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Critical Role Echo Knight is Wildemount's Most Popular Subclass

Russ Morrissey

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I'm still telling you take a gander at those spells. Magnify Gravity for example, is just outright better than any other first-level AE damage spell.
This is a quote from Wildemont:
Dunamancy spells are readily available to the wizard subclasses in this chapter and should not be simply added to the full spell lists ofother spellcasting classes. However, the Dungeon Master can consider allowing other spell casting classes opportunities throughout the campaign to learn a handful of dunamancy-themed spells as rewards.

Obviously, even with an effort to police balance between spells, some spells will be better than others. The spells you are referring to, are clearly marked as: Restricted.

If a DM ignores the signage, and does the D&D equivalent of walking on the very edge of the Cliffs of Moher, and their game suffers as a consequence, the blame falls clearly on the DM.

Magnify Gravity has a Constitution save, which in practice means it is going to get resisted frequently, especially at higher tiers of play.

Echo Knight’s Echo is better than Invoke Duplicity. It is also the bulk of the subclasses power.
Invoke Duplicity has a 120’ range vs 30’ for the Echo Knight, and is a really just a gambit for a cleric.

Crit Fishing with Spiritual Weapon and Invoke Duplicity is fun. A critical hit with Inflict Wounds is nice!

Also any DM that rules that you can spot the difference between “ A perfect Illusion” and the original, when the player is trying to cause doubt as to which is which, is lousy refereeing, to my mind.

Different beasts for Different classes, but Echo Knight’s Echo is clearly a bit of power-creep vs the restrictions on Invoke Duplicity.
 

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Parmandur

Legend
Flip that around and say "balanced" and "well-designed", and your statement is still true. People tend to think that the way something works for their table, is the way it works for everyone else's tables (or worse, the way it should work for everyone). Balanced or unbalanced, fun or not fun, etc. It's kind of pointless to argue about feelings and judgment calls like this. (And I'd try to avoid implying that my fellow readers aren't capable of understanding something.)

The way I look at it: the author feels the Echo Knight was balanced. The playtesters felt it was balanced. The editors and publishers felt it was balanced. So it's probably balanced. It sure doesn't feel that way to me, but my feelings are pretty unreliable.
Based on how WotC does plautesting, I have moral certitude that they have solid data about in-game performance.
 

Also any DM that rules that you can spot the difference between “ A perfect Illusion” and the original, when the player is trying to cause doubt as to which is which, is lousy refereeing, to my mind.
Nonsense. If a creature swings at the ID, their weapon will go straight through it without the slightest resistance. If a DM rules they have to continue to treat it as the same as the PC after that, then that's ridiculous. Also, if a copy of the PC springs into existence whilst they can still see the PC, they have every reason to be suspicious of the copy.

Obviously, even with an effort to police balance between spells, some spells will be better than others. The spells you are referring to are clearly marked as Restricted.
That does not justify them being outright better than other spells. Otherwise every Wizard subclass could potentially have their own special spells which are better than other people's spells. That's literally not even argument about balance, merely access.

Both Chronurgy and Graviturgy Dunmancers ALSO get the usual abilities at 2nd, 6th, 10th etc. as any other Wizard subclass does - in fact, they have superior stuff to a lot of Wizard subclasses.

So what do they lose out on to justify having access to outright better spells than others? I'll await your answer.

And already discussed CON vs DEX, so not sure why you are saying that.
 

The way I look at it: the author feels the Echo Knight was balanced. The playtesters felt it was balanced. The editors and publishers felt it was balanced. So it's probably balanced. It sure doesn't feel that way to me, but my feelings are pretty unreliable.
I just don't believe that all these people actually look at the balance, sorry, and the fact that the Wizard subclasses are both "really solid/powerful Wizard subclass, which as a bonus has access to spells outright better than other ones in 5E", doesn't exactly scream "we did a great job on balance!".

Authors, even lovely smart people, tend to be terrible at balance unless it's a major concern for them (which it is for few, in my experience). 3PP stuff by experienced RPG designers is a good example - it's often got ludicrous balance issues (despite having playtesters and so on). I don't for a second believe the publishers or editors (in the conventional sense) analyze the balance. Why on earth would they?

