Level Up (A5E) 1 level fighter dip too easy?

xiphumor

Adventurer
This should be baseline. But I would go one step further...

You should use the worst progression when defining maneuver progression, not the best progression. You multiclass to be more versatile, not to multiply power. That's the whole point of multiclassing IMO. Single class should always be more competent in their niche than multiclassed characters.
The ideal would be a table like spellcasters have that defines multiclass progression, but we're stuck with RAW, and I don’t think new material should deviate from it too much. But yeah, a Herald stands to gain way too much from a single level of Fighter.
 

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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
You should use the worst progression when defining maneuver progression, not the best progression. You multiclass to be more versatile, not to multiply power. That's the whole point of multiclassing IMO. Single class should always be more competent in their niche than multiclassed characters.
the biggest problem with this idea is that it leads to odd edge cases where you might actually just straight up lose the ability to use maneuvers you could use before because you took a level in a class that, at that point, would only have access to maneuvers of a lower degree then you already have (the easiest example that comes to mind is something like fighter 17/rogue 1, where suddenly you can't use 5th degree maneuvers anymore because rogues can only get up to 4th degree).
The ideal would be a table like spellcasters have that defines multiclass progression, but we're stuck with RAW, and I don’t think new material should deviate from it too much. But yeah, a Herald stands to gain way too much from a single level of Fighter.
i'm not entirely sure why they DIDN'T do this, because RAW (as we're finding out) it's a mess. maneuver progression between classes is basically already unified anyway - from the adventurer's guide, heralds and rogues (and savants, but they get explicit declarations from an optional feature and not a maneuver progression table, so i'm not entirely sure if they count) are 2/3 martials (they end up at ~13th level fighter maneuver wise - they're locked at each degree of maneuver for 1.5 times that of a fighter), fighters and marshals are full martials (marshals don't have maneuvers at 1st level, like the herald and rogue, but also like the herald and rogue this doesn't actually impact its maneuver progression), and every other martial is a full martial minus 1 level. the math is a little gross, but it's workable. i can even write something up right now:

"Your highest degree of maneuver is determined by adding all the class levels you have from classes with the Combat Maneuvers feature, but some classes do not count as highly as others when determining your highest degree of maneuver available.
Your class levels in the fighter and marshal classes count fully towards your highest degree of maneuver available.
Your class levels in the adept, berserker, and ranger classes also count fully towards your highest degree of maneuver, except for the first level in each class - your effective level in such classes for the purpose of determining the highest degree of maneuver you can take is thus one less then the level you have in that class (minimum 0).
Two thirds of your levels in the herald and rogue classes count towards determining your highest degree of maneuver."
this is basically just the spellcasting levels section but for maneuvers. the multiclassing table would just be the fighter's.
and for future proofing:
"Future classes or subclasses may have different rates of progression for determining the highest degree of maneuver you can take. To determine this progression, look at the stretch of levels for which the class' maximum degree of maneuver is second, and divide the same stretch of levels from the fighter by this number. For example, the herald can access only up to second degree maneuvers for 6 levels, while the fighter has this restriction for only 4. The herald's progression is thus 4/6, or 2/3. Additionally, look at the overall progression to see if the progression of maneuvers is delayed at all, and if so, subtract the number of levels by which progression is delayed from class levels for that class when calculating its total level BEFORE applying the overall rate of progression."

so the fighter 3/herald 10 example from the book using these rules would be effectively a level 9 fighter (fighter 3 + herald (10*(2/3)) or fighter 3 + herald 6) with access to 3rd degree maneuvers, not level 13 with access to 4th degree maneuvers (compared to a herald 13 being equivalent to a level 8 fighter with 3rd degree maneuvers). this makes a lot more sense to me, and it isn't really that much more complicated then figuring out caster levels.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
the biggest problem with this idea is that it leads to odd edge cases where you might actually just straight up lose the ability to use maneuvers you could use before because you took a level in a class that, at that point, would only have access to maneuvers of a lower degree then you already have (the easiest example that comes to mind is something like fighter 17/rogue 1, where suddenly you can't use 5th degree maneuvers anymore because rogues can only get up to 4th degree).

