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ViridianIIV
2019-01-23, 01:53 AM
I have gone ahead and created my own class for an upcoming solo game with a GM (He's fine with me doing this) but while I'm reasonably confident in my understanding of the game, one can never have to much advice. I'd like your advice on the class, if you think its to powerful/weak, where it can improve, how to make it more fun etc.

Bear in mind Im going for a specific top down approach and am not overly interested in advice like 'well you could just use home brewed *insert class here* etc. and am only interested in how to make THIS class more balanced and fun. Thank you for your time should you chose to participate.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lzchGZj6dE_nmQAWDHTUB1n9UiqKrH5VkIoEaLK6I4k/edit?usp=sharing

It is in a sort of 'first/second draft' state so there may be typos which I'll eventually even out so don't worry to much if I'm missing an 'I or you' but I AM interested in where I've missed traditional PHB language to cut down the word count of abilities and such. Thank you for your time.

JNAProductions
2019-01-24, 02:23 PM
You need some form of melee weapon proficiency.

Why does the martial arts start higher than the Monk's?

Don't give an extra ASI-find a feature.

Armored Costume shouldn't rely on cash, and shouldn't give flat advantage on an entire skill.

Marvelous Missiles needs to come earlier-at least, the Cha to-hit and damage bit. You're Dex dependent till level 9, then it's all Charisma. Get Charisma as your main stat within the first 3 levels.

Astonishing Acrobat should probably not give automatic successes on anything. Ignoring terrain is fine, though.

Famous Customer is oftentimes useless. Replace with an actual feature.

Experienced is way too good.

Legend is fine, since you lack casting.

Not gonna look at the archetypes, because...

Overall... I question why this is a full class. You could probably make this a Fighter, Rogue, or Monk subclass and have it work just fine.

I mean, heck, this is what I'd do:

Monastic Tradition-Masked Hero

Special: Bold And Brave
At level one, you use Charisma in place of Wisdom for your Monk abilities.

Archery Master
At level three, you are one with your bow. You gain proficiency in all simple and martial ranged weapons, and you may treat a ranged attack with a weapon you are proficient in as an attack with a Monk weapon.

Astonishing Acrobat
At level six, you gain proficiency in the Acrobatics skill. If you already have proficiency, gain Expertise. If you already have Expertise, gain proficiency in another skill of your choice. In addition, you ignore the effects of difficult terrain.

Flashy Fighter
At level eleven, you may take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action.

Hero Of The Bow
In your hands, any bow is legendary. Any ranged weapon you are proficient in that you wield is treated as a +1 magical weapon, unless it already has an equal or greater bonus to attack and damage rolls.

The Cats
2019-01-24, 06:43 PM
Don't give an extra ASI-find a feature.


Fighters and rogues beg to differ.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-24, 08:30 PM
You need some form of melee weapon proficiency.

You could have read the archetypes and seen some of why I didn't include base melee proficiency for the base class... the point is to encourage doing things unarmed and get away from typical weapon fighting. I specifically don't want the class to use weapons which is why its skills are encouraging not using them. But what weapon would you give the class to start with besides 'simple weapons' which just turns this into 'fighter' of another name which is also not the point?


Why does the martial arts start higher than the Monk's?

because no melee weapon proficiency.


Don't give an extra ASI-find a feature.

Again see archetypes but... also, because its a spell-less class. Spell less classes get extra ASI probably because the idea would be to add feats to supplement your lack of spell casting versatility. Fighter gets TWO MORE than even this.


Armored Costume shouldn't rely on cash, and shouldn't give flat advantage on an entire skill.

Your right, I think I'll change it to expertise with said skill... but there are a few things that rely on cash. Though I'll take any excuse to remove a monetary requirement so...


Marvelous Missiles needs to come earlier-at least, the Cha to-hit and damage bit. You're Dex dependent till level 9, then it's all Charisma. Get Charisma as your main stat within the first 3 levels.

Does it? The class is meant to encourage melee a little more than range and mixing up a little bit of range against distant fighters WHILE in melee. Your Dex shouldn't be low as it is, many builds may have an equal cha/dex score with this class... the main use of Marvelous Missiles I thought was just freeing you up for the extra bonus attack more than a +1 or 2 (or 0 even) to attack.


Astonishing Acrobat should probably not give automatic successes on anything. Ignoring terrain is fine, though.

It's specifically non essential things. You'd still need to roll over anything particularly stressfull, its more so a player getting this far in can impress a bunch of kids at school with their skills and not have to worry about a ridiculous random 1 popping up and screwing their highly skilled character with an unrealistic 1/20 chance of failure in low stress environments. Might just need a working change.


Famous Customer is oftentimes useless. Replace with an actual feature.

It's a fluff skill? Lots of classes have one or two mostly useless fluff skills?


Experienced is way too good.

even at level 18?


Not gonna look at the archetypes, because...

Overall... I question why this is a full class. You could probably make this a Fighter, Rogue, or Monk subclass and have it work just fine.

I mean, heck, this is what I'd do:

Monastic Tradition-Masked Hero

Special: Bold And Brave
At level one, you use Charisma in place of Wisdom for your Monk abilities.

Archery Master
At level three, you are one with your bow. You gain proficiency in all simple and martial ranged weapons, and you may treat a ranged attack with a weapon you are proficient in as an attack with a Monk weapon.

Astonishing Acrobat
At level six, you gain proficiency in the Acrobatics skill. If you already have proficiency, gain Expertise. If you already have Expertise, gain proficiency in another skill of your choice. In addition, you ignore the effects of difficult terrain.

Flashy Fighter
At level eleven, you may take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action.

Hero Of The Bow
In your hands, any bow is legendary. Any ranged weapon you are proficient in that you wield is treated as a +1 magical weapon, unless it already has an equal or greater bonus to attack and damage rolls.

