View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Skald (Bard/Barb Combo) Conversion to 5E

2017-07-05, 09:38 PM
Hey everyone,

I recently converted the Pathfinder hybrid class Skald, which is a combo of bard and barb, to 5E. It is essentially complete, aside from feedback, playtesting, and some rewriting to make the style consistent (and maybe 4th subclass I'll add soon). I tried to make it feel like a 5E class (and attempted to balance it to 5E classes) while still retaining the flavor of the original Pathfinder abilities. Here (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/Sk7k7QFON-) is the link.

I'm especially looking for feedback on the following things:

1. Naming, especially the subclass names

2. Balance: Overall does it seem reasonable for a 5E class? Any abilities that stick out as too strong? I'm mostly looking for thoughts of fellow experienced players, although it would be awesome if you're interested in playtesting it.

3. Ideas for some system for replacing ragesong system with points of some sort.

Thank you for looking at this and I hope to hear from you with feedback! Also, it would be great if someone would be interested in doing/finding cover art.

2017-07-06, 04:17 AM
Cool idea, I liked the concept of the skald back in Pathfinder, though I never got to play it. I don't have time for an in-depth review right now, but I'll give you some quick thoughts.

1. Can the skald attack while doing a raging song? The phrasing "While in raging song, you may only use spells from the skald spell list" is rather ambiguous.

2. Inspired Rage is contrary to 5e's design philosophy, since it forces the other players to keep track of those pesky +1 and -1 modifiers. Also, as written, is prevents you from being able to resist being shoved or disarmed, since that involves an ability check. And what about environmental effects? "You are on a rocking ship deck, make a DC 5 acrobatics check to stay on your feet. Oh, you're affected by Inspired Rage. You fall on your face despite having 20 Dex and being unable to fail this check normally." Weird mechanic.

3. Song of Speed lets them move at a fast pace for how long? Also, I'm not a big fan of applying the "dash as a bonus action" mechanic so wantonly. Some people will get a big boost out of it, because they have nothing better to do with their bonus action, while some will get no benefit at all (rogues can already do it). Probably better to just raise their movement speed.

4. Song of the Fallen seems like something you wouldn't want to use ever, because it will attract enemy attention back to someone who is already making death saving throws, which will probably get them killed. And as written they can't even refuse its effect. It's also not very clear: do they still suffer the penalties of the unconscious condition? I think you should honestly just replace this one.

The rest looks fine at first sight, though I can't speak for the balance without a closer look.

2017-07-06, 06:13 AM
Hey, thanks very much for looking it over! I won't get a chance to make fixes until tonight.

1. Yes, the intention is that they can do anything as normal, except can only use Skald spells and cannot concentration on spells (except in Inspired Rage).

2. I agree, especially regarding the AC penalty (the [inspired] rage damage just follows what is done for 5e Barb when raging). That said, I don't know what to replace it without without greatly increasing the severity of the penalty. Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with the penalty without greatly increasing the severity by changing it to enemy has advantage? Also, I agree the condition is weird, I'll probably go back to wording it that a player cannot use their action to make an ability check (and will probably leave it at that, given they can decide to accept or deny it each turn, so they can just deny it if, for example, they want to escape a grapple).

3. I thought I addressed the non-combat use lasting an hour, I'll go back and make sure so I can either improve clarity. I agree the bonus to movement is more appliciable so I'll change dash as bonus action to that. Does 10 ft sound reasonable?

4. So the main uses of Song of the Fallen are situations where either the enemy is low HP but the situation is very dire, the ally is in hazardous ground (i.e. in way of dragon's breath attack), they are out of range for a heal, or the party is running away but can't afford to spend time to move an unconscious PC with them otherwise. Note that although the PC must accept when unconscious, they are in full control of their character so (1) aren't a target unless they choose to make themselves one and (2) may reject it when it is their turn, before having done anything. I'll probably adjust the wording and I may add temp HP to the ability to make it more viable. I will likely adjust this to make the mechanics of who controls the player more clear as well as how it affects conditions. Overall, this is supposed to be only a situationally useful option.

Edit: I thought of a few things I think will be brought up so I thought I'd mention. One thing I have not been very explicit about is range. The idea is that if an ally (or enemy) can hear you, it can be effected unless an explicit range is present, except where specified. I plan to streamline this and add explicit ranges, I just haven't gotten a chance to do so yet. The Skald list as is will be bard list, I may make specific changes and/or add new spells for subclasses, suggestions on this would be great.

Edit 2: I fixed 1-4 with the exception of the bonuses.

2017-07-10, 01:15 PM
Here are my thoughts on this:

Necessity: A
There really isn't anything at all like this available with the existing 5e classes, whether in the PHB, SCAG, or UA material. It adds a hybrid class that has a distinct flavor and mechanics

Mechanics: B/B+
I like the balance that comes with using extra turns of rage song points to do special abilities at later levels, but I wonder if this class is going to be resource starved. Spell Kenning, while a neat idea, feels like it could break the class somewhat by allowing some truly wild combinations of spell effects. I suppose that's the point, but I wonder if game balance is served by having the ability to ad hoc cherry pick any spell from any class. It's not a huge deal, but I feel like this is a little OP considering how early you get it. I really like the idea though. Last, the style of Defiance is pretty cool, but it has a focused anti-magic flavor to it. I'm wondering how well that translates to 5e in part due to the constructive criticism my own homebrew received (Paladin: Oath of the Mystic Fire) in regard to the spellshatter ability I gave it.

Flavor: A
Really love the flavor here. There's a unique feel to this class that adds something unique to the group dynamic. Kudos.

2017-07-16, 01:01 PM
Why does the raging song prevent people from spending their actions on ability checks?