D&D 5E Adding decision points to the Champion. Others might follow?

DND_Reborn

Legend
I decided to see what I could whip up for the Champion fighter archetype to create more decision points for characters after character creation. I think it shows that such a structure would be possible and would likely increase player enjoyment.

Here are the decision points as they stand at present.

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Note. I don't know if there are really decision points to make with features like Action Surge, Extra Attack, or Indomitable, but if you think of something let me know.

Stamina
You have a limited well or stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. You gain one of the following features of your choice. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Inner Strength. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to ignore the effects of one of the following conditions until the start of your next turn: frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, poisoned, or stunned.
Resolve. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to ignore the affects of exhaustion until the start of your next turn.
Second Wind. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level.


Champion

Improved Weapon Use
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Improved Critical. Your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
Improved Damage. Once per turn you gain advantage on your weapon damage roll.
Improved Defense. You can use your reaction to attempt to parry a melee attack. You add half your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.

Remarkable Athlete
Starting at 7th level. you can add half your proficiency bonus (round up) to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make that doesn't already use your proficiency bonus. In addition, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Remarkable Jumper. When you make a running long jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your level in this class. When you make a running high jump, the height you can jump increases by a number of feet equal to half your level in this class.
Remarkable Lifter. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift. You cannot take this feature if you already have the Powerful Build feature.
Remarkable Runner. You can use your bonus action to take the Dash action on your turn. You have advantage on any checks to avoid exhaustion due to running long distances.
Remarkable Wrestler. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses the Athletic skill to grapple a creature or Acrobatics skill to escape a grapple.

Additional Fighting Style
At 10th level. you can choose a second option from the Fighting Style class feature.

Superior Weapon Use
Starting at 15th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Superior Critical. Your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18 to 20.
Superior Damage. You gain advantage on your weapon damage rolls.
Superior Defense. You can use your bonus action to improve your AC equal to half your proficiency bonus until the start of your next turn.

Survivor
At 18th level, you attain the pinnacle of resilience in battle. You gain one of the following features of your choice.

Die Hard. At the start of each of your turns, you regain hit points equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier if you have no more than ha lf of your hit points left. You don't gain this benefit if you have 0 hit points.
Endurance. You ignore the effects of exhaustion. You still die if you suffer 6 levels of exhaustion.
Unstoppable. You cannot become unconscious. When you reach 0 hit points, you remain conscious while making death saving throws, and can take actions normally. If you take damage while at 0 hit points, it counts as an automatically failed death saving throw. A critical hit counts as two failed death saves.

Well, that's it for now. What do you think? Would options like these really appeal to you?

FWIW, I think these are relatively balanced, but I haven't looked into it very much so if something is totally off, let me know and thanks!
 

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Stalker0

Legend
So some quick feedback.

Stamina: I would just combine inner resolve and exhaustion. Unless you use exhaustion heavily in your game, I don't think it would come up enough to matter. With that, I think the two options are pretty solid.

Improved Critical vs Improved Damage: Improved damage is statistically superior to the crit range, even when factoring in advantage on attack rolls (for more crits) and the fact that a fighter could get two attacks with improved crit (versus only 1 with improved damage). Crits just don't actually boost damage all that much for a normal fighter (unlike say a smiting paladin or a rogue).

Generally I don't recommend two abilities in the same list that both revolve around damage.... inevitably it leads to one or the other being a superior option. Honestly the choose between one offense option and defense seems pretty solid here.

Superior Weapon Use: The way this is worded, I can choose ANY option, its not an upgrade from the previous one correct? Aka I could keep improved damage and now take superior defense. Is that the intention? I'll also note that once again, the crit chance is not equal to the damage option.

Remarkable Athlete: The bonus action to dash is actually a very very good ability, I consider it the absolute best of the bunch by far. Only the wrestler one comes close if I am really focusing on a grapple build. I would never take the other two when these are options.

