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  • Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    So, kind of like this video by Zee Bashew?

    Very much so. I’d been working on this idea for a long time before that video came out, but it was nice to see that he was thinking along the same lines as me. He recommends cranking up the CR more than I’ve been doing though. I’ve been building encounters around 3-level chunks, balancing for the middle of the three levels so that you get a difficulty curve that fluctuates over the course of multiple levels. So, for example, 3rd, 4th, and 5th level characters will all generally be facing encounters built for 4th level characters. The idea is that at the start of a new tier, you hit a difficulty spike. When you level up the difficulty evens out. Then you level up again and get to feel awesome for a while as you have an easy time with encounters you used to struggle with. But the next time you level up you reach the start of the next tier and hit another difficulty spike. After that video though, I’ve been considering ramping up the difficulty a lot more for certain climactic encounters. A “boss fight” should probably feel difficult no matter where you sit within a tier.


    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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    • So this dropped. Matt Mercer talking to D&D Beyond about Dunamancy:



      Gotta say, I've always been disappointed by the lack of time/space manipulation spells in 5e.


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      • While the whole concept of Dunamancy as the "science magic" kind of thing is awesome, I am somewhat disappointed that all of the three new subclasses would be based around it, and two of which will be wizard subclasses. Like, the Echo Knight sounds awesome, and I'm all in favor for world transforming wizards who play with the physical laws of science, but I would have liked to see a bit more variety in respect of strange subclasses and such. Again, all three subclasses sound awesome, but if at least one of the wizard subclasses would have been replaced with another subclass (like a gravity manipulating monk or a cleric with a time based Domain) it could have felt more balanced.


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        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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        • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
          No worries. I appreciate you giving it a look even if it’s not to your liking. It’s actually intended to produce very similar results to what’s possible by RAW at similar prices. It’s largely an aesthetic change, so if you don’t like or don’t care about the aesthetic, it makes sense you wouldn’t see much point in it, and that is still valuable to know. The other purpose with the armor changes is to make increasing Dexterity the main way for heavy armor users to improve their AC and acquiring better armor proficiency and raising Strength the main way for light and medium armor users to improve their AC.
          You're going to have to explain this one. How and why are heavy armor users encouraged to have dexterity/

          Indeed, a mace is worse than a longsword (and a warhammer for that matter). It’s also cheaper, and it does a different damage type, so it can be worth bringing as a backup to your longsword.
          This price difference isn't going to be terribly relevant for anyone except down on their luck level one characters, though.

          Granted, if you run 5e monsters RAW, damage type almost never matters. However, for the campaign I am planning to use this revision in, I will be using almost entirely custom monsters. For the campaign in question, my goal is to capture the sort of puzzle-encounter feel from games like The Witcher 3, where monsters are very tough but have special weaknesses or tricks that can be learned and exploited to level the playing field.
          I'd be interested to see it, but I'm rather sceptical as to its viability.

          Note that there is no one-handed 1d8 finesse weapon (e.g. a rapier) in this table. It was a conscious choice to have finesse weapons cap out at 1d6 one-handed or 1d8/2d4 two-handed. This, coupled with the changes to the armor table, are meant to make Dexterity less offensively potent but more defensively potent than Strength, for all martial characters. The versatile finesse weapons (estoc and war knife) work great for rogues when paired with a dagger, allowing the rogue to attack with the weapon in two hands on turns when they’ve used or plan to use cunning action, or in one hand and with the dagger as a bonus action on turns when they don’t.
          I can see it, but a slightly bigger damage die means very little for rogues. Their damage comes from sneak attack, so the difference between a d6 and 2d4 is pretty negligible.

          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          While the whole concept of Dunamancy as the "science magic" kind of thing is awesome, I am somewhat disappointed that all of the three new subclasses would be based around it, and two of which will be wizard subclasses. Like, the Echo Knight sounds awesome, and I'm all in favor for world transforming wizards who play with the physical laws of science, but I would have liked to see a bit more variety in respect of strange subclasses and such. Again, all three subclasses sound awesome, but if at least one of the wizard subclasses would have been replaced with another subclass (like a gravity manipulating monk or a cleric with a time based Domain) it could have felt more balanced.
          Giving wizards more content than everyone else is a fine D&D tradition, so maybe they're doing it to assuage concerns and establish that it is a right, proper D&D setting after all.

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          • Originally posted by Morty View Post
            You're going to have to explain this one. How and why are heavy armor users encouraged to have dexterity?
            Because with +0 Dexterity, the highest AC a heavy armor user can achieve with this system is 18 (before shield bonuses) with mail (14), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2). With +2 Dex, they can get up to 19 with gousseted jack (13 + 2), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2). With +5 Dex, they can get up to 20 with padded or quilted jack (11 + 5), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2).

