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


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Faolyn

(she/her)
so you agree it's unusually powerful?
For a thing that will never actually happen in game and isn't quite as useful than you might think--since no one battle is going to last long enough to use up that many exertion and converting a lot of spell slots into exertion means you lack slots for smites or, well, spells--then sure, it's powerful. Personally I'd guess that people will take a dip into fighter just so they never have to spend a slot on exertion, not so they get tons of extra exertion via slots.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
For a thing that will never actually happen in game and isn't quite as useful than you might think--since no one battle is going to last long enough to use up that many exertion and converting a lot of spell slots into exertion means you lack slots for smites or, well, spells--then sure, it's powerful. Personally I'd guess that people will take a dip into fighter just so they never have to spend a slot on exertion, not so they get tons of extra exertion via slots.
...you know the temporary pool lasts until the start of your next long rest, right? unless your campaign is the one-battle-per-long-rest type (which i've played in) then it's not going to be just one battle.

i'm going to assume that by "smites" you mean empowered smites and just mention that, again, you can turn spell slots into exertion at the start of your turn, so you can decide when your turn comes around if you need the exertion or if you want to save the slot for a spell or empowered smite. there isn't really any good reason to dump all your spell slots at the start of combat for exertion, i was just using that as an example - but what you CAN do with it is expend spell slots so you have as close to exactly enough exertion as you'll need to do what you want that turn, even with only being able to convert one spell slot per turn (which is, again, why perfect assault is insane on a herald - and your house rule wouldn't help all that much, since you could still easily get all 6 perfect assaults off, it'd just be tacking on more maneuvers that'd be a pain).

given all that, the extra exertion from a fighter dip is really just icing on the cake in my opinion.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
It seems as though Perfect Assault would be precisely why the combat might not last long. Let’s imagine the following:

Step 1: convert a 2nd level spell slot into 4 exertion.
Step 2: Use your action on Perfect Assault, granting 4 attacks. This costs 3 exertion.
Step 3: Use a maul on World Shaking Strike for each of your attacks. This costs 3 exertion per strike. (As far as I can tell, this doesn’t conflict with the requirement that you choose maneuvers that don’t grant more attacks, as it doesn’t; it grants an AoE.)
Step 4: The description reads that creatures who fail the save take damage as if hit by your weapon, so smite each time. Just the vanilla smites, mind you, not the empowered smites. We’re doing an extra 6d8 damage each time, but nothing more.

At the end of this, we lose the 1 exertion we had, but that’s no matter. We also gain a level of fatigue, but we can ignore that if we’re a human marathon runner, and it’s just ability checks anyway, so it might be worth it for now. Assuming 20 STR, we’ve now done 4 * (2d6 + 6d8 + 5) or an average of 156 damage per target. Oh and if we had the Stand Tall Stance (which is conveniently 1 exertion), they likely had disadvantage on the saving throw.

Meteor Swarm, for context, does an average of 98 damage per target.

Now when your next turn comes around, grin at the Wizard, convert a 5th and a 3rd level slot into exertion, and do it again. Granted, you only have two smites left, so this time it does 4 * (2d6 + 5) + 2 * 6d8 damage, or an average of 102 damage per target instead, but we’re still outpacing meteor swarm.

All of this assumes we don’t have a magic weapon by this point which has no additional damage or effects.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
It seems as though Perfect Assault would be precisely why the combat might not last long. Let’s imagine the following:

Step 1: convert a 2nd level spell slot into 4 exertion.
Step 2: Use your action on Perfect Assault, granting 4 attacks. This costs 3 exertion.
Step 3: Use a maul on World Shaking Strike for each of your attacks. This costs 3 exertion per strike. (As far as I can tell, this doesn’t conflict with the requirement that you choose maneuvers that don’t grant more attacks, as it doesn’t; it grants an AoE.)
Step 4: The description reads that creatures who fail the save take damage as if hit by your weapon, so smite each time. Just the vanilla smites, mind you, not the empowered smites. We’re doing an extra 6d8 damage each time, but nothing more.

At the end of this, we lose the 1 exertion we had, but that’s no matter. We also gain a level of fatigue, but we can ignore that if we’re a human marathon runner, and it’s just ability checks anyway, so it might be worth it for now. Assuming 20 STR, we’ve now done 4 * (2d6 + 6d8 + 5) or an average of 156 damage per target. Oh and if we had the Stand Tall Stance (which is conveniently 1 exertion), they likely had disadvantage on the saving throw.

Meteor Swarm, for context, does an average of 98 damage per target.

