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    Default Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    DISCLAIMER: Errors are in quotes because these probably aren't errors, but a matter of intent. So, try not to comment 'they're not errors!'.

    Inspecting the new subclasses in XgtE, I couldn't help but notice that some subclasses features seem to go against the original subclasses' intents, namely Fighter and Ranger.

    Let's start with Fighters. Fighters at level 7th used to get an ability that made them good outside of combat. The only exception is Eldritch Knight, which gets War Magic, but I believe that was done just to have them use magic more often in the battlefield. Even Wizards confirms these arguments on the UA about modifying classes:

    "Note that the 7th-level features for the Champion and the Battle Master lean heavily on the exploration and interaction pillars of the game; the Eldritch Knight gains spells, which contribute to the fighter’s competence in the exploration and interaction pillars, and so its 7th-level feature is geared to blending spells and attacks."

    Arcane Archers get Magic Arrow AND Curving Shot at 7th level. Cavaliers get Warding Maneuver, and Samurais get Elegant Courtier. Elegant Courtier is a fine example because Purple Dragon Knights get a similar bonus to Persuasion except without a bonus save. Power creep much?

    And then Rangers. All of the new subclasses get bonus spells, which are a much welcome addition to the 11-spell-learning Ranger. Those spells are also not from the class, which means a definitive boost for some (like Horizon Walker's Haste). These would be fair if these classes were below Hunters and Beastmasters in their abilities, but they're at least on par with Hunter and certainly outpacing the original Beastmaster.

    So what happened? Why is WotC proposing these changes? Are they clearly interested in power creeping to sell more books, or is something else going on?

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    Are they clearly interested in power creeping to sell more books, or is something else going on?
    No that's pretty much it. Maybe people were so underwhelmed by the Sword Coast options they decided to go the other way this time to help sales.
    Last edited by mephnick; 2017-11-23 at 07:36 PM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    As far as ranger goes it seems like the bonus spells was something they realized they should have had from the start but Judy didn't want to introduce changes into existing archetypes

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    As far as ranger goes it seems like the bonus spells was something they realized they should have had from the start but Judy didn't want to introduce changes into existing archetypes
    Haven't seem a Ranger in action in the 5th, and for what I understand, most people tend to put the basic Ranger class in the smoker's section e.i. the useless section as it's non-existent anymore.

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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Biggest error, it's a DC 20 check for someone with carpenter's tool proficiency to pry apart a door, but only a DC 15 to design a complex structure. I can pry open a door with a hatchet and a chisel, and I'm a gods-forsaken Creative Writing graduate!

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    As far as ranger goes it seems like the bonus spells was something they realized they should have had from the start but Judy didn't want to introduce changes into existing archetypes
    I agree. Hunter and Beastmaster fits w/ the spell less ranger ua they were working on/floatig around, so no bonus spels. The fluff/image i get of the xanathar's subclasses is more magic based/influenced so can see logic of granting bonus spells.
    Last edited by Moredhel24; 2017-11-23 at 08:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Our wonderful Specter actually had the brilliant idea to concoct bonus spell lists for the two PHB Rangers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter
    HUNTER BONUS SPELLS
    3 - Hunter's Mark
    5 - See Invisibility
    9 - Nondetection
    13 - Locate Creature
    17 - Hold Monster

    BEASTMASTER BONUS SPELLS
    3 - Speak with Animals
    5 - Enhance Ability
    9 - Conjure Animals
    13 - Polymorph
    17 - Awaken

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    They didn't do "power creep to sell more", they just listened to the community's feedback after the UA.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    They didn't do "power creep to sell more", they just listened to the community's feedback after the UA.
    about the only time we agree

    5e has been warm milk until now.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    It's funny because I found the Fighter options the most underwhelming of all. I would rather have a battlemaster or an eldritch knight over an arcane archer any time. The limit of two arrows and underwhelming nature of the abilities is unacceptable. In amongst the abilities were maybe 2 or 3 that I would consider taking.

