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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next [Class] The Gambler! (PEACH)



RabanoDOOM
2017-01-22, 10:59 PM
Hey there! So, I've been working on this class for a while now, it is my first attempt at a homebrew class, and I was hoping to put it up on these forums in the homes I could get some critique, insights, and maybe even some recommended tweaks in. I plan on making edits and updates to this post in the future to tweak the class. I'm well aware that the class is probably severely broken in certain areas, but I need your help to find where and why.
I wrote The Gambler as a sort of Semi-Skill Monkey / High Single-Target Damage Non-Magic Class that focuses on luck-based risk-taking abilities, as well as some abilities that scale to somewhat even the odds with even the most powerful enemies, with archetypes centering around either occasionally massive damage or acquiring and utilizing vast amounts of currency.

The Gambler


Level
Proficiency Bonus
Features


1st
+2
Snake Eyes, Even Odds, Card Counting


2nd
+2
Luck of the Draw, Skin in the Game


3rd
+2
Play Style


4th
+2
Ability Score Improvement


5th
+3
Fold, Extra Attack


6th
+3
Against The Odds, Five Card Push


7th
+3
Chipped Coin, Major Leagues


8th
+3
Ability Score Improvement


9th
+4
Play Style Feature


10th
+4
Ability Score Improvement


11th
+4
Hot Streak


12th
+4
Ability Score Improvement


13th
+5
Play Style Feature


14th
+5
Poker Face


15th
+5
Called Shot


16th
+5
Ability Score Improvement


17th
+6
Play Style Feature


18th
+6
Raise


19th
+6
Ability Score Improvement


20th
+6
Break Even



CLASS FEATURES
As a Gambler, you gain the following class features.

HIT POINTS
Hit Dice: d8
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + constitution modifier

PROFICIENCIES
Armor: Light
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: All Gaming Sets

Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Select 3 from Deception, Intimidation, Insight, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth

EQUIPMENT
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:


(a) a greatsword (b) two shortswords, or (c) any martial weapon
(a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack.
(a) any two gaming sets
Any simple weapon.

Snake Eyes
You can have miraculous successes when you least expect it. On a roll with advantage or disadvantage made by the gambler, if the two rolls made match, she may treat both as natural 20s.

Even Odds
Your luck gives you a fair shot against even the most insurmountable foes. While wearing no armor and not using a shield, any attacks made against you have their attack modifier cut in half. (Rounded down) The gambler may not benefit from Unarmored Defense while using this feature.

Card Counting
You have great experience in the world of gaming and gambling. You may add twice your proficiency bonus when using any gaming set.

Luck of the Draw
Lady luck can help decide whether you head in or turn tail. As a bonus action on the start of her turn, the gambler can flip a coin. If it lands heads, until her next turn, she has advantage on all attack rolls, and all attack rolls against her also have advantage. If it lands tails, she has disadvantage on all attack rolls, and all attack rolls against her also have disadvantage.

Skin in the Game
When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game, but you ain't going to win unless you play in the game. Starting when you reach gambler level 2, you may roll twice on every gambler level-up's hit die roll made to determine additional max health, and take the higher roll.

Play Style
At 3rd level, you choose a play style that you emulate in the exercise of your gambler abilities. You must decide whether you're an All-In Gambler or a Cash-Out Gambler. Your play style choice grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two Ability Scores of your choice by 1. You canít increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Fold
You feel no shame in bailing when the odds just aren't working in your favor. When the gambler is below half HP, (rounded up) she can disengage without expending an action.

Extra Attack
You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.

Against The Odds
You have a knack for making critical success out of certain failure. When rolling with disadvantage, if one of the dice rolls a natural 20, you may take that roll instead of any lower roll.

Five Card Push
The universe rewards you for stacking yourself up against insurmountable odds. When in melee combat with 3 or more enemies, attacks made by those enemies against you have disadvantage. (Flanking's advantage is neutralized by this)

Chipped Coin
Luck's fine and all, but cheating can be just as rewarding. After seeing the result of a Luck of the Draw, but before making any other actions, the gambler may choose to negate Luck of the Draw's effects.

Major Leagues
Your experience gambling takes you to a variety of places, playing in venues ranging from underground thieve's guild dens to luxurious noble halls and courts. You learn Thieves' Cant, and are treated as having both the Criminal Contacts and Court Functionary background features, even if you don't possess the Criminal or Courtier background.

Hot Streak
The rolls start coming and they don't stop coming. When you land a natural 20 on an attack, skill, or save, you gain advantage on your next attack, skill, or save.

