The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I think pushing them into dwarf stat territory is interesting... But I don't think it's a great fix.. that is dwarf's "thing"
    And even without their better stats dwarves have other nice perks.

    I think bonus action breath and darkvision is sufficient.. But not interesting..

    I have a revision I made a while back that I could post at some point if people were curious.

    Man over game: if say go ahead and post yours and spoiler tag it if desired.
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2019-07-17 at 12:24 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    I think pushing them into dwarf stat territory is interesting... But I don't think it's a great fix.. that is dwarf's "thing"
    And even without their better stats dwarves have other nice perks.

    I think bonus action breath and darkvision is sufficient.. But not interesting..

    I have a revision I made a while back that I could post at some point if people were curious.

    Man over game: if say go ahead and post yours and spoiler tag it if desired.
    Personally, I think making the breath attack a bonus action is only non-interesting because it's just making it easier to blow through (haha) their limited racial resource. What I strove to do here was, instead, give them a non-limited racial resource, because I feel that does make them more interesting.



    Had another thought on how perhaps to do it: Give them (2+level)d6 worth of breath weapon. They can expend these dice in any amount as an action in the AoE defined by their dragon ancestry. They recover 2d6 on a short rest, and may expend hit dice as if they were rolling them for healing to 1:1 restore additional dice. This gives them a limited resource they can blow through in one big blast, or in smaller blasts.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Acid and Lightning's knock-on effects seem way too good. Increasing range is nice, but...questionable.

    I still think the best solution is to give them more consistent effects, rather than boosting their once-per-day effect.
    For acid I don't think adding 1/20 chance to hit is all that great. For lightning, while this will give allies the ability to have advantage and auto-crits against targets who failed the saving throw, they get to make a second one at the beginning of their next turn, drastically decreasing the chance that they will lose a turn. While it is quite powerful, I think all the others (excepting acid which I consider to be the weakest) most of the other are similarly powerful.

    Range? I see the questionability of it, at the same time, if we are trying to improve the power of the breath weapon range is fundamental to that, it also increases slowly as you level up. Also, in my experience, there is usually at least one short rest on combat filled days, each short rest will allow an additional use of the breath weapon that day.

    Understanding better the goal you have in mind, I will get off that subject now as my previous idea is nothing in line with yours.

    If I wanted to make to make it more reusable, I'd give it a 5-6 recharge. I feel the roll to get the ability back (assuming that having used it once, the player may need another use of it) would add more drama, without letting the player spam the ability excepting good rolls. However, seeing as how someone already mentioned this idea I and you did not say you wanted to use it, I will assume you don't. So I will endeavor to come up with another idea, (not dismissing you secondary breath weapon, I just feel something better could be done).

    I may take a while to respond in the future as my free time has grown sparse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Personally, I think making the breath attack a bonus action is only non-interesting because it's just making it easier to blow through (haha) their limited racial resource. What I strove to do here was, instead, give them a non-limited racial resource, because I feel that does make them more interesting.



    Had another thought on how perhaps to do it: Give them (2+level)d6 worth of breath weapon. They can expend these dice in any amount as an action in the AoE defined by their dragon ancestry. They recover 2d6 on a short rest, and may expend hit dice as if they were rolling them for healing to 1:1 restore additional dice. This gives them a limited resource they can blow through in one big blast, or in smaller blasts.
    I should have read this before writing down everything up there, but oh well. This is a wonderful idea, just needs a little tweaking in my, personal, opinion.

    What my opinion states: 1. They should have a scaling limit to how many d6 they can use in one turn. So far, however, my efforts to figure out a good system of limitation has so far only come up with bad fruit.
    2. They should be able to regain a scaling amount of the d6 per short rest, perhaps 1 + (1/2 level, min 1).

    I must admit though, the thing that really makes the breath weapon feel underpowered to me is the short range. However other low powered cone spells seem to have that same limit so I'm not sure what to make of the situation.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Ah, so we are thinking about more uses, rather than more flavor or more power. Well, there are plenty of convoluted racial powers out there, namely the racial spellcasting and aasimar 3rd level abilities.

    We can just make it scale to keep the power level relevant. We can go from something that seems appropriate for a level 1 racial cantrip

    Bonus Action, 5ft range, 1d6 damage, at-will

    And the add onto that a different ability that's a 15ft cone.

    Empowered Breath
    Starting at x-th level, your breath becomes more potent. You can use your Empowered Breath a number of times equal to your constitution modifier (minimum 1)

    Then we can add a 5th level ability that increases the damage or improves the action economy (part of the attack action/reaction)

    Superior Breath
    Your Dragon Breath and Empowered Breath damage is increased by 1d6, and use your reaction instead of a bonus action.
    This means we don't have to use any confusing scaling or worry about the curve. We just add a new ability with level-relevant power when we need it. 1st, 3rd and 5th level seem appropriate places to add these.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    Understanding better the goal you have in mind, I will get off that subject now as my previous idea is nothing in line with yours.