    The Samurai is very underwhelming. The temp HP is so tragically insignificant in tier 2 and 3 I can hardly believe the designers play tested it and thought "yeah this is good"

    The Cavalier is cool but all of its features simply amount to: Get the sentinel feat. The fact that the free attacks cost bonus actions and are limited to strength modifier # of times just has me irked.

    Gloom Stalker having a way to get improved invisibility at level 3 is insanely overpowered.

    Hexblade is so bloated with features the favoritism exhibited for the subclass is obvious. It makes an amazing multi-class dip for anyone who wants armor and doesn't already have it.

    I also see very little reason to ever take Path of the Storm Barbarian
    Last edited by TheUser; 2017-11-23 at 09:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Hexblade warlocks get two really good combat abilities at level one, while Old One warlocks get a ribbon. That has to be an error, right?

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganymede View Post
    Hexblade warlocks get two really good combat abilities at level one, while Old One warlocks get a ribbon. That has to be an error, right?
    Nope! You're spot on, good sir. It is ridiculous, and makes me surprised that the Redemption Paladin lost his unarmored AC bonus and pacifying strike.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Summon minor demon clearly states that the DM picks the summons while Summon Greater Demon clearly states the player picks.

    Surely this most be an error and they aren't standing by the awful Sage Advice they did for summoning spells.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Nope! You're spot on, good sir. It is ridiculous, and makes me surprised that the Redemption Paladin lost his unarmored AC bonus and pacifying strike.
    Sup Kuul!

    In general I feel like some subclasses are anemic, while others are vastly more flavorful/powerful/interesting.

    Redemption feels like that after the loss of its features. Most monks seem like this, as do phbSorcerer origins.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2017-11-23 at 11:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Eradis View Post
    Haven't seem a Ranger in action in the 5th, and for what I understand, most people tend to put the basic Ranger class in the smoker's section e.i. the useless section as it's non-existent anymore.
    In my area Ranger is among the most popular

    Hell, in one group I played in for a week it literally had 3 Rangers and a Paladin upkeeping Bless as they MURDERIZE everything with Sharpshooter

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Nope! You're spot on, good sir. It is ridiculous, and makes me surprised that the Redemption Paladin lost his unarmored AC bonus and pacifying strike.
    Redemption Paladin went from one of my favorite paladin subclasses to my least favorite in the official version. The UA version was incredibly mad and needed some tuning, as well as people complained that the AC = 16 + Dex, was stronger than plate + shield, which is understandable. They could of toned it back a bit.

    But I honestly believe they should have kept the unarmored feature, and then made the other feature a channel divinity. I feel like the subclass lost a lot of its theme taking out those two abilities. It's incredibly boring now.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    For the most part this thread could be called "PHB errors [attempted to be] fixed by Xanathar's"

    PHB ranger is widely considered weak, with the few spells known contributing to that. So they buff the new ranger subclasses and also tack on free spells as a screwed up way to patch the ranger.

    Fighter 6 is a common break point in multiclassing because of the overly weak features that most fighters get at level 7. By adding effective combat abilities to level 7, that encourages players to make meaningful decisions, instead of "level 7 is crap so I'm going into x class." I wouldn't MC out of samurai at level 6. Level 7 is a free feat!

    I will agree that Hexblade is overpowered. I think the blade locks needed something to make them better. They went too far with hexblade, and it's a bit too strong, especially as a dip.

    Overall, as an avid multiclasser, I find hard break points in certain classes to be a design flaw that should be patched in any way possible. If everyone is leaving ranger at 5, ranger 6 is probably in need of a buff. Unfortunately, since they refuse to change existing content all they can do is create new subclasses that try and balance these out. So fighter 7 gets a buff, but is samurai better than battle master? Not hardly. And since ranger 6 isn't a subclass level it continues to be crap, but ranger 7 abilities are pretty decent and they dangle fruit in front of the ranger, like Haste in 3 more levels.

