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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Roguish Archetype: The Avenger (PEACH) by DracoKnight



DracoKnight
2015-12-16, 06:17 AM
I actually started working on this weeks ago, when my friend introduced me to Chris Perkin's PAX games, and I was highly entertained by Aeofel, Wil Wheaton's character. I wanted to make it a Roguish Archetype, based on the class features the Rogue got, and the Avenger didn't seem to be the same style of character as the Vengeance Paladin. Here is the first draft of DracoKnight's 5e Avenger (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gIlfg6VmbAkHEx9VQs5tGhjNtQWEDgBH3lOKAvnZ6dA/edit?usp=sharing).

Also, I didn't see SwordChuck's Avenger (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?472283-Roguish-Archetype-Avenger-(WIP)) until after I had completed my own take on this Roguish Archetype.

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-16, 06:44 AM
I feel like this is probably OP, but I like some of the design choices you made. Maybe make it a 1/3 caster, like the Arcane Trickster, and giving them the Cleric/Paladin/custom spell list. Then you could have the 3rd level feature being Religion proficiency + radiant Sneak Attack, hunters mark & spiritual weapon are on the spell list, and then you'd need a new 9th level feature. I think that the 13th and 17th level features are fine.

SwordChuck
2015-12-16, 07:20 AM
I feel like this is probably OP, but I like some of the design choices you made. Maybe make it a 1/3 caster, like the Arcane Trickster, and giving them the Cleric/Paladin/custom spell list. Then you could have the 3rd level feature being Religion proficiency + radiant Sneak Attack, hunters mark & spiritual weapon are on the spell list, and then you'd need a new 9th level feature. I think that the 13th and 17th level features are fine.

The problem with balancing this against current rogue subclasses is that, at least in core, they are pretty damn lackluster and are full of stuff that looks great on paper but not in practical use.

I would say balance things against other subclasses or classes. One of the worst things about 5e, though I love 5e, is that martials stop growing near mid levels while casters continue to grow and become OP. As long as you don't make an Onion druid, "I'm telling my deity to get their butt in gear and help me", or wish + sirmalacrum cheese... I think you will be fine..

OP: I would love to see more Avenger ideas out there, One of my favorite classes in 4e, fluff and mechanics, was the Avenger. Hell I believe the reason why we have advantage in 5e is cause that class showed how much fun it is to roll 2d20 when you attack. :p

DracoKnight
2015-12-16, 08:52 AM
I feel like this is probably OP, but I like some of the design choices you made. Maybe make it a 1/3 caster, like the Arcane Trickster, and giving them the Cleric/Paladin/custom spell list. Then you could have the 3rd level feature being Religion proficiency + radiant Sneak Attack, hunters mark & spiritual weapon are on the spell list, and then you'd need a new 9th level feature. I think that the 13th and 17th level features are fine.

I've updated the link in the OP with your suggestions, turning the Avenger into a 1/3 Caster, and giving them a custom cantrip: avenger's strike. As their 9th level feature I gave them a single Extra Attack. Their spell list is comprised of spells I felt fit the class thematically.


The problem with balancing this against current rogue subclasses is that, at least in core, they are pretty damn lackluster and are full of stuff that looks great on paper but not in practical use.

I would say balance things against other subclasses or classes. One of the worst things about 5e, though I love 5e, is that martials stop growing near mid levels while casters continue to grow and become OP. As long as you don't make an Onion druid, "I'm telling my deity to get their butt in gear and help me", or wish + sirmalacrum cheese... I think you will be fine..

OP: I would love to see more Avenger ideas out there, One of my favorite classes in 4e, fluff and mechanics, was the Avenger. Hell I believe the reason why we have advantage in 5e is cause that class showed how much fun it is to roll 2d20 when you attack. :p

To a degree, I agree with you, but at the same time, you can't completely throw out the balance of the class set forth by the designers; because if you do, and you make that particular option available to your players, they will pick it every time unless it's for thematics. And most every gamer would be willing to make their character work with the thematics of a class option to play the power option.

