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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    Early game (level 4 and below) I would rate it as sky blue or gold, you are getting a good chunk of your HP back and it can be a lifesaver. After level 4 I would rate it as red. Compeltely forgettable. It doesn't keep up with the damage you will be taking and it doesn't heal enough. Its a bonus action to use (shield master, twf, and tavern brawler grapple compete for that bonus action) and just doesn't have the healing capabilities to be worth not killing a creature.

    If second wind was healing 25% of your HP no matter what the level then that would be worth it. 1d10+fighter level is pathetic. At a +3 con you eventually will be healing 14% of your HP. Short rests being completely DM dependant and from I hear not given out liberally... Second Wind is pretty pathetic.

    Also, if you go to 0 you can't use second wind to save your life. I wouldn't mind seeing second wind auto activating if you hit 0 hp.
    Fair point. I've mostly played from levels 1-8, and it has been extremely helpful as I played a tanking fighter with a cleric more interested in dealing damage than with keeping the rest of us standing. It probably a black rated ability: okay for what it is, which balances the extreme usefulness early on with the lack of scaling.

    A typical combat involved my character holding back half of the horde, our ranger's player passed out from booze (irl) so he just sits there, our cleric expending all his spell slots doing pretty good damage until he falls, our rogue making the occasional attack but mostly hiding, and our bard swearing that he should be able to do more than 4 damage in a round. In such a scenario, it was about the best I could hope for.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Second Wind keeps you standing when you need to pound pavement for a quick retreat. It's not the most glamorous use of the feature, but unless you have dipped Rogue or Monk you don't otherwise have a bonus action that helps you escape, and thus Second Wind has no competition in such scenarios. Not to say that the scenario will or should happen often, but that is how it remains useful for most of the game.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    Snip.
    First, healing 14% of your HP with a bonus action is nothing to sneeze at.

    For the first twelve levels of the game, Second Wind is excellent. It heals a sizeable chunk of HP, and I have personally seen it keep PCs alive. After that, it's mostly a nice way to save on hit dice during short rests. It's nice, it can occasionally be critical, but it will always extend your viability over the course of an adventuring day. It's reliably useful, if not terribly important after the mid levels. That makes it Black.

    As for Indomitable, it means rolling poorly to maintain concentration or avoid a save you should have passed won't necessarily screw you over, and you get up to three a day. I think dropping it to Blue is a good idea, but I won't go any farther.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2015-12-08 at 03:49 PM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    First, healing 14% of your HP with a bonus action is nothing to sneeze at.

    For the first twelve levels of the game, Second Wind is excellent. It heals a sizeable chunk of HP, and I have personally seen it keep PCs alive. After that, it's mostly a nice way to save on hit dice during short rests. It's nice, it can occasionally be critical, but it will always extend your viability over the course of an adventuring day. It's reliably useful, if not terribly important after the mid levels. That makes it Black.

    As for Indomitable, it means rolling poorly to maintain concentration or avoid a save you should have passed won't necessarily screw you over, and you get up to three a day. I think dropping it to Blue is a good idea, but I won't go any farther.
    14% is something to sneeze at when the damage against you at those levels is each round (not 1/short rest).

    One bite and two claw attacks on average (from adult dragon, +14 to attack) does 19 + 15 + 15 = 49 (no crits). Which, off the top of my head is 28%, of a fighter's max hp at higher levels. That second wind didn't negate the damage it essentially have you resistance for one round. The other classes are laughing.

    Indomitable being saved until you roll bad when you should have passed is pretty weak. I would rather stop being paralyzed due to a bad Wis save than continue concentrating. Continuing concentration is nice but without it I can still fight... While paralyzed I can't do anything.

    If indomitable was short rest I could kinda see the sky blue rating but it being 1 or 2 times per long rest? No, just no. A level 9 feature should be better than that. How about just adding Con to all saves? That would be worth more than the reroll on a bad save (4/6 Will be bad saves).

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    And you aren't precluded from Shoving like Shield Master, in fact you get the same number of attack and the same shove as part of your attack action, you just don't have the Dueling(If they even took it) Damage bonus, in fact it is better, as it doesn't require you to attack first.
    Didn't they sage advice that you can bonus action shove before the attacks happen for shield master? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Yes, but very very few of those are every round bonus actions with the exception of those that grant extra attacks like Frenzy, or Polearm master. The rest are either one timers like the Vow of Eminity, Second Wind, the Offhand attack with a Hand Crossbow(Due to Reloading), Hex/Hunters Mark. Or are tied to a specific fighting style like GWM, PM, Shield Master, etc. And you aren't precluded from Shoving like Shield Master, in fact you get the same number of attack and the same shove as part of your attack action, you just don't have the Dueling(If they even took it) Damage bonus, in fact it is better, as it doesn't require you to attack first.

