D&D 5E Defensive Duelist fix?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Defensive Duelist is pretty weak sauce, so I’d like to spice it up.

My main idea is to add a repost if you make the attack miss? Does it then become too strong for classes with strong single attacks?

If so, what about two separate things? If an attack misses you, you can make an attack against the attacker as a reaction. This way you can either use your reaction to parry or to riposte, but not both. Which is lame in relation to feeling like an actual duelist, but perhaps more balanced?

Then again, the version where you can do both in a single reaction is still at best comparable to the best extant feats.

What about all of it in one package, change finesse to light?

So;

When you are wielding a finesse or light weapon with which you are proficient, you gain the following abilities.
  • Duelist’s Parry. When another creature hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.
  • Duelist’s Riposte, when an attack misses you, you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against the creature that missed you.
  • If you cause an attack to miss you by using Duelist’s Parry, you can use Duelist’s Riposte as part of the same reaction. If you do so, you cannot use either ability again until you have gone a round without using your reaction.

Might be simpler to have the Parry-riposte combo be “you can make an attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn against the same creature”?
 

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Xeviat

Community Supporter
Supporter
Consider that the Fighter Battlemaster has a repost ability, and also has push and other things that could be done with basic actions. The Battlemaster uses a limited resources, but gets a damage boost.

So, there's a feat that lets you push as a bonus action (shield master). I think a feat that lets you repost or parry as a reaction is fine.

The question is, if a rogue already landed a sneak attack on their turn, can they get a second sneak attack via a repost? It's risky, since they could use their reaction to take half damage already.
 


I was so confused until I realized you guys meant riposte, not re-post.

I think the suggestion for a counter-attack choice is good, but allowing a counter off an attack you made miss seems a bit, well, perhaps excessive and more like a class feature but I don't think it's better than GWM so I guess it's fine.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
When you are wielding a finesse or light weapon with which you are proficient, you gain the following abilities.
  • Duelist’s Parry. When another creature hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.
  • Duelist’s Riposte, when an attack misses you, you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against the creature that missed you.
  • If you cause an attack to miss you by using Duelist’s Parry, you can use Duelist’s Riposte as part of the same reaction. If you do so, you cannot use either ability again until you have gone a round without using your reaction.
I think this is too strong. If you get hit, you can react to try to make it a miss. If you are missed, you can react to get in a free attack. Either way, you get to use your reaction every round (hit or miss).

I could see just about every rogue taking your version. "What? He missed me? Cool! Sneak Attack time b'atch!" ;)

Now, I agree completely the RAW feat is very :sleep: but I don't know if the Riposte is the answer. :unsure:
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
can they get a second sneak attack via a repost? It's risky, since they could use their reaction to take half damage already.
That's the point, though, they don't need to use Uncanny Dodge because in order for riposte, the attack has to miss! Also, they can do this before level 5 when Uncanny Dodge comes online...

Granted, once the reaction is used, it would suck to get hit later and not have Uncanny Dodge, but for an extra SA attempt? Probably worth it IME anyway.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
In its current incarnation, it's probably too good for rogues, who are always looking for ways to get off-turn attacks. Like, I would go VHuman for that feat if I was playing a rogue, or take it as my level 4 feat otherwise.

Maybe restrict Riposte to only occurring if the Parry causes the attack to miss? Not just any miss? Still has the defensive benefits, but a decent offensive upgrade instead of an overwhelming one.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Consider that the Fighter Battlemaster has a repost ability, and also has push and other things that could be done with basic actions. The Battlemaster uses a limited resources, but gets a damage boost.

So, there's a feat that lets you push as a bonus action (shield master). I think a feat that lets you repost or parry as a reaction is fine.

The question is, if a rogue already landed a sneak attack on their turn, can they get a second sneak attack via a repost? It's risky, since they could use their reaction to take half damage already.
I’m cool with Rogues getting fairly regular reaction Sneak Attacks, since like you pointed out they are weighing this against Uncanny Dodge.

Would it be simple and balanced to make it work like the monk’s Deflect Arrow ability but for melee? Although then we would have to figure out the limiter on the attack, since we don’t have Ki to work with.

It means I think you've made it too strong.
If you think the phb feat isn’t weak, then I can’t imagine any other conclusion to a straight up upgrade to it. I see DD as one of the weakest combat feats, and largely a waste of ASI. I’d rather take Linguist or something that at least rounds out the character concept, never mind comparison against other combat feats.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think this is too strong. If you get hit, you can react to try to make it a miss. If you are missed, you can react to get in a free attack. Either way, you get to use your reaction every round (hit or miss).

I could see just about every rogue taking your version. "What? He missed me? Cool! Sneak Attack time b'atch!" ;)

Now, I agree completely the RAW feat is very :sleep: but I don't know if the Riposte is the answer. :unsure:
IMO some sort of riposte is the only good, flavorful, interesting, and thematically appropriate addition to the feat.
If it has to be two separate abilities that’s fine, but tbh I don’t think the version I typed out is too powerful.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
IMO some sort of riposte is the only good, flavorful, interesting, and thematically appropriate addition to the feat.
If it has to be two separate abilities that’s fine, but tbh I don’t think the version I typed out is too powerful.
I suppose it depends on how easily SA is accomplished at your table. At ours, it is pretty easy since the rogue either engages with an ally also attacking that target. If the opportunity for SA is not common, then this won't be too strong. But YMMV of course. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe restrict Riposte to only occurring if the Parry causes the attack to miss? Not just any miss? Still has the defensive benefits, but a decent offensive upgrade instead of an overwhelming one.

I think that is a great balance point.

Works for me, I guess. A more general riposte to any missed attack could be worked into a different feat, I suppose.

I just don’t think it matters if every time the rogue gets attacked and missed, they get a reaction SA.

IME, that will not be every round, by any means. I see Rogues using Uncanny Dodge quite a lot, and adding +2 to AC isn’t making a huge difference to that.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I suppose it depends on how easily SA is accomplished at your table. At ours, it is pretty easy since the rogue either engages with an ally also attacking that target. If the opportunity for SA is not common, then this won't be too strong. But YMMV of course. :)
I’ve got Rogues with Sentinel in my games who get 2 SA attacks per round quite often, and it’s not at all too powerful.
 




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