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5E Class choices that didn't sync well with the campaign.

I'm playing a melee-focused paladin in Storm King's Thunder right now, and it does seem ... suboptimal at times. We're still only roughly in the middle (no spoilers please) but the encounters that have seemed big, high-stakes, and plot-significant so far have been against giants. My character is certainly not useless against giants (I've gotten some great results out of Command), but I'm the sole melee-focused character in a predominately ranged party (archer ranger, crossbow rogue, light cleric), and my character's personality is of gleeful atavistic battle-hunger kept marginally in check by his oath and convictions. He WANTS to charge into melee, but a 6th level paladin doing that against half a dozen frost giants is asking to become roadkill. I can sit back and spam Command and javelins, but in-character the PC would find it frustrating, and out-of-character a cleric or bard could do it better.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I'm playing a melee-focused paladin in Storm King's Thunder right now, and it does seem ... suboptimal at times. We're still only roughly in the middle (no spoilers please) but the encounters that have seemed big, high-stakes, and plot-significant so far have been against giants. My character is certainly not useless against giants (I've gotten some great results out of Command), but I'm the sole melee-focused character in a predominately ranged party (archer ranger, crossbow rogue, light cleric), and my character's personality is of gleeful atavistic battle-hunger kept marginally in check by his oath and convictions. He WANTS to charge into melee, but a 6th level paladin doing that against half a dozen frost giants is asking to become roadkill. I can sit back and spam Command and javelins, but in-character the PC would find it frustrating, and out-of-character a cleric or bard could do it better.

Range in 5e is much better than melee, unfortunately - it's because dex damage is added. Your role is keeping the archers safe :/
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Range in 5e is much better than melee, unfortunately - it's because dex damage is added. Your role is keeping the archers safe :/

Which is why enemies tend to use standard flanking tactics, at least now and then. Standing back 100 ft because you think it's safe? Well, that makes you a nice juicy target for the enemies sneaking up from the rear. :devilish:

I probably knock down the squishy ranged attackers as often or even more often than the tanks in my campaigns. But to a certain degree it is up to the DM to make sure that everyone has a chance to shine.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
An example of this in reverse:

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist specifically warns you in the book that this might not be the best campaign for a barbarian, ranger, or druid as it's entirely urban and allegedly about investigation and intrigue.

My players went with a barbarian and a druid and were totally fine. The druid is fine because the class is just incredibly versatile anyway so it's hard to go wrong, and the barbarian was fine because 95% of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is just conventional D&D encounters and fights, and the hyped investigation and intrigue stuff is either just absent or so weakly designed that the DM has to force the story along regardless.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
An example of this in reverse:

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist specifically warns you in the book that this might not be the best campaign for a barbarian, ranger, or druid as it's entirely urban and allegedly about investigation and intrigue.

My players went with a barbarian and a druid and were totally fine. The druid is fine because the class is just incredibly versatile anyway so it's hard to go wrong, and the barbarian was fine because 95% of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is just conventional D&D encounters and fights, and the hyped investigation and intrigue stuff is either just absent or so weakly designed that the DM has to force the story along regardless.

Anyone wanting to run that adventure should consult the Alexandrian's rework: Dragon Heist Remix – Part 1: The Villains
 

practicalm

Explorer
Session 0 should be to work out if your character ideas work with the adventure being run. And why everyone is adventuring together and what other hooks into the adventure characters might have.
 

Which is why enemies tend to use standard flanking tactics, at least now and then. Standing back 100 ft because you think it's safe? Well, that makes you a nice juicy target for the enemies sneaking up from the rear. :devilish:

I probably knock down the squishy ranged attackers as often or even more often than the tanks in my campaigns. But to a certain degree it is up to the DM to make sure that everyone has a chance to shine.

It also depends on the sort of environment you find yourself fighting in. Most of the combats so far in my SKT game have been out in the open with clear lines of sight and plenty of room to move. Of course ranged characters are going to shine in a combat under those conditions. In a cramped dungeon with narrow twisting passages and lots of ambush points, things would even out a lot.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It also depends on the sort of environment you find yourself fighting in. Most of the combats so far in my SKT game have been out in the open with clear lines of sight and plenty of room to move. Of course ranged characters are going to shine in a combat under those conditions. In a cramped dungeon with narrow twisting passages and lots of ambush points, things would even out a lot.

