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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    The biggest "error", really, is that the designers are still pretending no one plays multiclassing games. Hexblade is potentially excusable in a single classed environment; suddenly, melee warlocks are viable. In multiclassing, however, Hexblade is the single greatest gish opportunity available and going any other route is going to be for very specific reasons. If you just want a multiclass gish, go Hexblade and never look back.

    Of course, there's the stuff that's bad even in single classed games: rangers getting bonus spells is good. Not providing lists for the already existing subclasses is beyond bad, it's thoughtless. They can't have done that intentionally. I mean, how would not giving them bonus spells to their already tiny list even be remotely balanced against the new subclasses that do get them? And Wizards is clearly aware that Beastmaster, as least, needs a boost or the UA for them wouldn't exist.

    Also, the Inquisitive rogue. What, what even is that? I'm not saying it sucks, it clearly has uses, but like, am I supposed to be a detective? A spy? What is an "Inquisitive"?
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    I can't undo the sage advice that ruined summoning/summoning character concepts.
    Sage Advice. Key Word: Advice. As in, you don't have to use it.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Of course, there's the stuff that's bad even in single classed games: rangers getting bonus spells is good. Not providing lists for the already existing subclasses is beyond bad, it's thoughtless. They can't have done that intentionally. I mean, how would not giving them bonus spells to their already tiny list even be remotely balanced against the new subclasses that do get them? And Wizards is clearly aware that Beastmaster, as least, needs a boost or the UA for them wouldn't exist.
    In 3e, they did not go back and fix the fighter, they put out Tome of Battle and gave new options, such as the warblade, such that someone wanting to play that type of character would have an option (but not that someone who had already played a fighter up to Xth level would suddenly become good). In the same way, these new ranger archetypes are salvaging the ranger class as a whole, not the specific, poorly received archetypes in the PHB. It's a different strategy that I am unsure if I prefer, but I understand and appreciate them being consistent with it.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    It's about exactly what people clamored for for Bladelocks-- the armor proficiencies they desperately needed, and a Cha-to-attack so they weren't "behind" compared to Eldritch Blasters. It's just a sloppy patch that clearly was made without multiclassing in mind.
    This. Really, this. Hexblade gives people exactly everything that was asked for for Bladelocks. Which is distinctly different from what bladelocks needed. The armor proficiencies they didn't need (shields for a polearm or greatsword user, and medium armor for a bow user, and high AC on a class that hurts people for hitting it on a subclass that isn't necessarily in any more danger than other warlocks) combined with the Cha-to-attack that makes them more directly comparable to eldritch blasters (instead of separating the builds so there's not necessarily overlap between blade and blast) is more than a single level with any other patron grants. It's not how I would have done it, but making a pact of the blade warlock is simple and streamlined now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    Most of Knowledge Cleric's abilities aren't combat-related either, but no one's complained. Different strokes. But same stroke with an extra stroke? That's bad.
    It's not about being combat related. The Forge cleric's unique channel divinity is literally unusable in a fashion. The class gets up to three uses per short or long rest, but can only ever use one because it's used during a short rest. Subtly reading thoughts followed by free suggestion is useful all over the place. For the most part, the Forge cleric only has Turn Undead. The Knowledge cleric doesn't have these problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Also, the Inquisitive rogue. What, what even is that? I'm not saying it sucks, it clearly has uses, but like, am I supposed to be a detective? A spy? What is an "Inquisitive"?
    An Inquisitive is a detective or private investigator, yes. It comes from Eberron, apparently.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    the forge clerics ability doesn't need to be used in a short rest, it just takes an hour, so being able to repeatedly use it if you have some quick downtime such as in the tavern when your dm says "anything you want to do before bed" or while other players rest for their short recharge abilities you can pile all the goblin metal junk in a like and convert to gold.

    if you ask any warlock or fighter or several other classes how they feel about you making some extra coin while they have an extra short rest they will probably thank you.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wolf View Post
    I think bonus action as a whole are showing growing pains (I can see what they were going for, but the system doesn't feel right to me). It make it a matter of practice to find some use for that action every round (if at all possible) for perceived effectiveness.