    Don't get me wrong, like I'm just some fanboy of Xanathar's. I just thinking measuring subclasses against phb subclasses, especially at key levels, is a poor metric. Many things will come out to be overpowered in the micro level, such as the level 7 samurai, but not necessarily overpowered in the whole. What Xanathar's is to me is mostly an attempt to fix the gaps in power level--or perceived power level--of existing classes.

    To sum up: Swords Bard is the Valor Bard we needed. Nevermind that it totally makes valor bard a trap option...
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    I would disagree a bit on the sword bard making valor a trap. Valor and lore are support oriented in nature (as is much of the bard chassis) while that works for some players, other would like more of their classes features to be about their character and so the College of Sword fills that spot in my opinion.

    Though I notice there is still a lot of lacking in the support of a melee focused ranger as more in combat use spells generally favor ranged.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wolf View Post
    I would disagree a bit on the sword bard making valor a trap. Valor and lore are support oriented in nature (as is much of the bard chassis) while that works for some players, other would like more of their classes features to be about their character and so the College of Sword fills that spot in my opinion.
    The problem with the valor bard is adding the inspiration die to damage is basically just worse than adding that to the attack of a near miss. Would you rather add 4.5 to damage or let the fighter turn a GWM miss into a hit for about 20 damage?

    Adding it to AC is pretty much worse than Cutting Words, as you have to have already inspired them on your turn instead of doing it as a reaction. In some edge cases, that's better (since your bard can still have a reaction), but it's not often you know when an enemy is going to come close enough to hitting which ally a turn before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wolf View Post
    Though I notice there is still a lot of lacking in the support of a melee focused ranger as more in combat use spells generally favor ranged.
    I think a big problem with melee rangers is MADness and action economy. TWF is hard to manage with hunter's mark and even worse with the two new subclasses--so much bonus action competition. If you want to use a 2-hander, strength builds are MAD, needing a decent dex, con, and wisdom. I really wish there were more incentive for rangers to melee, but I can't think of anything that would really support it without being outright exclusive to melee. Maybe that's what we need, a melee ranger subclass. Then there is still the problem that so many ranger spells are tied to ranged attacks.

    I've always been a bit annoyed that 5e has been so tied to the "ranger as archer," when the class is based on a guy who was very much a melee combatant, whom occasionally used a bow.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2017-11-24 at 01:30 AM.
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    Feel free to PM me for one on one build advice.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    To sum up: Swords Bard is the Valor Bard we needed. Nevermind that it totally makes valor bard a trap option...
    not really. You've adequately summed up why their 3rd level inspiration option is bad, and I've never considered it good, but valor bards still have a few things that blade doesn't:

    1) shields
    2) ranged weapons
    3) and most of all, battle magic.

    So what if a blade bard can get a free 1-6 on AC every turn at 14th level? if he's doing that, he's not casting a big spell, while a valor bard can cast a big spell and then shoot you.
    Spoiler: bad tactics
    Show


    I look at the lich and smirk a bit, as I bring myself back to my feet

    "What are you smiling about?" it says

    "hehe, it looks like you've made... a grave mistake :D"

    the bard, actively bleeding out on the ground *ba-dum-tss*

    "Ha! Nice try. Telling a bad joke to try to make your opponent drop their guard. Oldest trick in the book. Trust me, I was there."

    *barbarian falling, sword in hands, from the top of the castle wall directly above the lich*


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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    Summon minor demon clearly states that the DM picks the summons while Summon Greater Demon clearly states the player picks.

    Surely this most be an error and they aren't standing by the awful Sage Advice they did for summoning spells.
    Now that's just being bloody condescending.

    It's not an error. Summon Lesser Demon is supposed to summon a bunch of demons you have little to no control over, including on what kind of demons show up. Summon Greater Demon gives you a tiny bit more control.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Now that's just being bloody condescending.