i'm not entirely sure why they DIDN'T do this, because RAW (as we're finding out) it's a mess. maneuver progression between classes is basically already unified anyway - from the adventurer's guide, heralds and rogues (and savants, but they get explicit declarations from an optional feature and not a maneuver progression table, so i'm not entirely sure if they count) are 2/3 martials (they end up at ~13th level fighter maneuver wise - they're locked at each degree of maneuver for 1.5 times that of a fighter), fighters and marshals are full martials (marshals don't have maneuvers at 1st level, like the herald and rogue, but also like the herald and rogue this doesn't actually impact its maneuver progression), and every other martial is a full martial minus 1 level. the math is a little gross, but it's workable. i can even write something up right now:

"Your highest degree of maneuver is determined by adding all the class levels you have from classes with the Combat Maneuvers feature, but some classes do not count as highly as others when determining your highest degree of maneuver available.
Your class levels in the fighter and marshal classes count fully towards your highest degree of maneuver available.
Your class levels in the adept, berserker, and ranger classes also count fully towards your highest degree of maneuver, except for the first level in each class - your effective level in such classes for the purpose of determining the highest degree of maneuver you can take is thus one less then the level you have in that class (minimum 0).
Two thirds of your levels in the herald and rogue classes count towards determining your highest degree of maneuver."
this is basically just the spellcasting levels section but for maneuvers. the multiclassing table would just be the fighter's.
and for future proofing:
"Future classes or subclasses may have different rates of progression for determining the highest degree of maneuver you can take. To determine this progression, look at the stretch of levels for which the class' maximum degree of maneuver is second, and divide the same stretch of levels from the fighter by this number. For example, the herald can access only up to second degree maneuvers for 6 levels, while the fighter has this restriction for only 4. The herald's progression is thus 4/6, or 2/3. Additionally, look at the overall progression to see if the progression of maneuvers is delayed at all, and if so, subtract the number of levels by which progression is delayed from class levels for that class when calculating its total level BEFORE applying the overall rate of progression."

so the fighter 3/herald 10 example from the book using these rules would be effectively a level 9 fighter (fighter 3 + herald (10*(2/3)) or fighter 3 + herald 6) with access to 3rd degree maneuvers, not level 13 with access to 4th degree maneuvers (compared to a herald 13 being equivalent to a level 8 fighter with 3rd degree maneuvers). this makes a lot more sense to me, and it isn't really that much more complicated then figuring out caster levels.
I think this would work better if we made an official table. However, the thing that bothers me the most is that Adepts, Rangers, and Berserkers lose levels in DIFFERENT PLACES. And Berserkers even do a weird thing where they catch up again later.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
The easiest thing to do might be to have a paragraph that says something like: "At 1st, 5th, 9th, and 17th level, you gain a maneuver from Unending Wheel or one other tradition of your choice. You are not otherwise proficient in that tradition, unless you have gained that proficiency from another class. At 1st and 5th level, you may pick a 1st-degree maneuver. At 9th and 14th level, you may pick a 1st- or 2nd-degree maneuver. At 17th level, you may pick a 3rd-degree maneuver.

That way, you don't need the table and you can reduce everything down to two paragraphs: this one and the one that says how many exertion you gain.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I understand what you’re going for, but the length of this description is the strongest argument against it. The second best argument is that because they went with asymmetrical maneuver progression (which I know they did intentionally but have yet to receive a compelling reason as to why), it still leads to edge cases. E.g., the Adept is a full martial by this metric, but they fall behind the Fighter later.
it's not that much longer then the spellcasting levels section until you add the future proofing section which i only really added with your warlock subclass in mind since it was being discussed.

