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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Based on an old creation by LordErebus12, I decided to attempt the possibly-insane task of creating Superman as a D&D 5e class.

    Here it is.

    It should be noted that this class is not balanced against the core classes. The intention is that you can play it alongside the core NPCs and actually feel as powerful as Superman. Ok, maybe not that powerful: the class is still watered down, because D&D doesn’t have a framework to accommodate a being of such cosmic power as the true Superman. But this is an approximation. For balance purposes, he’s supposed to be about three times as powerful as a normal character of the same level, so that ideally you could just triple his XP allotment when balancing encounters.

    Things I’m still unsure about
    1. I’m not very good with spells so I might have gravely misjudged how powerful Heat Vision and Frost Breath are.

    2. Because of the Con-based Unarmored Defense, the AC starts off low but eventually becomes very high (20 + Dex). Due to this, in combination with the ever-increasing HP, there’s a disproportionate spike in survivability in the higher levels. (At level 5, the solar avatar has about 2.5x the effective HP of a fighter, but AC is several points lower. At level 17, it has 3x the HP of a fighter and about the same AC. Ergo, the class becomes increasingly defensive as it levels.) I did intend this class to be mainly a tank, but the skewed scaling seems off. I’m wondering if I should replace the Unarmored Defense by a simple natural armour (13 + Dex) to fix this. Or perhaps some armour proficiency for more of a fantasy feel. I’d like some second opinions on this.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalliman View Post
    It should be noted that this class is not balanced against the core classes. The intention is that you can play it alongside the core NPCs and actually feel as powerful as Superman. Ok, maybe not that powerful: the class is still watered down, because D&D doesn’t have a framework to accommodate a being of such cosmic power as the true Superman. But this is an approximation. For balance purposes, he’s supposed to be about three times as powerful as a normal character of the same level, so that ideally you could just triple his XP allotment when balancing encounters.
    There is absolutely no reason why you would want to make a base class intentionally unbalanced compared to other classes. If you want one of the PC's in a game to be more powerful, just give him or her more levels.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrin33 View Post
    There is absolutely no reason why you would want to make a base class intentionally unbalanced compared to other classes. If you want one of the PC's in a game to be more powerful, just give him or her more levels.
    No one would be so stupid as to run this alongside normal characters. It's a thought experiment, man.

    Edit: Actually, if I put this on D&D Wiki some jackass would probably try to use it in a legit game. But that's not the intention.
    Last edited by Lalliman; 2017-11-08 at 03:25 AM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalliman View Post
    No one would be so stupid as to run this alongside normal characters. It's a thought experiment, man.
    But... why? You can achieve the same results by just making a character a few levels higher. Why not make this class with balance in mind, and let people choose to make the character OP or not with items/levels?

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    D&D only provides two frameworks to describe creature balance: as a PC or as a monster. If you want the Solar Avatar to be stronger than PCs, balance it against monsters with a CR equal to its level.

    A CR 1 Avatar will be tough enough that it takes a level 1 party to take it down. By CR 20 it'll be as tough as ancient dragons: defeatable, but only by a diverse team of the world's greatest heroes (kinda like Superman himself)
    Last edited by GalacticAxekick; 2017-11-07 at 10:46 PM.

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    Planetar

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    You two are approaching this on a fundamentally wrong viewpoint. You're trying to say that there's no point, or do it another way, or whatever. No, people, no. He's asking for advice to make a not-actually-superman superman class. You don't go with your own expectations for what a "class" or "monster" should be, you need to look at his goals, not yours. It's like going into an Italian restaurant wanting Chinese food, then telling the chef off because it's not Chinese food.


    Lalli, unless I'm misinterpreting what you're shooting for, I think you did pretty well.
    And, surprisingly, it's not actually as unbalancing as it would initially seem. If you take away the resistances and stat increases, tone down the flight, and just generally weaken a few abilities(Like the bonus speed and hearing and only needing 5 minutes of sun), you end up with an okay-balanced class. Not perfect, it's still more powerful(Obviously), but it's pretty close to being fine at that point.

    As for the actual effects, I would say that you should make all of their resistances specifically nonmagical, at least for a while. Magic is a Kryptonian's weakness, after all. I would also take away the Truesight, since Supes can fall for things like illusions.

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by demonslayerelf View Post
    You two are approaching this on a fundamentally wrong viewpoint. You're trying to say that there's no point, or do it another way, or whatever. No, people, no. He's asking for advice to make a not-actually-superman superman class. You don't go with your own expectations for what a "class" or "monster" should be, you need to look at his goals, not yours. It's like going into an Italian restaurant wanting Chinese food, then telling the chef off because it's not Chinese food.
    If one isn't going to at least try to make a class comparable to other classes—that's the whole point of classes having the same set of numbered levels!—then it shouldn't be a class, it should be a template with whatever arbitrary stuff one wants to include.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Yum, I can taste the salt in this thread.

