Level Up (A5E) Classes: Winner and Losers

I think this is a common debate point. At what point is an archetype worthy of its own class structure, versus just being an add on to an existing class? There is no single answer.

I think the Paladin is the OG marshall....the high charisma leader that heals and inspires his fellows. That "niche" was already covered, but just as people enjoy spell-less rangers, people like to have that leader type without holy or magical baggage.

Could the fighter have taken on this role?.... honestly, yes I agree they could. Give them a Marshall subclass to handle some of the bigger stuff, and I think the rest of the class could absolutely cover it. Frankly I also think the flavor of that makes more sense than the Marshall class. Having a "general" at 1st level doesn't really make sense....leadership is not something you just have its something you grow into. Having it be a fighter subclass better mirrors the "got some military experience and then took on a leader role".

Should that have been the case? I think tradition is why it didn't happen. A lot of people enjoy the 4e Warlord concept. Just as the ranger and paladin before them....you could do those classes as fighters....but tradition gave those ideas their own class, and once done, its hard to go back. So I think the momentum of the people's desire is what crystallized the Marshall class.
Yeah I get you 100% and having played the 4E Warlord for 30 levels I just am let down by this take on one of the best things that wonderful edition had going for it. The are some bright points that some people have pointed out like Mark Foe and Rallying Surge. I really like those abilities. Warlords can shout you back to consciousness you have to have it.

I think if you could give out all of your attacks and Commanding Presence had a line saying "an ally can make this attack or cast a cantrip no action required and can only be targeted by any Commanding Presence once per round" I would love it so much more.

You can go full lazylord and it doesn't have the potential to be a burden. You are cutting off Shield, Counterspell, Uncanny Dodge and countless Reaction speed manuvers to do one of your iconic components of the character. You can use it to go full Lazylord if you want or you can charge in with your own sword or whatever.

Now I just need to do some reworking on Sanguine Knot and the subclasses.
 

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Rant

Explorer
The layout means each class takes a lot of pages, so it’s slow going to give them a proper analysis but I have to second that the Rogue is a real winner. Good design overall and some bumps in power, yes, which taken from the single class perspective are fine, though it raises some red flags for multiclass potential.
The d8 sneak attack with certain melee weapons vs adding proficiency bonus to damage with ranged attacks melee/ranged trade off is really interesting. I think the class shines more if it existed in original D&D rules, however. The proficiency to damage with ranged attacks is just better, broadly speaking, but original D&D did not multiply static modifiers so it put the two choices on a more level footing.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
It's all a matter of taste.

At one end of the scale you can have two classes -- Fighty and Magicy, and everything is a point between those two things with an archetype. A cleric is a fighty/magicy with a holy archetype. A bard is a fighty/magicy with a music archetype. A rogue is a fighty with a sneaking archetype while a warlock is a magicy with a patron archetype.

At the other end of the scale you can have infinite classes, with every possible concept explored in the glorious detail and nuance that only a full class can.

Most people fall between those two points. I lean more towards the latter, personally, but that's just me. Plenty of people would disagree.
I agree with you, and that's why i LOVE WOIN so much.
Sometimes I'm just wondering how awesome a new iteration of it would be, with a similar scale and team size as Level Up got.
 

Ok here is what murders me about A5E sorcerers, and this is such a weird gripe:

this sorcerer is designed to feel like the ultimate elementalist: built in abilities to master fire cold thunder lightning poison. Yeah! Love it!

why is the only real elemental subclass given to Wizards? I don’t know why this frustrates me so much, but it’s like the sorcerer was right there with being able to be that master but then the presented subclasses sort of just fall short or don’t make an attempt to lean into that change.

again, a minor petty gripe.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Ok here is what murders me about A5E sorcerers, and this is such a weird gripe:

this sorcerer is designed to feel like the ultimate elementalist: built in abilities to master fire cold thunder lightning poison. Yeah! Love it!

why is the only real elemental subclass given to Wizards? I don’t know why this frustrates me so much, but it’s like the sorcerer was right there with being able to be that master but then the presented subclasses sort of just fall short or don’t make an attempt to lean into that change.

again, a minor petty gripe.
It's more like being born seven foot eight and being good at basketball. The sorcerer archetypes lean into their exploration of why they are seven food eigh & dealing out every last drop of it.

The wizard arch is five foot three sure but they study lots... no like all the time their whole life lots... the wizard class & archetypes reflect the directions taken by that study despite being one foot three inches shorter than the sorcerer.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Ok here is what murders me about A5E sorcerers, and this is such a weird gripe:

this sorcerer is designed to feel like the ultimate elementalist: built in abilities to master fire cold thunder lightning poison. Yeah! Love it!

why is the only real elemental subclass given to Wizards? I don’t know why this frustrates me so much, but it’s like the sorcerer was right there with being able to be that master but then the presented subclasses sort of just fall short or don’t make an attempt to lean into that change.

again, a minor petty gripe.
I'm with you though, again this stems back to my original criticism above. Its not that the sorc got no improvements, if I were wanting to play a sorc, I certainly would rather play the LU version.

Its just that, considering some of the love that other classes got in LU (including the wizard and warlock), it does feel like the Sorc just missed out somehow. It got a cookie, while other classes got a cake.
 






jwade1980

Villager
Winner: Fighter, tons of depth and the new combat maneuver system really shines with them. Will be my first character I make with A5E.