Which is one reason I don't run published mods. To me, fights happening out on an open field with no features is kind of boring if it happens al the time. That doesn't mean it has to be in a dungeon either, but you can have buildings, trees, cliffs and hills that all block line of sight.

Then again, even when combats take place on an open field, monsters will sometimes just run past the tanks and go after the guys in the back. Other times they'll focus on the tanks because everybody should have a chance to shine.
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
I realize your theme seems to be about being gimped. But the groups I have played with for the last 10 campaigns (different groups) don't really seem to care that much. In fact, I have even seen it promote creativity in players that would have followed the same route had they not been gimped.

On a different theme, I have seen PC's that don't match the objectives or other party members moral compass. And if the player is roleplaying their character's class with fervor, then it can cause huge conflicts. The necromancer that insists on raising dead even after the paladin has given the body sacred last rights. The sorcerer, whose pact with a demon, has interfered with the druid's mission to sanctify a locale. Or even something as small as a rogue that insists on stealing when the cleric of Pelor is present.

While these opposing forces can be fun at times, most players I know find them to be an anchor on the story rather than a wind. This is especially true if it is a continuous disruption. (A definition they would use.)
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
Which is one reason I don't run published mods. To me, fights happening out on an open field with no features is kind of boring if it happens al the time. That doesn't mean it has to be in a dungeon either, but you can have buildings, trees, cliffs and hills that all block line of sight.

Then again, even when combats take place on an open field, monsters will sometimes just run past the tanks and go after the guys in the back. Other times they'll focus on the tanks because everybody should have a chance to shine.
Sorry Oofta, I almost always agree with you. But the published adventures use tons of terrain. Tomb, Ghosts, Hoard, Icewind... just a cursory glance through those and you see all sorts of maps that uses terrain in interesting ways. Maybe not as creative as your ways, but still, there is a lot of it.

And just a quick question about terrain: Anyone ever notice a difference between PF and D&D's published stuff in regards to the use of terrain? I've never compared them, and haven't run a bunch of PF, but the stuff I have run seems to have a slight edge. It could be my memory. I don't know. Just curious of others' experiences.
 

I realize your theme seems to be about being gimped. But the groups I have played with for the last 10 campaigns (different groups) don't really seem to care that much. In fact, I have even seen it promote creativity in players that would have followed the same route had they not been gimped.

On a different theme, I have seen PC's that don't match the objectives or other party members moral compass. And if the player is roleplaying their character's class with fervor, then it can cause huge conflicts. The necromancer that insists on raising dead even after the paladin has given the body sacred last rights. The sorcerer, whose pact with a demon, has interfered with the druid's mission to sanctify a locale. Or even something as small as a rogue that insists on stealing when the cleric of Pelor is present.

While these opposing forces can be fun at times, most players I know find them to be an anchor on the story rather than a wind. This is especially true if it is a continuous disruption. (A definition they would use.)

That's really something that should be worked out in a session 0, to be honest. PCs need to have a reason for hanging around with each other, risking their lives for each other, trusting each other with their lives etc, and 'you meet in a tavern and decide to go adventuring together' or equivalent is used too often and very often just isn't going to cut it. And too often, the player playing the 'good' PC is made to feel like the bad guy by putting their foot down about the behaviour of one of the other PCs. I haven't GMed for a long time, but when i did, a house rule was 'in case of irreconcilable moral differences between party members that would logically lead to the group dissolving, the more evil PC becomes an NPC'