    The question was more in regards to a Fighter, when you open up all the options of the other classes, sure. But, using your Bonus action for an additional attack is a viable Strategy and does not preclude most of those occasional or once of bonus actions.
    You can use the Hand crossbow bonus action attack every round, as long as you're holding a hand crossbow in one hand and nothing in the other - see here (Crossbow Expert, third question).

    Also, several of the BM manoeuvres use bonus actions, though admittedly not the best ones.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Yes, but very very few of those are every round bonus actions with the exception of those that grant extra attacks like Frenzy, or Polearm master. The rest are either one timers like the Vow of Eminity, Second Wind, the Offhand attack with a Hand Crossbow(Due to Reloading), Hex/Hunters Mark. Or are tied to a specific fighting style like GWM, PM, Shield Master, etc. And you aren't precluded from Shoving like Shield Master, in fact you get the same number of attack and the same shove as part of your attack action, you just don't have the Dueling(If they even took it) Damage bonus, in fact it is better, as it doesn't require you to attack first.

    The question was more in regards to a Fighter, when you open up all the options of the other classes, sure. But, using your Bonus action for an additional attack is a viable Strategy and does not preclude most of those occasional or once of bonus actions.
    My point is that there are a lot of uses for bonus actions out there. The damage that you do with an extra attack has to be compared, not with doing nothing, but with what you could have done with that bonus action. At low levels, fighting with two weapons is fine as you get to use your ASIs to buy stats rather than feats. However when you run out of needed stat boosts (or if a feat is better) you are going to start to have things you can do with your bonus action and this is when two weapon fighting drops off.

    Even once per battle effects are pretty significant. I tend to find that most of my fights last three, or possibly sometimes four rounds (depending on players and willingness to expend resources). Even if you only have one other bonus action using ability you still skip 25% of that encounter's bonus attacks. As you level up and gain access to more abilities that are a better use of the bonus action, using it for a weak attack becomes less and less important.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTeaMustFlow View Post
    You can use the Hand crossbow bonus action attack every round, as long as you're holding a hand crossbow in one hand and nothing in the other - see here (Crossbow Expert, third question).

    Also, several of the BM manoeuvres use bonus actions, though admittedly not the best ones.
    I am aware, but in a situation where you are using a only a hand crossbow, you aren't really concerned with TWF.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    My point is that there are a lot of uses for bonus actions out there. The damage that you do with an extra attack has to be compared, not with doing nothing, but with what you could have done with that bonus action. At low levels, fighting with two weapons is fine as you get to use your ASIs to buy stats rather than feats. However when you run out of needed stat boosts (or if a feat is better) you are going to start to have things you can do with your bonus action and this is when two weapon fighting drops off.

    Even once per battle effects are pretty significant. I tend to find that most of my fights last three, or possibly sometimes four rounds (depending on players and willingness to expend resources). Even if you only have one other bonus action using ability you still skip 25% of that encounter's bonus attacks. As you level up and gain access to more abilities that are a better use of the bonus action, using it for a weak attack becomes less and less important.
    Yes, there is always opportunity cost. Though, things like Hex or Hunter's mark can be used when you can't get range to attack. I'm must making the point that you really don't have a use for a bonus action every round as most are specific.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    - intelligence can actually be a dump stat for eldritch knights. there are some fairly compelling reasons to not dump it (like counterspell), but you can totally make EK work without a good int. for example: shield, magic missile, protection from good and evil, darknesss, gust of wind, remove curse, otiluke's resilient sphere, and others all have great uses that don't rely on int, and that's without even touching on elemental evil spells or the 4 spells you get from other schools. obviously spell options get even better with a high int (fireball still does damage on a successful save but obviously does more if they fail), but it really isn't an absolute requirement for an EK.

    - second wind is overall a mediocre ability, but it doesn't start out that way. at low levels, it gives you vastly more HP per day than anyone else, and while the barbarian can outshine you in individual fights, you're much more capable of shining over the course of the day. i don't disagree with the overall rating, just with the statement that it starts off unimpressive, because when you first get it the ability is absolutely bonkers.