    Look, let me try to make my case. 3rd edition has class tiers, where a higher-tier class is more powerful at the same level than a lower-tier class. People use this to determine the power level of their game. If they want a high-powered game they choose high-tier classes and if they want a low-powered game they choose low-tier classes.

    Now, I don't like 3e's tier system, but that's a problem of execution rather than concept. 3e's classes are unintentional, which means that 1) they restrict character choice because all martials are low tier and all casters are high tier, and 2) the power differences between tiers are inconsistent, making CR an unworkable concept. But, if you manage to provide sufficient class variety within tiers while ensuring that the power difference between tiers is accurately and consistently defined, the concept can be perfectly functional.

    Now, why would you want to use a higher tier instead of a higher-level character? For me it's about verisimilitude. You can look at levels as purely an indication of power, but I also see them as an indication of experience, and I don't think I'm in the minority on that. A young and inexperienced Kryptonian (since that's what the topic is) would logically be more powerful than a young and inexperienced swordsman. Simply raising their character level to represent their greater power doesn't feel the same. It also causes some strange mechanical differences. An inexperienced fighter, starting at level 1, starts off at a certain power level and advances rapidly from there. An inexperienced Kryptonian, if we were to start him at, say, level 5, starts at a certain power level and then advances much more slowly. Not for any thematic reason, but just because that's how levels work. It also raises the question, why does the Kryptonian start with Extra Attack right away? His innate power makes him stronger and tougher, but doesn't give him inherently better fighting technique. These inconsistencies are the reason I made it a more powerful class instead of just a higher-level character.

    And then to emphasise my point: People play gestalt games. People play games with unusually high point buys. People play games where they get powerful magic items early on. All of these serve to make them more powerful at the same level. What's the difference between that and this? Compared to those things, a higher-tiered class is easier to balance because the power relative to normal classes is taken into account during design. A higher-tiered class fulfils the purpose of a class (which is a balancing mechanic) better than taking a traditional class and slapping on separate power boosts.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Superman huh?

    How about...

    You get INVULNERABILITY against Non Magical Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing...


    oh and Superman's Legendary Weakness.........

    WEAKNESS TO MAGIC
    All Magic damage deals double damage to you.

    Go ahead and play it along side my normal character, I think a Rogue is tougher than you by mid game

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    WEAKNESS TO MAGIC
    All Magic damage deals double damage to you.
    People like to bring up Superman's vulnerability to magic, but that doesn't mean he'd be vulnerable to any effect conjured by a spell. The fire conjured by a fireball spell is still just fire, there's no reason it would be more effective at burning through his super durability. His vulnerability to magic, as far as I know, comes down to having no defence against mental attacks and other abstract effects. Which this class also doesn't.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    The tier system in 3.5 was made so that players could see how powerful classes were relative to each other, so that you can avoid a party setup where one character overshadows another to a large extent. It's a player-made rating system in order to help gaming groups create a more balanced party, not an intended design feature of 3.5. The tier system would never have to be created had all 3.5 classes been relatively balanced, which would increase the amount of player choice dramatically as you could have any combination of classes together for a fairly well-balanced party where everyone can do their thing.

    Playing gestalt games, high points buys, or having magic items early on are generally something for all players. To have a balanced party in 3.5 you need to take an incredible number of things into account, and it's near impossible to have a samurai compete with a druid unless you give the samurai player a huge number of bonuses and magic items. In 3.5 we can see what an imbalance in the core design of the classes does to the game, why would you want to bring that into 5e? Playing more powerful characters can already be done in numerous ways, why make the core class stronger when, if someone does want to make it stronger, do any of those things instead and also be able to use this class for normal games without ever needing to make the core class unbalanced.

    Compared to those things, higher-tiered class is easier to balance because the power relative to normal classes is taken into account during design. A higher-tiered class fulfils the purpose of a class (which is a balancing mechanic) better than taking a traditional class and slapping on separate power boosts.
    But it's inherently not balanced because you make it stronger, you can make it twice, thrice, or ten times as strong and you could say the same. It means nothing because you are not balancing the class, you are deciding just how imbalanced he's going to be. Giving a +X bonus to each ability score instead often does the trick well enough if you want to be overpowered.

    As for your point about experience; that's an interesting point, but an easier solution to that is to give the higher level character the same relative amount of experience, or just sliding him down to the exp-required of the other characters.