            From the other end of the spectrum, a character who starts out with +3 Dex and only light armor proficiency can get up to 15 AC with a padded or quilted jack (11 + 3) and brigandine (+1). From there, they can improve their AC by increasing their Dexterity, or by picking up medium armor proficiency. The former will add to hit and damage with finesse weapons, but only increase their AC by +1, but the latter will increase it by up to +2. Next ASI level, you could bump Dex again, pick up medium armor master, or go into heavy armor.

            Originally posted by Morty View Post
            This price difference isn't going to be terribly relevant for anyone except down on their luck level one characters, though.
            Yeah. The mechanical difference is minor, the price difference is also minor. It’ll matter for the characters it matters for, and be an aesthetic choice for the rest.

            Originally posted by Morty View Post
            I'd be interested to see it, but I'm rather sceptical as to its viability.
            Based on other comments you’ve made about damage types, weaknesses, and resistances, I’m guessing you wouldn’t like what I’m doing, at least not on paper. And that’s fine, not everything needs to be for everyone.


            Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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            • So the latest Unearthed Arcana just dropped, with four new subclasses: (Barbarian) Path of the Beast, (Monk) Way of Mercy, (Paladin) Oath of the Watchers, and (Warlock) The Noble Genie Patron.

              Few thoughts:
              • Love that we finally have a Barbarian that can dispense with crafted arms, and just maul fools with natural weapons. Really dig into the idea of a savage, animalistic creature, more so even than the Path of the Totem ever could. It leaves the exact reason for the Barbarian's animal features open to interpretation, so the player/DM can decide for themselves why the character is the way they are. A while back, I tried to figure out a kind of "Mimic Kin" character, that was a shapeshifter who could also fight with tooth and claw. With the Path of the Beast, I could get the same effect using the Changeling as a base. Really like it.
              • Any other fans of Mage: The Ascension think the Monk Way of Mercy is just the Euthanatos? I got the same impression from the Way of Long Death from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, but this subclass channels the Chakravanti even more strongly. On another note, I've always been interested in a Monk subclass that focuses on healing (Open Palm just gives a limited self-heal). Onyx Path put out a healer Monk subclass in the Scarred Lands Player's Guide. Personally, while I like the flavor of this version, I think the Scarred Lands makes for a better healer overall, since it just lets the Monk use Ki to cast certain healing spells. This one isn't bad, but it divides itself between healing and harm, which puts it into a different design space. Not bad - I'll still think of characters using this model - but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.
                • Aside: the idea I had for the Scarred Lands healer Monk was a snake person who was a trained physician, and pursued Monk training to better heal and protect patients. They take the expression "First, Do No Harm" very seriously, preferring to defuse situations without fighting, and only knocking people unconscious when necessary. Under this UA subclass, that's not really an option, since these Mercy Monks go around doing loads of harm and poisoning people.
              • With the Oath of the Watchers Paladin, we get another subclass devoted to planar travel, added to the Horizon Walker Ranger and Circle of Dreams Druid. (Aside: Further evidence we'll be getting a Planescape or similar book in the near future?). I like the selection of Oath spells, like Augury, Banishment, and Counterspell. Not sure why Chromatic Orb is here, as opposed to Protection From Good And Evil (though, yes, that's already on the Paladin spell list). Maybe Chromatic Orb is meant to be used against elementals, to take advantage of weaknesses?
              • It was probably inevitable that we'd get Warlocks associated with genies. That the character gains a "Collector's Vessel" (a lamp, bottle, ring, or other Tiny object) that they use for various effects is nice and flavorful. Makes you feel like you're playing Aladdin. Unfortunately, despite genies having strong elemental associations in 5e, the Noble Genie patron doesn't provide much in the way of elemental advantages. That is, other than gaining resistance to a damage type...that is chosen by the Warlock at the end of Long Rests, as opposed to being a fixed type dependent on what kind of genie they serve. Yes, having the choice is good, but it detracts from the flavor. (Maybe WotC figured there were already Warlock patrons, now or in the future, that checked the various elemental boxes, and wanted to try something different?). Finally, the "tether" mechanic the subclass uses seems intriguing, especially as a method of being helpful for the rest of the party. But at the same time, it means the Warlock gets less effective if no one is around to tether to. Moreover, the whole tether concept seems...disconnected from the Genie theme; at the very least, the connection feels tenuous (pun intended).


