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D&D 5E Am I missing something with Favored Foe?

One of the major problems of ranger is that the popular TWF style doesn't work well with other ranger features because of its dependence on bonus actions.

So along comes Favored Foe that doesn't require a bonus action. Yay, right? Wrong. Unfortunately it only applies to a single attack, making it no more useful for a TWF ranger than anyone else.

Ranger probably needs a class feature to allow them to do something like cast a bonus action ranger spell while also making a TWF attack or something, like the orc needs a racial feature allowing them to initiate barbarian rage when they use Aggressive. Both are situations where the game basically punishes you for playing to type.

No, what we need is for the additional attack from TWF to be part of your Action, not a bonus action. It will ruin exactly nothing about the game to do this.
 

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jgsugden

Legend
Paladins can smite when concentrating on another spell. Rangers cannot FF...
You read the sentence where I called it less effective, right? I didn't call it as powerful as smite. Nothing you said wasn't obvious on the face.

Again - I'VE ACTUALLY USED THIS ABILITY, and it isn't earth shattering, but it is very handy to have around. It is an improvement over favored enemy.
 

No, what we need is for the additional attack from TWF to be part of your Action, not a bonus action. It will ruin exactly nothing about the game to do this.
I think it works for some classes (like ranger), but not for everyone. If it were just the general rule then almost anyone could wield greatsword equivalent weapon damage with very little drawback, making it the baseline (I think the baseline should be less). As it is, a rogue (for example) has interesting trade-offs, potentially on a round for round basis, of whether to use their bonus action for TWF (assuming they are wielding allowable weapons) or for Cunning Action.

That might be an easier way to house rule it for the ranger though. Still trying to decide how to handle it.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
You read the sentence where I called it less effective, right? I didn't call it as powerful as smite. Nothing you said wasn't obvious on the face.

Again - I'VE ACTUALLY USED THIS ABILITY, and it isn't earth shattering, but it is very handy to have around. It is an improvement over favored enemy.
There is less effective, then there is 15x less effective.

Saying "a human is less effective at moving fast than a race car" is similar to "FF is less effective at action-free damage than smite".

The difference is large enough that you could set the human's speed to zero, and adding it up to the race car's speed results in a value you'd only notice is different if you where an expert on how fast race cars go.

Similarly, FF's damage contribution is so small compared to smite in a situation where both are in play, FF changing the story in killing a monster would be hard to prove.

Imagine a situation where every time FF was used, it did 0 damage. How long would it take a player to notice it?

Now do the same with smite.

I mean, you might notice FF doing 0 damage at and around level 1.

They take up similar amounts of game-time, but one has impact on the narrative, and the other doesn't. And as FF does almost nothing except that damage boost, it really is a waste of time.

I mean, I get having some random fiddly bit is fun to turn on "I activate FF, I get t roll another die", but fiddly bits shouldn't be added if they don't do anything with any impact.
 
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Sithlord

Adventurer
Why should the ranger even be compared to a paladin smiting. I don’t thing a ranger is supposed to be doing damage like a paladin. They have many other useful abilities. Now I do like favored for because it does not burn a spell slot and I can use my spell slots for other things.
 

Meh, I prefer Flavored Foe. Take the Chef Feat. Use Hunter's Mark in case the Foe you wish to Flavor tries to flee or hide for any amount of time. Also, non-Tasha's version let's you track the soon-to-be Flavored Foe all that much easier (You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your soon-to-be-flavored enemies) and to be sure you are preparing them right and avoiding any dangerous parts (You have advantage on... Intelligence checks to recall information about them.) Just to be clear, we're only talking Plants, Beasts, and maybe Monstrosities, here. I mean, we're not the monsters! Are we?
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Why should the ranger even be compared to a paladin smiting. I don’t thing a ranger is supposed to be doing damage like a paladin. They have many other useful abilities. Now I do like favored for because it does not burn a spell slot and I can use my spell slots for other things.
Level 2 ranger has:
1 level of spellcasting (known spells, not prepared)
1 fighting style
2d10 HD
Martial Weapon Proficiency, Medium + Shield for armor
Favored Foe (or FE)
Natural Explorer
3 skills

Level 2 paladin has:
1 level of spellcasting (prepared, entire list)
1 fighting style
2d10 HD
Martial Weapon Proficiency, Heavy+Shield for armor
Lay on Hands (10 HP)
Divine smite
Divine sense
2 skills

Subtracting, the Paladin gets:

Prepared instead of fixed spells
Heavy armor
Lay on Hands, Divine Smite, Divine Sense vs FF+Natural explorer+1 skill

Divine Sense and Natural Explorer are both exploration abilities that depend on the game's plot to determine if they are awesome or useless. Lay on Hands vs 1 skill is an interesting tradeoff; in one case, it is the 5th or 6th best skill you have and in the other it is the ability to miraculously heal someone by touching them. We can call those a wash.

Heavy Armor means a Strength-Paladin is better than a Strength-Ranger in AC, but has no impact on Dex-Rangers vs Dex-Paladins. I'll throw that in as rounding error.