    "But, if you manage to provide sufficient class variety within tiers while ensuring that the power difference between tiers is accurately and consistently defined, the concept can be perfectly functional."
    It can be, but it unnecessarily limits player choice when the same concept(higher power) can be applied differently in a much simpler way while at the same time offering these classes to all games regardless of their tier without inherently unbalancing the game.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by demonslayerelf View Post
    You two are approaching this on a fundamentally wrong viewpoint. You're trying to say that there's no point, or do it another way, or whatever. No, people, no. He's asking for advice to make a not-actually-superman superman class. You don't go with your own expectations for what a "class" or "monster" should be, you need to look at his goals, not yours. It's like going into an Italian restaurant wanting Chinese food, then telling the chef off because it's not Chinese food.
    OP specified that he wanted the Solar Avatar to be about three times as strong as player classes of an equivalent level. I'm saying that the best way to do this is to use monsters, rather than PCs, as a reference, since CR is already on the power scale OP is going for.

    When OP is concerned that the Avatar is too strong or too weak at a level, I think it would be best to pull up a monster of equal CR as check how the Avatar can be made equivalent. How is this not looking at his goals?

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalliman View Post
    People like to bring up Superman's vulnerability to magic, but that doesn't mean he'd be vulnerable to any effect conjured by a spell. The fire conjured by a fireball spell is still just fire, there's no reason it would be more effective at burning through his super durability. His vulnerability to magic, as far as I know, comes down to having no defence against mental attacks and other abstract effects. Which this class also doesn't.
    See, you're wrong.
    Go read the comics

    He has commented that he felt that an Enchanted Magic Sword felt as if the sword was made of Kryptonite.
    He has been blasted by countless amount of Magical Blasts or Magical Lightning Bolts and been wrecked by it.

    Hell, one time a guy just Enchanted his Fists with Magic and was able to easily beat Superman.

    It's not just Abstract Effects, if the source of the Fire is Magic, he is weak to it. He will probably react to it as if that Fire was a blast of pure Kryptonite.

    The difference is, in that universe Magic is pretty incredibly rare.
    In this universe... EVERYONE HAS MAGIC.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrin33 View Post
    But it's inherently not balanced because you make it stronger, you can make it twice, thrice, or ten times as strong and you could say the same. It means nothing because you are not balancing the class, you are deciding just how imbalanced he's going to be. Giving a +X bonus to each ability score instead often does the trick well enough if you want to be overpowered.
    You missed the point. If you know how powerful the class is compared to a normal class, you can easily adjust the encounters accordingly. If you know that a level 5 solar avatar is twice as powerful as a level 5 fighter, you can make a balanced encounter for that character by building it with twice the XP allotment that you would use for the fighter. The same applies to if you had a party of similarly-superpowered characters. It wouldn't be nearly as easy to determine the new balance point if you took a normal character and gave +10 to all stats.

    And that's all that matters. If you can consistently determine the power of the characters compared to the world, the system functions as normal. I honestly don't understand why you think that it matters where you put the balance point. The balance point doesn't have to be in the normal location, as long as you know where it is.

    And yes, a class that can't be played alongside other classes is restrictive. But in this case that's a feature, not a bug. This is a class for which it is thematically appropriate to be more powerful than usual.

    Quote Originally Posted by GalacticAxekick View Post
    OP specified that he wanted the Solar Avatar to be about three times as strong as player classes of an equivalent level. I'm saying that the best way to do this is to use monsters, rather than PCs, as a reference, since CR is already on the power scale OP is going for.

    When OP is concerned that the Avatar is too strong or too weak at a level, I think it would be best to pull up a monster of equal CR as check how the Avatar can be made equivalent. How is this not looking at his goals?
    I appreciate the suggestion, but there are no guidelines on how to build an encounter for a player of a certain CR. There are for level, and if you know how the character compares in power to a normal character of X level, you can determine how to make a balanced encounter by multiplying the XP allotment. This concept already functions on its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    See, you're wrong.
    Go read the comics
    ...
    The difference is, in that universe Magic is pretty incredibly rare.
    In this universe... EVERYONE HAS MAGIC.
    That's why I said 'as far as I know'. But it doesn't matter. Your final line illustrates perfectly why I'm not ruling it that way.

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalliman View Post
    I appreciate the suggestion, but there are no guidelines on how to build an encounter for a player of a certain CR. There are for level, and if you know how the character compares in power to a normal character of X level, you can determine how to make a balanced encounter by multiplying the XP allotment. This concept already functions on its own.
    I'm not talking about "building an encounter for a player of a certain CR". I'm talking about building the player like an encounter.

    Because you dont know how the Avatar compares to a normal character (e.g. whether its heat vision, frost breath and defenses scale right), because you want a level X Avatar to be three times stronger than other classes at level X, and because a CR X monster already is about three times stronger than a level X character, I'm recommending you compare the level X Avatar to CR X monsters for damage output, defenses, and so on.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by GalacticAxekick View Post
    I'm not talking about "building an encounter for a player of a certain CR". I'm talking about building the player like an encounter.

