Unearthed Arcana: Sidekicks - the simpler approach - Page 3
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    What's the issue? The authors made a document that triggered in you a desire for a simple ruleset that you then created for yourself. Now you have both options available to you should you wish to use them. Seems like a win-win to me!
    There's no "issue". Just my realization most gamers would be better off with something simpler than the UA given.

    I can't replace the document residing on WotCs server, but I can offer up this thread for you and other ENWorld visitors!
    XP 77IM, vpuigdoller gave XP for this post

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    Yes, I find the UA article completely over the top in complexity for the job it says it's meant to do.
    Wasn't @77IM talking about "Stongholds & Followers" not the UA article?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    There's no "issue". Just my realization most gamers would be better off with something simpler than the UA given.
    No, no, no! It is much better for UA to be at least 50% bad/wrong so we can spend time fixing it!
    Laugh Saelorn laughed with this post

  4. #24
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    When I allow sidekicks, retainers, henchmen, etc.... I have the players gain them in a manner similar to the 1E UA cavalier and the minions only gain 1/5th the experience of the player earned, if the are present when the experience is earned. This is due to the lackeys being for the most part "...those who do our chores..."

    The exception to this is if the hireling does something extraordinary in which case they gain full experience.

    Naturally each "friend" is subject to morale and loyalty based on how they are treated.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draegn View Post
    When I allow sidekicks, retainers, henchmen, etc.... I have the players gain them in a manner similar to the 1E UA cavalier and the minions only gain 1/5th the experience of the player earned, if the are present when the experience is earned. This is due to the lackeys being for the most part "...those who do our chores..."The exception to this is if the hireling does something extraordinary in which case they gain full experience. Naturally each "friend" is subject to morale and loyalty based on how they are treated.
    I think 5e is tricky because of the levels of damage dished out at high levels. Plus even dishing out XP, the henchman ends up being only one or two levels lower. A lower book -keeping method is just to rule that sidekicks can never be more than 1-4 levels lower than the lead PC, wherever you want to pitch it, and just level them up with the PC subject to that cap. Effectively, it means their monster hit dice count as level 1 (or more at your discretion).

  6. #26
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    Yes, not changing them at all is the simplest and therefore often best solution.

    It is when it would cause dissatisfaction among the players to bring along someone that can't handle him- or herself (escort or babysitting missions are seldom fun), it is time to consider leveling up the sidekick.

    Even then, a much simpler system than the one presented in the misguided UA article is in order.

    After all, this is 5th Edition, not 3rd Edition or Pathfinder. All the cluttery detail in the UA article comes across as somehow not in tune with the edition's sensibilities, and I hope people will say as much in the forthcoming feedback survey.

    If the points and examples made in this thread opens the eyes of even one gamer, it has been worth it!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    Yes, not changing them at all is the simplest and therefore often best solution. It is when it would cause dissatisfaction among the players to bring along someone that can't handle him- or herself (escort or babysitting missions are seldom fun), it is time to consider leveling up the sidekick. Even then, a much simpler system than the one presented in the misguided UA article is in order. After all, this is 5th Edition, not 3rd Edition or Pathfinder. All the cluttery detail in the UA article comes across as somehow not in tune with the edition's sensibilities, and I hope people will say as much in the forthcoming feedback survey. If the points and examples made in this thread opens the eyes of even one gamer, it has been worth it!
    There is a difference between a genuine sidekick and an NPC who is needed to make up the numbers or fill a missing niche in the group. I think you can cover that with the level cap. A sidekick might be capped at 4 levels lower than the PC, while an NPC assistant might be capped at 1 level lower (in terms of hit dice rather than class features or tier).

  8. #28
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    Oh, here's another easy approach: Use the CR system and just advance the sidekick up to an appropriate CR.

    Based on the table on DMG p.274 and some back-of-the-envelope math, a creature with a CR equal to about 1/2 your level would be appropriate as a sidekick. (Maybe? It's hard to tell, because creatures vary so widely. It looks, though, like 1/2 your level should generally have more than enough hit points to survive, and deal damage that is good without being super over powered. Probably there's a better formula we could come up with.)

    So when you advance a level, if your sidekick is not high enough CR, the DM advances their CR by increasing their stats according to the guidelines in the DMG. Follow the rules for Creating Quick Monster Stats (DMG p.274) but in Step 2, use the creature's current statistics instead of reading off the table.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauln6 View Post
    There is a difference between a genuine sidekick and an NPC who is needed to make up the numbers or fill a missing niche in the group. I think you can cover that with the level cap. A sidekick might be capped at 4 levels lower than the PC, while an NPC assistant might be capped at 1 level lower (in terms of hit dice rather than class features or tier).
    In my last game, as they acquired npc allies, I did the following...

    The first npc was a half level back.
    The second, one and a half levels back.
    Third NPC was two and a half back and capped at 4 after the PCs broke 8th.
    Etc.

    This led yo:
    NPC leveling did not get done at the same time as all the work on PC levels. Fantastic.
    The NPCs were at their best for any "end of levrl" boss blow outs.
    There was a growing diminishing return thing.

    With 5 PCs now, I will be less inclined for ongoing NPC buddies outside of the mission specific variety.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    Oh, here's another easy approach: Use the CR system and just advance the sidekick up to an appropriate CR.
    To be awfully honest I don't think the CR system is simple. Sorry...

    Just compare to the few lines of my suggestion from the first post:

    No tables, no calculation - you don't even have to keep track of the sidekick's level, just your own!
    XP bedir than gave XP for this post

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