Loser: Ranger, would love to see more melee options, but that's a personal thing I know. Archetypes are pretty snoozy too. Warden especially. Wildborn provides the magic variant but fluff/flavor for it is pretty lacking and uninspired. Beast Master I suppose beats the others out.
 

Legendweaver

Explorer
As far as sorcerers go I was left wanting for more archetypes. I want elemental options, I want to see what a psionic or a necromantic one would look like.
Have you seen this collection of Sorcerer subclasses? I can't speak to whether they're balanced, but when I found it, I remember thinking "now, these feel like arcane bloodlines!"

Thinking of Sorcerers in context of Level Up also got me thinking its reframing of race+background as Heritage/Culture/Background/Destiny. I started imagining a build-your-own-archetype for sorcerers based around a similar set of modular elements each with their own ability progressions - for example:
1. An ancestry and/or power source (dragon blood, fiend blood, angelic bloodline, ...etc)
2. A magical theme (or themes) in which they're particularly strong (maybe taking advantage of LU's broader definition of magical schools)
3. A unique casting flair or style (something affecting both casting aesthetics and effects)
4. A Limitation (must kill before each sunset, telling a lie prevents them from casting for a day, must not strike the first blow, etc - a "Wilder's block," for those familiar with the Wheel of Time)

This would really lean into the concept of a sorcerer as a rare, one-of-a-kind magical being, and really set it apart from wizards and warlocks.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
Have you seen this collection of Sorcerer subclasses? I can't speak to whether they're balanced, but when I found it, I remember thinking "now, these feel like arcane bloodlines!"

Thinking of Sorcerers in context of Level Up also got me thinking its reframing of race+background as Heritage/Culture/Background/Destiny. I started imagining a build-your-own-archetype for sorcerers based around a similar set of modular elements each with their own ability progressions - for example:
1. An ancestry and/or power source (dragon blood, fiend blood, angelic bloodline, ...etc)
2. A magical theme (or themes) in which they're particularly strong (maybe taking advantage of LU's broader definition of magical schools)
3. A unique casting flair or style (something affecting both casting aesthetics and effects)
4. A Limitation (must kill before each sunset, telling a lie prevents them from casting for a day, must not strike the first blow, etc - a "Wilder's block," for those familiar with the Wheel of Time)

This would really lean into the concept of a sorcerer as a rare, one-of-a-kind magical being, and really set it apart from wizards and warlocks.
The next step to make it really different is to abandon Vancian Magic and embrace something like Elements of Power. ;)
 


lichmaster

Adventurer
Wait what? A5e has vancian magic? I assumed they would use AE-style readying like O5e does.

_
glass.
The system of D&D and A5E as well are pretty much the definition of Vancian magic: you cast a specific spell with very little customization of it. The only additional flexibility is given by upcasting, metamagic and some feats or class features, but the spells themselves are very rigid.
Non vancian magic is pretty much the opposite, take a look at the W.O.I.N (O.L.D) magic system, or elements of magic to have an example: you literally invent a spell on the fly
 

glass

(he, him)
The system of D&D and A5E as well are pretty much the definition of Vancian magic: you cast a specific spell with very little customization of it.
No, the definition of vancian magic is you prepare/memorise a fixed number of instances of any given spell, and once you use each instance it is gone until the next day (when you can prepare/memorise the same spells again or different one). As used in every edition of D&D except 5e.

Trying to broaden it to "any magic system I do not like" may not be uncommon, but neither is it helpful.

So to be clear; A5e's work like O5e's? Yes or no?

_
glass.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
No, the definition of vancian magic is you prepare/memorise a fixed number of instances of any given spell, and once you use each instance it is gone until the next day (when you can prepare/memorise the same spells again or different one). As used in every edition of D&D except 5e.
I didn't want to be this pedantic, but since it's needed let's go.. The above statement is wrong: 3.5E was also non-vancian in the sense you refer to, as you didn't have to memorize the same spell multiple times to cast it more than once. That happened in 2e, and only if you weren't using any Player's Options (in Spells & Magic there were ways to go beyond this aspect of Vancian magic).

Trying to broaden it to "any magic system I do not like" may not be uncommon, but neither is it helpful.
That not what I said, nor my intent, it's your inference.

In general, Vancian magic refers to both the fixed nature of spells and the fact that you can only cast a fixed number of them.
You can relaxe it a bit by having a more flexible number of spells you cast (by not forgetting a spell you cast, albeit being still subject to the max number of spells per each spell level, by upcasting or using metamagic to alter slightly some spells), but it's still the same spells you cast.
To make it truly non-Vancian, the spells themselves should be flexible enough that you make them up on the spot, like in Ars Magica, WOIN, Elements of Magic, etc.
So to be clear; A5e's work like O5e's? Yes or no?
This is a different and very simple question, whose answer is yes.
 

getquarked

Villager
So the overall winner of A5e is exploration based campaigning, i.e, travelling between regions. So on that note, I'd say over O5e, the ranger is the winner. If you don't have exploration in your campaigns, then yeah hes weak, but in a campaign where you track supply and things are a little more tightly run, its incredible how useful one may be.

also... bards are the winner b/c instrument types meaning something are dope
 


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