    If I wanted to make to make it more reusable, I'd give it a 5-6 recharge. I feel the roll to get the ability back (assuming that having used it once, the player may need another use of it) would add more drama, without letting the player spam the ability excepting good rolls. However, seeing as how someone already mentioned this idea I and you did not say you wanted to use it, I will assume you don't. So I will endeavor to come up with another idea, (not dismissing you secondary breath weapon, I just feel something better could be done).

    I may take a while to respond in the future as my free time has grown sparse.
    I appreciate the continued replies and thoughts, so thank you for devoting what time you have chosen to of your available free time!

    The 5-6 recharge isn't a bad idea for moment-to-moment, but my worry is that it makes it, at absolute minimum, an encounter ability. Now, that frequency is actually nice! I like that possibility for how usable it is; my concern is that it's too powerful to be used that often; it might need a nerf in dice count.

    Then again... 2d6 at first level to a short cone AoE (save for half) once per encounter...probably isn't going to break anything. So the scaling might work at this rate.

    Maybe make it save for none, with a 1/(short or long) rest version that lets them make it save for half?

    That's a better idea than I probably gave it credit for to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    [On making it a limit of dice they can roll during short rests]
    This is a wonderful idea, just needs a little tweaking in my, personal, opinion.

    What my opinion states: 1. They should have a scaling limit to how many d6 they can use in one turn. So far, however, my efforts to figure out a good system of limitation has so far only come up with bad fruit.
    2. They should be able to regain a scaling amount of the d6 per short rest, perhaps 1 + (1/2 level, min 1).

    I must admit though, the thing that really makes the breath weapon feel underpowered to me is the short range. However other low powered cone spells seem to have that same limit so I'm not sure what to make of the situation.
    I understand that thought. Maybe a Dragonborn feat that increases it wouldn't be remiss? Though yes, there are short-range cones like this out there that cost even more resources (e.g. a 1st level spell slot).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Ah, so we are thinking about more uses, rather than more flavor or more power. Well, there are plenty of convoluted racial powers out there, namely the racial spellcasting and aasimar 3rd level abilities.
    Yeah, I think the flavor is more or less fine; the issue is that it's likely to fall victim to the "bigger spider" problem and never see use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    We can just make it scale to keep the power level relevant. We can go from something that seems appropriate for a level 1 racial cantrip

    Bonus Action, 5ft range, 1d6 damage, at-will

    And the add onto that a different ability that's a 15ft cone.

    Empowered Breath
    Starting at x-th level, your breath becomes more potent. You can use your Empowered Breath a number of times equal to your constitution modifier (minimum 1)

    Then we can add a 5th level ability that increases the damage or improves the action economy (part of the attack action/reaction)

    Superior Breath
    Your Dragon Breath and Empowered Breath damage is increased by 1d6, and use your reaction instead of a bonus action.
    This means we don't have to use any confusing scaling or worry about the curve. We just add a new ability with level-relevant power when we need it. 1st, 3rd and 5th level seem appropriate places to add these.
    Hm, that is interesting. Though what qualifies as "confusing scaling" to you?

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Hm, that is interesting. Though what qualifies as "confusing scaling" to you?
    It's a personal principle I'm projecting, sorry. I generally don't implement houserules that can't be explained to a player in one sentence, and introducing a fully new mechanic to the game (2+level, recharge some at short rest) for a houserule should only be done when an original mechanic is the main reason for the rule being implemented.

    Like I said, I'm projecting. You wouldn't have come up with it if it weren't perfectly fine for your table, which is the true domain for your own houserules (hence the 'house' part).

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I appreciate the continued replies and thoughts, so thank you for devoting what time you have chosen to of your available free time!

    The 5-6 recharge isn't a bad idea for moment-to-moment, but my worry is that it makes it, at absolute minimum, an encounter ability. Now, that frequency is actually nice! I like that possibility for how usable it is; my concern is that it's too powerful to be used that often; it might need a nerf in dice count.

    Then again... 2d6 at first level to a short cone AoE (save for half) once per encounter...probably isn't going to break anything. So the scaling might work at this rate.

    Maybe make it save for none, with a 1/(short or long) rest version that lets them make it save for half?

    That's a better idea than I probably gave it credit for to begin with.