I just.... I specifically wrote "Bear in mind I'm going for a specific top down approach and am not overly interested in advice like 'well you could just use home brewed *insert class here* etc. and am only interested in how to make THIS class more balanced and fun." I don't know how else to write that to make that clear? I already HAVE archetypes for THIS class so that I can take it in different directions, if you modify the class to be the archetype itself you can't provide options for it. I also don't want to make it a multiclass thigh either since multiclassing is an optional rule and while I know 'this is home brew and likely never to be played' it doesn't help to learn to make classes by just picking and choosing which classes you need to slew together to make a ranged paladin with arrow smite.

JNAProductions
2019-01-24, 11:41 PM
I see that you gave them good unarmed strikes. I still think they should have melee weapon proficiency-it's fine to encourage using your fists, but give them options.

And there's no reason to give them better than the Monk-especially seeing as they're a ranged class, primarily.

Rogues and Fighters get one or two extra ASIs. No other class does-and honestly, I disagree with that even there. The classes are fine, but I'd prefer they have more features than ASIs.

Expertise should be fine.

The feature is either an early feature or an annoying one. If it comes early, you get to focus on that stat. If it comes late, your ASIs and base stat allocation get weird.

The issue I have with auto-success is that the criteria are ill-defined.

But how often do classes get a ribbon and NOTHING ELSE on a class level?

And yes. Yes it is. -5/+10 is worth a feat. How much is +5/+5 worth?

Why does it need to be a full class? What cannot be accomplished as a subclass? What's so essential to this and so broad that it needs an entire class?

I'm going to exaggerate here. I don't think you're doing a bad thing and you certainly put a lot of work into this, so please don't take this as an insult. But if someone said "I want to bake a cake with salt instead of sugar!" what would you say to them? Would you try to make that cake work, or would you tell them that you can't make a salt cake?

Same thing here. I know you put a lot of effort into this class, but that doesn't mean it's the best way to represent it.

Side note-where'd you get the art?

ViridianIIV
2019-01-25, 01:42 AM
I see that you gave them good unarmed strikes. I still think they should have melee weapon proficiency-it's fine to encourage using your fists, but give them options.

Archetypes.... archetypes archetypes archetypes xD. Only got one so far that adds proficiencies, bit it changes the way you'd play the class a lot.



And there's no reason to give them better than the Monk-especially seeing as they're a ranged class, primarily. its not, its MEANT to be melee/ranged equality angling toward melee so Primarily melee and benefits from none of monk's special Ki bonus's to those attacks? (by design) It only starts better than monk by one damage dice and is on a slower upgradecurve ending on the same dice.


Rogues and Fighters get one or two extra ASIs. No other class does-and honestly, I disagree with that even there. The classes are fine, but I'd prefer they have more features than ASIs.

I get you disagree with it, but Wizards clearly doesn't. Rogues/fighters/barbs are basically the only spell less fighter classes, averaging extra 1 ASI between them (and this class probably leans a lot harder toward fighter than Barb or Rogue which have a higher damage output overall that account for it). This class behaves more like 1/2 an ASI since you pick it OR an archetype feature but not both. I simply don't see a compelling reason why not to include it in light of the way classes have been designed


The feature is either an early feature or an annoying one. If it comes early, you get to focus on that stat. If it comes late, your ASIs and base stat allocation get weird.

Fair enough, i'll consider if I think shuffling another earlier ability around with it feels better... but I'm concerned you may still be thinking of this as a 'ranged first' class, which it is not.


The issue I have with auto-success is that the criteria are ill-defined.

Right, clear up the language, got it.


But how often do classes get a ribbon and NOTHING ELSE on a class level?

You might be right... maybe theres something equally flavorfull with more pizzaz that I can work in there.


And yes. Yes it is. -5/+10 is worth a feat. How much is +5/+5 worth?

Kinda feels like someone whose worked up a 5 Will in a Cha/Dex based class has probably made sacrifices for this and deserve +5.... I figured the average Ability Score spread may have a +1, +2 max in Will at this point, and if the extra ASI scares you here, they've given up entire attacks. Case of 'you earned it buddy' to me


Why does it need to be a full class? What cannot be accomplished as a subclass? What's so essential to this and so broad that it needs an entire class?

Not interested in designing a subclass for one, I wanted a sorta light monk/fighter/hunter ranger hybrid without spells or ki nonsense and seemed to me if you gotta go through 2 multiclasses to make a character concept than it isn't a workable concept... so make one up! Again, this is top down design from character concept downward. It's for a solo rp, a dm/player game... but also provided an opportunity to just deep dive into class design. I'm aware I could probably make something sorta/kinda like this by hybridizing... but that is utilizing whats technically an 'optional' rule and there's no solo class that REALLY mixed melee/ranged combat as an actual play style, melee OR ranged sure, but not both... so the exercise is to make one that IS both AND still balanced. Then adding archetypes lets you really change how it behaves in ways making the basic class the archetype doesn't.


I'm going to exaggerate here. I don't think you're doing a bad thing and you certainly put a lot of work into this, so please don't take this as an insult. But if someone said "I want to bake a cake with salt instead of sugar!" what would you say to them? Would you try to make that cake work, or would you tell them that you can't make a salt cake?

A metaphor like this is difficult to respond to reasonably considering cakes have been around much longer than D&D and are essentially perfected. I'd liken the classes of D&D to more than just cakes in this instance... but maybe one day I was looking at a pie, and some meat and thought... what would a meat pie look like instead?


Side note-where'd you get the art?

I made it, that's the character this class is top down designed for.

The Cats
2019-01-25, 09:18 AM
@JNA: OP stated in the first post they would like opinions on improving their brew and explicitly said they do not want "Here's how I'd do it" advice that completely rewrites it. That kind of advice is very prevalent on this board so it's understandable that someone would want to go there when they see a new brew, but if "I'm not interested in this kind of advice" is in the first post, resist that urge.

So what's happened here is the OP has outright stated they would prefer you not do a thing, then you did the thing, then they reminded you that they asked people not to do that and you responded with "OK, but why though?" edit: and then kept doing it.