    Because you dont know how the Avatar compares to a normal character (e.g. whether its heat vision, frost breath and defenses scale right), because you want a level X Avatar to be three times stronger than other classes at level X, and because a CR X monster already is about three times stronger than a level X character, I'm recommending you compare the level X Avatar to CR X monsters for damage output, defenses, and so on.
    Maybe you understand CR better than me, but it doesn't seem that easy. A single CR 1 creature is a medium encounter for three level 1 players. Medium means the players will lose resources but will definitely win. That means a CR 1 creature definitely isn't equal to a level 1 party. So what CR would I need to equal a level X party? I'm guessing X+2 or X+3, because that equals a deadly encounter. But does a deadly encounter mean an equal fighting chance? God knows, WotC doesn't give a very comprehensive explanation of what encounter difficulty means.

    And even if we knew that, it's not what I need. If a level 1 solar avatar is balanced against three level 1 normal PCs, that doesn't make him three times as powerful as a normal PC. It makes him more than three times as powerful because the normal PCs have the advantage of numbers.

    Maybe you know better, in which case I'd be glad to hear it, but I can't think of a way to reliably relate creature CR and character level to one another. Which means that if I approach it that way, I lose accurate control of how powerful the class is. Therefor, I prefer the method of simply looking at a core class and comparing statistics. If a solar avatar has, for example, 2x the HP and 1.5X the DPR of a fighter, that makes him a total of three times as powerful. This seems more accurate than I anything I can personally figure out with CR-based balance calculations.

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    It may work better if you design the solar avatar as a monster and a race, rather then a class, since their abilities are an extension of racial abilities anyway.

    Maybe something like the following;

    Solarian
    Ability Scores: at first level a solarian gains +2 to both Str and Con, furthermore, a solarian may raise his Str and Con to a maximum of 30 each.

    Impervious: The Solarian reduces all damage they receive from non-magical sources by an ammount equal to their proficiency bonus, or double that amount when they take the Dodge action on thier turn.

    Solar-powered: a Solarian's natural abilities stem from thier natural connection to the sun. While exposed to direct sunlight, a Solarian may complete a Short or Long Rest in one-quarter the normal time. Similarly to elves, a solarian resting in this manner enters into a light trance and remains aware of his surroundings.

    Light Speed: The Solarian gains a bonus action each round they may use to take the Dash or Disengage action.

    RACIAL FEATS
    Whenever a Solarian would chose to increase one of thier ability scores, they may choose to take one of the following feats instead.

    Burning Gaze: Increase your Str and Con by +2 each. Your connection to the sun improves, allowing you to cast the cantrip Firebolt at will, manifesting as twin beams of light that shoot from your eyes. Your spellcasting stat is Con. Once per short rest you may cast Firebolt as a Bonus action.

    Flying Leap: Increase your Str and Con by +2 each. Your connection to the light deepens, allowing you to take powerful leaping strides. Your Base Speed increases By 10ft, and gain A Fly Speed Equal To Your bASE speed, However You must end each turn on solid ground or else you will fall.

    Solar Flight: requires Flying leap. Increase your St and Con by +2 each. You no longer have to end your movement on solid hound and may fly freely with perfect man uber ability I any direction.

    Superstrength: Increase your Str andCon by +2 each. The light of the sun suffuses and reinforces your body. Treat you Str as being 4 points higher for the purposes of determine how much you van lift, drag, and carry. You gain Proficiency in the Athletics skill, of you already had proficiency, or if you later gain proficiency though another source, you apply double your proficiency bonus to Athletics checks.

    Forgive any formatting weirdness, I am typing this out on my phone.

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    See, you're wrong.
    Go read the comics

    He has commented that he felt that an Enchanted Magic Sword felt as if the sword was made of Kryptonite.
    He has been blasted by countless amount of Magical Blasts or Magical Lightning Bolts and been wrecked by it.

    Hell, one time a guy just Enchanted his Fists with Magic and was able to easily beat Superman.

    It's not just Abstract Effects, if the source of the Fire is Magic, he is weak to it. He will probably react to it as if that Fire was a blast of pure Kryptonite.

    The difference is, in that universe Magic is pretty incredibly rare.
    In this universe... EVERYONE HAS MAGIC.
    The real answer is “depends on the writer”. He’s been written to have gotten wounded just from some magical enchantment. He’s also been shown to not care about it either way.
    "No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between his shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style."
    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas
    As the old saying goes, "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby get his ass wrecked."

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    Default Re: Solar Avatar (Superman class)

    It would have been cool as a stat block race.

    Then you could get away with almost anything as a monster race.

    Hur, hur I could think of many an adventurer who would hate to go against Superman as the BBEG.
    Last edited by Arte; 2017-11-10 at 11:52 AM.
    Check out a class I'm working on: Sigil

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