    I understand that thought. Maybe a Dragonborn feat that increases it wouldn't be remiss? Though yes, there are short-range cones like this out there that cost even more resources (e.g. a 1st level spell slot).
    Maybe if we were to do the recharging one, we could reduce the damage by 1d6, increase its range to 20 ft. for cones, 40 for lines, and keep as a save for half attack. Damage seems to low.

    If the ability to recharge were in affect, I think that saving for no damage is probably fair. Then again, I can see anyone who was other AOE spells and has more than a handful of slots only using this as a last resort.

    Also, as far as it being an encounter ability (I am assuming this means an ability only used in encounters), if someone isn't in combat when they want to use it, just have them wait half a minute. I know that is technically 30 seconds when the average is time should be 18 but you could explain that by saying when they aren't in the stress of an encounter they aren't preparing quite as quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Ah, so we are thinking about more uses...
    I don't mean to ignore you Bjarkmunder, I just haven't been able to think of anything worth saying.
    Last edited by Maxidion; 2019-08-10 at 04:57 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    Maybe if we were to do the recharging one, we could reduce the damage by 1d6, increase its range to 20 ft. for cones, 40 for lines, and keep as a save for half attack. Damage seems to low.

    If the ability to recharge were in affect, I think that saving for no damage is probably fair. Then again, I can see anyone who was other AOE spells and has more than a handful of slots only using this as a last resort.

    Also, as far as it being an encounter ability (I am assuming this means an ability only used in encounters), if someone isn't in combat when they want to use it, just have them wait half a minute. I know that is technically 30 seconds when the average is time should be 18 but you could explain that by saying when they aren't in the stress of an encounter they aren't preparing quite as quickly.



    I don't mean to ignore you Bjarkmunder, I just haven't been able to think of anything worth saying.
    "Encounter ability" is a shorthand way - for me - to refer to abilities you use once per encounter. A recharge ability is GOING to hit the 5-6 between encounters if it doesn't during one.

    Versus a Short Rest ability, which is usable theoretically once every 2-3 encounters.

    We should also keep in mind a comparison of this free racial feature to dragon breath, which is a 2nd level spell. It should never be better than that.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    "Encounter ability" is a shorthand way - for me - to refer to abilities you use once per encounter. A recharge ability is GOING to hit the 5-6 between encounters if it doesn't during one.

    Versus a Short Rest ability, which is usable theoretically once every 2-3 encounters.
    Ah, got it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    We should also keep in mind a comparison of this free racial feature to dragon breath, which is a 2nd level spell. It should never be better than that.
    Comparison of the two:
    Frequency: Dragon's Breath is able to be used on as many turns as you want as long as the caster holds concentration Max 1 minute. Breath weapon is once per short rest.
    Damage: I will go ahead and say they are about equal because by 5th level the breath weapon is 3d6, it scales, but then Dragon's breath will be able to be used at higher levels.
    Range/AOE: Equal, the line also covers the same amount of space.
    Dragon's breath can also be used on other's besides yourself.

    It seems to me that the only area that Dragon's Breath is stronger would frequency, it can be cast on an ally, but you could lose the concentration as well. This poses a problem as frequency seems to exactly what we are trying to improve. Though at the same time I realize you have often suggested weakening other things as a trade off, or make a weaker but more frequent version. In this light I better understand why you came up with the ideas you did.

    My new suggestion: The breath weapon is the same as normal but recharges only once per long rest. You have a weaker version that has -1d6 to its damage, that ability recharges on a 5-6 roll. You may not use your primary breath weapon if the secondary one has been used but not yet recharged.

    Maybe also give the Dragonborn darkvision, inferior or normal. I also liked the idea of a 10 ft. blindsight, but I don't believe you wanted to use that idea.

    Edit Note: A better way to put the above idea is give the breath weapon a 5-6 recharge but reduce its damage by 1d6. Once per long rest, you may add 1d6 to the damage. It might actually be better to make it get the bonus damage once per short rest, but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Maxidion; 2019-08-20 at 04:53 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    "Encounter ability" is a shorthand way - for me - to refer to abilities you use once per encounter. A recharge ability is GOING to hit the 5-6 between encounters if it doesn't during one.

    Versus a Short Rest ability, which is usable theoretically once every 2-3 encounters.

    We should also keep in mind a comparison of this free racial feature to dragon breath, which is a 2nd level spell. It should never be better than that.
    Is there a reason why it can't be as strong as dragon's breath, at least eventually? After all, Tieflings get a cantrip, 1st level (cast at 2nd level by default), and 2nd level spell by lvl. 5. These spells are all on the lower end of the spectrum of power, but the alternate spell lists from the Tiefling variants are often quite powerful, Tieflings have darkvision, and they themselves are far from the most powerful race.