Because they asked you not to, with a full explanation as to 'why not.' Twice. Because they said they want to go in this direction, not that one. If you want to make your own homebrew subclass with this theme you are welcome to. The OP does not want to, they want to make a full class and are looking for ways to improve that full class.

This is disrespectful and I'm impressed the OP is handling it so well as I would find this behavior incredibly frustrating and probably just ignore your posts.


edit: @OP: I've got some minor vision issues so this colour scheme is pretty hard for me to read. Lightening the background would help a lot. Right now I can just comment on points JNA brought up, but I may be missing some context.

re: Improved martial arts die. Have you math'd the damage output? If their martial arts works the same as a monk's I imagine a higher damage die would give them a major advantage.

re: extra ASI: Nothing wrong with this, but I feel like giving them even a tiny ribbon at the same time would make it more fun.

Not letting them use melee weapons means they never get to use any magical melee weapons. Disadvantage is DM dependant, but still a disadvantage.

re: fluff skills. There are a couple instances I think of calsses getting nothing but fluff on a level. Still makes for a lame level-up and I don't think there should be.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-25, 10:44 AM
edit: @OP: I've got some minor vision issues so this colour scheme is pretty hard for me to read. Lightening the background would help a lot. Right now I can just comment on points JNA brought up, but I may be missing some context.

Lightened up the background a bit. Color scheme is a bit of style choice specific to a character, didn't consider the implications.


re: Improved martial arts die. Have you math'd the damage output? If their martial arts works the same as a monk's I imagine a higher damage die would give them a major advantage.

I tried to make the martial arts die more equivalent to beginning the game with a short sword instead of Monk's starting 'dagger dice' since the class doesn't really use any ki or magic supliments, even the 'resource' elements added in with archtype are meant to be less impactful than even monk ki so (I kind of always felt Monks Martial arts ought to have begun a little higher anyway... but I did initially have this class start with a 1d4... but since its primarily a fighter it felt horridly weak in the first quarter of the game) The martial arts are intended to act as the characters 'weapon attacks' and since it deliberately starts with no melee weapon proficiency, the hope is to encourage a non-powered superhero style of martial combat and avoid all them fancy blades entirely unless you wanna take an archetype that retrains to use weaponry.


re: extra ASI: Nothing wrong with this, but I feel like giving them even a tiny ribbon at the same time would make it more fun.

The extra ASI is an either or thing. You take the ASI if you have an outlaying build in mind and feel you want it (or a specific feat) but in doing so you can't take your archtypes variant of a third 'extra attack' type feature.


Not letting them use melee weapons means they never get to use any magical melee weapons. Disadvantage is DM dependant, but still a disadvantage.

That's fair... I'm thinking about using the 'armored costume' feature to let the magic item attack/damage bonus scale to whatever the armor's bonus is to deal with a little bit of that, and as I've said in the above response to the last guy, there's an archetype that specializes in a melee weapon (and if I can get this all balanced maybe more archtypes further in that specialize in other weapons or have different advantages of their own) which could get around this issue.


re: fluff skills. There are a couple instances I think of calsses getting nothing but fluff on a level. Still makes for a lame level-up and I don't think there should be.

I feel like Barbarians 'unarmored defense' is an all fluff skill for sure since its no better than most of your lvl 1 options and most likely is not your best 'final form' option xD But I agree. Especially for a feature of above tenth level. I'm gonna see what I can do to preserve the fluff and add something with a little more oomph.

Thanks for the reply!

Composer99
2019-01-25, 03:27 PM
Interesting class. I've had a look through, and here's what I've got. Gonna be blunt here and there.

The first thing I should mention is that I've just watched through Titans on Netflix this week, so I've got the characters in that show (well, Robin, Hawk, and Dove, anyway) in mind.

Is this superhero class meant only to emulate the likes of Batman and other not-magical-or-superhuman-but-exceptionally-trained characters? Or will there be an option to be more of a "metahuman"/"mutant" like a Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, or The Flash?

I can tell you've had a lot of 3.5/PF background, because it shows in some of the text that uses 3.5/PF terms that don't exist in 5e (will saves, free actions, that sort of thing).

One problem this class has - and this might tie back to the last point about the 3.5/PF influence - is that a lot of the features amount to bonuses to attack and damage rolls, instead of new stuff they can do. And that's honestly just kind of overpowered on the one hand if it makes them out of line with other classes, and boring on the other. You need to math out the class' damage output and see how it compares with other classes.

Sure there are core classes that have that problem (I'm looking at you, barbarian!), but I'm not sure that's something to emulate with homebrew.

As a final general remark, you may want to reorder when certain features come online, at least around 11th level. 5th, 11th, and 17th level are the "tier breakpoints" of 5e, and usually when classes get their primary damage/power boosts. Extra Attack at 5th is fine, and as long as the 17th-level Method features are significant enough, that's fine, too. I'll discuss the current 11th-level feature when I get to it, but at this point I can say that it's not really a big enough damage/power boost.


Let's start with the Class Table.

First, let's talk the Martial Arts Die. IMO, in 5e, monks are the "unarmed martial arts" guys. So, in the first place, I don't think it is right for this class to have a better martial arts die progression than monks. Unlike monks, this class has the option of using bows and crossbows for damage.

Also, the Martial Arts Die would be better if it scales up at tier breakpoints, the way the monk die does. (If you absolutely can't conceive of this class having less than a d6 Martial Arts Die at 1st level, then at least the d8 and d10 upgrades should happen at the tier breakpoints.)

Next, what do you plan to do at 14th level? Was there an ASI in previous iterations of the class? While in principle it seems to me that the standard 5-ASI progression is best for any class that isn't fighter or rogue, it may be that if you can't think of anything else to add, an ASI is better for the time being than a dead level.

Finally, I would recommend that the 10th level feature just be the Method Feature. If you really want to give the option of having an ASI at 10th level, what I would do is, in each Method's 10th-level feature description, give the player the option to take an ASI instead of the feature.