And of course some players (as opposed to PCs) thrive on that sort of thing, which is a massive red flag for me, but that's another story.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It also depends on the sort of environment you find yourself fighting in. Most of the combats so far in my SKT game have been out in the open with clear lines of sight and plenty of room to move. Of course ranged characters are going to shine in a combat under those conditions. In a cramped dungeon with narrow twisting passages and lots of ambush points, things would even out a lot.
It's something I'm going to mention - sometimes it makes sense that a fight is in a wide open setting, and the GM can be very reluctant to let this happen because their tools don't make it easy - the battle map grid isn't big enough! I find that a bit of a shame.
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
That's really something that should be worked out in a session 0, to be honest. PCs need to have a reason for hanging around with each other, risking their lives for each other, trusting each other with their lives etc, and 'you meet in a tavern and decide to go adventuring together' or equivalent is used too often and very often just isn't going to cut it. And too often, the player playing the 'good' PC is made to feel like the bad guy by putting their foot down about the behaviour of one of the other PCs. I haven't GMed for a long time, but when i did, a house rule was 'in case of irreconcilable moral differences between party members that would logically lead to the group dissolving, the more evil PC becomes an NPC'

And of course some players (as opposed to PCs) thrive on that sort of thing, which is a massive red flag for me, but that's another story.
I completely agree. It should be worked out early on. And if there is a distinct difference in morals, then the group needs to handle it. Not saying the evil PC can't play, because some groups just don't care. But the ones that do, it needs to be discussed ahead of time. I personally haven't had that situation arise in probably 15 years. But, it did when I was younger and we had opposing PC's, ugh, it was difficult for everyone at the table. Fortunately it never really lasted for more than a few sessions. And you are spot on about the good guy feeling like the bad guy! ;)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sorry Oofta, I almost always agree with you. But the published adventures use tons of terrain. Tomb, Ghosts, Hoard, Icewind... just a cursory glance through those and you see all sorts of maps that uses terrain in interesting ways. Maybe not as creative as your ways, but still, there is a lot of it.

And just a quick question about terrain: Anyone ever notice a difference between PF and D&D's published stuff in regards to the use of terrain? I've never compared them, and haven't run a bunch of PF, but the stuff I have run seems to have a slight edge. It could be my memory. I don't know. Just curious of others' experiences.

What! Someone disagrees! Sacrilege! ;)

I've only glanced at SKT, I don't use mods that often. My only point is that I try to have a variety of encounter distances and challenges. That and I try To do things so that everyone has a chance to shine.
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
What! Someone disagrees! Sacrilege! ;)

I've only glanced at SKT, I don't use mods that often. My only point is that I try to have a variety of encounter distances and challenges. That and I try To do things so that everyone has a chance to shine.
No doubt many of the experienced GM's around here do it better. Just was saying, the writer's for D&D aren't necessarily slacking either. (y) ;)
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'm playing a melee-focused paladin in Storm King's Thunder right now, and it does seem ... suboptimal at times. We're still only roughly in the middle (no spoilers please) but the encounters that have seemed big, high-stakes, and plot-significant so far have been against giants. My character is certainly not useless against giants (I've gotten some great results out of Command), but I'm the sole melee-focused character in a predominately ranged party (archer ranger, crossbow rogue, light cleric), and my character's personality is of gleeful atavistic battle-hunger kept marginally in check by his oath and convictions. He WANTS to charge into melee, but a 6th level paladin doing that against half a dozen frost giants is asking to become roadkill. I can sit back and spam Command and javelins, but in-character the PC would find it frustrating, and out-of-character a cleric or bard could do it better.

This sounds a bit like party dynamics, not class. We had a GWM vengance paladin during STK - with several other melee characters - and he was MVP in damage.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
As I mentioned earlier, while a bit disappointing many of my class features are neutered a bit, I am still enjoying the character. Especially in moments like this: :p:p

1601155833858.png
 

I would say that anybody that plays Descent to Avernus and wonders how they can use Animated Dead or if it will cause issues, remember this: Since Avernus is a battlefield, its probably littered with a crapton of bones or carcasses from everything thing under the bus. They give a side note that explains that alot of spells may "change" in appearance to reflect the nature of Avernus, such as Mage Hand becoming a clawed Demon Hand and stuff. So therefore, one can flavor Animate Dead as taking bits of bones here and there to create fairly non human looking dead things. So it's Animate Dead but refluffed, appearance wise, to reflect Avernus.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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