Poker Face
Your many hours spent at the tables have trained you into a cold, stoic, emotionless machine. Or at the very least, to act the part. You gain proficiency in Deception, and if you were already proficient, you may add twice your proficiency bonus to all Deception rolls. Additionally, magic cannot be used to discern your lies.

Called Shot
Combat becomes less of an art, and more of a betting game. When you succeed on an attack roll with any weapon, you may make a guess what number(s) your damage dice will roll. If you are correct, you may roll those damage dice again and may then guess what they will roll, and so on. The minimum damage die this can be used on is a 1d4.

Wager
Your experience as a gambler takes a sudden shift, as you move up from the metaphorical minor leagues to the professional circuit. Starting at level 18, twice per short rest, you may choose to wager up to 25 HP on an attack, in quantities of 5. If the attack is a critical hit, you take no damage, and may add a number of damage die equal to 1/5th of the wagered HP to the critical hit. If the attack is not a critical hit, however, no damage die are added, and you take the HP wagered as untyped damage.

Break Even
One-in-a-million chances are drawn toward you like moths to a flame. When rolling advantage or disadvantage on an attack roll, skill, or save, if both rolls are even numbers, you may treat both rolls as being natural 20s.



Double Or Nothing
Starting at Level 3, you learn to take risks in combat that can result in tremendous success or tremendous failure. After succeeding on an attack, you may flip a coin. If the coin lands heads, the attack will do double the damage. If the coin lands tails, the attack automatically misses.

Casino Royale
Starting at Level 9, your ability to produce extremely successful results in combat increases. If you succeed at a Double or Nothing coin flip, you may then choose to flip another coin. If the coin lands heads, the attack instead does 3x the damage. If it lands tails, you miss, and instead deal the attack's damage (not modified by double or nothing) to yourself.

Shaved Dice
Starting at Level 9, the slimmest chances start producing the greatest reward. You may reroll any damage dice you roll in a critical hit, and take the better of the two rolled.

Triple Seven
Starting at Level 13, you may take even greater risks to produce even greater results. If you succeed at your first and second double or nothing coin flip, you may flip a third coin. If the coin lands heads, the attack instead does 4x the damage. If it lands tails, the attack automatically misses, and you deal the attack's damage (multiplied by 3) to yourself.

Play the Odds
Starting at Level 13, you learn to make powerful successes out of even the littlest things you do. You may now reroll any damage die and take the better roll, rather than just on critical hits.

Russian Roulette
Starting at Level 17, you grow into so much of a risk taker that you can put your own life at stake to see results. If you succeed on your first, second, and third double or nothing coin flip, you may flip another coin. If this coin lands on heads, the attack will now deal 5x damage instead. If this coin lands on tails, the gambler instantly loses all HP, is knocked unconscious, and begins dying.

Clutch
Starting at Level 17, when the attack hits that enemy just right, these dice sing. You may now reroll any damage die you make on critical hits three times, and take the best of the three rolls.
Pay To Win
Starting at level 3, you find a way to implement your savvy spending habits on the field of battle. Before making an attack, the gambler can wager a number of gold to add as a bonus to an attack's damage. Cost increases exponentially, up to a +10 bonus. (10 for a +2, 20 for a +4, 40 for a +6, 80 for a +8, and 160 for a +10) Whether or not the roll is successful, the gold is still expended, now transmuted into worthless, hollow husks of clay.

Live Fast
Starting at level 3, you learn to live the higher life without the higher price. Lifestyle expenses are a tier cheaper than normal.

Haggle Man
Starting at level 9, you are a master with all things bargaining. You gain Advantage & Double Proficiency on all Persuasion and Deception checks made involving haggling, purchase, sale, trade, etc.

High Roller
Starting at level 9, your wallet grows to become infinitely deep. The gambler always has space for carrying currency, and is not encumbered by carrying excessive amounts of currency.

Jackpot
Starting at level 13, profits have a strange way of just falling in your lap. Once per game session, the gambler can make the DM roll twice for randomized, not-already-pre-established loot held on a creature or in a chest, and take the better roll. The gambler can't know what the loot is beforehand before making the DM reroll.

Snag
Starting at level 13, the character gains proficiency in Sleight of Hand, if they didn't already. Once per short rest, if an enemy is within melee range and misses with a weapon attack or spell casted through a focus, the gambler may use her reaction to make a sleight of hand check VS the enemy's strength or dexterity save. (Whichever is higher) The gambler must have a free hand to do this, but she may sheathe or drop what she's carrying immediately before making the attempt. Snag's use is not expended if the gambler fails the check. If the gambler succeeds, she snatches the item away from the attacker and wields it herself, gaining automatic proficiency in use of this item for 1d4 rounds.