    - indomitable unfortunately only makes you particularly likely to save against something that you already had a pretty solid chance of saving against. and unfortunately, the things you already had a pretty solid chance of saving against tend to not be the things you most need to resist as a character that gets strength and con for saving throws. gets better with feats (you can probably add wisdom to your list of decent save chance, which is a major help), but it also still doesn't help at all with checks, which leads to the next thing:

    - remarkable athlete: black is probably fine for it, but it *is* worth mentioning in your guide that a variety of spells and other effects require attribute checks to escape from, and remarkable athlete can help with getting out of those things (for example, entangle and web require strength checks to escape from, not saves, so champions are the best fighters for getting out of those spells if they've already failed the save).

    - how is survivor not sky blue? it's practically the only reason to strongly consider taking fighter past level 11 for some people.

    - eldritch strike: web is evocation, and a bow shot is still a weapon attack. not to mention your four picks from any school. you also don't necessarily need to action surge; haste gives you an extra attack action you can use, and of course improved war magic at later levels, plus if you hit an enemy several times this round you can use a spell on them next turn with advantage.

    - commander's strike goes almost straight to sky blue if you have a rogue in the party. i'd say it requires two ratings for that reason (you discuss the possibility that your allies determine it's value, but you don't reflect that in your colour rating).

    - menacing attack should probably be sky blue for tanks. most of the time, enemies being unable to move closer to you *also* means they can't move past you to hit that squishy wizard, even if they are the one guy that managed to get through the web and everyone else is relying on them to knock the wizard out of concentration so everybody else can dogpile on you.

    - riposte should get at least a mention of how it can combine with multiclass builds (again, rogue being a particularly obvious example).

    - booming blade is not called out as a SCAG cantrip
    - avoiding sunlight sensitivity and disguise self (in the friends entry) seem to have been placed on different list lines in the cantrips.

    - ice knife: remember you can change your spells later when you level up. if ice knife is great at level 3 and trash at level 10, pick it at level 3 and chance it somewhere along the way to level 10. you can even use it to learn a level 2+ non-A/E spell (they are not restricted to the level of spells you can cast when you first got them, and are explicitly eligible for change when you level up).

    - shatter, sniloc's snowball swarm: if you're an archer, the fact that you don't need to be right on the front lines makes these a lot better than burning hands. for shatter, the damage type is also quite significant (and a lot fewer objects you might want to destroy are likely to be especially resistant to sonic damage; your DM probably won't let you burning hands metal bars, but might let you shatter them, for example).

    - you should probably rate the underdark UA fighting styles (they're both quite ridiculously good, and will probably be nerfed thoroughly before seeing publication because even if you like letting martials have nice things, those styles are clearly *massively* superior to anything in the PHB... but for completeness' sake you should probably acknowledge them. tunnel fighting and close quarters combat i think they're called).

    - i would consider a bit more support in your guide for "non-standard" fighters. i don't mean "characters that refuse to use actual manufactured weapons" or "unarmed combat fighters", mind you, i just mean "dex-based fighters that took stealth and thiev's tool proficiency from their background", for example. heck, most of your advice seems to hinge around the assumption that your fighter is a strength-based melee character, with only the occasional acknowledgement of other options like archers or mounted combat.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Evil, so far so good, nice guide choices.

    Something to note for the EK, I'd highlight the spells that require a save from the target, because those will benefit from Eldritch Strike.

    For example, Poison Spray, Acid Splash, Burninating Hands, Thunderwave, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, etc...

    I'd say the EK's best higher level spells are: Wall of Fire (high damage every round, when combined with something like Thunderwave would allow the EK to cause repeat damage to groups of opponents).

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - intelligence can actually be a dump stat for eldritch knights. there are some fairly compelling reasons to not dump it (like counterspell), but you can totally make EK work without a good int. for example: shield, magic missile, protection from good and evil, darknesss, gust of wind, remove curse, otiluke's resilient sphere, and others all have great uses that don't rely on int, and that's without even touching on elemental evil spells or the 4 spells you get from other schools. obviously spell options get even better with a high int (fireball still does damage on a successful save but obviously does more if they fail), but it really isn't an absolute requirement for an EK.