Survivor: The endurance one is much weaker than the other two options. Frankly even if you did make them completely immune to exhaustion (aka they could have 10 exhaustion and not care), I think it would be the least taken option.... but at least then you get some really fun flavor and cool niches for high level play (the ability to run all day without stopping has some surprising benefits. I played an alternate monk that was able to do that and it was a lot of fun....but at 18th level, that really not all that impressive)


So barring a few options that I think could be safely removed or at least bumped up, I think the rest look pretty solid.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Awesome! Thanks for the feedback... I was beginning to think no one wanted such options!

So some quick feedback.

Stamina: I would just combine inner resolve and exhaustion. Unless you use exhaustion heavily in your game, I don't think it would come up enough to matter. With that, I think the two options are pretty solid.
FWIW, we do have a lot of exhaustion in our games, but this is a valid point and certainly it might not work for other groups.

Improved Critical vs Improved Damage: Improved damage is statistically superior to the crit range, even when factoring in advantage on attack rolls (for more crits) and the fact that a fighter could get two attacks with improved crit. Crits just don't actually boost damage all that much for a normal fighter (unlike say a smiting paladin or a rogue).
Hmm... I thought they would be closer but I could be wrong. I'll do a bit of math on it:

Assume 65% hit probability and weapon damage of d8. Improved Critical has expected damage of 3.375 per attack, Improved Damage has expected damage of 3.85 for ONE attack per turn, all the rest would be 3.15.

With 1 attack per round: 3.375 vs. 3.85
2 attacks: 6.75 vs 7
3 attacks: 10.15 vs 10.125
4 attacks: 13.5 vs 13.3

As you can see, the Improved Damage is better for fewer attacks, but if you have more attacks or crit fish, the Improved Critical is better I think.

Generally I don't recommend two abilities in the same list that both revolve around damage....inevitably it leads to one or the other being a superior option. Honestly the choose between one offense option and defense seems pretty solid here.
Yeah, I don't like doing it. If you can think of anything better let me know! If you think just two options is really ok, I would be fine with that.

Superior Weapon Use: The way this is worded, I can choose ANY option, its not an upgrade from the previous one correct? Aka I could keep improved damage and now take superior defense. Is that the intention? I'll also note that once again, the crit chance is not equal to the damage option.
Hmm... I'll have work on the wording then. Honestly I went back and forth. Ideally, I would love to not have to select the same sort of option. I like how Totem Warrior works. You don't need to select the same totem each time and I think mirroring that would be good.

Remarkable Athlete: The bonus action to dash is actually a very very good ability, I consider it the absolute best of the bunch by far. Only the wrestler one comes close if I am reallying focusing on a grapple build. I would never take the other twos when these are options.
Ok. I thought jumper was pretty good myself, but admit lifter might be a bit weak. Any thoughts for improving those two so they are on par with the others. I know wrestler will only appeal to those builds, but it is pretty strong IMO so I am ok with that.

Survivor: The endurance one is much weaker than the other two options. Frankly even if you did make them completely immune to exhaustion (aka they could have 10 exhaustion and not care), I think it would be the least taken option.... but at least then you get some really fun flavor and cool niches for high level play (the ability to run all day without stopping has some surprising benefits. I played an alternate monk that was able to do that and it was a lot of fun....but at 18th level, that really not all that impressive)
Again, since we have exhaustion more prevalent that is probably why I thought it would be comparable to the others. I could easily increase the levels of exhaustion to 5 + CON modifier, any more kills... or just make it any levels... at that point I don't think you'd ever take more LOL.

If I removed Inner Strength from Stamina, I could make that part of Survivor, but allow you to ignore the effects of all of the following conditions: frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, poisoned, or stunned.

Would that be more on par with Die Hard and Unstoppable?

So barring a few options that I think could be safely removed or at least bumped up, I think the rest look pretty solid.
Great! Again thanks for your feedback.

If there was more interest, I would be tempted to expand the concept to other classes and subclasses, but so far people don't seem interested. :(
 

Stalker0

Legend
Assume 65% hit probability and weapon damage of d8. Improved Critical has expected damage of 3.375 per attack, Improved Damage has expected damage of 3.85 for ONE attack per turn, all the rest would be 3.15.

