PDA

View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Fighter Subclass (Martial Artist)



MagneticKitty
2018-05-18, 09:06 PM
Fighter Subclass (Martial Artist)

Fighting Stance
Starting at level 3 when you are fighting empty handed, you may use your bonus action to select a stance. You remain in this stance until you change it with a bonus action. Your unarmed strikes count as light finesse weapons that deal 1d6 damage.

Leopard: You concentrate on accuracy and the opponents weak points. While in this stance, roll advantage on your unarmed strike attack rolls. Once you successfully hit with your unarmed attack you may not apply advantage in this way again for the rest of the turn.

Tiger: You focus on the power of each strike, so that each landed hit does as high of damage as possible. While in this stance, you may not add your proficiency modifier to the attack bonus, in addition apply your Constitution modifier to the attack's damage.

Crane: You strike in flowing motions, geared more towards defense than offense. Your unarmed strikes have a reach of 10 feet as you bob in and out of your opponents reach, and while in this stance add +1 to your ac.

Snake: You focus on quick deceptive feints and jabs to confuse and immobilize your enemy. While in this stance, for each hit that lands successfully your opponent loses 5 movement speed on their next turn up to half their movement.


Spirit's Guidance
Starting at level 7 the spirits of ancestors have taken interest in you. Through practice and their guidance, you have trained your body in remarkable ways. Your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming Resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. In addition, you donít need to sleep. Instead, You may meditate deeply for 4 hours a day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a others do from 8 hours of sleep.


Meditation
Starting at level 10 whenever you roll hit dice for HP recovery or your second wind, add twice your constitution modifier.


Stance of the Dragon
Starting at level 15 You have mastered the other fighting stances, and you're able to switch between them effortlessly. You may apply a different effect to each hit freely without using a bonus action. You must announce the style before rolling to hit.


Avatar state
Starting at level 18 you can push your body to the limit. Once per long rest you may use your bonus action to apply the effects of all 4 fighting styles to your attacks for the next minute. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.


Please let me know what you think of it mechanically. will work on the paragraphs of fluff needed later.

Composer99
2018-05-19, 11:25 AM
Okay, so one overall comment first, then I'll get into each feature as I go:

A lot of the features just don't have very 5e-esque wording, for lack of a better term. That's not necessarily a problem, except that once you're used to how 5e wording works, it actually makes it harder to parse some of the mechanics.



Fighter Subclass (Martial Artist)

Fighting Stance
Starting at level 3 when you are fighting empty handed, you may use your bonus action to select a stance. You remain in this stance until you change it with a bonus action. Your unarmed strikes count as light finesse weapons that deal 1d6 damage.

Two general remarks on stances:

1) Only Crane stance has a benefit that is always active. None of the other stances do. I'm not so sure that the other stances are so powerful that they can't also have "always active" effects, although those could be weaker than +1 to AC if you're worried about it. They could also be ways to tie the mechanics into benefits that actually evoke the animals the stances are named after. Leopards like to be in trees and are good at climbing them, for instance, so the leopard stance could give you a climb speed.

2) The stances should have maximum durations. As you've written the rule, once you enter a stance, it's perpetually in effect. And I mean perpetually. Not even becoming incapacitated (or killed) ends a stance. That's not a huge deal, except for the perpetual free +1 to AC that you get, because why not just switch to crane stance as long as you're out of combat and stay there unless you want to switch stances for some reason? Not only is that mechanically a problem, it doesn't really make sense "fluff-"wise. A combat stance, presumably, is a particular way of footwork, posture, positioning, and of how you hold your arms and hands, that you couldn't really keep up all the time because it would tire you out. For most combat features, 1 minute is fine, because combats usually only last 4-5 rounds anyway.


Leopard: You concentrate on accuracy and the opponents weak points. While in this stance, roll advantage on your unarmed strike attack rolls. Once you successfully hit with your unarmed attack you may not apply advantage in this way again for the rest of the turn.

This stance's effect is fine: you get advantage on attack rolls until you finally hit with one. It just seems worded in a way that doesn't jive with the 5e aesthetic, which, as I noted above, actually makes it harder to parse. You might want to play around with how this stance is worded and see if there isn't a way to re-word it. Maybe there isn't, of course, and that's fine.