    - i would consider a bit more support in your guide for "non-standard" fighters. i don't mean "characters that refuse to use actual manufactured weapons" or "unarmed combat fighters", mind you, i just mean "dex-based fighters that took stealth and thiev's tool proficiency from their background", for example. heck, most of your advice seems to hinge around the assumption that your fighter is a strength-based melee character, with only the occasional acknowledgement of other options like archers or mounted combat.
    Yeah, I plan on writing a short guide to different approaches in the last section. I'm going to include the no-Int EK, different approaches to archery with the different archetypes, the brawler, ect. Fighters are just too varied not to deal with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - indomitable unfortunately only makes you particularly likely to save against something that you already had a pretty solid chance of saving against. and unfortunately, the things you already had a pretty solid chance of saving against tend to not be the things you most need to resist as a character that gets strength and con for saving throws. gets better with feats (you can probably add wisdom to your list of decent save chance, which is a major help), but it also still doesn't help at all with checks
    If you have a +2 to a stat, it can up your chance of saving a DC15 check from 40% to 64%. That's worthwhile all on its own, but Str and Con in particular can be important. Con is a big 3 save after all, and passing Con saves can keep you from petrifying, from succumbing to disease, and from horrible curses. Having an extra roll when Con saves can have long-term effects seems pretty damn nice to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - how is survivor not sky blue? it's practically the only reason to strongly consider taking fighter past level 11 for some people.
    The regeneration is limited. At the absolute maximum, it replenishes 10 HP a round, and for most people it will do less. That is very nice, but it's not sky-blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - eldritch strike: web is evocation, and a bow shot is still a weapon attack. not to mention your four picks from any school. you also don't necessarily need to action surge; haste gives you an extra attack action you can use, and of course improved war magic at later levels, plus if you hit an enemy several times this round you can use a spell on them next turn with advantage.
    Web is Conjuration, and yeah, I need to rate the any-school picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - commander's strike goes almost straight to sky blue if you have a rogue in the party. i'd say it requires two ratings for that reason (you discuss the possibility that your allies determine it's value, but you don't reflect that in your colour rating).
    It's more useful, sure, but I wouldn't rate it all that high. I think it's rating needs reconsidered, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - shatter, sniloc's snowball swarm: if you're an archer, the fact that you don't need to be right on the front lines makes these a lot better than burning hands. for shatter, the damage type is also quite significant (and a lot fewer objects you might want to destroy are likely to be especially resistant to sonic damage; your DM probably won't let you burning hands metal bars, but might let you shatter them, for example).
    At the level you get them, the damage they provide is absolutely behind what you can put out simply by attacking. Burning Hands is fine because you get it at a level in which the Wizard is just starting to get second level spells. With those two, the damage you should be putting out is far beyond Burning Hands level, and the archer can already deal that much damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    - menacing attack should probably be sky blue for tanks. most of the time, enemies being unable to move closer to you *also* means they can't move past you to hit that squishy wizard, even if they are the one guy that managed to get through the web and everyone else is relying on them to knock the wizard out of concentration so everybody else can dogpile on you.

    - riposte should get at least a mention of how it can combine with multiclass builds (again, rogue being a particularly obvious example).

    - ice knife: remember you can change your spells later when you level up. if ice knife is great at level 3 and trash at level 10, pick it at level 3 and chance it somewhere along the way to level 10. you can even use it to learn a level 2+ non-A/E spell (they are not restricted to the level of spells you can cast when you first got them, and are explicitly eligible for change when you level up).

    - you should probably rate the underdark UA fighting styles (they're both quite ridiculously good, and will probably be nerfed thoroughly before seeing publication because even if you like letting martials have nice things, those styles are clearly *massively* superior to anything in the PHB... but for completeness' sake you should probably acknowledge them. tunnel fighting and close quarters combat i think they're called).
    All great suggestions. Let me parcel through them a bit.

    And thanks for the fixes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    14% is something to sneeze at
    You seem to misunderstand the purpose of Second Wind. It's not there so that you can heal back up from a dragon's attack. It's there so you can say, "Crap, I only have 30 HP," and heal yourself, so when that dragon hits you again you're at 14 and you can still operate. It can keep you alive, even if it won't heal you to full.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    Indomitable being saved until you roll bad when you should have passed is pretty weak. I would rather stop being paralyzed due to a bad Wis save than continue concentrating. Continuing concentration is nice but without it I can still fight... While paralyzed I can't do anything.
    I wasn't saying that you should save it for a bad luck situation, but it can remedy a bad luck situation.

    And I recommend taking Resilient for your Wis save. That way, Indomitable will absolutely help keep you in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    If indomitable was short rest I could kinda see the sky blue rating but it being 1 or 2 times per long rest? No, just no. A level 9 feature should be better than that. How about just adding Con to all saves? That would be worth more than the reroll on a bad save (4/6 Will be bad saves).
    First, it's easy to get at least a +4 in three to four saves.

    Second, keep up with the times. I already scaled it back from sky-blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz View Post
    Evil, so far so good, nice guide choices.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz View Post
    Something to note for the EK, I'd highlight the spells that require a save from the target, because those will benefit from Eldritch Strike.