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              • The Noble Genie patron did have two abilities that made me say, "Whoa!" The first was the "tether" ability which lets you pick a person and then (among other things) let you cast spells as if you were standing where they were standing. So you could use Tether on your Barbarian friend and then after he charges into melee, start firing off touch spells using him as the spell originator and targeting everyone next to him while you're safe in the back. You could also use it for healing spells. Seems like that could possibly be a useful option for a single "dip" level depending on build and goal.

                The other ability was the Genies Entertainment which they get at 10th level, and honestly seems problematic. You target someone and they're effectively teleported to another plane of existence and stunned until they succeed on a Charisma saving throw. They come back after making the save or after one minute passes, whichever comes first. You can only have one target affected in this way at a time, but there's no limit to how many times you can use this power per day. For most monsters and people, Charisma saving throws tend to be on the lower side, so it's more likely to work than not, which means every single fight you'll be able to remove one enemy from the battle field for several turns.

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                • Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                  The Noble Genie patron did have two abilities that made me say, "Whoa!" The first was the "tether" ability which lets you pick a person and then (among other things) let you cast spells as if you were standing where they were standing. So you could use Tether on your Barbarian friend and then after he charges into melee, start firing off touch spells using him as the spell originator and targeting everyone next to him while you're safe in the back. You could also use it for healing spells. Seems like that could possibly be a useful option for a single "dip" level depending on build and goal.
                  I was almost going to say "Vampiric Touch through a different character!", but then remembered that Vampiric Touch does not work that way. Range of "Self", and then you use your actions to give enemies the succ. It is unlikely to be the intended use of the spell or this subclass feature.

                  The other ability was the Genies Entertainment which they get at 10th level, and honestly seems problematic. You target someone and they're effectively teleported to another plane of existence and stunned until they succeed on a Charisma saving throw. They come back after making the save or after one minute passes, whichever comes first. You can only have one target affected in this way at a time, but there's no limit to how many times you can use this power per day. For most monsters and people, Charisma saving throws tend to be on the lower side, so it's more likely to work than not, which means every single fight you'll be able to remove one enemy from the battle field for several turns.
                  Ehh...even for low Charisma creatures, failing a Charisma saving throw ten turns in a row seems unreliable. And if at any time before the 1 minute mark they happen to succeed, that's it for the Warlock for the day.

                  I see this less as "the Genie Warlock can do this thing all day", and more "you will occasionally be able to use this effect twice in one adventuring day".


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                  • The teather ability is very cool, but it’s weird to me that it only lasts for an hour Cha times per long rest. It’s a strong ability, so I assume that restriction is a balancing factor, but it feels thematically weird to me that the Genie patron gives you a genie bottle that you like... temporarily attach a creature to a couple times a day. And then the tether breaks if the creature gets too far away from the bottle? It’s weird. I feel like I would rather it be a summon that can’t get too far from the bottle or something.

                    The 10th level feature is limited to once per day unless the creature spends the full minute there, and since it gets to repeat the save on each of its turns, that’s 10 chances to break out of it early counting the initial save, so an unwilling creature is pretty likely to escape. Offensively it seems pretty fair for a 10th level power to me, what I think this feature would be more useful for is taking an injured or downed ally out of harms way, and that looks like an unintended use that would be likely to get patched out before the final draft to me.


                    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                    • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      The teather ability is very cool, but it’s weird to me that it only lasts for an hour Cha times per long rest. It’s a strong ability, so I assume that restriction is a balancing factor, but it feels thematically weird to me that the Genie patron gives you a genie bottle that you like... temporarily attach a creature to a couple times a day. And then the tether breaks if the creature gets too far away from the bottle? It’s weird. I feel like I would rather it be a summon that can’t get too far from the bottle or something.
                      Agreed. It IS weird, and not particularly "Genie" themed.

                      You know what might be cool? The ability to use the vessel to cast Unseen Servant at will. Like, the Warlock who works for this high-status Genie receives the services of a low-ranking genie, or else some kind of elemental construct made of clouds or smoke or sand or whatever. You could retain the bit about being able to cast through the servant.

                      The 10th level feature is limited to once per day unless the creature spends the full minute there, and since it gets to repeat the save on each of its turns, that’s 10 chances to break out of it early counting the initial save, so an unwilling creature is pretty likely to escape. Offensively it seems pretty fair for a 10th level power to me, what I think this feature would be more useful for is taking an injured or downed ally out of harms way, and that looks like an unintended use that would be likely to get patched out before the final draft to me.
                      I kind of like it as a weird edge case. If players used it for that purpose, I as DM would allow it. It's a creative application of a neat power.