Now, let's talk the Class Features.

Hit Points
This is definitely a "martial" class, so d10 hit points are fine.

Proficiencies
The tool, skill, saving throw, and armour proficiencies are all fine. But, and I'm going to be extra blunt here, there is no excuse for a class that is ostensibly good at fighting not to be proficient with, at the very least, all simple weapons. You want the class to mostly use ranged weapons and unarmed strikes? That's fine - you're already rewarding that behaviour with the class features. No need to make them worse at using melee weapons than wizards.

Right now, I couldn't make a Robin-style character from Titans using this class, even through he strikes me as a pretty good example of the Vigilante, because it's not proficient with quarterstaff. I'd have to use an ASI on Weapon Master (I mean, really?) or multiclass, and that's on top of already being penalised because I'm not benefiting from class features that reward ranged weapon or unarmed strike use. That's just wrong.

If you want to restrict proficiency with martial melee weapons to certain subclass options, that's fine. But IMO this class should just have proficiency with all simple weapons (along with martial ranged weapons) right out of the box, period.

Starting Equipment
This is fine although, related to the discussion on proficiencies above, there should be a bullet point for either two daggers or one simple melee weapon.

Martial Archer
For the sake of clarity and organisation, I think this could be made into a series of bullet points, something like:

"While you are wielding a ranged weapon in two hands, you gain the following beneifts:
- point
- point
- point"

I think it's awkward giving this class' unarmed strikes the light property and then having to not-really-clarify that they're not engaging in two weapon fighting when they make unarmed strikes instead of ranged weapon attacks.

Because you are giving this class Charisma to unarmed strike attacks and damage at 2nd level, it seems a bit much giving their unarmed strikes the finesse property at 1st level. I would just ditch that benefit.

I would suggest re-formulating the final sentence into two separate points, like so:
- When you take the Attack action, you can forego one or more ranged weapon attacks to make an unarmed strike for each such foregone attack.
- Whenever you are eligible to make an opportunity attack, you can make an unarmed strike.

(Remember that these are benefits that follow from wielding a ranged weapon in two hands, so otherwise you'd be stuck using your ranged weapon as an improvised weapon when making opportunity attacks.)

Finally, I think you could actually give bonus action unarmed strikes at this level, instead of at 9th level. More on that when we get there.

Fighting Style
This is fine. That said, I would seriously consider making the Vigilante's Secret Identity feature a 1st-level class feature for all Masked Marvels and moving Fighting Style to 2nd level, since most classes that get fighting style and aren't fighters get it at 2nd level. More on that when we get to the subclasses.

Flashy Fighter
"You can use Charisma instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes" reads more cleanly than the current text describing that benefit.

Also, the bonus action acrobatic movement needs to give more than 5 feet if it's going to compete with bonus action unarmed strikes at higher levels. 10 feet, maybe even with an increase to 15 feet at higher levels, would be suitable.

Masked Methods
Will discuss when I get to them, below.

Ability Score Improvement
This is fine, subject to the discussion about the class table, above.

Extra Attack
Fine

Armoured Costume
(1) This should have a cost, in both time and gold, associated with it.
(2) As written, you couldn't use this feature on the set of armour you currently possess when you reach 7th level, which I daresay isn't what you intend.
(3) Giving magic armour is fine
(4) You should probably specify, in the sentence describing how you are attuned to your Armoured Costume, that (a) you are always attuned to it, (b) you can't attune to any other set of armour while attuned to an Armoured Costume, and (c) you can only attune to one Armoured Costume at a time.
(5) Making your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity is fine. Giving them a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls? Not fine.
(6) "Expertise" isn't actually defined as a general rule. Even though everyone who's read the bard or rogue class descriptions knows what you mean, you should write it out in full, something like:

"Choose either the Intimidation or Persuasion skill. While wearing your Armoured Costume, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses your chosen proficiency."

Marvellous Missiles

This is fine, if boring. 9 levels to stop being MAD is a long time, admittedly. I've already suggested giving the bonus action unarmed strike as early as 1st level. So I think this feature could do with some revision.

For starters, I think giving your letting your ranged attacks be treated as magical would be good.

Then, say, once on each of your turns when you hit with a ranged weapon attack, you could also do one of the following:
- the target is grappled until it uses its action to break free (say, you've stuck an arrow through its arm into the wall, or through its leg into the ground)
- knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away from you
- the target drops a weapon or item it is holding
- add your proficiency bonus to the damage roll

That sort of thing.

Oh, and before I forget, pertaining to the discussion above about tier breakpoints, you might want to switch this feature with Astonishing Acrobat, because this feature seems more appropriate as a power boost than "better at acrobatics" is.

Astonishing Acrobat
(1) I would let you add double proficiency bonus to checks using Acrobatics, and then just give proficiency if you don't have it already (that is, you get both parts of the first benefit of the feature).
(2) For the second benefit of the feature, rather than auto-success, I would suggest giving something like either the rogue's Reliable Talent or the barbarian's Indomitable Might. This is fine because you're only giving the benefit to checks using Acrobatics.

Famous Customer
Boring but fine. At 15th level money probably won't be an object, but I guess it might matter for big-ticket purchases?

Experienced
Overpowered and boring.


Legend
Most 20th-level capstones aren't terribly exciting. This follows that mould, but is definitely fine otherwise.




Okay, now let's look at the Subclasses.



First up, the Vigilante. This subclass definitely has a problem starting off. It's 3rd-level feature doesn't actually change the way it plays in any substantial fashion. Compare that to the Highwayman 3rd-level feature, or to the initial features of most subclasses in the game.

Also, as I've remarked above, Secret Identity could (should?) be a central feature to the class as a whole.

Whatever you do with Secret Identity, there needs to be something that (a) changes the way the subclass plays relative to other Masked Marvel subclasses, and (b) thematically relates to what the subclass is all about.

