This is all about weapons and battle currently with no thought to outside of combat, movement, interaction, or even defense. I am not trying to be mean but you need a heroic concept before you can say "I want it to do this and this..etc," otherwise you are going to get what LordofTrinkets is afraid of.

Citan
2015-10-08, 11:05 AM
Well, as a matter of fact you are being a bit rude. :)
I HAVE a concept behind the class (I even have currently ~40 pages covering fluff, base class abilities and 7 archetypes ^^). I just didn't want to expose it yet, first to keep the surprise, second because there are some parts that need significant rework before being exposed to feedback (raw ideas to test, parts to rewrite parts for clarity etc). But well...

Basically, the concept is an agile warrior at core (with at least 2 attacks and Fighting Style), which however enhances its fighting ability with elemental energy: from the classic "elemental weapon" to special abilities such as (high-level) deflecting energy spells against another creature, or being able to use special abilities born from custom, elemental-made weapons. Archetypes are, for some, centered on one Element (Air/Fire/Water etc) and gain bonus related to it, as well as the ability to mimic some spells. Each one develops a very different playstyle.

The questions I were asking were related to the Wind archetype, a warrior that doesn't really care about complex spells and basically uses raw gusts of wind to increase mobility (up to fly), carry ability (luggage and weapons), offense ability (making kamaitachis) and defense (Warding Wind, Wind Wall). So this archetype is one of the less "casterish" and has strong affinities with Strength build (although, like a Barbarian, it can work well on a Dex-base also). Its representative lvl 20 hero would indeed be a warrior wielding heavy weapons in both hands, wreacking havoc through the battlefield by landing 2 GWM-powered kama´tachis (melee attack at range 30 feet) with its Extra Attack action.

On that note, considering how I fluffed their ability to use elements (basically mixing environmental energy with their lifeforce), the "candidate" stats for using abilities are Constitution and Wisdom. I was thinking about using Constitution, partly because it's more in phase with my fluff, partly because Wisdom is already largely used and has "divine" flavor often associated.

Considering that most abilities are non-concentration (only some mimicked spells), would it still be too powerful (because Constitution is good for any character, so makes it easy to "optimize") or would it be acceptable?

Amnoriath
2015-10-08, 12:11 PM
Well, as a matter of fact you are being a bit rude. :)
I HAVE a concept behind the class (I even have currently ~40 pages covering fluff, base class abilities and 7 archetypes ^^). I just didn't want to expose it yet, first to keep the surprise, second because there are some parts that need significant rework before being exposed to feedback (raw ideas to test, parts to rewrite parts for clarity etc). But well...

Basically, the concept is an agile warrior at core (with at least 2 attacks and Fighting Style), which however enhances its fighting ability with elemental energy: from the classic "elemental weapon" to special abilities such as (high-level) deflecting energy spells against another creature, or being able to use special abilities born from custom, elemental-made weapons. Archetypes are, for some, centered on one Element (Air/Fire/Water etc) and gain bonus related to it, as well as the ability to mimic some spells. Each one develops a very different playstyle.

The questions I were asking were related to the Wind archetype, a warrior that doesn't really care about complex spells and basically uses raw gusts of wind to increase mobility (up to fly), carry ability (luggage and weapons), offense ability (making kamaitachis) and defense (Warding Wind, Wind Wall). So this archetype is one of the less "casterish" and has strong affinities with Strength build (although, like a Barbarian, it can work well on a Dex-base also). Its representative lvl 20 hero would indeed be a warrior wielding heavy weapons in both hands, wreacking havoc through the battlefield by landing 2 GWM-powered kama´tachis (melee attack at range 30 feet) with its Extra Attack action.

On that note, considering how I fluffed their ability to use elements (basically mixing environmental energy with their lifeforce), the "candidate" stats for using abilities are Constitution and Wisdom. I was thinking about using Constitution, partly because it's more in phase with my fluff, partly because Wisdom is already largely used and has "divine" flavor often associated.

Considering that most abilities are non-concentration (only some mimicked spells), would it still be too powerful (because Constitution is good for any character, so makes it easy to "optimize") or would it be acceptable?
1. Okay, then tell me how dual wielding heavy weapons has an essential role in Wind? You may have the material but many of the abilities sound like this is how I want them more than this makes sense.
2. Archetypes shouldn't be used to define a class. Again while you may have the material you need to show this base class can as a whole exist without the archetype, otherwise it is a subclass.
3. Again I go back to 1 and which also begs the question how is it balanced.
4. Except than you are giving caster and major gish combos with low ability score dependency while working outside of concentration.
You really just need to bring up the essential bits you have because otherwuse no one can work with you to critique it effectively.

Citan
2015-10-08, 05:52 PM
1. Okay, then tell me how dual wielding heavy weapons has an essential role in Wind? You may have the material but many of the abilities sound like this is how I want them more than this makes sense.
2. Archetypes shouldn't be used to define a class. Again while you may have the material you need to show this base class can as a whole exist without the archetype, otherwise it is a subclass.
3. Again I go back to 1 and which also begs the question how is it balanced.
4. Except than you are giving caster and major gish combos with low ability score dependency while working outside of concentration.
You really just need to bring up the essential bits you have because otherwuse no one can work with you to critique it effectively.

Okay. I understand well the fact that you need material and I'll try to put it online as fast as I can. Also, thanks for the confirmation on my worry about using Constitution as "spellcasting" ability.

I'm sorry I'm not sure to understand your first question, so my answer may be totally out of place. The idea of this archetype is that he has mainly 2 attacks per action, as other martials, but as he grows he gains basically "melee attacks" at range, and a few "spell slots" to either cast a few spells as normal (Fly, Warding Wind, Wind Wall, etc) or enhance himself with a temporary boost.

It has several choices for his capstone ability: one gives "heavy weapon dual-wield", another gives the ability to cast Whirlwind, another to cast Wind Walk, and the last just giving him a few more lower level slots.
So you can choose a lvl 20 capstone relating to how you built your character, meaning that whether you built it more as a fighter or more as a hybrid.

The class in itself bring "general abilities" working with a set of elements (fire/cold/lightning/thunder/etc) to improve either your defense (avoid as reaction, get resistance for a time) or offense (throw energy balls, imbue your weapon in a way similar to Elemental Weapon).

Anyways... I understand very well if you can't add any more criticism with only this information, so I'll update the thread when core abilities and at least one archetype are cleaned up.
Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Belac93
2015-10-08, 08:29 PM
Hi all!
2. Allowing all attacks to bypass physical damage immunities (capstone).
I couldn't think of any potential cheese with this, I'm in fact afraid that it would be a bit "light" for a near-capstone ability since I don't see many creatures being immune to physical. Am I wrong?


This could be: All weapon attacks made by a [class name] ignore resistance and immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
The idea of bypassing physical immunity but not resistance is kinda silly. This could be too weak, because many creatures that have immunity or resistance to physical, the resistance can be bypassed by magical weapons. Most melee PCs will have a magical weapon by level 10, as they start appearing at level 4, rendering a level 20 ability null and void.