Divine Smite is a meaty ability that has narrative impact when used. FF, meanwhile, is rounding error when used.

That, plus the fact that someone said "when is action free damage crappy", is why I'm comparing those two. Action free damage that has extra requirements and has nearly no impact even when you use it doesn't suddenly become non-crappy just because it is action free damage.

---

I mean, even if the Ranger didn't have its problems, FF is a bad feature design. It has some narrative impact at level 1, but soon it becomes more mechanically fiddly than it has impact.

Its damage fails to scale very fast, but you still have to check concentration (are you using it), determine when it ends, remember who it is used on, apply it once per round not per attack (so you can't just automatically roll the dice). In my experience, people are going to forget they have a long concentraiton buff up (say, Pass without Trace) at least once and use it, and a non-zero amount of that time nobody else will notice, so you'll either should have lost Pass without Trace because you FF but you didn't, or you accidentally lose Pass without Trace by using FF. And keeping track of that isn't worth the narrative impact of the ability when you do use it!

And HM does a better job of the narrative space FF is in, and shows up 1 level later.

If we compare it to other classes, it is lackluster. If we consider it alone, it is lacking.
 

Divine Smite is a meaty ability that has narrative impact when used. FF, meanwhile, is rounding error when used.

Not at level 2 it isn't. At level 2, Divine Smite is +1d8 damage twice per long rest, and that ability replaces spellcasting.

Favored Foe is +1d4 damage up to 10 times on two different targets. And you still have Hunter's Mark. Or, if you want to be more paladin-like, rangers get Searing Smite now. That's a bonus action to deal +1d6 per spell level.

Smite is really powerful, but it's also extraordinarily expensive. It's only as potent as it is because it breaks the spell action economy when you get extra attacks.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Not at level 2 it isn't. At level 2, Divine Smite is +1d8 damage twice per long rest, and that ability replaces spellcasting.
No, it is 2d8 twice, or 3d8 on undead and fiends.

So 18 damage when you need it, more on a crit. And it scales very well.

On a 3 round combat basis, FF is 15 damage at level 2, and that assumes your foe lives that long and you hit every round, and it has to be the first foe you hit. FF has to be spread out over multiple fights, smite can be used in the tough fight.

Smite scales better with advantage, because you can defer it a touch and wait for a crit to double the entire damage load often.

Every ranger in combat spell of note uses concentration; so the ranger gets out of fight support. An example of a spell considered strong is goodberry, healing 20 damage with those 2 slots, but only out of combat due, and also feed 20 people per day.

You can compare that to LoH, which is only 10 HP but usable in an emergency.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
Lay on Hands, Divine Smite, Divine Sense vs FF+Natural explorer+1 skill

Divine Sense and Natural Explorer are both exploration abilities that depend on the game's plot to determine if they are awesome or useless. Lay on Hands vs 1 skill is an interesting tradeoff; in one case, it is the 5th or 6th best skill you have and in the other it is the ability to miraculously heal someone by touching them. We can call those a wash.
First off great comparison. This is goes a little awry here though IMO. I don't think you rank the Ranger abilities correctly. I think the extra skill is way better than LOH (and FF). I think the skill should be compared to divine smite, while favored foe compares to LOH.

1. comparing LOH to FF - LOH heals 10 damage a day, FF is going to be used twice a day and probably does about 10 damage total each time (figure 4 hits in a fight times 2.5 damage each hit) or about 20 total. So I think FF is better than LOH at 2nd level although it is not going to scale as well. At 10th level LOH is 45 hps and FF is ~30. At 20th level LOH is 100hps and FF is ~60. So as a life ability better at low levels, worse at high levels and comparable overall.

2. Comparing an extra skill to a combat ability is tough, obviously this is not going to be as good in combat but it is going to be more useful overall. In most parties Rangers are going to be expected to have Survival and that is the 1-skill advantage. Take survival out and then with background they have the same numebr of skills as the Paladin. In this respect considering skills what you are really comparing is Ranger survival vs divine smite and ranger skill pool vs Paladin skill pool. I think those are pretty equal overall in most campaigns considering the Ranger pool is better and Surival stacks with natural explorer bonuses.
 

Lord Twig

Adventurer
No, what we need is for the additional attack from TWF to be part of your Action, not a bonus action. It will ruin exactly nothing about the game to do this.
What I did was add a feature called "off-hand attack". If you take the two-weapon fighting style you can take an extra attack with your second weapon as an off-hand attack and it does not require a bonus action. If you don't have the fighting style it still requires a bonus action. Likewise the extra unarmed strike from the monk's martial arts is also an off-hand attack that does not uses a bonus action. Using Flurry of Blows still requires a bonus action, but it increases from 2 unarmed strikes to 3 unarmed strikes at level 11. Finally, any attack taken as a bonus action counts as an off-hand attack.

Of course when I made this rule you couldn't just take a feat to get the fighting style, but I'm not sure if I will change it or not. Two-weapon fighting is under-powered. I don't know if this makes it overpowered or not.
 

Here's how to fix TWF. KISS principle, real easy:

Once on your turn, when you make an attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of this second attack, unless that modifier is negative.