Now, it seems to me that Vigilantes can go with punishing the guilty or protecting the innocent, so some feature that lets you use your reaction to do one or the other seems like a good idea.

Gadgets
I would suggest re-wording the limits on the number of gadgets you can repair/craft, and the number you can possess. As is, it's just a bit clunky. Something like this:
"Whenever you take a short or long rest, you can spend some time preparing, crafting, or repairing your gadgets. When you do so, the total number of gadgets you craft or repair equals your Charisma modifier (minimum one gadget). The total number of functional gadgets you may possess at any one time equals half your Masked Marvel level."

As for the individual gadgets themselves:

Grappling Arrow - Because climbing often doesn't require a check, this is basically useless as written. Also, it doesn't take into account the possibility of using grappling hooks to attach ropes horizontally, allowing you to cross chasms or between tall buildings.
Maybe it should be something more like: "You create a special piece of ammunition that functions as a grappling hook but can be fired from a ranged weapon, up to the weapon's long range, even when attached to a length of rope. Whenever you use your grappling arrow, roll a d6; on a roll of 1 or 2, the arrow is damaged after use, and you must repair or replace it in order to use it again."

Flash Powder - This should blind the affected creature until the end of its turn. Also, it needs a range limit: as little as 5 feet to as far away as, say, 30 feet should be fine. (It seems strange to lob this at someone 200 feet away attacking with a crossbow or spell.)

Bolas, Lockpicks, and Medkits are fine, although the bola DCs don't line up properly. (I'm guessing this feature used to come online at 3rd level.)

Restraints - The DCs don't line up, as per bolas. Also, since these are, so far as I can see, ostensibly cobbled-together lesser versions of manacles, they should probably have a maximum duration.


Vigilant Multi-Attack
The name is uninspiring, but the feature is otherwise fine. The wording is a little clunky here and there, but that's nothing to worry about.

As discussed above, what I would suggest is giving the subclass the feature by default, and giving the player the option to choose an ASI instead here.

Heroic
Yes, this feature needs to be a power boost of some kind, because this is the 17th-level "tier breakpoint" feature. But as written, you're adding Charisma and Dexterity to your attack rolls and damage, adding Wisdom to boot only one level later. It's overpowered and boring, as discussed above.


Next up, the Highwayman.

Deadly Daggers is more like it when it comes to initial subclass features. This definitely sets up the subclass as being its own thing, distinct from other Masked Marvels, and even from other characters entirely. I must admit, nothing about "highwayman" makes me think "uses daggers to the exclusion of other weapons", but whatever.

It does have a few problems. You already get one item interaction on your turn that you can do as part of your movement or action, and that interaction already includes picking a weapon off the ground or drawing/sheathing a weapon. So as written, all that "free action" (3.5/PF language) stuff isn't adding anything.

Instead, maybe you should be able to draw a dagger, pick one up off the ground, or otherwise retrieve it whenever you make a weapon attack with a dagger and have a free hand? That lets you draw or otherwise retrieve multiple daggers, which actually is something other characters don't get to do normally.

I would also suggest using your Martial Arts Die for the damage rolls of your dagger attacks, instead of adding in a separate scaling damage track.

The benefit against prone targets is fine.

Tricks needs a bit of wording clean-up. (This feature was also originally supposed to come on line at 3rd level, I see.) I would suggest that the text telling you how many tricks you get should come earlier, instead of last, in the description. Also, I would suggest rewording the usage limit like so:
"You can use the tricks you have learned a number of times equal to half your Masked Marvel level, recovering expended uses of this feature when you finish a short or long rest."

Note that you don't need to mention rounding down, since the rules already tell you to always round fractions down unless explicitly stated otherwise. Also, half your Masked Marvel level might be too many uses at higher levels? A lot of classes use an ability score for usage limits for these sorts of features (for instance, the bard's Bardic Inspiration), so that might be a better fit.

As for the tricks themselves:
Thrown Vocals, Quiet Menace, Slippery like a Fox - These are all fine. (I wonder whether Quiet Menace should explicitly refer to the Intimidation skill. Also, as noted previously, it really shouldn't refer to "expertise" as such.)

Face Full of Glass - I'm not keen on the fact that the feature relies on having a supply of glass to work. It's also vastly overpowered compared to the other tricks. You deal a bunch of damage and get advantage on attack rolls until your next turn (should be turn, not action, btw)? I would get rid of the glass specificity, let you throw whatever is to hand into your target's face, and get advantage on your next attack roll against the target.

Vicious Opportunist - The "extra element" is weird wording. I get that you mean the attack is enhanced in some respect. It just doesn't parse right. You may want to just dispense with descriptive text and stick entirely to mechanical effect. Something like the following:
"Whenever you use your reaction to make an opportunity attack, you can use this trick. If you do so, if the attack hits, it is a critical hit as long as you rolled a 15 or higher on the d20."

(Note that that wording, by mentioning that you use the trick, you explicitly account for expending one of your trick uses without having to add extra detail on that score.)


Violent Volley

This is fine. As discussed previously, I would give the feature by default, then give the option in the feature description for the player to take an ASI instead of the feature.

Infamous
That saving throw DC has to go. Saving throw DCs for player character features are, so far as I am aware, invariably 8 + proficiency bonus + some key ability modifier (e.g. spellcasting ability for spells).

For the frighten effect, the save DC then should use that formula with Charisma as the key ability modifier.

Also, it can interact poorly with some of your tricks - for instance, the trick that lets you avoid being noticed.

Finally, giving what amounts to unlimited fear effects might be too much. Giving advantage on attacks against frightened creatures might be the power boost that this subclass needs at 17th level, but I'm not convinced it should blanket hit everyone who sees you use a trick, just because.