SwordChuck
2015-12-16, 09:04 AM
To a degree, I agree with you, but at the same time, you can't completely throw out the balance of the class set forth by the designers; because if you do, and you make that particular option available to your players, they will pick it every time unless it's for thematics. And most every gamer would be willing to make their character work with the thematics of a class option to play the power option.

Then you will never be able to improve the Rogue or make a good subclass for the Rogue.*

Most groups don't double up on the same class, there is a weird stigma against it. So balancing a subclass or base class versus the other classes is more important than balancing it against itself.

WotC seems to agree for the most part. Look at the Sorcerer playtest material, it hasn't been balanced versus the core sorcerer but has been (mostly) balanced versus the other classes.



* In general, I'm not saying your is bad, but the idea behind balancing something with another thing that isn't balanced will result in an unbalanced homebrew.

DracoKnight
2015-12-16, 09:07 AM
WotC seems to agree for the most part. Look at the Sorcerer playtest material, it hasn't been balanced versus the core sorcerer but has been (mostly) balanced versus the other classes.

But when they released the official Stormborn Sorcerer, it was balanced against the two existing Sorcerous Bloodlines.

SwordChuck
2015-12-16, 09:17 AM
But when they released the official Stormborn Sorcerer, it was balanced against the two existing Sorcerous Bloodlines.

From what I've seen the Storm Sorcerer is stronger than the other bloodlines.

Bloodline Capstone curbstomps the Dragon sorcerer. Flight and immunity to two damage types?

Free disengage (10' flight) starting at low levels? Holy crap that's a strong feature when used properly.

I forget, does the Storm Sorcerer get bonus spells still?




The reason I see it this way is that when I allow homebrew class/subclasses and everyone else brings solid balanced options and one person brings something that ain't up to par with the others... It is always a no.

When I allow homebrew I want it to be balanced versus the game/other homebrew rather than balanced versus a core option that isn't balanced to begin with.

I hope that makes sense :smallsmile:

Requiemforlust
2015-12-16, 10:36 AM
DracoKnight's 5e Avenger (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gIlfg6VmbAkHEx9VQs5tGhjNtQWEDgBH3lOKAvnZ6dA/edit?usp=sharing)

I really like this version of the Avenger. I think you managed to capture a lot of the flavor, and you made it feel almost like a "Paladin Lite" but more cunning, and less concern about what is morally right. I like morally gray characters, so this is pretty awesome. :smallbiggrin:

DracoKnight
2015-12-16, 10:37 AM
I hope that makes sense :smallsmile:

It makes sense. I disagree, but it makes sense :smallsmile:

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-16, 08:56 PM
There we go. Now it's more cohesive - a much better take on this subclass.

weaseldust
2015-12-16, 10:27 PM
Avenger's Strike plus a second attack allows for too much damage. E.g. at level 11 the damage they can expect to deal with a rapier is 2d8+10+6d6+6d4 = 55 average, multiplied by their chance to hit. A Fighter with a greatsword deals 3*(8 1/3 + 5) = 40 average, multiplied by the chance to hit.

At level 17, the Avenger gets 2d8+10+9d6+8d4 = 70.5 average, vs that same 40 for the Fighter. Obviously, the Fighter has other class features to keep up, and more of the Avenger's damage will be wasted on overkill, but not enough to make up for giving them 75% extra per round.

Losing the extra attack brings the average down to 38 at level 11 and 51 at level 17 (which is still a bit much, really). Losing Avenger's Strike brings it down to 40 and 50.5.

Also, since Avenger's Strike doesn't require concentration, you can stack it with Hunter's Mark for an extra 7 damage on the totals above. And I'm ignoring the effects of making your weapon a holy avenger because I can't look it up at the moment, but I bet it increases the expected damage.

To be honest, you don't need to increase their damage output at all given that they have access to Booming Blade and Greenflame Blade.