Robber Baron
Starting at level 17, if you use snag, and the snagged item is magic and requires attunement, the gambler is also treated as attuned to this magic item for the same 1d4 rounds she has proficiency in it. Additionally, she may now use snag in place of her opportunity attack, though using it in this way still expends its once-per-short-rest use.

Over My Dead Body
Starting at level 17, you gain the ability to cheat death, at a price. After the gambler has died, within 1 minute of her death, she may choose to be instantly resurrected back to full HP. In doing this, she expends all of the currency, gems, and non-magic items she owns, with a minimum 20,000 gold value expended by doing this. This happens no matter where the items, gems, or money in question is stored. This also includes any houses, castles, ships, vehicles, mounts, anything mundane that the gambler owns is expended doing this. They are destroyed immediately when this is done, smaller items instantly disappearing while larger items, like vehicles and housing, are burnt down with unquenchable flames.

RabanoDOOM
2017-01-25, 01:42 AM
Bizzity bump.

Steampunkette
2017-01-26, 12:04 PM
Snake Eyes is cool and thematic if a bit metagame-ish.

Even Odds is a nifty mechanic, but it would be both a nightmare in play and ridiculous in effect.

You'd have to change the character's AC every time someone swings, which would quickly become tedious either behind the DM Screen or force you to tell the player what every enemy's attack mod is so the player can adjust their AC Accordingly.

Further, at level 1 that puts the Gambler +7 Studded Leather the second they're attacked by a high end enemy (Mods in the +17-18 range). And yeah, I know armor only goes to +3, but that's a whopping +9 to AC and allows them to use their full dex bonus, so +7 studded leather is as close as it gets.

Meanwhile if a goblin attacks that level 1 Gambler their AC drops down to 12+Dex.

Like I get the idea behind it, but it stretches Verisimilitude out of shape.

I would definitely suggest ditching that benefit. Maybe give them Charisma mod to AC through Flair and Flourish?

Card Counting is a nice ribbon.

Luck of the Draw has a wording flaw. When you flip the coin you gain disadvantage, but do enemies gain advantage? It doesn't clarify that part.

Skin in the Game gives them advantage on hit point rolls... I feel like that might be a bit much with a D8 HD. What makes them tougher than Bards?

Fold is nice, though it should probably read "Without Expending an Action". It's an ability that breaks Action Economy but it does so in a very limited and thematic way.

Against the Odds is right there with Snake Eyes in theme and metagame-ishness.

Five Card Push is great in concept. In gameplay it would probably result in a dead Gambler. Barbarians use Disadvantage -and- Damage Resistance to play multitarget pinata. The Gambler lacks half of that equation.

Chipped Coin is a nice advancement of Lady Luck and I feel like it will be a major point of leveling a Gambler.

Major Leagues is a nice ribbon.

Hot Streak is interesting, but with Lady Luck and Chipped Coin in play it feels like it's not going to be very useful on it's own. Maybe it should be folded into an earlier ability? Otherwise I feel like it should be cut.

Poker Face is a nice ribbon.

Called Shot feels... weak. And very delayed. Don't get me wrong, having advantage pretty much all of the time from multiple sources is great and all, but this class doesn't get Smites or Sneak Attacks or Hex or Hunter's Mark and it's going to be very lackluster on damage, even Dual Wielding. I know you've got some damaging effects in the kits, and that's neat and all, but there needs to be some basic damage increase going on for when the character isn't in a position to go double or nothing. Sometimes, after all, you've gotta Play the Odds.

Raise feels out of place. Again, there's no reason the Gambler should be healthier than a Bard. The only reason this mechanic seems to exist is to allow the player to, once, roll a big fistful of dice. Honestly I'd rather see them roll big fistfuls, earlier. Like having Advantage on Melee Weapon Damage rolls, for example.

Break Even is nice, but it's nothing huge, really.


The Kits

All-In-Gambler: HELL NO.

Double or Nothing: Nice Mechanic! Up 'til the second or sixth successful coin flip that turns a greatsword critical hit into 28d6+(Str modx27).

Casino Royale: Again, the same issue as Double Or Nothing, just faster and with less coin flips required to get ridiculous.

Shaved Dice: Thematic and would play well into Double or Nothing, but Double or Nothing is broken as heck.

Bad Beat: Really? It's just making it even worse. Especially with Snake Eyes, Constant Advantage from 2-3 mechanics, and Shaved Dice granting automatic 4 times damage on a double-damage attack.

Russian Roulette: No. Just... No. 32x Damage on a RPS followed by Shaved Dice adding another success for 64x damage? This is just bad.

Cash Out Gambler: Less overpowered, but kind of heavy into underpowered.