    I think was as a interview/dnd beyond video with Mearls discussing bonus actions and their limitations.
    bonus actions are brilliant. everyone who's claimed that they're "inelegant" or whatever stupid nonsense has failed to provide anything like a system that could take the place of bonus actions without borking a ton of other stuff. the simple fact is that bonus actions improve the game and handle a ton of issues in one relatively simple rule, and the biggest problem with them is that some stuff was made into bonus actions that should never have been bonus actions. the sensible solution is to use a different rule for the stuff that shouldn't be bonus actions, and leave the simple rule that solves all kinds of problems alone.

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    Mearls needs to get the **** away from anything to do with rules.
    wishful thinking, i'm afraid. we can only dream of this.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    In 3e, they did not go back and fix the fighter, they put out Tome of Battle and gave new options, such as the warblade, such that someone wanting to play that type of character would have an option (but not that someone who had already played a fighter up to Xth level would suddenly become good). In the same way, these new ranger archetypes are salvaging the ranger class as a whole, not the specific, poorly received archetypes in the PHB. It's a different strategy that I am unsure if I prefer, but I understand and appreciate them being consistent with it.
    I think the problem is, the ToB wasn't supposed to be variant fighters and although you can ignore the book fluff, was very clearly intended for a specific aspect of the world, if not a specific plot line. And unlike with fighter, I'd argue you can somewhat salvage the previous subclasses. At least to the point where they get also get their own bonus spell list. That would've required a short section under ranger, noting that they're now giving ranger subclasses bonus spell lists and, hey, here's some for the previous ones. Because I can guarantee that some will still play the previous ranger subclasses and there really isn't anything wrong with bringing them slightly more on par with these new ones.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    I'd argue you can somewhat salvage the previous subclasses. At least to the point where they get also get their own bonus spell list. That would've required a short section under ranger, noting that they're now giving ranger subclasses bonus spell lists and, hey, here's some for the previous ones. Because I can guarantee that some will still play the previous ranger subclasses and there really isn't anything wrong with bringing them slightly more on par with these new ones.
    I do not disagree with anything here. Just noting that they are choosing a different route. The problem with the method you are suggesting (which I will call the Functional Errata Model) is that, depending on what books or 'Rules Update' web supplements a different group uses, a given character may or may not have access to a given spell (or other thing, if we universalize the concept). As silly as it sounds for this to be a big deal (after all, between two groups one might allow multiclassing or feats, and the other not), it means that they would probably not be comfortable including a NPC in one of their adventure paths which has one of these new spells, etc. Thus it is less useful to them than the Replacement Role Filler model they are pursuing. Which also has precedence--since OD&D, instead of giving fighters new powers, here are these ranger and paladin classes in The Strategic Review or the Greyhawk Supplement with these new sets of baubles we just dreamed up.

    And again, I am not sure which I prefer. Just pointing out that they seem to have decided on a strategy and are following through on it.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    Because of dev commentary, you can now reasonably assume the summoning spells were always meant to work that way. Before the sage advice, no one could have REASONABLY read the summoning spells that way.
    Uh, yes we could, and did. Especially anyone who ever played AD&D would have found it natural and reasonable to assume that the summoned creature is chosen arbitrarily/randomly, because that's exactly how Monster Summoning always worked in AD&D. Even elemental summoning had a random factor!

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    The biggest "error", really, is that the designers are still pretending no one plays multiclassing games. Hexblade is potentially excusable in a single classed environment; suddenly, melee warlocks are viable. In multiclassing, however, Hexblade is the single greatest gish opportunity available and going any other route is going to be for very specific reasons. If you just want a multiclass gish, go Hexblade and never look back.
    Meh. If you're a part-warlock Strength-based gish (e.g. paladin/warlock), you already have access to Agonizing Blast and Booming Blade, and you're going to have high Strength anyway for the sake of your armor and grappling. Hexblade might up your to-hit bonus on Booming Blade from +5 to +7 (or from +9 to +11 at max level), but the benefit is marginal: you get slightly better at your backup option. For pure combat power, Fiendlock is still the best. But warlock gishes are already good enough at combat that you don't have to go pure combat power. Cthulock flavor is superior and more likely to be compatible with paladin mentality. And telepathy is cool. :)

    Besides, Hexblade flavor is dumb.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2018-01-03 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    For my money, the biggest design mistake of Xanathar's Guide was making 'hex warrior' part of Hexblade when it should have been stapled onto blade pact to be usable by any bladelock patron.