but yeah, looking at it again, you're right - i hadn't noticed before but both the adept and berserker have progressions that differ for seemingly no good reason. the adept gets 2 levels of 1st degree maneuvers and 5 levels of 3rd, while berserkers get 3 levels of 3rd degree and 5 levels of 4th. i give up.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
it's not that much longer then the spellcasting levels section until you add the future proofing section which i only really added with your warlock subclass in mind since it was being discussed.

but yeah, looking at it again, you're right - i hadn't noticed before but both the adept and berserker have progressions that differ for seemingly no good reason. the adept gets 2 levels of 1st degree maneuvers and 5 levels of 3rd, while berserkers get 3 levels of 3rd degree and 5 levels of 4th. i give up.
I realized that, and tried to edit my post before you saw it for that reason :)

Taking a step back a bit, I have to assume the designers looked at the worst possible consequences of the maneuver multiclassing system and said “Eh, not the worst.” I suppose part of my trouble is that I don’t have a strong sense of the power levels of each maneuver yet, so I can’t say whether I concur, but I’d love to hear someone expound on exactly how much worse a 1 fighter / 19 herald is than a 20 herald.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I realized that, and tried to edit my post before you saw it for that reason :)

Taking a step back a bit, I have to assume the designers looked at the worst possible consequences of the maneuver multiclassing system and said “Eh, not the worst.” I suppose part of my trouble is that I don’t have a strong sense of the power levels of each maneuver yet, so I can’t say whether I concur, but I’d love to hear someone expound on exactly how much worse a 1 fighter / 19 herald is than a 20 herald.
I'm running circles around ya!

but seriously, i think the part that gets me the most is that there was seemingly no reason NOT to just have maneuver progression be unified ala spell slots and have multiclassing maneuvers work based on that, but they just...didn't.

1 fighter/19 herald is...definitely something. you get 5th level maneuvers AND proficiency in any two martial traditions (AND an exertion pool on top of spending spell slots for exertion, which is really just insult to injury at this point), which let you get access to such abilities as:
  • World-Shaking Strike: 30 foot aoe that does weapon damage and knocks targets prone on a failed strength save. 30 foot radius is HUGE.
  • Horizon Shot: can you see them? you can hit them. AND you can smite, because smiting isn't restricted to melee attacks anymore.
  • Blinding Strikes: until the start of your next turn, EVERYONE you deal damage to is rendered blind. EVERYONE. NO SAVE UNTIL THEIR TURN COMES AROUND. LASTS UNTIL THEY SAVE. oh, yeah, and smite.
  • Tsunami Dash: dash. make a melee attack with a dual-wielding or finesse weapon against up to 6 creatures you become adjacent to. dump all your smites in a turn, because i guess the herald needed to be EVEN BETTER at novaing.
  • United We Stand: let the rogue sneak attack again, PLUS smite, PLUS deal damage based on your proficiency bonus, PLUS knock prone, PLUS IMPOSE STUN. given, a certain number of attacks need to land for the extra effects, but THE ENTIRE PARTY CAN LAY INTO THEM (if they're within melee).
  • Furious Barrage: tsunami dash, but you don't need to dash and each attack can hit the same person AND you're not limited by weapon type (though you do need to hit to get the next attack). sure, attacks against you have advantage for a round, but that just gives you an excuse to press the attack and get a better chance of getting all those attacks.
  • Perfect Assault: THIS. THIS is ABSOLUTELY BUSTED for a herald. if you don't know what perfect assault is...you get 2 attacks plus twice your regular attacks (so 6 total for a fighter 1/herald 19), AND you can replace each attack with a combat maneuver that doesn't grant more then one attack. normally the drawback is you get a level of fatigue and your exertion pool hits 0, so most martials that get 5th degree maneuvers can only use this once, and adepts MIGHT be able to use it twice due to the option that lets them recover 1d4 exertion as an action once per long rest. but HERALDS can swap SPELL SLOTS for EXERTION POINTS. YOU WANT SOME FUN? run down your exertion pool you get from fighter 1 to ~3 points. perfect assault. spend a second level or higher spell slot. perfect assault again. you can keep doing this so long as you don't doom yourself (or, hell, you can doom yourself if you want, i'm not your dad). you don't suffer the negative effects of the fatigue until the fight ends (see page 449 of the adventurer's guide). this can get you 6 world-shaking strikes or horizon shots a turn for up to 6 turns in a fight with no real downside (unless you want to doom yourself. then it's 7 turns). i guess you could also do 6 united we stands in a turn, but...nobody who wants to take your offer is gonna have a reaction by the 3rd go, so i don't know why you'd bother. but yeah, just absolutely shred the boss like he's paper mache. make the entire rest of the party a footnote.
so...yeah. 1 fighter/19 herald seems...kinda insane. i don't know for certain if this is worth your herald capstone, but i'd guess it probably is. you can also pull any of this off with up to 1 fighter/15 herald...so if you want to take up to 4 levels in something else that you think will make up for losing the herald capstone, be my guest. you'll still kill god with 6 perfect assaults in a combat.