I've never played an Avenger, but I personally don't find either the extra attack or Avenger's Strike very evocative. Given the flavour text at the beginning, I would have expected something like an ability that lets you retaliate against enemies that harm you or your allies, or that helps you find them or chase them down (but then, Vengeance Paladins get that already), or that prevents you from being reduced to 0HP if your enemy is still alive, or that lets you deal extra damage if you reduce your enemy close to 0HP.

E.g. my suggestion for Avenger's Strike: you name a creature and roll a d4 and, if you reduce that creature's HP below the amount rolled with a weapon attack that turn, it is immediately killed. You could still increase the amount rolled by d4 at levels 5, 11, and 17. Auto killing below 10HP or so is fine at level 17, but also a unique ability. At level 3, I'd also suggest something like: you can Sneak Attack any creature that has dealt damage to another creature since the end of your last turn; when you do so, the extra damage you deal is radiant damage. That way it feels more like avenging a wrong than just being a bit Paladin-y.

DracoKnight
2015-12-17, 02:15 PM
Avenger's Strike plus a second attack allows for too much damage. E.g. at level 11 the damage they can expect to deal with a rapier is 2d8+10+6d6+6d4 = 55 average, multiplied by their chance to hit. A Fighter with a greatsword deals 3*(8 1/3 + 5) = 40 average, multiplied by the chance to hit.

At level 17, the Avenger gets 2d8+10+9d6+8d4 = 70.5 average, vs that same 40 for the Fighter. Obviously, the Fighter has other class features to keep up, and more of the Avenger's damage will be wasted on overkill, but not enough to make up for giving them 75% extra per round.

Losing the extra attack brings the average down to 38 at level 11 and 51 at level 17 (which is still a bit much, really). Losing Avenger's Strike brings it down to 40 and 50.5.

Also, since Avenger's Strike doesn't require concentration, you can stack it with Hunter's Mark for an extra 7 damage on the totals above. And I'm ignoring the effects of making your weapon a holy avenger because I can't look it up at the moment, but I bet it increases the expected damage.

To be honest, you don't need to increase their damage output at all given that they have access to Booming Blade and Greenflame Blade.


I've never played an Avenger, but I personally don't find either the extra attack or Avenger's Strike very evocative. Given the flavour text at the beginning, I would have expected something like an ability that lets you retaliate against enemies that harm you or your allies, or that helps you find them or chase them down (but then, Vengeance Paladins get that already), or that prevents you from being reduced to 0HP if your enemy is still alive, or that lets you deal extra damage if you reduce your enemy close to 0HP.

E.g. my suggestion for Avenger's Strike: you name a creature and roll a d4 and, if you reduce that creature's HP below the amount rolled with a weapon attack that turn, it is immediately killed. You could still increase the amount rolled by d4 at levels 5, 11, and 17. Auto killing below 10HP or so is fine at level 17, but also a unique ability. At level 3, I'd also suggest something like: you can Sneak Attack any creature that has dealt damage to another creature since the end of your last turn; when you do so, the extra damage you deal is radiant damage. That way it feels more like avenging a wrong than just being a bit Paladin-y.

I've never played an Avenger either. My only exposure to the Avenger is Wil Wheaton's character on PAX Prime several years ago. 5e is my first edition. I just gave it what I though it should have. If you don't think that Extra Attack will work, then I'll do away with that, but I do like Avenger's Strike.

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-17, 07:15 PM
Avenger's Strike plus a second attack allows for too much damage. E.g. at level 11 the damage they can expect to deal with a rapier is 2d8+10+6d6+6d4 = 55 average, multiplied by their chance to hit. A Fighter with a greatsword deals 3*(8 1/3 + 5) = 40 average, multiplied by the chance to hit.

At level 17, the Avenger gets 2d8+10+9d6+8d4 = 70.5 average, vs that same 40 for the Fighter. Obviously, the Fighter has other class features to keep up, and more of the Avenger's damage will be wasted on overkill, but not enough to make up for giving them 75% extra per round.