    Apart from that, and the mistake that bugs me the most, is that Danse Macabre is a 5th level spell, when by all rights it should have been 3rd level, at most. Such a cool idea for a spell, rendered all but unusable to player characters by its woefully overestimated spell level. Tragic.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    I do not disagree with anything here. Just noting that they are choosing a different route. The problem with the method you are suggesting (which I will call the Functional Errata Model) is that, depending on what books or 'Rules Update' web supplements a different group uses, a given character may or may not have access to a given spell (or other thing, if we universalize the concept). As silly as it sounds for this to be a big deal (after all, between two groups one might allow multiclassing or feats, and the other not), it means that they would probably not be comfortable including a NPC in one of their adventure paths which has one of these new spells, etc. Thus it is less useful to them than the Replacement Role Filler model they are pursuing. Which also has precedence--since OD&D, instead of giving fighters new powers, here are these ranger and paladin classes in The Strategic Review or the Greyhawk Supplement with these new sets of baubles we just dreamed up.

    And again, I am not sure which I prefer. Just pointing out that they seem to have decided on a strategy and are following through on it.
    Fair, but you could just give them a bonus spell list using spells from the PHB. Even post in as official Errata online. You have to have the PHB if you're using the ranger (I don't believe they're in the basic rule set), so as long as the first two subclasses only drew their bonus spells from the PHB, it shouldn't be too big a problem. Again, this may require a little note in future adventure paths, something like "Bill the NPC is a Ranger Hunter, using the Ranger Errata on wizards.com". Ok, true, some tables may choose to completely ignore this, but I'd have to question why they would do that if they have an internet connection and I'm struggling to think of how relevant a few bonus spells could be to the ranger npcs in an adventure path. Also, do the adventure paths only use PHB/DMG/MM material?

    I see why they're doing it this way, I just think fixing it could be very simple and nearly universally applicable. Which is why I think this was an actual mistake rather than deliberate design intent.
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    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.
    100% this. They are in business to make money not to offer balance. Did you see what the best selling book D&D ever is? Oh it's Xanathar's with their massively popular 5E that offers power creep to players? /s I simply cannot believe players want more power /s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Mearls needs to get the **** away from anything to do with rules.
    Yeah.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Publishing Storm Aura (Sea) and Divine Fury on the same page is something I *hope* was an error, because the possibility that it isn't is too horrifying to contemplate.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    Apart from that, and the mistake that bugs me the most, is that Danse Macabre is a 5th level spell, when by all rights it should have been 3rd level, at most. Such a cool idea for a spell, rendered all but unusable to player characters by its woefully overestimated spell level. Tragic.
    I'm not sure Danse Macabre is that underpowered. Assuming you are level 9, have 20 in your spellcasting ability, and raise 5 skeletons, you could be looking at 52.5 DPR (ranged or melee) from them. Skeletons are +4 to hit and 1d6+2 with either shortsword or shortbow. The spell adds your spellcasting modifier to attack and damage rolls, so +9 to hit with 1d6+7 for each of the skeletons.

    While this is nowhere near Steel Wind Strike (165 DPR, vastly overpowered in my opinion), I think Danse Macabre is on par with other non-AOE 5th level spells like Enervation or Negative Energy Flood.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Not mistakes, it's just that they are trying to use entirely new content as a way to hotfix problematical old content.

    It's like SCAG a cantrips help to fix Eldritch Knight 7th feature by making using a cantrip not suck... at least until you get your third attack, at which point just attacks wins again.

    Ranger subs are continued hotfixing to the ranger class.

    Hexblade is a hotfix for Blade boon. While yes it probably should be included as part of the boon itself they want to stick to "new" content e.g. a new patron instead of changing pre-existing content (the boon).