edit: i should note i haven't gotten a chance to play LU, so maybe...MAYBE...this isn't as insane as i think it is. but i kind of doubt that.
edit 2: also, the maneuvers perfect assault lets you do are PROBABLY supposed to cost exertion, so 6 world-shaking strikes or horizon shots 6 turns in a row PROBABLY isn't doable...but, for one, you can get pretty close with herald spell slots, and either way even without that the maneuver is still absolutely insane on a herald just due to the attack output.
 
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WarDriveWorley

Adventurer
  • Perfect Assault: THIS. THIS is ABSOLUTELY BUSTED for a herald. if you don't know what perfect assault is...you get 2 attacks plus twice your regular attacks (so 6 total for a fighter 1/herald 19),
I have a quick question on this. I may be misreading it, but I think the amount of attacks you quoted isn't accurate. According to what I'm reading for Perfect Assault it says " When you activate this maneuver, you take the Attack action and make two weapon attacks, as well as double the number of additional attacks granted by Extra Attack." A 1st Fighter/19th Herald would only have 1 Extra attack (gained at Herald 5th) since only Fighter/Marshals stack for extra attacks. Based on that shouldn't it be a total of 4 attacks (2 base plus double the extra attack) or am I missing something else?

Still an insane combo either way though.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
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xiphumor

Adventurer
Another possible fix: Maneuver tables all progress separately, similar to Pact Magic and regular Spellcasting. You can pick up more low-level maneuvers when you multiclass, but not higher ones.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I have a quick question on this. I may be misreading it, but I think the amount of attacks you quoted isn't accurate. According to what I'm reading for Perfect Assault it says " When you activate this maneuver, you take the Attack action and make two weapon attacks, as well as double the number of additional attacks granted by Extra Attack." A 1st Fighter/19th Herald would only have 1 Extra attack (gained at Herald 5th) since only Fighter/Marshals stack for extra attacks. Based on that shouldn't it be a total of 4 attacks (2 base plus double the extra attack) or am I missing something else?
i don't think that reading makes sense, because what you've described is just equivalent to "you take the Attack action and make twice the number of attacks you can make on a turn" (or even just straight up "you take the Attack action twice") - anyone that gets a total of 2 attacks would make 4 attacks, and anyone that gets a total of 3 attacks would get 6. if your reading is correct, then it's literally the most convoluted manner they could have possibly written it (i mean, someone could probably think of a phrasing more convoluted, but that's besides the point). also remember that extra attack reads as "you can attack twice instead of once" (and for third attack "The number of attacks increases to three") - extra attack doesn't actually really grant "an extra attack", it grants the ability to attack twice (and later for fighters/marshals/probably most adepts thrice) instead of once. AAAND i just remembered this is the same phrasing as every other maneuver that lets you extra attack. OOPS.