Pay to Win: Nifty Mechanic. Giving offerings a God or Goddess of Luck on the fly makes plenty of sense. Breaking the bounded accuracy mechanics slightly less so. Especially by up to 5 points.

Live Fast is a nice ribbon.

Haggling is a nice ribbon.

High Roller is a nice ribbon.

Jackpot is a nice ribbon.

Whale... Well if Pay to Win was breaking the bounds of Accuracy Whale is a gamebreaking advance over it. Kudos! The kit has 1 reason to play it: Get to Whale and get as much cash as possible.


TLDR VERSION

The base class is interesting if a bit metagamey. It probably needs less Advantage mechanics and some more dice to roll in combat.

The Kits are both terribly broken. Like, to a ridiculous extent.

Ziegander
2017-01-26, 06:25 PM
I agree completely. I really enjoy the base class, but the archetypes are just MEGA insane.

RabanoDOOM
2017-01-27, 05:07 AM
All-In-Gambler: HELL NO.

Double or Nothing: Nice Mechanic! Up 'til the second or sixth successful coin flip that turns a greatsword critical hit into 28d6+(Str modx27).

Casino Royale: Again, the same issue as Double Or Nothing, just faster and with less coin flips required to get ridiculous.

Shaved Dice: Thematic and would play well into Double or Nothing, but Double or Nothing is broken as heck.

Bad Beat: Really? It's just making it even worse. Especially with Snake Eyes, Constant Advantage from 2-3 mechanics, and Shaved Dice granting automatic 4 times damage on a double-damage attack.

Russian Roulette: No. Just... No. 32x Damage on a RPS followed by Shaved Dice adding another success for 64x damage? This is just bad.
All-In will definitely need a nerf. The intention was high-but-risky DPS and it doesn't make sense to take the risk out of it by making the DPS easy to get. My thinking is to cut most of the abilities and instead have minor expansions on All or Nothing, alongside putting some heavy restriction on All or Nothing itself. Maybe at 3rd level, a single coin flip, with each level increasing the number of coins flippable by one, but adding a progressively scarier risk. Like at 9th, if you go for the second flip and miss, you take the attack's damage by itself. At 13th, if you miss the third, you instead take the attack's damage by how much the three flips would multiply it. At 17th, if you miss the fourth, you're instantly knocked unconscious and dying, so that could replace russian roulette. Alongside all this I may also add on one or two minor fluff things so it's not just 100% combat.

Cash Out Gambler: Less overpowered, but kind of heavy into underpowered.

Pay to Win: Nifty Mechanic. Giving offerings a God or Goddess of Luck on the fly makes plenty of sense. Breaking the bounded accuracy mechanics slightly less so. Especially by up to 5 points.

Live Fast is a nice ribbon.

Haggling is a nice ribbon.

High Roller is a nice ribbon.

Jackpot is a nice ribbon.

Whale... Well if Pay to Win was breaking the bounds of Accuracy Whale is a gamebreaking advance over it. Kudos! The kit has 1 reason to play it: Get to Whale and get as much cash as possible.
Well, Cash-Out does exist to make bunches of profits and then spend all the money on combat buffs. But, yeah, I do definitely agree with your point. P2W should probably only impact damage, maybe with a higher modifier to give both archetypes decent damage. Whale definitely needs to be changed to something else. (Maybe a life insurance policy...hmmm) The class could also probably benefit from one more combat ability. Perhaps a combat disarm that also grants automatic (though very temporary & very costly) able usage of the item you disarm, called Repo, or a reaction ability that lets you use P2W to buff ally attacks, called Loan. I'm mostly brainstorming here, but I'll think of something.

Skin in the Game gives them advantage on hit point rolls... I feel like that might be a bit much with a D8 HD. What makes them tougher than Bards?

Even Odds is a nifty mechanic, but it would be both a nightmare in play and ridiculous in effect.

You'd have to change the character's AC every time someone swings, which would quickly become tedious either behind the DM Screen or force you to tell the player what every enemy's attack mod is so the player can adjust their AC Accordingly.

Further, at level 1 that puts the Gambler +7 Studded Leather the second they're attacked by a high end enemy (Mods in the +17-18 range). And yeah, I know armor only goes to +3, but that's a whopping +9 to AC and allows them to use their full dex bonus, so +7 studded leather is as close as it gets.

Meanwhile if a goblin attacks that level 1 Gambler their AC drops down to 12+Dex.