I might suggest that you can do the following:
(1) On each of your turns in which you make a weapon attack (remember, unarmed strikes are melee weapon attacks) or use a Highwayman trick that you know, you can force one creature that can see you to make a Wisdom saving throw.
(2) On a failed save, the target becomes frightened of you for 1 minute
(3) You have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have become frightened by means of this feature
(4) Whether a creature succeeds or fails its saving throw, after targeting it with this feature, you can't do so again for 24 hours.





That's the whole kit and kaboodle. Hope at least some of that helps.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-25, 05:19 PM
Wow! Thanks for the advice! 'Language' was one of the things I specifically wanted help with so a lot of your advice there is especially welcome. (I probably did a lot more 4e than 3.5 tbh... but its not unlikely that since 3.5 was my first D&D game the language got coded in my skull a bit. Obviously I can't respond to everything here or this would be such a long reply it might as well be published xD but I'll respond where I feel like I either disagree with something/think something got read wrong or misinterpreted etc. If gone unmentioned it likely means im very much considering. Thanks in advance if you bother to read this. Thanks anyway if you don't xD




Is this superhero class meant only to emulate the likes of Batman and other not-magical-or-superhuman-but-exceptionally-trained characters? Or will there be an option to be more of a "metahuman"/"mutant" like a Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, or The Flash?

It is currently specifically intended to be something of a robin hood meets 'Green Arrow/Batman' yes. I Intend for there to be an archtype involving the concept of a 'superpowered' mask without being a 'spell' thing... but I certainly don't wish to go beyond whats here just now.


First, let's talk the Martial Arts Die. IMO, in 5e, monks are the "unarmed martial arts" guys. So, in the first place, I don't think it is right for this class to have a better martial arts die progression than monks. Unlike monks, this class has the option of using bows and crossbows for damage.

monks supplement their early low unarmed damage with ki abilities to empower them and other 'monk weapons' which is the reason this worked differently. I still want to encourage unarmed over weaponry PERIOD unless your archtyping... but I can get what you're saying here overall, aand may do as you said later and break it up into tier breakpoints instead.


Next, what do you plan to do at 14th level? Was there an ASI in previous iterations of the class? While in principle it seems to me that the standard 5-ASI progression is best for any class that isn't fighter or rogue, it may be that if you can't think of anything else to add, an ASI is better for the time being than a dead level.

I mistaken thought most classes had a dead level or two... now im noticing that seems only true of caster classes obtaining more spells. I'll need to think on it some.



Right now, I couldn't make a Robin-style character from Titans using this class, even through he strikes me as a pretty good example of the Vigilante, because it's not proficient with quarterstaff. I'd have to use an ASI on Weapon Master (I mean, really?) or multiclass, and that's on top of already being penalised because I'm not benefiting from class features that reward ranged weapon or unarmed strike use. That's just wrong.

I think i worry that adding something like this would encourage a sorta 'gimped' playstyle with the class... as two handed melee weapons in particular are not encouraged in any of the skills leveling up and not planned to be outside of potentially adding an archtype for it Xanathar style..... that said I guess adding simple weapon proficiency isn't SO bad so long as people could theoretically read forward and know what they're getting into.




Armoured Costume

(5) Making your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity is fine. Giving them a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls? Not fine.

This was Intended SPECIFICALLY for unarmed strikes, thanks for bringing my notice that I failed to indicate that.


Marvellous Missiles
For starters, I think giving your letting your ranged attacks be treated as magical would be good. Eh? There's magic bows and ammunition for that. I'll consider your other options though, maybe just add bows attack bonus to the original 'flashy fighter' and spread in a few more bow bonuses in this slot (swapped with Acrobat as suggested) and maybe lvl 14 since there's an opening there as well?


Experienced
Overpowered and boring. two strikes and its out.


Flash Powder - This should blind the affected creature until the end of its turn. Also, it needs a range limit: as little as 5 feet to as far away as, say, 30 feet should be fine. (It seems strange to lob this at someone 200 feet away attacking with a crossbow or spell.) This actually saw some playest, its been reworked a bit already... I thought 'action' was a way to balance it from when it was a poooooorly designed smoke bomb xD, but if its a full turn its sort of devastatingly effective against say... a fighter gone nova... the question then is, should defense be cheaper and more cost effective than attacking? A little probably... but how much?



Vigilant Multi-Attack
The name is uninspiring, but the feature is otherwise fine. The wording is a little clunky here and there, but that's nothing to worry about.
xD suggestions? I'm not set on all the feature names or anything.




Heroic
Yes, this feature needs to be a power boost of some kind, because this is the 17th-level "tier breakpoint" feature. But as written, you're adding Charisma and Dexterity to your attack rolls and damage, adding Wisdom to boot only one level later. It's overpowered and boring, as discussed above. it only applies to damage roles, I decided long ago the attack roll boost with it was to much before I ever posted it here. Still just dex OR cha to the roll.



It does have a few problems. You already get one item interaction on your turn that you can do as part of your movement or action, and that interaction already includes picking a weapon off the ground or drawing/sheathing a weapon. So as written, all that "free action" (3.5/PF language) stuff isn't adding anything.

Instead, maybe you should be able to draw a dagger, pick one up off the ground, or otherwise retrieve it whenever you make a weapon attack with a dagger and have a free hand? That lets you draw or otherwise retrieve multiple daggers, which actually is something other characters don't get to do normally.

its intended to allow you to recollect your daggers at essentially any time free of penalty to encourage chucking them around as much as you like... If free action is not a thing, I guess the next logical description of what I Intended would be 'Picking up daggers off the floor, pulling them from your enemies, stowing/drawing them etc. costs NO action for you.'


Face Full of Glass - I'm not keen on the fact that the feature relies on having a supply of glass to work. It's also vastly overpowered compared to the other tricks. You deal a bunch of damage and get advantage on attack rolls until your next turn (should be turn, not action, btw)? I would get rid of the glass specificity, let you throw whatever is to hand into your target's face, and get advantage on your next attack roll against the target. good advice, I'll workshop what exactly it is your chucking I guess xD, I specifically wanted the attack to be weaker though than just throwing one of your own boosted daggers attacks and just then getting advantage after that, no reason to EVER use a regular bonus action to attack in that event.