Because the advantage on attack rolls is contingent, this stance could do with some buffing: a climb speed like I mentioned above, maybe even better jumping.


Tiger: You focus on the power of each strike, so that each landed hit does as high of damage as possible. While in this stance, you may not add your proficiency modifier to the attack bonus, in addition apply your Constitution modifier to the attack's damage.

Okay, this stance has the potential to be too weak or too strong, depending on how you build your character. And I think that's a flaw.

Basically, for this stance to be any good, you have to build your character to pump both Constitution and then one of Strength or Dexterity: either you set both abilities high during character creation, leaving others with low to middling scores, or you burn your ASIs on them, setting aside feats or bumping other abilities. This is a problem because having a decent Wisdom is often important for fighters, and it restricts your build options if for whatever reason you want to have a decent Intelligence or Charisma. Most campaigns will peter out by levels 10-12, so you're not necessarily going to get the ASIs to do everything you want. Remember, this is a sub-feature of a subclass feature, so it seems a bit much to make it demand MAD-ness.

If you don't pump your Constitution, then this feature sucks, because attack roll modifiers are on average more important than damage roll modifiers (unless, as in the case of GWM or Sharpshooter, the damage modifiers far outweigh the attack modifiers). You're always behind because your attacks are missing for not enough damage.

If you do pump your Constitution, by contrast, then this stance can be overpowered, relative to the other stances, because you're constantly doing a lot more damage. You'd have to crunch some numbers to see how it compares to other classes' typical damage.

What I would suggest is that you change this stance such that once on each of your turns, you add your proficiency bonus to a single damage roll. That makes the stance get better as you get higher level in an organic way, it doesn't force you to build your character a specific way, and then you could justify adding an "always-on" feature to the stance.


Crane: You strike in flowing motions, geared more towards defense than offense. Your unarmed strikes have a reach of 10 feet as you bob in and out of your opponents reach, and while in this stance add +1 to your ac.

The fluff "as you bob in and out of your opponents' reach" doesn't really fit in the sentence describing the increase in your own reach. I'd suggest moving it into the previous sentence, changing the connecting words as required.

This stance is fine as is. I see potential for it to be a good battlefield control stance: it combines well with something like the Sentinel feat, for instance.


Snake: You focus on quick deceptive feints and jabs to confuse and immobilize your enemy. While in this stance, for each hit that lands successfully your opponent loses 5 movement speed on their next turn up to half their movement.

I like the concept of this stance, but I think it's too fiddly, and without some kind of "always-on" benefit, it's too weak.

I think you should just have it that on a hit, you reduce the target's base/walking/normal movement speed (whatever you want to call it) by half, with no further similar effect on a target after the first hit. I'm at a loss as to what to suggest for an "always-on" benefit that evokes the idea of snakes, though.




Spirit's Guidance
Starting at level 7 the spirits of ancestors have taken interest in you. Through practice and their guidance, you have trained your body in remarkable ways. Your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming Resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.

Because you haven't defined a relationship with spirits in the archetype's fluff, and the 3rd-level features aren't particularly mystical or supernatural, this feature just seems at odds with the archetype's overall feel or theme.

There's nothing wrong with it, though.

The second ability you get with this feature isn't that well defined in 5e terms. At least, it isn't if you keep the "fluff" sentence ("You do not dream ..."). All you really need to know is that (a) in order to benefit from a long rest, you only need to be in a super-deep meditative state, as it were, for 4 hours, and (b) you aren't unconscious. It follows naturally from point (b) that you don't have any penalty to Perception checks, say, to notice approaching enemies, because only being unconscious does so.

Because this is a feature you get at 7th level, I don't think there's any potential for shenanigans if you multi-class into a class that has abilities that recharge on a long rest. In fact, apart from not having to sleep, this feature is kind of wasted on fighters, whose abilities recharge on a short rest.




Meditation
Starting at level 10 whenever you roll hit dice for HP recovery or your second wind, add twice your constitution modifier.

The mechanics of this feature don't really match the name, at least not in the case of second wind. How does being good at meditating help you recover hit points in the heat of combat? It's fine for spending Hit Dice at the end of a short rest.

That being said, most fighter archetypes get pretty strong, in some cases even archetype-defining features at 10th level. This isn't bad in and of itself, but I think it looks poor in comparison to other fighters. I think you either need to swap this with the Spirits' Guidance feature in terms of which feature arrives at which level, or you need to add something to this feature to make it better.