Noticed that I fixed the Beast Master, too. Oh no, now a melee Rogue can always attack twice! I mean, I don't really care. Rogues tend to eschew melee anyway, so a buff to melee fighting isn't going to upset anyone. I'd rather give them a little buff for only holding one weapon that gimp TWF as hard as it is. Maybe bring back bucklers? A little +1 shield that characters with light armor proficiency can use, like rogues, bards, and warlocks? OH NO THAT WOULD RUIN---nothing, it would ruin nothing.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think it works for some classes (like ranger), but not for everyone. If it were just the general rule then almost anyone could wield greatsword equivalent weapon damage with very little drawback, making it the baseline (I think the baseline should be less). As it is, a rogue (for example) has interesting trade-offs, potentially on a round for round basis, of whether to use their bonus action for TWF (assuming they are wielding allowable weapons) or for Cunning Action.

That might be an easier way to house rule it for the ranger though. Still trying to decide how to handle it.
Could change the base TWF to include ability mod to damage, and change the fighting style to make the offhand attack part of the attack action.
 

Could change the base TWF to include ability mod to damage, and change the fighting style to make the offhand attack part of the attack action.
I think that might actually make it worse. Now almost anyone can deal weapon damage superior to a greatsword.

It's really a tough thing to rework. Balance on TWF warriors (fighters, barbarians, paladins--and rangers in particular) is weak, but balance on TWF for others is about right.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think that might actually make it worse. Now almost anyone can deal weapon damage superior to a greatsword.

It's really a tough thing to rework. Balance on TWF warriors (fighters, barbarians, paladins--and rangers in particular) is weak, but balance on TWF for others is about right.
Then two handers need a buff.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Balance on TWF for Fighters is really good. It's a strong DEX-based option.
No, not really.

At level 11, a rapier using duelist fighter with 20 dexterity does 3d8+21 (34.5) damage in an attack action.

On action surge, they do 69 damage (nice).

A shortsword dual wielding duelist fighter does 4d6+20 damage (34) in an attack action and a bonus action. On action surge, they do 7d6+35 (59.5).

With dual wielder feat they do another +4/+7 damage (38 normal/66.5 AS).

This costs you 1 AC, the enhancement bonus from any magical shield, requires 2 magic weapons, and a feat. And the result is not that impressive.

Now, suppose you have a flametongue and a +2 rapier for the DW, and a flametongue and +2 shield on Duelist. Both have 20 dex and wear +1 studded armor.

TWF attack routine is +9@3d8+6d6+15(49.5) +11@1d8+7 (11.5), +49.5 on action surge (61/110.5 with bonus accuracy for 11 of it)
Duelist attack routine is +9@3d8+6d6+21(55.5), +55.5 on action surge (55.5/111).

AC is 19 vs 22.

Duelist has 1 more free feat to spend.

TWF style gets 10% more DPR without action surge (almost no change with action surge), in exchange for 3 AC and a feat.
 
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No, not really.

At level 11, a rapier using duelist fighter with 20 dexterity does 3d8+21 (34.5) damage in an attack action.

On action surge, they do 69 damage (nice).

A shortsword dual wielding duelist fighter does 4d6+20 damage (34) in an attack action and a bonus action. On action surge, they do 7d6+35 (59.5).

With dual wielder feat they do another +4/+7 damage (38 normal/66.5 AS).

This costs you 1 AC, the enhancement bonus from any magical shield, requires 2 magic weapons, and a feat. And the result is not that impressive.

Now, suppose you have a flametongue and a +2 rapier for the DW, and a flametongue and +2 shield on Duelist. Both have 20 dex and wear +1 studded armor.

TWF attack routine is +9@3d8+6d6+15(49.5) +11@1d8+7 (11.5), +49.5 on action surge (61/110.5 with bonus accuracy for 11 of it)
Duelist attack routine is +9@3d8+6d6+21(55.5), +55.5 on action surge (55.5/111).

AC is 19 vs 22.

Duelist has 1 more free feat to spend.

TWF style gets 10% more DPR without action surge (almost no change with action surge), in exchange for 3 AC and a feat.

11th level Fighter, Variant Human:
Subclass: Champion
Fighting styles: Two-Weapon Fighting, Archery
Feats: Dual Wielder, Sharpshooter
Skills: Stealth, others chosen to taste.
Stats & other feats: Chosen to taste.

The melee/archery approach isn't as strong with Duelist. You choose either sacrificing action economy or sacrificing at least 2 points of AC. It's not trivial thing to ignore, as this is specifically what makes the TWF DEX choice so strong for Fighters. Even with the other subclasses, the fact DEX works for both longbows and versatile melee weapons makes it a strong choice.

There are other effects downstream of having that additional attack. You gain more from magic weapons. You don't sacrifice as much to Shove + Attack. You benefit more from certain spells like Enlarge/Reduce and Elemental Weapon. A Battle Master can potentially spend an additional die (wouldn't recommend for EKs). You're likely to force more concentration checks on casters. You lose less damage potential to overkill. Etc.
 
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