Level Up (A5E) Classes: Winner and Losers

I cannot escape the feeling that if I made a Fighter and flavored them as a Warlord leader type grabbed the few decent Knot manuvers and just made sure to buy Followers and a Stronghold I'd be fine. Take Folk Hero to start out with a bit of fame and work to achieve more. Not like the Marshal exploration knacks are anything to really care about either. It just feels like a disappointing afterthought.
I agree and is also an opinion I expressed during the playtest. The class is not bad per se, it just feels totally unnecessary IMO: A fighter or paladin with the right build, or eventually an archetype for either would have been enough.
I'm also not a fan of giving a stronghold and followers as a class feature for two reasons:
  • If those elements are not part of a campaign, the narrator has to either remove the class entirely or modify it quite a bit
  • Even if those elements are part of a campaign, I don't want a player to feel entitled to either just because it's listed in the features for the new level. Strongholds and followers should be a completely separate form of reward and/or progression, totally unrelated to class and level IMO
 

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Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
See... I feel the exact opposite.

Marshal is a Winner in Level Up because it -exists- where it didn't in O5e.

That said, there are some disappointing aspects to it. But that's just how it goes. You design something as being less powerful and then buff from there.

Though being able to let Casters us cantrips as reactions, Rogues sneak attack, and Warlocks eldritch scythe is pretty crazy... (After all, it doesn't specify that it has to be part of an attack action -you- take, nor on your turn, though you don't get to use Extra Blast off your turn 'cause it -does- specify.)

The archetypes are a little on the "Meh" side? I really want to be able to use more of the action economy on a given turn. Like a bonus action movement-grant where someone gets to free-move up to half their speed as "Forced Movement" that doesn't provoke opportunity attacks. Or the ability to give up 2 attacks to other people on your turn.

Like a "Chessmaster" or "Nobleman" archetype that doesn't get their -own- hands dirty.
 

I just don't care for being pigeon holed into basically only giving attacks to certain classes because of those edge case interactions that are goofy powerful. My 4E Warlord could give an attack to anyone with Commander's Strike and everyone got to add my Int to their damage. I didn't hit people I picked up my allies and hit with them. There is no benefit to me giving the Fighter attacks because I can swing a sword just fine and I don't make his attacks better.

Also what maneuver are you really trying to spend Exertion on from Sanguine Knot via Combat Directives?

I actually like that the Marshal has Strongholds and Followers integrated because it helps convey that those systems aren't really supposed to be optional of course the DM can remove anything they don't want but it feels almost silly to get Level Up for it's increases to the Social and Exploration pillars and then not use them. The weird part for me is trying to figure out in the narrative how you aquire those things but some downtime and some roleplaying can cover that I suppose.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I just don't care for being pigeon holed into basically only giving attacks to certain classes because of those edge case interactions that are goofy powerful.
See... I don't get this at all. Lemme go down the list:

Adept: Uses Rapid Glint maneuvers on the attack you give to get out of danger spots, or rush into combat, or uses Mirror's Glint to inflict penalties or steal stuff.
Bard: Uses Vicious Mockery to apply disadvantage to enemy attacks off their turn or casts Message to get off a warning, or casts True Strike so when their turn comes around they can gain advantage on an enemy.
Berserker: Adamant Mountain strikes to fling some guy off a cliff, Tooth and Claw to reposition or chase down an enemy, and Critically Hit really hard when you've got even more attacks in a round.
Cleric: Spare the Dying in a clutch moment, or Sacred Flame, or Pestilence, or Guidance...
Druid: Produce Flame, Pestilence, and Shillelagh either deal immediate damage or give the Druid the chance to prepare for melee before their turn.
Fighter: Literally any type of combat maneuver which makes them super flexible for movement with attacks, knockback, imposing disadvantage, etc. etc. etc.
Herald: Divine Smite on a Combat Maneuver. And with Spirited Steed that can be a lot of free movement. Add in Resistance, which is a useless cantrip most of the time but being cast as a reaction can be pretty great, True Strike, and Altered Strike and you get some strong options.
Marshal: ... probably won't ever happen, let's be honest.
Ranger: Like the Adept, but also plenty of Pew Pew if they're an archer. And at level 9 they get free Whirlwind Strikes or Missile Volleys for an AoE reaction attack. Pretty great!
Rogue: Sneak Attack Combat Maneuvers. Or just combat maneuvers if they're not able to get a Sneak Attack Off. Still pretty useful.
Sorcerer: NOW we're getting into it! They can cast any of their cantrips and change their cantrip's damage type on a whim, making them swiss-army-knives of arcane damage. Add in stuff like Minor Illusion to create increased flexibility in what they can do.
Warlock: Eldritch Blasts of 4 different flavors, damaging cantrips, Minor Illusion, and True Strike.
Wizard: Sorcerer part 2, Electric (Pyromantic?) Boogaloo.