                      Then again, I'm beginning to see your point. Since a willing subject would simply fail their saving throws on purpose, it would give unlimited uses of the feature. Albeit "unlimited" so long as the Warlock uses it on allies, rather than enemies (the latter being something you'd tend to WANT the feature for, more often than not).


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                      • Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                        Agreed. It IS weird, and not particularly "Genie" themed.

                        You know what might be cool? The ability to use the vessel to cast Unseen Servant at will. Like, the Warlock who works for this high-status Genie receives the services of a low-ranking genie, or else some kind of elemental construct made of clouds or smoke or sand or whatever. You could retain the bit about being able to cast through the servant.
                        I like that idea a lot. I’d also add that a Pact of the Chain Warlock can have it summon their familiar instead of an unseen servant, just as the other pacts can use their pact boons as the vessel.


                        Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                        I kind of like it as a weird edge case. If players used it for that purpose, I as DM would allow it. It's a creative application of a neat power.

                        Then again, I'm beginning to see your point. Since a willing subject would simply fail their saving throws on purpose, it would give unlimited uses of the feature. Albeit "unlimited" so long as the Warlock uses it on allies, rather than enemies (the latter being something you'd tend to WANT the feature for, more often than not).
                        Yeah, I don’t think it’s necessarily unbalanced, but I definitely don’t think it’s the intended function. I’d allow it just cause it’s a cool idea, sending your injured ally to your patron’s court where they’ll be treated as some kind of curio but at least they’ll be physically safe while they’re there.


                        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                        • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                          Because with +0 Dexterity, the highest AC a heavy armor user can achieve with this system is 18 (before shield bonuses) with mail (14), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2). With +2 Dex, they can get up to 19 with gousseted jack (13 + 2), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2). With +5 Dex, they can get up to 20 with padded or quilted jack (11 + 5), breastplate (+2), and plate guards (+2).

                          From the other end of the spectrum, a character who starts out with +3 Dex and only light armor proficiency can get up to 15 AC with a padded or quilted jack (11 + 3) and brigandine (+1). From there, they can improve their AC by increasing their Dexterity, or by picking up medium armor proficiency. The former will add to hit and damage with finesse weapons, but only increase their AC by +1, but the latter will increase it by up to +2. Next ASI level, you could bump Dex again, pick up medium armor master, or go into heavy armor.
                          It adds up, I suppose.

                          Yeah. The mechanical difference is minor, the price difference is also minor. It’ll matter for the characters it matters for, and be an aesthetic choice for the rest.
                          Fair enough.

                          Based on other comments you’ve made about damage types, weaknesses, and resistances, I’m guessing you wouldn’t like what I’m doing, at least not on paper. And that’s fine, not everything needs to be for everyone.
                          Probably. It's not that I'm opposed to mechanical variety, I just think damage types area poor way of accomplishing it.

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                          • Originally posted by Morty View Post
                            Probably. It's not that I'm opposed to mechanical variety, I just think damage types area poor way of accomplishing it.
                            In my opinion, damage types are not inherently interesting. How interesting they are is highly dependent on how the rest of the system utilizes them. They’re just kind of a hook on which to hang other mechanics. 5e, by default, doesn’t really do anything interesting with damage types, and if all you do to “fix” that is slap some extra resistances on some monsters, that’s not really much more interesting. But I do think there are interesting things to be done with them, and I think The Witcher 3 provides a good example of that kind of thing.

                            As for other ways to differentiate weapons, it’s tricky. You have to find the right balance between making the differences interesting and meaningful, while keeping the cognitive load low enough to be manageable at the table. And the fact that this is a hack to an existing system makes the cognitive load automatically higher than the same system would be as an original design. I made the decision to limit myself to the weapon properties that already exist in 5e, plus Parry because I needed it to make shields-as-weapons work. And even Parry does actually exist in 5e, it’s just normally a monster ability not a weapon property. And I only put it on shields, even though I could easily have made a parrying dagger, or thrown it on certain polearms or whatever. Because I wanted to keep the complexity of this hack as low as possible.
                            Last edited by Charlaquin; 01-17-2020, 12:58 PM.


                            Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                            • Ed is kind of a creep, but here's a twitter thread of his explaining that transitioning is common and accepted across the Forgotten Realms, bisexuality/pansexuality is the default orientation, and that polyamory isn't exceptional or strange at all, in case anyone needed it: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1091759929378197504?s=20


                              Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                              • If one only knew M:tA version of magik, one could find D&D's version a bit odd.

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