With 1 attack per round: 3.375 vs. 3.85
2 attacks: 6.75 vs 7
3 attacks: 10.15 vs 10.125
4 attacks: 13.5 vs 13.3

As you can see, the Improved Damage is better for fewer attacks, but if you have more attacks or crit fish, the Improved Critical is better I think.
Eh, I think we need to take another look here.

So lets assume the d8 as you said.

At the numbers you quoted: Base Damage = 3.15 damage (that is .6 * 4.5 + .05 * 9)
With crit on 19-20, its 3.375 per attack (as you quoted). So we gain .225 damager per attack.

Providing advantage on the d8 roll changes its average damage from 4.5 to 5.81. That means its average damage (with crit) is:
4.067 (.6 * 5.81 + .05 * 5.81 * 2). So we gain .917 damage on a single attack.

That means we would need: .917 / .225 = ~4.1 attacks before the improved crit started to provide more damage. Realistically the vast majority of a fighter's career with this ability is going to be 2 attacks (3 attacks is a high level ability, and action surge only happens once in a while).


So I stand by my original statement:) Regardless, it seems wasteful to have two abilities that boost damage. If one of them is in your opinion a "good option", why create another option that does effectively the same thing?
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Eh, I think we need to take another look here.
Yes, I'm not sure how I got 5.5 for advantage on d8, it is 5.81 as you suggest. Weird.

So I stand by my original statement:) Regardless, it seems wasteful to have two abilities that boost damage. If one of them is in your opinion a "good option", why create another option that does effectively the same thing?
Oh, no I agree completely! I just couldn't think of anything off-hand as a third feature option. 🤷‍♂️
 
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DND_Reborn

Legend
I do think the intended audience for the Champion is people who don't want to have anything too complicated.
LOL that IS an excellent point I hadn't even considered. Still, the concept applies, regardless.

And really, this doesn't make it much more complicated, just offers more options IMO. Does that equal complicated?? I wouldn't think so, but I could be wrong if others do...
 

And really, this doesn't make it much more complicated, just offers more options IMO. Does that equal complicated?? I wouldn't think so, but I could be wrong if others do...
Probably both! Champion is intended to be as simple as possible for new players, or players who prefer a very straightforward character. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy threads like these, full of interesting ideas!
 

NotAYakk

Legend
To me, these all tell the same story. Just with different mechanics.

I'd want the choice to contain a different story and different mechanics at the same time, especislly for the champion, which is intended as a simple character.

Second, if making a run at the champion, I'd want to also fix it. Champion 3 is a feature that pays off way later; this makes it a really poor ability to give at level 3. It scales with number of attacks and dice.

If you are hitting for 4d6 (flaming gs), 19-20 crit range is "worth" .7 damage per swing; at 6 swings this is 4.2 damage per round. The 18-20 at 8 swings is 1.4*8, or 11.2 damage per round.

Meanwhile st level 3, it is worth 0.35 damage per round, 0.7 if you action surge.

In competition, BM 3 gets you 4d8 damage per short rest. Used utterly naively (not waiting for crits, just using for damage) the champion has to make 51 2d6 swings (!) to keep up with it.

---

Second, any such build choices is going to include trap options; the wrong choice. Champion is intended to be simple, including traps seems bad.

...

What I would suggest instead would be to remove traps (or at least lock ins).

Example: At level 3, let the champion switch fighting style as an action, or whenever they use action surge.

That ability has pretty awesome tactical depth. It can also be ignored, and the champion could just use it when they find a new awesome weapon.

At level 10, changing fighting style could be a bonus action, plus you get up to two active at once.

The character's choices become "what gear" rather than "what build".
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
To me, these all tell the same story. Just with different mechanics.

I'd want the choice to contain a different story and different mechanics at the same time, especislly for the champion, which is intended as a simple character.

Second, if making a run at the champion, I'd want to also fix it. Champion 3 is a feature that pays off way later; this makes it a really poor ability to give at level 3. It scales with number of attacks and dice.