    I'd say the EK's best higher level spells are: Wall of Fire (high damage every round, when combined with something like Thunderwave would allow the EK to cause repeat damage to groups of opponents).
    Both good suggestions, thank you. I might hold off on highlighting those spells until I can rate everything, but I'll keep it in mind when I explain the rest of my ratings.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2015-12-09 at 08:07 AM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Most of my critiques were already mentioned, but as a quick fix Greenflame Blade technically has two targets and cannot be used with War Caster, and Aganazzar's Scorcher is not labeled as an EE spell.

    I'd also say that the Sleep spell is not that great for higher levels and shouldn't be sky blue.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Hey, look at that! The spells are finished!

    Sorry I abandoned this for a while, but I got married, had holidays, and then had a honeymoon. Some things have to take priority over internets.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Some things have to take priority over internets.
    What!? Heresy!!

    EDIT: Also, you might want to add the Cavalier and Scout options from the latest UA. They are both quite solid.

    Since the fighter gets the most ASI's/Feats, a guide for feat selection would be a nice addition. Split between general advice and build suggestions, perhaps?
    Last edited by Gwendol; 2016-01-11 at 11:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elderand View Post
    You and your common sense again ! :P

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Hey, look at that! The spells are finished!

    Sorry I abandoned this for a while, but I got married, had holidays, and then had a honeymoon. Some things have to take priority over internets.
    Congrats! And thanks!
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendol View Post
    EDIT: Also, you might want to add the Cavalier and Scout options from the latest UA. They are both quite solid.
    Oh, poop. I was on honeymoon when that came out. I'll have to take care of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendol View Post
    Since the fighter gets the most ASI's/Feats, a guide for feat selection would be a nice addition. Split between general advice and build suggestions, perhaps?
    That is precisely the plan. I'm getting started later today.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfishfunk View Post
    Congrats! And thanks!
    Thanks! And you're welcome!

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    14% is something to sneeze at when the damage against you at those levels is each round (not 1/short rest).

    One bite and two claw attacks on average (from adult dragon, +14 to attack) does 19 + 15 + 15 = 49 (no crits). Which, off the top of my head is 28%, of a fighter's max hp at higher levels. That second wind didn't negate the damage it essentially have you resistance for one round. The other classes are laughing.
    You can't just neglect to-hit chances like that.

    With +14 to attack, the dragon will hit the AC 26 (Shielded EK) fighter 45% of the time. Second Wind + Shield essentially negate one round of attacks from the dragon (minus legendary actions), allowing your whole party to get in another round of damage against the dragon. Not terrific, but not horrible either.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    What is the general thoughts about the scout from Unearthed Arcana?

    In my opinion, it is a bit uninspiring as an archetype, since it just recycles old features, mainly ranger and fighter. Still, it is a good class, and better than the battlemaster, as it gets more utility. Those three maneuvers it starts with is just as good as the best battlemaster maneuvers, namely precision attack, and the option to use your superiority dice to increase your AC by that amount, and take half damage even if it still hit. Not sure if that AC bonus last the whole round, such as shield...? Also, Martial Adept suddenly becomes very tempting, and maybe even sky blue...?

    Nice to see some thoughts about this archetype

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Sno View Post
    What is the general thoughts about the scout from Unearthed Arcana?

    In my opinion, it is a bit uninspiring as an archetype, since it just recycles old features, mainly ranger and fighter. Still, it is a good class, and better than the battlemaster, as it gets more utility. Those three maneuvers it starts with is just as good as the best battlemaster maneuvers, namely precision attack, and the option to use your superiority dice to increase your AC by that amount, and take half damage even if it still hit. Not sure if that AC bonus last the whole round, such as shield...? Also, Martial Adept suddenly becomes very tempting, and maybe even sky blue...?

    Nice to see some thoughts about this archetype
    Honestly, it's a pure utility build. The Battle Master is much, much better at dealing damage and controlling the battlefield. It's not as useful to allies as a Purple Dragon Knight, nor is it as good at dealing damage as a Champion or Cavalier. The damage probably falls under that of a Ranger for most of an adventuring career, and the Ranger has spell utility on top of that. It's simply not terribly good at anything.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Honestly, it's a pure utility build. The Battle Master is much, much better at dealing damage and controlling the battlefield. It's not as useful to allies as a Purple Dragon Knight, nor is it as good at dealing damage as a Champion or Cavalier. The damage probably falls under that of a Ranger for most of an adventuring career, and the Ranger has spell utility on top of that. It's simply not terribly good at anything.
    Hmmmm. I'm not sure that Scout is really worse at damage than the BM. It essentially has Precision Attack, which was the most damaging of the Maneuvers anyhow (because it makes a miss into a hit so it contributes much more average damage than 1d8), right? The scout seems to sacrifice battlefield control for skills, a tier the fighter isn't great at. But it doesn't seem to sacrifice damage.
    Last edited by ColonelHero; 2016-01-22 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    When I first saw 5E I realised that I could finally play a Dex-based unarmoured swashbuckler right out of the box. In 3E, I had to take feats just to be worse than a Str fighter.