    Really warlocks as a whole need a slight redesign as they are awkwardly cluttered in design. Personally I like the notion of making Patron just a spell list and making the Boon the subclass. Now you have subclasses defined by playstyle and not thematic style elements. The boon's now contain everything they need to work without having to tax invocations. Some patron abilities could be turned into invocations, but as a whole you would be free to actually pick extra abilities for your invocations.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    Most of Knowledge Cleric's abilities aren't combat-related either, but no one's complained. Different strokes. But same stroke with an extra stroke? That's bad.
    You were comparing this to the war cleric though, and their abilities are explicitly good in combat.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaon View Post
    I'm not sure Danse Macabre is that underpowered. Assuming you are level 9, have 20 in your spellcasting ability, and raise 5 skeletons, you could be looking at 52.5 DPR (ranged or melee) from them. Skeletons are +4 to hit and 1d6+2 with either shortsword or shortbow. The spell adds your spellcasting modifier to attack and damage rolls, so +9 to hit with 1d6+7 for each of the skeletons.

    While this is nowhere near Steel Wind Strike (165 DPR, vastly overpowered in my opinion), I think Danse Macabre is on par with other non-AOE 5th level spells like Enervation or Negative Energy Flood.
    It burns your concentration. It requires five corpses on hand to use it, which means either the fight is half over before you can even begin to use it, or else it eats an entire second action to up-end a bag of holding, and you need to have that bag of holding in the first place.

    By the time you cast this, any necro themed caster apart from a straight warlock already had the better, longer lasting, concentration-free version four whole character levels ago, and the attack and damage buffs don't and can't balance that out. So danse macabre is mostly a 'get back up' button for when a fight goes on too long and your animate dead minions have all fallen down. And sure, that's not unusable, it wasn't fair of me to say that, but even if the spell has some use, and reasonable damage output for its slot level, it's still fundamentally a less cool version of something your character has already been able to do for ages.

    If danse macabre were a second or even first level spell, it would have to drop the attack and damage buff, and probably animate fewer corpses without upcasting, but it might also get to be relevant as more than a fallback option. Like, imagine danse macabre as a first level spell targeting one corpse, with no hit or damage buffs, and up-casting allowing you to rouse two extra corpses per increased slot level. It would have let necromancers feel necromantic from level one, with a good trick for second level slots, and then animate dead would roll in at third level and largely obsolete it. But it would have at least had a good two level run, and it would still have that back up panic button application for when too many of your undead minions have turned back into just-dead corpses.


    A concentration-based temporary animate dead is a cool idea, but it's also fundamentally a lesser form of animate dead, belonging in a lower level slot. You can't sell it as a spell two spell levels higher, even if it's not under-powered it will always be under-whelming.
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2018-01-04 at 07:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    It can be done in combat though. If you can animate dead, sure, animate dead. If you need a quick bunch of ablatives right now, use Danse Macabre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    If danse macabre were a second or even first level spell, it would have to drop the attack and damage buff, and probably animate fewer corpses without upcasting, but it might also get to be relevant as more than a fallback option. Like, imagine danse macabre as a first level spell targeting one corpse, with no hit or damage buffs, and up-casting allowing you to rouse two extra corpses per increased slot level. It would have let necromancers feel necromantic from level one, with a good trick for second level slots, and then animate dead would roll in at third level and largely obsolete it. But it would have at least had a good two level run, and it would still have that back up panic button application for when too many of your undead minions have turned back into just-dead corpses.
    While I still like the spell in it's current form (I'm running a warlock currently so it's my chance to dabble in necromancy), I really like the version you laid out as a lower level spell. It fills the niche for a tier 1 necromancer and even fits narratively: you can't maintain undead creations at low levels, then you hit level 5 and you're strong enough.

    Make it a second level spell that raises two undead (one additional for each spell level) and keep the attack and damage buff. That puts it just behind a second level scorching ray in terms of damage.

    I always saw this spell as a sort of panic button to get you through the end of a tough fight, either using your own downed undead or freshly created corpses, but your variation keeps that function and adds missing functionality to lower level PCs. Very clever.

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    You were comparing this to the war cleric though, and their abilities are explicitly good in combat.
    Yep, and the point still holds. Just because Forge's Channel Divinity is out-of-combat, doesn't mean it's bad. That's also the only feature they have that is out-of-combat. Meanwhile, their level 6 abilities are also vastly superior to just lending your +10 to hit to a friend.

