5E Battle Master without Superiority Dice (house rules)

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
So, I am not a fan of Superiority Dice and tracking them, etc. I am trying to revise Battle Master to remove them. Maneuvers are pretty much the same, a major difference is when you used to "spend superiority dice" you now use your bonus action. This allows you to use them once every round (the limit until 15th level). I've reduce the bonus (known as the Battle Master bonus) to slightly less than the superiority dice would grant to balance that out.

I am look for feedback (other than just use superiority dice ;) ) and if this makes Battle Masters too powerful or too weak.

EDIT: Would removing the bonus action from the maneuvers make this too good? There is still the limit of only one maneuver per round until 15th level.

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TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
The battle master bonus seems fine. It's got no precedent in published material, but it tracks pretty closely with what WotC was proposing for the Brute and the Weapon Master. I'd make it a die like those archetypes rather than a flat bonus, but that's a matter of taste.

Theree some battlemaster maneuver effects that you don't want used over and over again, though. If that's the case, you can say that a given target becomes immune to them after the first use (until the battlemaster finishes a short rest, probably).
 

dave2008

Legend
Seems fine, but shouldn't the battlemaster bonuses be higher to correspond to the average of the superiority die?
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Seems fine, but shouldn't the battlemaster bonuses be higher to correspond to the average of the superiority die?
If I wanted them to be completely equal, yes, but since these are now maneuvers a character could do every round via their bonus action or reaction (depending), I lowered the bonus a bit below the average of what the superiority die would yield.
 
My initial concerns are:

1. Commander's strike - this is already really good in the right party under current rules and even better with your rules IMO.

2. Riposte - any time I'm missed I get a reaction I can attack the enemy with. This is amazing!

3. Parry is even more impressive now too - reaction for flat damage reaction on an attack - no more variableness. Very nice!

4. Menacing attack - chance to cause fear every single turn (can be used from range). This is way too strong.

5. Feighnting attack and a rogue multiclass produces a reliable way to always gain advantage.

EDIT: 6. Rally is really good now - no cost temp hp to any ally (a decent amount as well)
 
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If I wanted them to be completely equal, yes, but since these are now maneuvers a character could do every round via their bonus action or reaction (depending), I lowered the bonus a bit below the average of what the superiority die would yield.
How do you think wizard fans would feel if you reduced all their spells to be equal to cantrips, but useable at-will?
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I feel like this under-powers the Battlemaster quite a bit. That is how I feel anyway with the shift to bonus actions powering everything and the decrease to the additional bonus they receive.

Commander's, Feinting, & Rally all use BA currently.

Sure they can these features every round if they wanted to with this shift, that is nice.

It means you can't be a two weapon fighter Battle Master. Not nearly as effectively anyway as you're having to decide between a maneuver OR an attack every round instead of being able to do both.

You have to decide between Second Wind and these maneuvers as well instead of being able to do both.
 

FarBeyondC

Explorer
Do you allow more than one bonus action or reaction in a round in your games? Because otherwise, the 15th level feature is practically worthless.

Also, as a general side note, I feel it'd be more elegant to have the battle master bonus be equal to proficiency modifier. (Actually, I'd prefer a lot more things be equal to proficiency modifier or a multiple thereof- like rage damage or the various half your level extra damage racial features.)
 
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Mistwell

Hero
I feel like this under-powers the Battlemaster quite a bit. That is how I feel anyway with the shift to bonus actions powering everything and the decrease to the additional bonus they receive.

Commander's, Feinting, & Rally all use BA currently.

Sure they can these features every round if they wanted to with this shift, that is nice.

It means you can't be a two weapon fighter Battle Master. Not nearly as effectively anyway as you're having to decide between a maneuver OR an attack every round instead of being able to do both.

You have to decide between Second Wind and these maneuvers as well instead of being able to do both.
You also can't polearm master using the blunt end with this. Which would essentially end my current fighter's entire concept.

I am not even sure what the "don't like tracking" issue is about. The player tracks their uses, not the DM. What does this even have to do with DM tracking?
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
My initial concerns are:

1. Commander's strike - this is already really in the right party under current rules and even better with your rules IMO.

2. Riposte - any time I'm missed I get a reaction I can attack the enemy with. This is amazing!

3. Parry is even more impressive now too - reaction for flat damage reaction on an attack - no more variableness. Very nice!

4. Menacing attack - chance to cause fear every single turn (can be used from range). This is way too strong.

5. Feighnting attack and a rogue multiclass produces a reliable way to always gain advantage.
1. At will is always better IMO, but otherwise you are giving up your attack and bonus action and your ally is giving up their reaction, just so they can make an attack on your turn. Now, with things like SA working once per turn, this could be abused... but with 4 superiority dice per short rest already, given the "normal" encounter rate it seems to already be there. I could remove the Battle Master bonus for the ally to offset the power a bit.

2. Sure, but since you can only use one maneuver per round, you can't use any of them on your turn... at least not until 15th level.

3. The variableness would more likely produce a higher result than the flat bonus. And again, it means you aren't using any other maneuvers on your turn. In that sense, it is no better than Uncanny Dodge.