... once you include combat maneuvers into those reaction-attacks the Marshal suddenly looks a heck of a lot stronger and more flexible.

If only they could also give someone else 1-2 exertion from their own pool when ordering a strike. That would make them pretty crazy. Or even just -grant- someone 1 Exertion since Cantrips don't cost the recipient anything...
 

I actually like that the Marshal has Strongholds and Followers integrated because it helps convey that those systems aren't really supposed to be optional of course the DM can remove anything they don't want but it feels almost silly to get Level Up for it's increases to the Social and Exploration pillars and then not use them. The weird part for me is trying to figure out in the narrative how you aquire those things but some downtime and some roleplaying can cover that I suppose.
I do like Strongholds and Followers a lot, and they are a great addition to Level Up. I just don't think that they should be class features.
The weird figuring out the narrative is exactly on point: the character should organically gain both strongholds and followers depending on how the plot evolved, not just as a "ping! I'm level 17 now, give me that castle!"
Also, strongholds are pretty much necessary IMO for a good sandbox style campaign, but in many published adventures there's no scope for them
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I do like Strongholds and Followers a lot, and they are a great addition to Level Up. I just don't think that they should be class features.
The weird figuring out the narrative is exactly on point: the character should organically gain both strongholds and followers depending on how the plot evolved, not just as a "ping! I'm level 17 now, give me that castle!"
Also, strongholds are pretty much necessary IMO for a good sandbox style campaign, but in many published adventures there's no scope for them
You can grant the stronghold feat without the actual stronghold if you prefer. When it comes down to it, strongholds are just fluff text surrounding a bonus feat.
 


See... I don't get this at all. Lemme go down the list:

Adept: Uses Rapid Glint maneuvers on the attack you give to get out of danger spots, or rush into combat, or uses Mirror's Glint to inflict penalties or steal stuff.
Bard: Uses Vicious Mockery to apply disadvantage to enemy attacks off their turn or casts Message to get off a warning, or casts True Strike so when their turn comes around they can gain advantage on an enemy.
Berserker: Adamant Mountain strikes to fling some guy off a cliff, Tooth and Claw to reposition or chase down an enemy, and Critically Hit really hard when you've got even more attacks in a round.
Cleric: Spare the Dying in a clutch moment, or Sacred Flame, or Pestilence, or Guidance...
Druid: Produce Flame, Pestilence, and Shillelagh either deal immediate damage or give the Druid the chance to prepare for melee before their turn.
Fighter: Literally any type of combat maneuver which makes them super flexible for movement with attacks, knockback, imposing disadvantage, etc. etc. etc.
Herald: Divine Smite on a Combat Maneuver. And with Spirited Steed that can be a lot of free movement. Add in Resistance, which is a useless cantrip most of the time but being cast as a reaction can be pretty great, True Strike, and Altered Strike and you get some strong options.
Marshal: ... probably won't ever happen, let's be honest.
Ranger: Like the Adept, but also plenty of Pew Pew if they're an archer. And at level 9 they get free Whirlwind Strikes or Missile Volleys for an AoE reaction attack. Pretty great!
Rogue: Sneak Attack Combat Maneuvers. Or just combat maneuvers if they're not able to get a Sneak Attack Off. Still pretty useful.
Sorcerer: NOW we're getting into it! They can cast any of their cantrips and change their cantrip's damage type on a whim, making them swiss-army-knives of arcane damage. Add in stuff like Minor Illusion to create increased flexibility in what they can do.
Warlock: Eldritch Blasts of 4 different flavors, damaging cantrips, Minor Illusion, and True Strike.
Wizard: Sorcerer part 2, Electric (Pyromantic?) Boogaloo.

... once you include combat maneuvers into those reaction-attacks the Marshal suddenly looks a heck of a lot stronger and more flexible.

If only they could also give someone else 1-2 exertion from their own pool when ordering a strike. That would make them pretty crazy. Or even just -grant- someone 1 Exertion since Cantrips don't cost the recipient anything...

For all the Martial characters you just described that would be pretty great if that's how the Marshal worked. You give a cantrip or they can "make one weapon attack" they cannot in fact use their manuvers with your granted attack.

When it comes to Combat Directives they can only use a Sanguine Knot manuver that you know. That's it. No neat combos with the other traditions or anything like that. Just the power and interesting design of Doubleteam woo!
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
For all the Martial characters you just described that would be pretty great if that's how the Marshal worked. You give a cantrip or they can "make one weapon attack" they cannot in fact use their manuvers with your granted attack.

When it comes to Combat Directives they can only use a Sanguine Knot manuver that you know. That's it. No neat combos with the other traditions or anything like that. Just the power and interesting design of Doubleteam woo!
Yeah... you might be right.

I hope @Morrus and others will take a look at this thread and change it so Combat Maneuvers can be used with Marshal Commands. Otherwise I intend to houserule it that way from level 1 on. So at low-level people can Grapple or Disarm and go on from there.
 

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