like you said, though, either way it's busted. although with your THE CORRECT reading it'd be a lot easier for a herald to get most of their attacks replaced with other maneuvers while still getting all their perfect assaults off just because of how ratios work, haha

actually, let me go at some quick math with that - so, let's assume we replace each attack with a maneuver that requires 2 exertion. perfect assault costs 3. that means each turn, to replace all your attacks with a maneuver, assuming it is supposed to be basically the attack action twice, that'd be 3+(2*4) or 11 exertion a turn. with a fighter's exertion pool, the first turn we can pull that off easily. with herald 19, the next two turns we can basically guarantee that by spending a level 5 (5*2) and level 1 (1*2) slot for each of those turns (there seems to be no limit on the number of spell slots a herald can spend on the start of their turn to recover exertion). then the last 3 turns we can manage the same with a 4th (4*2) and 2nd (2*2) slot. so, replacing every attack with a maneuver should be fine.

wagain, all this math is assuming each maneuver aside from perfect assault is 2 exertion. maneuver specialization is at fighter 3, but herald doesn't get 2 5th level slots until level 19, so i don't think 1 less exertion for mastered maneuvers is worth the lost 5th level slot. if you plan to only use a 2 exertion maneuver for your perfect assaults, reducing that maneuver to 1 exertion is probably worth it, because you're reducing the exertion per turn needed from 11 to 7, which is pretty huge if you want to cast spells.
Another possible fix: Maneuver tables all progress separately, similar to Pact Magic and regular Spellcasting. You can pick up more low-level maneuvers when you multiclass, but not higher ones.
that doesn't feel great, but it's probably the fix that requires the least amount of work, so i guess it could work.
 
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Heraldofi

Explorer
One thing we had in earlier drafts were minimum 3-level classes. You could do a 1-level dip. Any class you entered you had to spend 3 levels in.
I mean, this feels like the easiest and cleanest solution. Three levels is enough of an investment that I think it's fine you're getting access to the Fighter's signature thing, 3 works neatly with the synergy feat system, and it's not so much that it feels prohibitive to multiclass.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
I mean, this feels like the easiest and cleanest solution. Three levels is enough of an investment that I think it's fine you're getting access to the Fighter's signature thing, 3 works neatly with the synergy feat system, and it's not so much that it feels prohibitive to multiclass.
How exactly would that be enforced? Do you have to take those classes immediately? Can you put off those other two levels until you only have two left?
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm running circles around ya!

but seriously, i think the part that gets me the most is that there was seemingly no reason NOT to just have maneuver progression be unified ala spell slots and have multiclassing maneuvers work based on that, but they just...didn't.
I can think of a few reasons:

So that plain ol' Fighters are truly masters-at-arms and can do something other than just "I attack."
So that Rogues aren't super-amazing fighters but are still good at a few interesting martial tricks.
So that Adepts, Berserkers, Heralds, and Marshals aren't overwhelmed with maneuvers and their own abilities and don't outshine the Fighters in the one thing that Fighters do.

1 fighter/19 herald is...definitely something. you get 5th level maneuvers AND proficiency in any two martial traditions (AND an exertion pool on top of spending spell slots for exertion, which is really just insult to injury at this point), which let you get access to such abilities as:
Right, but how often is that going to happen outside of one-shots specifically built for 20th-level characters?

The answer is, almost never, and it's kind of silly to decide whether an entire build is good or bad based on a situation that is extremely unlikely to ever occur.

Also, a Herald that spends all their spell slots on exertion doesn't have them to spend on smites, since you otherwise only get 1 smite (at 4th level) or 3 (at 8th level: one regular and two greater) per long rest. Every other smite, you need to spend slots on.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
I can think of a few reasons:

So that plain ol' Fighters are truly masters-at-arms and can do something other than just "I attack."
So that Rogues aren't super-amazing fighters but are still good at a few interesting martial tricks.
So that Adepts, Berserkers, Heralds, and Marshals aren't overwhelmed with maneuvers and their own abilities and don't outshine the Fighters in the one thing that Fighters do.
All of these things could still be true if martials had a maneuver multiclassing table the same way that spellcasters do. I don't quite follow your point.
Right, but how often is that going to happen outside of one-shots specifically built for 20th-level characters?