4. Fear which only lasts for one round provided you hit and they fail a save. Until I playtest it some, I am okay with that.

5. Sure, but denies you Cunning Action, TWF attacks, etc. It is a trade-off.

But what about the ones which already required a bonus action? Like Feinting Attack?
They still require it. There was no way to make it cost more.

How do you think wizard fans would feel if you reduced all their spells to be equal to cantrips, but useable at-will?
Personally I wouldn't care since this isn't about wizards and I am not making it for wizard fans. If I battle master fan joined our group, I would of course take his thoughts into consideration and work with him on something playable. If he wanted to play the BM RAW, that would be fine. This is because I don't like the resource management aspect but want a comparable at-will version. :)

I feel like this under-powers the Battlemaster quite a bit. That is how I feel anyway with the shift to bonus actions powering everything and the decrease to the additional bonus they receive.

Commander's, Feinting, & Rally all use BA currently.

Sure they can these features every round if they wanted to with this shift, that is nice.

It means you can't be a two weapon fighter Battle Master. Not nearly as effectively anyway as you're having to decide between a maneuver OR an attack every round instead of being able to do both.

You have to decide between Second Wind and these maneuvers as well instead of being able to do both.
Ok, but having the ability to use them every round doesn't off-set some of the power loss? It makes using bonus actions for other things more of a choice of course, but I see that as a good thing personally.

If I could think of another mechanic other than bonus actions which would still allow at-will use, but have some cost, I would certainly consider it.

Do you allow more than one bonus action or reaction in a round in your games? Because otherwise, the 15th level feature is practically worthless.

Also, as a general side note, I feel it'd be more elegant to have the battle master bonus be equal to proficiency modifier. (Actually, I'd prefer a lot more things be equal to proficiency modifier or a multiple thereof- like rage damage or the various half your level extra damage racial features.)
Oh, thanks for pointing that out. I meant once you use your bonus action for one maneuver, you can still do another. Alternatively, I would also allow the combination of bonus action and reaction to fuel two different maneuvers. I'll have to give that some thought.

Proficiency bonus would work as well, but it makes the Battle Master bonus too good at higher levels, nearly equal to the average superiority dice. To off-set at-will I wanted to make the bonus a bit lower.
 
1. At will is always better IMO, but otherwise you are giving up your attack and bonus action and your ally is giving up their reaction, just so they can make an attack on your turn. Now, with things like SA working once per turn, this could be abused... but with 4 superiority dice per short rest already, given the "normal" encounter rate it seems to already be there. I could remove the Battle Master bonus for the ally to offset the power a bit.

2. Sure, but since you can only use one maneuver per round, you can't use any of them on your turn... at least not until 15th level.

3. The variableness would more likely produce a higher result than the flat bonus. And again, it means you aren't using any other maneuvers on your turn. In that sense, it is no better than Uncanny Dodge.

4. Fear which only lasts for one round provided you hit and they fail a save. Until I playtest it some, I am okay with that.

5. Sure, but denies you Cunning Action, TWF attacks, etc. It is a trade-off.


They still require it. There was no way to make it cost more.
I missed the single line that spelled out the change to once per round - which does change my assessment quite a bit.

For a straight fighter the only ones of these I'm still worried about are commander's strike, and menacing.

For a multiclass rogue or rogue with the martial adept feat, I'm still worried about riposte - any time rogues can get off turn attacks it's a big deal.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I missed the single line that spelled out the change to once per round - which does change my assessment quite a bit.

For a straight fighter the only ones of these I'm still worried about are commander's strike, and menacing.

For a multiclass rogue or rogue with the martial adept feat, I'm still worried about riposte - any time rogues can get off turn attacks it's a big deal.
Well, even without the once per round limit, the cost of a bonus action or reaction still limits it quite a bit. Still, yeah if a 20th level BM could use 4 a round---crazy that! :eek:

I'll keep the other concerns in mind. I don't know when I'll get the chance to playtest it all though... in nearly a year of playing 5E no one has even wanted to play a BM... :(
 
At will trip attack is also really good - though it taking your bonus action mitigates a lot of the things you could do with it.

Overall - I think you've pretty significantly cut down the high celing damage potential of a battlemaster. You've boosted most of the basic non-feated battlemasters -but overall you'll struggle to keep up with a Paladin or even barbarian in damage now. Heck, it's quite possible that a decently played rogue would out damage this - which feels pretty bad IMO.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Ok, but having the ability to use them every round doesn't off-set some of the power loss? It makes using bonus actions for other things more of a choice of course, but I see that as a good thing personally.
shrug I mean you get 4 SD per short rest until 7th, then 5, then 6 at 15th. I don't think you're short of them in most combats. I also don't think they're any more onerous to track than ki points or sorcery points or spell slots or Bardic Inspiration die or any other resource that classes have.

Are you going to re-work all of those as well?
 

Mistwell

Hero
Its definitely a nerf disguised as a boost. By eliminating burst use and anything else which uses your bonus action, I'd have chosen to not be a battlemaster if this had been the rule.

I also don't even understand the "hard to track" issue. For who? Who is having a hard time tracking them?
 

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