That's the whole kit and kaboodle. Hope at least some of that helps.

You helped a ton thanks! My only other comment would be a blanket comment on the defense of the use of the term expertise. It's a term easily located in the players handbook for anyone who would be putting a sheet together, so from my perspective it makes more sense to use the term to limit word count than it does to write out exactly what expertise already means? I get its not a function every class can get point blank... but it is something that some classes DO get point blank... and in this instance this would be one of those classes. Is there some reason I don't know about why it would be better to increase my word count to avoid using a keyword that's already there?

Regardless, this was all great stuff, a lot of which is being heavily considered, a lot of which will be implemented.

The Cats
2019-01-25, 05:41 PM
its intended to allow you to recollect your daggers at essentially any time free of penalty to encourage chucking them around as much as you like... If free action is not a thing, I guess the next logical description of what I Intended would be 'Picking up daggers off the floor, pulling them from your enemies, stowing/drawing them etc. costs NO action for you.'

"You can use your object interaction on your turn to draw, stow, or retrieve any number of daggers within reach."



You helped a ton thanks! My only other comment would be a blanket comment on the defense of the use of the term expertise. It's a term easily located in the players handbook for anyone who would be putting a sheet together, so from my perspective it makes more sense to use the term to limit word count than it does to write out exactly what expertise already means? I get its not a function every class can get point blank... but it is something that some classes DO get point blank... and in this instance this would be one of those classes. Is there some reason I don't know about why it would be better to increase my word count to avoid using a keyword that's already there?

Because expertise isn't a keyword and is never used as such. Every instance of expertise in the PHB writes out plainly the effects of the ability. Rogues and Hunter Rangers both get evasion, evasion's not a keyword. Same deal. It's only easily located in the PHB if you already know Rogues and Bards get it. Otherwise, not so easy.

Composer covered everything I would have suggested, and then some. I just want to reinforce the idea that abilities that increase attack and damage rolls should be used very sparingly in 5E. Bounded accuracy makes it much easier to break things by pumping the numbers too much.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-25, 06:03 PM
"You can use your object interaction on your turn to draw, stow, or retrieve any number of daggers within reach." that'll work great, thanks.


Because expertise isn't a keyword and is never used as such. Every instance of expertise in the PHB writes out plainly the effects of the ability. Rogues and Hunter Rangers both get evasion, evasion's not a keyword. Same deal. It's only easily located in the PHB if you already know Rogues and Bards get it. Otherwise, not so easy. fair enough, I could have sworn I'd seen the words 'expertise' splashed all the hell over the place. Looked the PHB over, I'm just flat wrong.


Composer covered everything I would have suggested, and then some. I just want to reinforce the idea that abilities that increase attack and damage rolls should be used very sparingly in 5E. Bounded accuracy makes it much easier to break things by pumping the numbers too much.

Again, this is because 'almost' every class in 5e is a spellcaster. Non spellcasters gain these increases to account for their lack of this very powerful ability. Barbarians sorta break bounded accuracy anyway, which is why they don't get an ASI, Rogues only get one because their general assortment of sneak attack is already a boatload of extra damage and skills, fighter gets two because presumably he needs them, he then also gets four extra attacks. A chance at a single either/or ASI in a spell less class, particularly as its an either/or exchange with the classes overall dps 'extra attack' scaling or a chance at a feat to further tweak your build when your class will never be able to 'Wish' themselves out of Hell isn't at all ridiculous. It's just not.

The Cats
2019-01-25, 06:18 PM
Again, this is because 'almost' every class in 5e is a spellcaster. Non spellcasters gain these increases to account for their lack of this very powerful ability. Barbarians sorta break bounded accuracy anyway, which is why they don't get an ASI, Rogues only get one because their general assortment of sneak attack is already a boatload of extra damage and skills, fighter gets two because presumably he needs them, he then also gets four extra attacks. A chance at a single either/or ASI in a spell less class, particularly as its an either/or exchange with the classes overall dps 'extra attack' scaling or a chance at a feat to further tweak your build when your class will never be able to 'Wish' themselves out of Hell isn't at all ridiculous. It's just not.

I'm not talking about ASIs. ASIs are fine and extra ASIs for martial classes makes sense. I just mean in general. Adding CHA and WIS to attack rolls sounds ok, until you consider a 16th level Masked Marvel with 20 CHA and WIS (easily doable with standard array stats, an extra ASI, and the SADness its abilities grant) will have +15 to attack rolls, not considering magic weapons. That +5 has a much bigger effect in a game where the strongest creature in the Monster Manual only has an AC of 25, than in 3.5 or 4th edition. A level 16 character shouldn't have a >%50 chance to hit a CR30 Tarrasque.

This is not specific to your class. This is general design advice for 5E homebrew: Keep the numbers small. Most attack rolls get capped at +11 for a reason.

edit: okokok that was a level 18 ability and you removed it. Last line still stands though!

ViridianIIV
2019-01-25, 07:07 PM
I'm not talking about ASIs. ASIs are fine and extra ASIs for martial classes makes sense. I just mean in general. Adding CHA and WIS to attack rolls sounds ok, until you consider a 16th level Masked Marvel with 20 CHA and WIS (easily doable with standard array stats, an extra ASI, and the SADness its abilities grant) will have +15 to attack rolls, not considering magic weapons. That +5 has a much bigger effect in a game where the strongest creature in the Monster Manual only has an AC of 25, than in 3.5 or 4th edition. A level 16 character shouldn't have a >%50 chance to hit a CR30 Tarrasque.

This is not specific to your class. This is general design advice for 5E homebrew: Keep the numbers small. Most attack rolls get capped at +11 for a reason.

edit: okokok that was a level 18 ability and you removed it. Last line still stands though!