    It's not an error. Summon Lesser Demon is supposed to summon a bunch of demons you have little to no control over, including on what kind of demons show up. Summon Greater Demon gives you a tiny bit more control.
    It would be better named lesser summon demon and greater summon deamon. As if to suggest a difference in summoning ability (which would sensibly correspond to both power and control) as opposed to just a different in the demons level.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    I will agree that Hexblade is overpowered. I think the blade locks needed something to make them better. They went too far with hexblade, and it's a bit too strong, especially as a dip.
    I think the problem is that Warlock multiclasses too well overall, and Hexblade is just such a juicy multiclass for something that wants charisma anyways like a paladin or bard.

    Comparing Hexblade 20 to any other Warlock pact (besides old god, which is the worst) doesn't feel overpowered to me. It simply has the tools needed to possibly make a melee warlock playable.
    Last edited by Solusek; 2017-11-24 at 06:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    No that's pretty much it. Maybe people were so underwhelmed by the Sword Coast options they decided to go the other way this time to help sales.
    I'm still thinking this is it.

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    As far as ranger goes it seems like the bonus spells was something they realized they should have had from the start but Judy didn't want to introduce changes into existing archetypes
    Yeah, probably, but the sad part is feeling that the PHB options can become obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eradis View Post
    Haven't seem a Ranger in action in the 5th, and for what I understand, most people tend to put the basic Ranger class in the smoker's section e.i. the useless section as it's non-existent anymore.
    They're very good in tiers 1 and 2, and tend to fall behind after level 11.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Biggest error, it's a DC 20 check for someone with carpenter's tool proficiency to pry apart a door, but only a DC 15 to design a complex structure. I can pry open a door with a hatchet and a chisel, and I'm a gods-forsaken Creative Writing graduate!
    Totally missed that, where is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Our wonderful Specter actually had the brilliant idea to concoct bonus spell lists for the two PHB Rangers.
    I'm blushing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    They didn't do "power creep to sell more", they just listened to the community's feedback after the UA.
    I'm pretty sure that if the community wanted anything, it was a general way of fixing issues, not just sweeping the old failures under the rug and come up with newish solutions.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    It's funny because I found the Fighter options the most underwhelming of all. I would rather have a battlemaster or an eldritch knight over an arcane archer any time. The limit of two arrows and underwhelming nature of the abilities is unacceptable. In amongst the abilities were maybe 2 or 3 that I would consider taking.

    The Samurai is very underwhelming. The temp HP is so tragically insignificant in tier 2 and 3 I can hardly believe the designers play tested it and thought "yeah this is good"

    The Cavalier is cool but all of its features simply amount to: Get the sentinel feat. The fact that the free attacks cost bonus actions and are limited to strength modifier # of times just has me irked.

    Gloom Stalker having a way to get improved invisibility at level 3 is insanely overpowered.

    Hexblade is so bloated with features the favoritism exhibited for the subclass is obvious. It makes an amazing multi-class dip for anyone who wants armor and doesn't already have it.

    I also see very little reason to ever take Path of the Storm Barbarian
    I don't think they're overpowered either, but I do wonder why they couldn't just give them a flavor 7th-level feature and increase the potency of their core features (Samurai's temp hp is indeed sad).
    I'd play a Storm Barbarian, if only for field shenanigans.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    For the most part this thread could be called "PHB errors [attempted to be] fixed by Xanathar's"

    PHB ranger is widely considered weak, with the few spells known contributing to that. So they buff the new ranger subclasses and also tack on free spells as a screwed up way to patch the ranger.

    Fighter 6 is a common break point in multiclassing because of the overly weak features that most fighters get at level 7. By adding effective combat abilities to level 7, that encourages players to make meaningful decisions, instead of "level 7 is crap so I'm going into x class." I wouldn't MC out of samurai at level 6. Level 7 is a free feat!

    I will agree that Hexblade is overpowered. I think the blade locks needed something to make them better. They went too far with hexblade, and it's a bit too strong, especially as a dip.