    If you really want it to be a once-per-encounter power, why not have it only recharge on a 6? some abilities in the monster manual do that, and it means that most combats it won't be available until after the combat has been completed. Assuming you use it on the first round, the cumulative probability that it'll become available again in a 4-round combat is only 42%. That seems sufficiently unreliable to be a pleasant surprise when it does happen. Maybe even bump the die size up to a d8 (requiring a roll of 8), pushing that probability down to 33%.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-08-20 at 05:56 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    Ah, got it.

    (...)

    In this light I better understand why you came up with the ideas you did.
    Yep, that's about my thought process!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    My new suggestion: The breath weapon is the same as normal but recharges only once per long rest. You have a weaker version that has -1d6 to its damage, that ability recharges on a 5-6 roll. You may not use your primary breath weapon if the secondary one has been used but not yet recharged.

    Maybe also give the Dragonborn darkvision, inferior or normal. I also liked the idea of a 10 ft. blindsight, but I don't believe you wanted to use that idea.

    Edit Note: A better way to put the above idea is give the breath weapon a 5-6 recharge but reduce its damage by 1d6. Once per long rest, you may add 1d6 to the damage. It might actually be better to make it get the bonus damage once per short rest, but I'm not sure.
    Once per short rest might be viable.

    Heck, I could even see the "once per rest" bonus scale, by 1d6, at the Cantrip rate, though I would need to refresh myself on some numbers to be sure, because I'm coming at this after having let my brain go fallow on the subject as I focused on other things.

    To be clear, I like the idea of blindsight 10 ft., but I just can't see it as not being overpowered. Maybe if they have to activate it as a bonus action and Concentrate on it? That seems fiddly, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Is there a reason why it can't be as strong as dragon's breath, at least eventually? After all, Tieflings get a cantrip, 1st level (cast at 2nd level by default), and 2nd level spell by lvl. 5. These spells are all on the lower end of the spectrum of power, but the alternate spell lists from the Tiefling variants are often quite powerful, Tieflings have darkvision, and they themselves are far from the most powerful race.

    If you really want it to be a once-per-encounter power, why not have it only recharge on a 6? some abilities in the monster manual do that, and it means that most combats it won't be available until after the combat has been completed. Assuming you use it on the first round, the cumulative probability that it'll become available again in a 4-round combat is only 42%. That seems sufficiently unreliable to be a pleasant surprise when it does happen. Maybe even bump the die size up to a d8 (requiring a roll of 8), pushing that probability down to 33%.
    That may also be a possibility.

    Would it be broken just to take the existing feature and make it recharge on a 6, rather than on a short rest? My gut says "yes," but I'm not sure.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Breath Weapon as a bonus action (keeps short rest recharge), Darkvision 60 ft, choice of Athletics/Intimidation/Persuasion proficiency. At least that's what works for my groups.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Yep, that's about my thought process!

    Once per short rest might be viable.

    Heck, I could even see the "once per rest" bonus scale, by 1d6, at the Cantrip rate, though I would need to refresh myself on some numbers to be sure, because I'm coming at this after having let my brain go fallow on the subject as I focused on other things.

    To be clear, I like the idea of blindsight 10 ft., but I just can't see it as not being overpowered. Maybe if they have to activate it as a bonus action and Concentrate on it? That seems fiddly, though.


    That may also be a possibility.

    Would it be broken just to take the existing feature and make it recharge on a 6, rather than on a short rest? My gut says "yes," but I'm not sure.
    For blindsight, if you buff the breath weapon, it'll probably be too strong, but as is, it would be the only powerful ability the race even gets. Maybe just allow you to determine the location of all creatures without total cover within 30 ft. (or less if you feel that range is too long)? That way you still have disadvantage to attack, but you can detect things others can't.

    As for the breath weapon, the damage at 1st lvl. is more than a cantrip, but less than all but the weakest weapon attacks. Could maybe change the damage die to a D12? Reduces the average damage by a little and makes it less dependable, then maybe have it scale like a cantrip? So basically a small AOE d12 cantrip that requires a cooldown to use again. Since the odds are against it being available more than once per combat, I can't see it being a gamebreaker.

    Alternatively, you could use your earlier plan of having an at-will breath, with an option for a more powerful one every short/long rest. If you do go that route, from a game design perspective, it may be better to phrase it as a once-per-rest boost rather than a separate option, which feels a little wonky for a race feature. In general people receive things better when it's phrased as a bonus rather than a penalty. It obviously has no or minimal mechanical impact, but it looks better to most people.
    Ex:"When you use your breath weapon, you may channel additional energy into it, increasing its damage by 2d6 of its type. You can't use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest"
    It could probably use some clarification to avoid implying that you can't use your regular breath weapon, but it's already a little long
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-08-25 at 04:57 PM.
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