If you are hitting for 4d6 (flaming gs), 19-20 crit range is "worth" .7 damage per swing; at 6 swings this is 4.2 damage per round. The 18-20 at 8 swings is 1.4*8, or 11.2 damage per round.

Meanwhile st level 3, it is worth 0.35 damage per round, 0.7 if you action surge.

In competition, BM 3 gets you 4d8 damage per short rest. Used utterly naively (not waiting for crits, just using for damage) the champion has to make 51 2d6 swings (!) to keep up with it.

---

Second, any such build choices is going to include trap options; the wrong choice. Champion is intended to be simple, including traps seems bad.

...

What I would suggest instead would be to remove traps (or at least lock ins).

Example: At level 3, let the champion switch fighting style as an action, or whenever they use action surge.

That ability has pretty awesome tactical depth. It can also be ignored, and the champion could just use it when they find a new awesome weapon.

At level 10, changing fighting style could be a bonus action, plus you get up to two active at once.

The character's choices become "what gear" rather than "what build".
Good analysis comparing the subclasses and some interesting ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Probably both! Champion is intended to be as simple as possible for new players, or players who prefer a very straightforward character. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy threads like these, full of interesting ideas!
Thanks, I am glad you like hearing them.

As a side note, I enjoy trying to come up with interesting features or revamp current features to make them more useful or balanced (IMO anyway).

For example, even if these features might be adopted elsewhere, or someone is looking for a feature for a homebrew class, it's all good. :)
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
And really, this doesn't make it much more complicated, just offers more options IMO. Does that equal complicated?? I wouldn't think so, but I could be wrong if others do...
I mean, "more options" is kind of the definition of "more complicated," isn't it?

Still, I'm sure there is design space available for a slightly-more-complicated version of the Champion, either for new players who are ready to progress a little beyond "completely simple" or for more experienced players who might like some of its features but prefer something a little less simple.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
When I play a fighter, he is a Champion. It's my favorite fighter archetype because of its simplicity. If my GM offered something like this, I would ignore it and play the character by PHB rules.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
When I play a fighter, he is a Champion. It's my favorite fighter archetype because of its simplicity. If my GM offered something like this, I would ignore it and play the character by PHB rules.
That's perfectly fine, but the intent of the thread was more about adding points of choices/decision for players who want to branch out their build using those options.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I've been wanting to add in an option like the Power Strike feature from 4e essentials. It lets you add additional damage dice to your attack, essentially like a smite. Perhaps this could be your Improved Damage option of the improved weapon use feature.

I'd probably go something like add 1d10 to your weapon damage with a number of uses equal to your proficiency bonus. Not sure if I'd make it per long rest or short rest. 1d10 might be too much compared to the other options, especially if it is made a short rest ability so you could reduce the die down to maybe d6 and then increase it at level 15 to d8 or d10.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Momentum: Every time you damage a creature with a weapon attack, you gain 1 point of momentum, up to a maximum of your Fighter class level. If the attack was with a 2 handed weapon, you instead gain 2 points of momentum.

If you end your turn without attacking a creature, you lose 1 point of momentum until you reach 0.

You can expend 3 points of momentum to deal an additional set of weapon damage dice; if the weapon is light, it only costs 2 points of momentum.

Backbone: Every time an attack hits you, you gain 1 point of Backbone; if the attack misses you, you gain 2, up to a maximum of your Fighter class level.

If you end your turn without being attacked since the end of your last turn, you lose 1 point of Backbone until you reach 0.

You can expend 3 points of Backbone to Block with a shield as a reaction to an attack, adding your proficiency bonus to your AC against that attack.
You can expend 3 points of Backbone to Parry with a melee weapon as a reaction to a melee attack. Roll an attack with that weapon; if it beats the enemy attack roll, the attack misses.
You can expend 3 points of Backbone to Riposte with a light or finesse melee weapon as a reaction to a melee hit. Make an attack on the target with that weapon.
If you have two weapons equipped and your Riposte beats the enemy attack roll, it also counts as a Parry.
You can expend any number of points of Backbone to reduce the damage of a hit an equal number of points, up to a maximium of half of the damage from the hit.

...

naw, too fiddly.
 

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