    So, at level 1, variant human, Magic Initiate:-

    * prestidigitation, because I love it, keeping clean is important (my best two stats are Dex and Cha), and I can use it to sketch drawings like I had charcoal. I know it's more about the role-play than power game, but I'm happy that I'm powerful enough. I'm okay with a guide like this rating it red though

    * ray of frost, because I have a ranged attack without carrying weapons or buying weapons, and it looks cool. Later, I can buy some darts to throw

    * mage armour. I'm astonished you rated it red! I can only cast my 1st level spell 1/day with this feat, and what better than a spell which lasts 8 hours? It also gives me as good or better AC than any armour I can buy, and I don't need to spend my starting gold; typically, armour is the most expensive starting equipment a fighter will buy. As a Dex fighter, my AC mod will be +3 at 1st, +4 at 4th and +5 at 6th. With this spell my AC at 1st is 16, better than any light armour or any medium armour that won't mess up my stealth. At 6th my AC will be 18, as good as full plate. Also, because I didn't need to spend any money on armour or projectile weapons I could afford a silvered rapier at level 1; very cool and matches my noble background. I even made it my bond

    I realise that you can't base your guide on role-play aspects, but just considering game mechanics the spell gives you better AC than anything else available to you. For this reason alone, rating the spell at the worst possible colour is astonishing.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    mage armour. I'm astonished you rated it red! I can only cast my 1st level spell 1/day with this feat, and what better than a spell which lasts 8 hours? It also gives me as good or better AC than any armour I can buy, and I don't need to spend my starting gold; typically, armour is the most expensive starting equipment a fighter will buy. As a Dex fighter, my AC mod will be +3 at 1st, +4 at 4th and +5 at 6th. With this spell my AC at 1st is 16, better than any light armour or any medium armour that won't mess up my stealth. At 6th my AC will be 18, as good as full plate.
    I imagine EvilAnagram was speaking about an EK's spell choices, not Magic Initiate, but ...

    Down sides: requires a certain race to get at level 1, can't benefit from magical armor's bonus, can't benefit from fighting style because you're not wearing armor, expends resources that could go elsewhere.

    Other up side: Hey, if you want to go EK later anyway, you'll be able to cast mage armor out of your wizard spell slots, too. Nope, just incorrect, got confused. But I suppose it's good for a game where the DM hates PCs having items.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChuck View Post
    Second Wind is a second rate use of a bonus action.
    I know the Second Wind argument is pretty old at this point, but I'd like to point out that your use of a bonus action doesn't have to be during combat. (And yet it can be, if that's what will save your butt.) So go ahead and make one more bonus-action attack now, while still benefitting from Second Wind after the dust settles.
    Last edited by Dimers; 2016-01-22 at 02:23 PM.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHero View Post
    Hmmmm. I'm not sure that Scout is really worse at damage than the BM. It essentially has Precision Attack, which was the most damaging of the Maneuvers anyhow (because it makes a miss into a hit so it contributes much more average damage than 1d8), right? The scout seems to sacrifice battlefield control for skills, a tier the fighter isn't great at. But it doesn't seem to sacrifice damage.
    Tripping attack grants extra damage, and if the trip succeeds you have advantage to hit multiple times over, increasing your ability to hit and allowing you to use more damaging maneuvers. Precision Attack is great, but having a maneuver to use when you hit without using it is also great. If your Scout has Archery, your chance of hitting is pretty damn good no matter what.