Now when your next turn comes around, grin at the Wizard, convert a 5th and a 3rd level slot into exertion, and do it again. Granted, you only have two smites left, so this time it does 4 * (2d6 + 5) + 2 * 6d8 damage, or an average of 102 damage per target instead, but we’re still outpacing meteor swarm.

All of this assumes we don’t have a magic weapon by this point which has no additional damage or effects.
The comparison to meteor swarm is a good one but saying a build specifically built to Nova out paces a single vanilla spell isn't a great metric... Two questions that I'm thinking about to help comparison:
  • Can a wizard casting meteor swarm modify and or enhance the spell to boost the battle field impact (damage or otherwise)
  • How many resources do each have left to do more if that doesn't end the encounter immediately or if there are additional encounters before a rest?
Edit: does World shaking strike count as being hit by a weapon attack to trigger smite? Usually that wording is reserved for "roll a dice to hit" and not "force a saving throw".
 
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xiphumor

Adventurer
07F95247-FE05-4853-A7EB-D541EA2A7923.jpeg
I grant there’s room for debate here, and my case is probably weak, but I also wrote this while kinda groggy. :)
 

Anselm

Adventurer
View attachment 252480I grant there’s room for debate here, and my case is probably weak, but I also wrote this while kinda groggy. :)
Lol fair. The wording is specific to damage dice not abilities triggered by a weapon attack. Best I'd give a player would be that they could spend a smite per creature that failed the saving throw to add damage, not include it in the general aoe. I think that's above what the raw would be though - that is: unless you are rolling a weapon attack, you cannot apply divine smite.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
Lol fair. The wording is specific to damage dice not abilities triggered by a weapon attack. Best I'd give a player would be that they could spend a smite per creature that failed the saving throw to add damage, not include it in the general aoe. I think that's above what the raw would be though - that is: unless you are rolling a weapon attack, you cannot apply divine smite.
Yeah, you’re probably right, as I look at the Smite rules more carefully. That being said, flavor-wise I love the idea of pounding the earth with a divine strike that sends enemies hurtling.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
Yeah, you’re probably right, as I look at the Smite rules more carefully. That being said, flavor-wise I love the idea of pounding the earth with a divine strike that sends enemies hurtling.
So much. Custom magic weapon potential or synergy feat tree maybe?
 


W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
At the end of this, we lose the 1 exertion we had, but that’s no matter. We also gain a level of fatigue, but we can ignore that if we’re a human marathon runner, and it’s just ability checks anyway, so it might be worth it for now.
2 things:
1. in a5e the first level of fatigue is unable to sprint, not disadvantage on ability checks
2. also in a5e, if you gain fatigue in combat, you don't actually suffer its effects until the combat ends
so...yeah, definitely worth it
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
...you know the temporary pool lasts until the start of your next long rest, right? unless your campaign is the one-battle-per-long-rest type (which i've played in) then it's not going to be just one battle.

i'm going to assume that by "smites" you mean empowered smites and just mention that, again, you can turn spell slots into exertion at the start of your turn, so you can decide when your turn comes around if you need the exertion or if you want to save the slot for a spell or empowered smite. there isn't really any good reason to dump all your spell slots at the start of combat for exertion, i was just using that as an example - but what you CAN do with it is expend spell slots so you have as close to exactly enough exertion as you'll need to do what you want that turn, even with only being able to convert one spell slot per turn (which is, again, why perfect assault is insane on a herald - and your house rule wouldn't help all that much, since you could still easily get all 6 perfect assaults off, it'd just be tacking on more maneuvers that'd be a pain).

given all that, the extra exertion from a fighter dip is really just icing on the cake in my opinion.
So actually the "problem" is with the Herald, not the multiclass, then.
 

PauloR

Villager
Well, I still think there is a "problem" with multiclassing fighter. 3 maneuvers, 2 traditions and a fighting style for only one level and not losing (and potentially getting a better) maneuver progression is a no brainer for every fool that can hold a weapon in my opinion.

But it looks like we found out another "problem" with the herald too.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
yeah, but getting access to 5th degree maneuvers exacerbates it.
But again, you have to be 16th level to gain access to those maneuvers. That's already pretty rare, and playing at that level while specifically playing a fighter/herald just for that type of cheese is even rarer.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
But again, you have to be 16th level to gain access to those maneuvers. That's already pretty rare, and playing at that level while specifically playing a fighter/herald just for that type of cheese is even rarer.
i refuse to get caught in groundhog day
 


xiphumor

Adventurer
I agree with Faolyn on the point about edge cases and high level play, but I think the real trouble is the exertion pool that just keeps expanding with one level of investment. It’s the new Eldritch Blast cantrip.
 

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