Unless you rolled insanely well or are using a nuts high stat array, if you reach 20 Cha/Wis, your AC and HP likely suck since your Dex and Con would have suffered, and you'd likely have died a long time ago... I suppose there is the outlaying chance of a munchkin who plotted for this exact moment to be able to just bang that Tarrasque and never miss... but its only gonna take one hit from that Tarrasque to murder him... and it would almost CERTAINLY hit because how much Dex could you logically have if you've been pumping wisdom (which hasn't been of any use to you whatsoever until this moment?) It's possible yes, but is it likely? Would anybody actually be willing to gimp themselves horribly for months (or YEARS) just to have an amazing hit ratio during the last two levels of play? And if so...... wouldn't they have EARNED it by then!?!?! How many of those characters could possibly survive that long? In that sense I think you're wrong, and nobody with half a brain would naturally have a 20 wisdom with this class by that point.

I AM however concerned thanks to your points here, that someone whose character died at lvl 18 and was rolling up a new char for next sunday COULD potentially munckin this out. So I'll be considering what else to do with Experienced for now.

Edit: Glanced at some of the other options for classes at this level for Ideas what everyone else is doing and changed it up. Experienced: At 18th level you’ve seen so much combat even the bards could find no fault in your form. Whenever you miss an attack roll, you add +1 to the attack and damage rolls of successive attacks until you have made a successful attack roll or your turn has ended. (Max +2)

superninja109
2019-01-26, 11:23 AM
Unless you rolled insanely well or are using a nuts high stat array, if you reach 20 Cha/Wis, your AC and HP likely suck since your Dex and Con would have suffered, and you'd likely have died a long time ago... I suppose there is the outlaying chance of a munchkin who plotted for this exact moment to be able to just bang that Tarrasque and never miss... but its only gonna take one hit from that Tarrasque to murder him... and it would almost CERTAINLY hit because how much Dex could you logically have if you've been pumping wisdom (which hasn't been of any use to you whatsoever until this moment?) It's possible yes, but is it likely? Would anybody actually be willing to gimp themselves horribly for months (or YEARS) just to have an amazing hit ratio during the last two levels of play? And if so...... wouldn't they have EARNED it by then!?!?! How many of those characters could possibly survive that long? In that sense I think you're wrong, and nobody with half a brain would naturally have a 20 wisdom with this class by that point.


That is not really the best design philosophy. Classes are at least intended to be roughly equal across all levels. To "reward" someone for playing a previously underpowered option is better fixed by making it less underpowered in the first place.
Also, do know that magic items like gauntlets of ogre strength do exist. I forget which one increases wisdom, but a player with a magic item like this would break an ability that assumes the player would have a max +2 in an ability.

I think the new version is probably better, but, adding to attack rolls small numbers is still kinda boring.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-26, 12:35 PM
That is not really the best design philosophy. Classes are at least intended to be roughly equal across all levels. To "reward" someone for playing a previously underpowered option is better fixed by making it less underpowered in the first place.
Also, do know that magic items like gauntlets of ogre strength do exist. I forget which one increases wisdom, but a player with a magic item like this would break an ability that assumes the player would have a max +2 in an ability.

I don't think there are any official 'ogre' type things that boost anything other than strength not that you couldn't home brew one. Anyway, a LOTS been changed of the class since yesterday's points.


I think the new version is probably better, but, adding to attack rolls small numbers is still kinda boring.

Eh, gotta be done here and there. Little in the game indicates combat 'experience' more than getting better at hitting things. And the final few levels, ESPECIALLY the final few. grow hard to utilize for designing rewards that aren't in some way or other working towards improving your combat and attacks since most other forms of leveling rewards become less and less imperative the nearer you are coming to the end of your campaign. I've been working to make some of the earlier levels more interesting so that the rp mechanics and skill game can be better enjoyed in the long run... but I'd rather the last few levels give you stat boosts in prep for the final boss than say... some new mechanic for role playing or boosting skills that you're hardly going to get to use or enjoy over any kind of extended gaming experience.

superninja109
2019-01-26, 02:21 PM
Eh, gotta be done here and there. Little in the game indicates combat 'experience' more than getting better at hitting things. And the final few levels, ESPECIALLY the final few. grow hard to utilize for designing rewards that aren't in some way or other working towards improving your combat and attacks since most other forms of leveling rewards become less and less imperative the nearer you are coming to the end of your campaign. I've been working to make some of the earlier levels more interesting so that the rp mechanics and skill game can be better enjoyed in the long run... but I'd rather the last few levels give you stat boosts in prep for the final boss than say... some new mechanic for role playing or boosting skills that you're hardly going to get to use or enjoy over any kind of extended gaming experience.
My point wasn't to say that improving combat abilities is boring, but just adding +1 or +2 to a roll because you missed before is not very inspiring. If you could, X times per long rest, add +10 or something like that to a roll, that would be interesting. Dramatic, active abilities are more fun to play than tiny-seeming passive ones. All the +1 does is make you unnoticably better at something you can already do. If you give the player a new button to press or option to utilize, that will be remembered.

ViridianIIV
2019-01-26, 06:48 PM
My point wasn't to say that improving combat abilities is boring, but just adding +1 or +2 to a roll because you missed before is not very inspiring. If you could, X times per long rest, add +10 or something like that to a roll, that would be interesting. Dramatic, active abilities are more fun to play than tiny-seeming passive ones. All the +1 does is make you unnoticably better at something you can already do. If you give the player a new button to press or option to utilize, that will be remembered.

I'm reorganizing the class a bit right now to better incorporate some of the stuff said in this thread here. Before I'd intended it as a straight unarmed/ranged class, but someone mentioned that if they wanted to play 'robin' from DC and couldn't use a staff it was a bit of a crime... so I'm trying to reorganize to encourage the idea of masked archtypes of all sorts in the base class, and use the archtypes to let the imagination run wild... for now that means getting in the juicy ideas where they need to be, so a lot of the higher level stuff is hopefully balanced... but maybe not 'final' in quite the same way the classes core abilities are.