Stance of the Dragon
Starting at level 15 You have mastered the other fighting stances, and you're able to switch between them effortlessly. You may apply a different effect to each hit freely without using a bonus action. You must announce the style before rolling to hit.

This feature sucks. It's fiddly, and it's rendered obsolete only three levels later by Avatar State. To boot, it doesn't really evoke the idea of dragons. I strongly recommend going back to the drawing board and coming up with a stance that can call to mind the idea of dragons. Like my suggestion for the "basic" 3rd-level stances, I think it should have an effect that modifies your attacks, and an "always-on" effect as long as you are in the stance.




Avatar state
Starting at level 18 you can push your body to the limit. Once per long rest you may use your bonus action to apply the effects of all 4 fighting styles to your attacks for the next minute. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

As an 18th level feature, this is pretty cool. If you re-do Stance of the Dragon as I have suggested, I would clarify that it works only on the stances you gain as part of your Fighting Stance feature.

There is a problem in that you contradict yourself in terms of this feature's recharge mechanics. IMO recharging on a short or long rest is fine.

I would quibble that the name Avatar State doesn't match the mechanics of what is going on, at least not in my view. So maybe think of a new name for the feature unless you have some descriptive text in mind that will link the name and mechanics properly.

Amnoriath
2018-05-19, 12:41 PM
Overall good flavor but this has a few issues that it needs to address to be worth taking the whole way.
1. Your unarmed strikes start better than a Monk's plus the finesse property allows sneak attack to be used which I will discuss later. The problem is though it never gets better even dex based fighters use d8 or d10 weapons.
2. Giving all your stances at level 3 ensures a dip and go mechanic with this
3. Leopard stance is automatic sneak attack damage as well as easy accuracy. This is a god send for Rogues, even better than the Swashbuckler's ability.
4. Tiger stance is just plain horrible as it scales to be worse than it starts out and is of far less return either Great Weapon Master or Sharpshooter.
5. 7th level is okay but since this has a problem scaling you should really look at setting up a system that continues. Even the Battlemaster got another die and two maneuvers known.
6. 10th, functional but boring and seems more tanky then applicable to this archetype.
7. 15th level is decent but all it does is allow you to be a two weapon fighter without the benefit of the feat with rider abilities.
8. 18th level is badly worded as you have once per long rest and you must complete a short or long rest. Additionally I wouldn't want the 3 decent stances if I had to take the Tiger stance as is.

MagneticKitty
2018-05-19, 09:00 PM
OK, thanks for the feed back. I'm going to do a second revision, as I said in my first post fluff isn't set in stone yet. but yeah it's not made after animals in general but based on the animal stances from martial arts
for example: https://blackbeltmag.com/arts/kung-fu/the-5-kung-fu-animal-styles-of-the-chinese-martial-arts/
where tiger is kinda a combo of the other 4.
so I'm not changing the idea of what each does in general probably. I want tiger to be a slight damage boost, but I thought it needed to be balanced by loss of accuracy, I can nerf the damage a bit and take away the accuracy loss?
I'll do a revision 2 and put the original in a spoiler menu thing.

Amnoriath
2018-05-19, 09:32 PM
OK, thanks for the feed back. I'm going to do a second revision, as I said in my first post fluff isn't set in stone yet. but yeah it's not made after animals in general but based on the animal stances from martial arts
for example: https://blackbeltmag.com/arts/kung-fu/the-5-kung-fu-animal-styles-of-the-chinese-martial-arts/
where tiger is kinda a combo of the other 4.
so I'm not changing the idea of what each does in general probably. I want tiger to be a slight damage boost, but I thought it needed to be balanced by loss of accuracy, I can nerf the damage a bit and take away the accuracy loss?
I'll do a revision 2 and put the original in a spoiler menu thing.
You are welcome ☺, the other things you may want to pay attention to is how all this interacts with fighting styles. As it stands it needs armor to have okay AC and Duelist fighting style doesn't work leaving you only with two-weapon fighting style for offensive.

I would make it so that you have a few more choices and they gradually learn more with an improvement at level 15. I would also alter your unarmed strike in a way between each stance to accommodate more fighting styles.