    It's not a bad option, but it's certainly not as powerful on the battlefield as the Battle Master is. An Archer Battle Master gets more maneuver options, period, and a lot more of those options can exert strong control over the battlefield and increase your party's overall effectiveness, on top of dealing extra damage. And yes, the extra damage is great, especially when you can use both Precision Attack and another maneuver at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    * mage armour. I'm astonished you rated it red! I can only cast my 1st level spell 1/day with this feat, and what better than a spell which lasts 8 hours? It also gives me as good or better AC than any armour I can buy, and I don't need to spend my starting gold; typically, armour is the most expensive starting equipment a fighter will buy. As a Dex fighter, my AC mod will be +3 at 1st, +4 at 4th and +5 at 6th. With this spell my AC at 1st is 16, better than any light armour or any medium armour that won't mess up my stealth. At 6th my AC will be 18, as good as full plate. Also, because I didn't need to spend any money on armour or projectile weapons I could afford a silvered rapier at level 1; very cool and matches my noble background. I even made it my bond

    I realise that you can't base your guide on role-play aspects, but just considering game mechanics the spell gives you better AC than anything else available to you. For this reason alone, rating the spell at the worst possible colour is astonishing.
    As Dimers pointed out, I was not considering Magic Initiate in my spell ratings - just the Eldritch Knight path. I guess the armor choices are a much bigger concern for those who use the starting gold variant rule, but the cost quickly stops mattering in a game in which by RAW you can't buy magic items.

    As for why I decided to rate it red, it's a resource that could go somewhere else that only has one AC over Studded Leather. Armor can be enchanted. At low-mid levels, a Breastplate is better. At higher levels, half plate with Medium Armor Master is better. If you don't pump Dex, any Medium or heavy armor is better. The benefits simply aren't worth the resource cost.

    That said, I think I should upgrade it to purple. Your build shows that some builds can benefit from it, even if it's not optimal in the long run.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Other up side: Hey, if you want to go EK later anyway, you'll be able to cast mage armor out of your wizard spell slots, too. Nope, just incorrect, got confused. But I suppose it's good for a game where the DM hates PCs having items.
    You were correct the first time. EK's Spellcasting feature allows you to cast wizard spells with your slots. Mage Armor is a wizard spell. Ergo, this is one of those special cases where spending slots on your Magic Initiate spell is allowed.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    You were correct the first time. EK's Spellcasting feature allows you to cast wizard spells with your slots. Mage Armor is a wizard spell. Ergo, this is one of those special cases where spending slots on your Magic Initiate spell is allowed.
    Wait ... really? How's it not an "Eldritch Knight spell" once the EK takes it? *read read read* I'll be darned. Little extra bonus for EKs and ATs, in that case.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    As Dimers pointed out, I was not considering Magic Initiate in my spell ratings - just the Eldritch Knight path. I guess the armor choices are a much bigger concern for those who use the starting gold variant rule, but the cost quickly stops mattering in a game in which by RAW you can't buy magic items.

    As for why I decided to rate it red, it's a resource that could go somewhere else that only has one AC over Studded Leather.
    A spell which gives +1 AC for 8 hours with no concentration, as opposed to shield of faith which gives +2 AC, takes your concentration, and lasts how long?

    Armor can be enchanted.
    Magic armour can go to +3, but Bracers of Defence can only be worn if you are unarmoured, and that gives +2, and is a lot more common.

    At low-mid levels, a Breastplate is better.
    At 1st, I have 16 Dex. Wearing a breastplate my AC is 14 (armour) + 2 (max Dex) = 16. With mage armour I have 13 (spell) + 3 (Dex) = 16. The same AC, and no-one can afford a breastplate as their starting armour.

    At higher levels, half plate with Medium Armor Master is better.
    Half-plate AC 15 + 3 (max Dex) = 18. At 6th level my Dex is 20: AC 13 (spell) +5 (Dex) = 18.

    At this point, both builds have spent one feat, but I also have two cantrips.

    If you don't pump Dex, any Medium or heavy armor is better. The benefits simply aren't worth the resource cost.
    If you don't pump Dex, sure. But if you are (and Dex fighters are as good or better than Str fighters anyway) then you are going to get 20 Dex ASAP.

    Let me put it another way...

    Here I am, a 6th level Dex-based battlemaster with the Dueling style and my Magic Initiate feat giving me mage armour and my two ASIs pumping my Dex to 20 (improving attack, damage, AC, initiative, Stealth, Acrobatics, save DC for my manouvers; why wouldn't I pump Dex?). We defeat the BBEG and the DM says we can each choose a treasure from his hoard.

    There is a pair of Bracers of Defence (rare). Wearing those, my AC is 20 (spell 13 + 5 Dex + 2 Bracers). What magical armour could there be in that hoard that I would rather have, in terms of the AC it would give me?

    Among the rare items, rare magic armour is +1, so +1 studded leather would give me AC 18. No good. Some +1 half-plate would give me AC 18 (max Dex +2). Even +1 plate would give me AC 19.