Losing the extra attack brings the average down to 38 at level 11 and 51 at level 17 (which is still a bit much, really). Losing Avenger's Strike brings it down to 40 and 50.5.

Also, since Avenger's Strike doesn't require concentration, you can stack it with Hunter's Mark for an extra 7 damage on the totals above. And I'm ignoring the effects of making your weapon a holy avenger because I can't look it up at the moment, but I bet it increases the expected damage.

To be honest, you don't need to increase their damage output at all given that they have access to Booming Blade and Greenflame Blade.


I've never played an Avenger, but I personally don't find either the extra attack or Avenger's Strike very evocative. Given the flavour text at the beginning, I would have expected something like an ability that lets you retaliate against enemies that harm you or your allies, or that helps you find them or chase them down (but then, Vengeance Paladins get that already), or that prevents you from being reduced to 0HP if your enemy is still alive, or that lets you deal extra damage if you reduce your enemy close to 0HP.

E.g. my suggestion for Avenger's Strike: you name a creature and roll a d4 and, if you reduce that creature's HP below the amount rolled with a weapon attack that turn, it is immediately killed. You could still increase the amount rolled by d4 at levels 5, 11, and 17. Auto killing below 10HP or so is fine at level 17, but also a unique ability. At level 3, I'd also suggest something like: you can Sneak Attack any creature that has dealt damage to another creature since the end of your last turn; when you do so, the extra damage you deal is radiant damage. That way it feels more like avenging a wrong than just being a bit Paladin-y.

This is coming from someone who *did* play an Avenger: I think it does a lot to capture the class. And personally, I like avenger's strike. It feels kinda like a mini-Smite. And the Avenger was like Paladin-lite in previous editions. And I wouldn't worry about damage too much. An Avenger using this build would likely not use that Extra Attack very often (actually, I think I probably agree with you - it should be taken out) because most rounds will look like this: weapon (d8) + sneak attack (max 10d6) + booming blade (max 3d8) + avenger's strike (max 4d4) + hunter's mark (1d6). Given it's role in 4e (Striker) this does not worry me. This is only 4d4 ahead of what's currently possible in 5e. In fact, it's possible to get that 4d4 in 5e. You have your Bard and Paladin cast divine favor and elemental weapon on the Arcane Trickster who took three levels of Hunter Ranger. This accomplishes more damage, actually than this incarnation of the Avenger does: weapon (d8) + sneak attack (9d6) + colossus slayer (d8) + booming blade (max 3d8) + hunter's mark (1d6) + elemental weapon (+3, 3d4) + divine favor (1d4). Yes, this does require team cooperation, but it's still ultimately stronger than the Avenger that DracoKnight has put forth, and by the way, it's still less powerful (I feel than the Avenger was previously) due to this not getting Channel Divinity.

DracoKnight
2015-12-17, 07:17 PM
Okay, so it needs to lose Extra Attack...what to replace it with?

Requiemforlust
2015-12-17, 09:55 PM
This is coming from someone who *did* play an Avenger: I think it does a lot to capture the class. And personally, I like avenger's strike. It feels kinda like a mini-Smite. And the Avenger was like Paladin-lite in previous editions. And I wouldn't worry about damage too much. An Avenger using this build would likely not use that Extra Attack very often (actually, I think I probably agree with you - it should be taken out) because most rounds will look like this: weapon (d8) + sneak attack (max 10d6) + booming blade (max 3d8) + avenger's strike (max 4d4) + hunter's mark (1d6). Given it's role in 4e (Striker) this does not worry me. This is only 4d4 ahead of what's currently possible in 5e. In fact, it's possible to get that 4d4 in 5e. You have your Bard and Paladin cast divine favor and elemental weapon on the Arcane Trickster who took three levels of Hunter Ranger. This accomplishes more damage, actually than this incarnation of the Avenger does: weapon (d8) + sneak attack (9d6) + colossus slayer (d8) + booming blade (max 3d8) + hunter's mark (1d6) + elemental weapon (+3, 3d4) + divine favor (1d4). Yes, this does require team cooperation, but it's still ultimately stronger than the Avenger that DracoKnight has put forth, and by the way, it's still less powerful (I feel than the Avenger was previously) due to this not getting Channel Divinity.