Like I get the idea behind it, but it stretches Verisimilitude out of shape.
The purpose for these is two fold. One, nobody I've ever met, in any game, has not taken the average on hit point rolls. It's too much of a risk for them to take. I designed the gambler to reward more risk-taking. This seemed like a decent solution. Two, unlike the bard or cleric, the gambler has no access to healing magic, or any magic for that matter, and isn't as mobile or consistently viable as a rogue. It felt fair to give it a risky chance for more HP and an AC that partially scaled to high-risks. Because risks that have a possibility of mind-blowingly incredible success are, for the most part, the gambler's thing.
(I'll definitely change Raise though.)
Also, some side notes regarding Even Odds. I probably should and will word it in a far less complex way, I completely admit that. "Halves attack modifiers on attacks made against the gambler, rounded up" probably works better, and is slightly more balanced to be against the gambler. But for the situation you mentioned...that still works out to an enemy having a +8 or +9 attack modifier against an unarmored opponent. It makes the combat's scaling somewhat less extreme and rigged against the gambler, and makes fighting a gambler more of a game of chance. More of a gamble.

Luck of the Draw has a wording flaw. When you flip the coin you gain disadvantage, but do enemies gain advantage? It doesn't clarify that part.
I'll probably fix that. To clarify, if it lands tails, your attacks have disadvantage and attacks made against you also have disadvantage. You get worse at heading in and better at turning tail. (PUNS!!!) So it's a 50/50 shot of either more offense and less defense or more defense and less offense.

Break Even is nice, but it's nothing huge, really.
That's...debatable, and confusing in the mathematical details.
Normally there's around a 9.75% chance of critical success on advantage. With Against The Odds, this functions for Disadvantage too. If I keep Break Even as it is, calculations accounting for Snake Eyes match crossover, a 20th level gambler has a 17.5% chance of critical success on any advantage or disadvantage roll. If I make Break Even apply to ANY even match instead, that's bumped up to a 35% chance, which is just a little bit insane. (My math could be wrong here.) I'm not quite 100% on what constitutes "Balanced" in a full 20th level situation, but I'm sure somewhere between these two extremes there's a nice, enticing-yet-balanced capstone sweet spot. I'll just have to calculate it.

Thank you all very much for all of your critiques so far, by the way! Expect minor/major updates to be made sometime soon. :smallbiggrin:

RabanoDOOM
2017-01-28, 07:59 PM
Update: Reworked and balanced the All-In and Cash-Out archetypes, changed Raise to Wager, increased range of Break Even, & reworded Luck Of The Draw and Even Odds.

LeonBH
2017-01-28, 10:09 PM
This is an interesting design and I like where you're going with it! :)

But I have some concerns about how the skills are arranged for the base class. For the first 2 levels, there really isn't anything class-defining in those abilities. Snake Eyes, Even Odds, Skin of the Draw are passives; Card Counting is a ribbon. Only Luck of the Draw is an active, and it isn't that enticing to a prospective player who wants to pick up Gambler.

Compare that to Barbarian who gets Rage at level 1, or Rogues who get Sneak Attack and Cunning action at levels 1 and 2 -- their most defining class features are given at the beginning of the class, and every other feature given works on top of that.

In contrast, no truly defining class feature exists here. What exists is a defining theme, but not a feature that represents that theme wholly. I see just a bunch of similarly themed goodies that don't actually share a solid mechanical connection in the base class. The two features I see as coming the closest are Called Shot and Wager, because they let you call a result in advance and then bet on those results. Unfortunately, they are very high level features, and many Gamblers may never get to see these levels in their games.

You should think about moving those two to the front of the class and restructuring the other features to encourage the Gambler to use them.

Also, Wager seems to be bad as a high level ability. The max bonus damage you can deal is 5, but you can take up to 25 if it wasn't a crit. I see that you can keep getting advantage with this class, and with Break Even it becomes maybe viable, but it just isn't exciting. Maybe increase the pay-off here, increase the damage, increase the max you can bet, or something along those lines :)

Steampunkette
2017-01-29, 01:07 AM
That is something to note... All the Gambling is Metagame. None of it is done by the character.

When I use Casino Royale or Double or Nothing my character isn't doing anything different but swinging her sword or firing her crossbow or whatever just like usual. She doesn't roll titanic dice or flip a coin before swinging or anything. The class fantasy itself is kind of lacking. Maybe change on of their abilities to granting or getting advantage to doing something whenever there's a wager on the line so that they yell across the battlefield to the party fighter "I Bet I can do a flying leap off the balcony and stab the duke!" and then the fighter goes "You're on!" and boom! Advantage based on something the character does.

Also: I think you should stop adding on binary coin flips. One is enough to add tension to the moment and weight a character's increased damage on, I think, even as the amount of increased damage goes up. A 50/50 chance is enough of a gamble.