    But the problem is not whetber it's front-loaded, OP and such and such. It's that you shouldn't give a subclass something from another subclass along with something else. That's bad design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    But the problem is not whetber it's front-loaded, OP and such and such. It's that you shouldn't give a subclass something from another subclass along with something else. That's bad design.
    Why, inherently? Things should be judged in their entirety, not on a feature-by-feature basis. Classes are path-dependent.
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    I think it's certainly a shame that Shadow Blade doesn't work with the Hex Warrior feature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    I think it's certainly a shame that Shadow Blade doesn't work with the Hex Warrior feature.
    Probably because it was designed intended to be used by Arcane Trickster Rogues

    Which is why it's an Illusion Spell
    That can be thrown like a Dagger
    Deals damage like a Rapier

    Arcane Tricksters even get it at Lv7 which is a soft breakpoint for a Power Boost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    Probably because it was designed intended to be used by Arcane Trickster Rogues

    Which is why it's an Illusion Spell
    That can be thrown like a Dagger
    Deals damage like a Rapier

    Arcane Tricksters even get it at Lv7 which is a soft breakpoint for a Power Boost.
    Perhaps, but it still seems like a shame, since it would fit right in with the flavor and theme of Hexblades.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    How about the fact that Eldritch Knights can never learn Steel wind strike?

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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    The biggest problem I have with Hexblade is that it doesn't fix what it set out to fix.

    The Hexblade, clearly, was an attempt to address the problem that Eldritch Blast was really the only viable tactic for Warlocks, because it was SO strong.

    Hexblade attempts to make melee Warlock a more viable option, and does--to an extent. The problem is that the majority of a Hexblade's abilities work just as well for a blasting Warlock, and as a result, the gap hasn't significantly closed. A Hexblade (or Sorclock) who spams Eldritch Blast just got even MORE formidable.

    Restricting Hexblade's Curse to working only with attuned melee weapons would be a start towards fixing this issue.
    Last edited by Caelic; 2018-01-06 at 10:19 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    How about the fact that Eldritch Knights can never learn Steel wind strike?
    Steel Wind Strike was designed for Rangers to use as a 'Final Spell'

    So it makes sense that they inherently can't...

    The real BS is that Wizards have access to the spell at all. It shouldn't have been on their Spell List.

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelic View Post
    The biggest problem I have with Hexblade is that it doesn't fix what it set out to fix.

    The Hexblade, clearly, was an attempt to address the problem that Eldritch Blast was really the only viable tactic for Warlocks, because it was SO strong.
    Honestly, I think this is a weird design aspect in general. I'm fine with Eldritch Blast being a Warlock's default attack (though it is a bit weird that they'd all have it, regardless of Pact or Patron). So why make it optional in the first place? Why not just say that they start off knowing Eldritch Blast and one other Cantrip of their choice and then go from there?

    It just seems strange to me that Eldritch Blast would be optional when there's really no alternative. I mean, even if your warlock is focused on melee, is he really going to say no to an X1d0+Cha attack that inflicts Force damage and never runs out of ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelic View Post
    Hexblade attempts to make melee Warlock a more viable option, and does--to an extent. The problem is that the majority of a Hexblade's abilities work just as well for a blasting Warlock, and as a result, the gap hasn't significantly closed. A Hexblade (or Sorclock) who spams Eldritch Blast just got even MORE formidable.

    Restricting Hexblade's Curse to working only with attuned melee weapons would be a start towards fixing this issue.
    At the very least, you'd think that *one* of the Curse's features would only work with melee weapons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Surely there is no other reason why they would hire a charismatic and intelligent if scandalous infernal-blooded pretty boy to steal an high-ranking woman's clothes.
    “Plot” is what the DM does to amuse himself when the players aren’t talking.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: Design "errors" in Xanathar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    Honestly, I think this is a weird design aspect in general. I'm fine with Eldritch Blast being a Warlock's default attack (though it is a bit weird that they'd all have it, regardless of Pact or Patron). So why make it optional in the first place? Why not just say that they start off knowing Eldritch Blast and one other Cantrip of their choice and then go from there?
    One of the biggest points of confusion in the design of 5e for me is why they took away Eldritch Blast as a Warlock class ability and made it a cantrip. What were they trying to achieve?

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