The flaw in your thinking is that you assume that the Bard and Paladin aren't still casting on the Avenger, which they very well could be. Now, I like this incarnation of the Avenger that DracoKnight has put forth, but don't compare a person's damage output while they're going it solo to an instance where they've got TWO teammates boosting their damage. You make yourself look incredibly stupid.

Now, I think the DPR output is fine. Particularly, if DracoKnight takes away the Extra Attack, and rewords avenger's strike a little bit. As to what could replace Extra Attack, I think Channel Divinity, with access to the Oath of Vengeance's options is a workable replacement. It's something they had in 4e.

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-17, 11:10 PM
The flaw in your thinking is that you assume that the Bard and Paladin aren't still casting on the Avenger, which they very well could be. Now, I like this incarnation of the Avenger that DracoKnight has put forth, but don't compare a person's damage output while they're going it solo to an instance where they've got TWO teammates boosting their damage. You make yourself look incredibly stupid.

Except that now they can cast on someone other than the rogue! So they probably aren't going to.

Requiemforlust
2015-12-17, 11:14 PM
Except that now they can cast on someone other than the rogue! So they probably aren't going to.

Yeah! Exactly, now they can cast on other people. You're just pointing out the flaws in your comparison. Casting on other people boosts the DPR of the party, ultimately raising their potential damage output.

Now as I've said, I don't have an issue with this Avenger's damage output, I like the class. I think I'd probably use it, after those couple of changes have been made. a couple of extra d4 a round aren't gonna break the game - hell, Assassinate and Death Stroke are far more powerful. I think that the class is fine once Extra Attack has been taken out of the features.

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-17, 11:15 PM
Yeah! Exactly, now they can cast on other people. You're just pointing out the flaws in your comparison. Casting on other people boosts the DPR of the party, ultimately raising their potential damage output.

But the damage output that DracoKnight put forth is attainable in game - that's all I was trying to convey! I'm not being stupid, I'm just saying that it's possible.

Requiemforlust
2015-12-17, 11:45 PM
But the damage output that DracoKnight put forth is attainable in game - that's all I was trying to convey! I'm not being stupid, I'm just saying that it's possible.

However, in your example it's possible by using up the concentration of two different teammates! Two teammates who now have their concentration freed. So, you using it to say that this damage is possible in the game already is invalid!

GandalfTheWhite
2015-12-17, 11:46 PM
However, in your example it's possible by using up the concentration of two different teammates! Two teammates who now have their concentration freed. So, you using it to say that this damage is possible in the game already is invalid!

My example is valid, because those spells - *checks book* - F*CK. Those spells are concentration. I didn't realize that. My example is invalid.

SterlingWren
2015-12-18, 02:22 AM
I agree with the above, take away the Extra Attack. Other than that, I think it's great. And I agree with the motivation behind this: the Oath of Vengeance does NOT capture the Avenger of previous editions.

DracoKnight
2015-12-18, 02:51 AM
Edited the Avenger. I took away Extra Attack. ADDED: Blinding Radiance.

SterlingWren
2015-12-18, 03:20 AM
ADDED: Blinding Radiance.

Oooooooo! I like it! :smallbiggrin:

Requiemforlust
2015-12-18, 12:00 PM
Awesome - you fixed avenger's strike and removed Extra Attack. The new ability seems fairly powerful, though. It might need to be toned down...however, the drawback is pretty bad too, so maybe not.

DracoKnight
2015-12-20, 04:06 PM
Are there any further thoughts on this, or can I release it to my players?