    Overall, as an avid multiclasser, I find hard break points in certain classes to be a design flaw that should be patched in any way possible. If everyone is leaving ranger at 5, ranger 6 is probably in need of a buff. Unfortunately, since they refuse to change existing content all they can do is create new subclasses that try and balance these out. So fighter 7 gets a buff, but is samurai better than battle master? Not hardly. And since ranger 6 isn't a subclass level it continues to be crap, but ranger 7 abilities are pretty decent and they dangle fruit in front of the ranger, like Haste in 3 more levels.

    Don't get me wrong, like I'm just some fanboy of Xanathar's. I just thinking measuring subclasses against phb subclasses, especially at key levels, is a poor metric. Many things will come out to be overpowered in the micro level, such as the level 7 samurai, but not necessarily overpowered in the whole. What Xanathar's is to me is mostly an attempt to fix the gaps in power level--or perceived power level--of existing classes.

    To sum up: Swords Bard is the Valor Bard we needed. Nevermind that it totally makes valor bard a trap option...
    "Screwep up way" is what sums this up. They couldn't just say 'hey guys, we made a mistake, add this to your classes from now on'. Instead, they went 'well, let's just think about the future'. Ditto for multiclassing points and dead levels (not that I care too much about those, some levels should be bad if what's coming ahead is very good).

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxhound438 View Post
    not really. You've adequately summed up why their 3rd level inspiration option is bad, and I've never considered it good, but valor bards still have a few things that blade doesn't:

    1) shields
    2) ranged weapons
    3) and most of all, battle magic.

    So what if a blade bard can get a free 1-6 on AC every turn at 14th level? if he's doing that, he's not casting a big spell, while a valor bard can cast a big spell and then shoot you.
    All of this. Also, whenever you're using your flourishes, you're spending Bardic Inspiration, which your friends will miss. So it's not like Swords gets a new resource like a Battlemaster, but instead it has to manage their already limited BI in attacks.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    I think its weird that the Monster slayer archetype is completely tuned to killing casters. Should be called the mage slayer but that flavor kind of sucks.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Matticusrex View Post
    I think its weird that the Monster slayer archetype is completely tuned to killing casters. Should be called the mage slayer but that flavor kind of sucks.
    I'm a little disappointed that their anti-teleport feature doesn't come online until level 11, when casters have had Misty Step, Dimension Door, etc... for 7 levels already. I guess it's great at high level, but the majority of games I play never reach that level and short of a blind counter spell, this seems to be the only way to stop a teleport in the entire game.

    Side note: why does "Mage Slayer" not have a teleport interrupt? Without it, that feat is more like "Mage Irritator"
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Subproject54 View Post
    Side note: why does "Mage Slayer" not have a teleport interrupt? Without it, that feat is more like "Mage Irritator"
    Probably because the rational is that it is meant to be a feat to place casters in a tough spot, not to crush them completely. A caster in the presence of a "Mage Slayer" is limited to spend a slot on a teleport (which means at most a cantrip as another in round spell), suck an AoO or deal with the "next to me" threat in a way that prevents an attack from happening.

    It makes a bad position worse, just not worse enough for some.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    The frustrating thingn for me is that there are far less direct ways that a subclass can become powerful than straight up dpr, yet still contribute to it, while being useful out of combat too (Fast hands and portent come to mind).

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    Summon minor demon clearly states that the DM picks the summons while Summon Greater Demon clearly states the player picks.

    Surely this most be an error and they aren't standing by the awful Sage Advice they did for summoning spells.
    That's not quite what's going on. The general rule from Sage Advice is still in place. Summon Greater Demons is just an exception, and Summon Lesser Demons is just explicit because there was so much confusion.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Earth

    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    That's not quite what's going on. The general rule from Sage Advice is still in place. Summon Greater Demons is just an exception, and Summon Lesser Demons is just explicit because there was so much confusion.
    You must have missed that they said back then that player picks for greater summons. They only said DM picks for lesser summons.

    I understand this is confusing because both kinds of spells have the same wording in the PH. For this book they decided to double down on their clarification.

    Which makes me very glad I looked at a friend's book and haven't spent a single dime on this game since the PH, DMG, and MM. I do not feel that 5e has been managed well and that the game is worse now than when it was released.

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