The answer is, almost never, and it's kind of silly to decide whether an entire build is good or bad based on a situation that is extremely unlikely to ever occur.
This! The highest anyone I've met has played outside of one-shots is Level 7 or 8. Also, admittedly, by the time you get to those levels, the spellcasters are nearly gods, so an unbalanced martial is not so bad compared to an unbalanced spellcaster.
Also, a Herald that spends all their spell slots on exertion doesn't have them to spend on smites, since you otherwise only get 1 smite (at 4th level) or 3 (at 8th level: one regular and two greater) per long rest. Every other smite, you need to spend slots on.
But the whole thing here is that they don't have to spend their spell slots on exertion because the fighter level gives them an exertion pool.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
All of these things could still be true if martials had a maneuver multiclassing table the same way that spellcasters do. I don't quite follow your point.
Not really, because then every martial class would gain maneuvers in the same manner at the same time, which means they'd have the same abilities as a Fighter does. The Fighter would only be slightly better than most of the other martial classes, due to maneuver specialization (which would give them a bonus to a maximum of five different maneuvers) and reserves (for a maximum bonus of +4 exertion). Why play a Fighter when you can play a Fighter who smites or goes into a rage?

And Fighters would also be significantly worse than the Adept, who gets much more extra exertion (max of +10) and a +1 bonus to the DC for all maneuvers (and Adept Weaponry ensures that an Adept can use the exact same type of weapon as any fighter can). In both cases, Fighters would go back to being less interesting than all the other martial classes, since those classes can do everything the Fighter can and more.

So, having all the martials gain maneuvers at the same time would be easier for multiclassing but, I believe, not beneficial for the game as a whole.

But the whole thing here is that they don't have to spend their spell slots on exertion because the fighter level gives them an exertion pool.
True. But that also makes them a lot more powerful than fighters, since they can get smites and/or potentially tons of extra exertion. You wouldn't even need to go fighter 1/herald 19 for that to be the case.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
I think you’ve misunderstood. They wouldn’t all use the same table normally. They would get a separate table when multiclassing that different classes progress through at different rates. E.g. if you’re a 4 fighter / 3 rogue, you have the capacities of a 6 fighter because your rogue levels only count for 2/3 of a fighter level.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I can think of a few reasons:

So that plain ol' Fighters are truly masters-at-arms and can do something other than just "I attack."
So that Rogues aren't super-amazing fighters but are still good at a few interesting martial tricks.
So that Adepts, Berserkers, Heralds, and Marshals aren't overwhelmed with maneuvers and their own abilities and don't outshine the Fighters in the one thing that Fighters do.
...what? i meant have every class reference the fighter table ala spellcasters with the multiclassing spellcaster table, not to have them all progress at the same rate. im not sure why you'd think that was what i was saying given the rest of the conversation.
Right, but how often is that going to happen outside of one-shots specifically built for 20th-level characters?

The answer is, almost never, and it's kind of silly to decide whether an entire build is good or bad based on a situation that is extremely unlikely to ever occur.
extremely--this isn't like a build being really good at fighting a specific set of enemies, it's just level 16-20 play. you might as well just completely write off high level play if you think discussing builds at that level is silly. though you do have a point that it takes a while for it to come online.
Also, a Herald that spends all their spell slots on exertion doesn't have them to spend on smites, since you otherwise only get 1 smite (at 4th level) or 3 (at 8th level: one regular and two greater) per long rest. Every other smite, you need to spend slots on.
...that's not how smites work in a5e. you just get a number equal to your proficiency per long rest, each one at the damage listed on the table. you can't get more with spell slots.

well, actually, im kind of wrong, because only HERALD smites don't work that way. fighter smites do...sort of. the brute fighter gets to spend exertion to add 1d8 bludgeoning damage to an attack that hits at a 1 for 1 rate up to their prof bonus...and now a 3 fighter/x herald has spell smites again, now at about double efficiency.
ferald is terrifying.
 

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