    Very rare could get me +2 magic armour, but even that gets me AC 19 (studded leather or half-plate) or 20 (full plate), not better than what I have with the bracers.

    Okay, let's go legendary for +3 magic armour. Studded leather or half-plate would give me 20, meaning I'd have to traipse around in armour just to have the same AC as I have unarmoured. I could take Medium Armour Mastery for AC 21 with legendary +3 half-plate, but I have better things to do with my feats at this point than just getting +1 AC, hoping to get this rather specific armour.

    A suit of +3 plate would give me AC 21. Would I start wearing it though? My Str is 8, so that's a problem. My Stealth would be nerfed, my movement lowered, I'd have to go around town wearing full plate (Hey you! You in the tin suit! Where do you think you're going?) and it takes ages to don/doff and a mate who wants to help me.

    And at what stage of the campaign do I expect to find +3 full plate? There's a lot of gaming between rare and legendary, and the game might end before then. And if I did get lucky and find +3 full plate, and ignored all the disadvantages to get that +1 AC, would I do that? Or would I keep what I've got and let the guy in my party who does wear heavy armour use it to increase his AC by 5?
    Last edited by Arial Black; 2016-01-23 at 12:28 PM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    Magic armour can go to +3, but Bracers of Defence can only be worn if you are unarmoured, and that gives +2, and is a lot more common.
    Sorry, I know it's off topic, but I don't have the DMG and would like to find out -- do Bracers of Defense stack with other nonphysical armor oddities like mage armor, monk Wisdom, barbarian Constitution, bladesong or dragon sorcerer scales?
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Sorry, I know it's off topic, but I don't have the DMG and would like to find out -- do Bracers of Defense stack with other nonphysical armor oddities like mage armor, monk Wisdom, barbarian Constitution, bladesong or dragon sorcerer scales?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    A spell which gives +1 AC for 8 hours with no concentration, as opposed to shield of faith which gives +2 AC, takes your concentration, and lasts how long?
    No comparison. SoF adds to whatever AC you already have, while Mage Armor replaces your AC at the cost of a spell slot or two each day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    Magic armour can go to +3, but Bracers of Defence can only be worn if you are unarmoured, and that gives +2, and is a lot more common.
    It's a rare, expensive shield bonus for mages and monks. An armored Fighter with +1 armor and a shield still beats the Mage Armor Fighter with Bracers of Defense.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    At 1st, I have 16 Dex. Wearing a breastplate my AC is 14 (armour) + 2 (max Dex) = 16. With mage armour I have 13 (spell) + 3 (Dex) = 16. The same AC, and no-one can afford a breastplate as their starting armour.
    Not as starting, but I don't recommend designing builds around the first level. That level goes by the quickest, by far.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    Long example
    Let's say your level 6 Dex Battle Master finds +1 Half-Plate. His AC is now 18. But wait! He can use a shield. That's 20 AC. Get Medium Armor Master? 21 AC, no drawbacks, and your armor might have a cool effect. Like a never ending supply of raspberries that can be pulled out of the codpiece.

    Can Mage Armor give you never ending raspberries? No, it cannot. Hence, Mage Armor is only upgraded to purple, because it's viable, but not optimal, and it uses resources that could be spent elsewhere.

    EDIT: I'd like to make it clear that I'm not knocking on your build. It's a perfectly solid build, but I wouldn't recommend Mage Armor on a general basis.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-01-23 at 02:41 PM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    No comparison. SoF adds to whatever AC you already have, while Mage Armor replaces your AC at the cost of a spell slot or two each day.
    True, but if people are prepared to cast a 1st level spell for a concentration-based short term +2 bonus, it's not crazy to do the same to get a non-concentration +1 AC bonus for 8 hours. Mage armour is +1 AC over studded leather.

    It's a rare, expensive shield bonus for mages and monks. An armored Fighter with +1 armor and a shield still beats the Mage Armor Fighter with Bracers of Defense.
    My swashbuckling fighter never uses a shield. He's using his off hand to cast ray of frost or throw darts.

    Not as starting, but I don't recommend designing builds around the first level. That level goes by the quickest, by far.
    Even when you can afford a breastplate, it doesn't give you a better AC. Nor does half-plate by 4th.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Sorry, I know it's off topic, but I don't have the DMG and would like to find out -- do Bracers of Defense stack with other nonphysical armor oddities like mage armor, monk Wisdom, barbarian Constitution, bladesong or dragon sorcerer scales?
    Yes but it counts as one of your three special items. That really kills it unless you have nothing else better to use that on and no one else needs it more than your EK.

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