(As an aside, we don't know how the playtesters actually felt, or whether they were all fans of CR or the like, or what. My feeling is that there's no way a spell like Magnify Gravity gets past even a mildly competent, unbiased playtester. So the fact that it did shows there's a problem, rather undeniably. And it being only accessible by two Wizard subclasses only matters if they're worse than other subclasses, like missing one or more of the L2/6/10 etc. abilities to "pay" for access to better spells. But they actually have really good 2/6/10/etc abilities.)

I see no-one is willing to suggest Magnify Gravity is actually fine, which is interesting.
 




Parmandur

Legend
I see no-one is willing to suggest Magnify Gravity is actually fine, which is interesting.
I've taken a closer look at it: per the DMG chart, a multi-target Level 1 Spell that does half-damage on a asave would do 2d6, not 2d8, so that is more powerful on first blush. My hypothesis is that they started there, but found in actual play that the Constitution saving throw was too good on targets, so they adjusted upwards. Given what is known of the statistical, bog-data approach of the WotC private playtesting process, this seems most likely.
 

I've taken a closer look at it: per the DMG chart, a multi-target Level 1 Spell that does half-damage on a asave would do 2d6, not 2d8, so that is more powerful on first blush. My hypothesis is that they started there, but found in actual play that the Constitution saving throw was too good on targets, so they adjusted upwards. Given what is known of the statistical, bog-data approach of the WotC private playtesting process, this seems most likely.
And what about the other two abilities, one of which is huge? Half movement is amazing for a 1st level spell. It's certainly more powerful than the 10' shove of Thunderwave (and doesn't have the 300' alert disadvantage, nor requires you to be in melee, and hits more targets).

And it has a 60' range, targets a point, and has a 10' radius. Literally no damaging 1st level spell has either of the second traits (and no AE has better range, except maybe Rain of Thorns on a good day).

In fact, take a look at Shatter, a level 2 spell:


Shatter is arguably worse than Magnify Gravity straight-up (given the power of half movement), and on top of that, it's pretty much objectively worse than upcasting Magnify Gravity.
 

Ruin, have you seen a stage magician work up close? I’ve seen 3 Card Monte type effects, done in my own living room, with the trick spelled out to me, and failed to see the prestidigation.

So, even if one had struck the Perfect Illusion previously, actively playing three card monte with the Original and the Illusion, by moving through each other’s squares should still cause targeting confusion.

Detailed players, will intentionally attempt to sow this confusion. So yes, it is poor form as a DM to blatantly ignore these efforts.

Loki’s illusions from the Marvel movies do not work all the time, but the illusions do work, most of the time.

In regards to the spells, quite simply Ruin, you have not made the case these spells are broken.
Some are overpowered, in my opinion. None at a glance, strike me as broken.

Many spell casting subclasses get access to spells not normally on their default spell list.
These particular spells can only be selected starting at 2nd level. So the spells in question are a spells known tax...one will have to select the spells on level up, and access at 1st level character level is restricted.

If the spells and subclasses do not fit your view of what constitutes a balanced D&D diet, don’t use the optional material.

Gift of Alacrity and Fortune’s Favor, the two spells from the book that will see use at every tier, (in my view), have more synergistic advantages for the Diviner wizard subclass then for a Chronurgist.

A Chronurgist is great for a 5 minute work day, and with a player that is adept at planning. The subclass abilities have a level of nuance, that many will not like, or get at first glance.

The Diviner subclass has similar Saving Throw Debuffs through it’s Portent subclass feature, and incredible 6-8 encounter a day staying power through Expert Divination.

Malleable Illusion means an Illusionist can change their appearance with an action, for a whole hour with a single cast of Disguise Self. An Illusionist can use Mirage Arcane to devastating effect.

A PC could easily hold a square mile of say the harbor of Waterdeep hostage for 10 days, changing the terrain with a mere action, during that time. It is hard to dock a schooner on a snow covered mountain that was the ocean before, and might become a Death Valley like desert in the next 6 seconds.

Chronurgists are powerful, but power has it’s limits. Just ask Anakin Skywalker about his lower torso. 😄
 
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jgsugden

Hero
Everyone go back and look at the Mystic Theurge in 3E.

Theorycrafters saw it and SCREAMED about how BROKEN it was. There was no dissent. It was overwhelmingly powerful and broken beyond belief. Here on ENWORLD, on the WotC forums, everywhere - we stood united, with little dissent - KNOWING that it was broken.

And in play it proved to be underpowered. Way underpowered.

It took several years for people to come to that conclusion an for the boards in general to agree, but by the time 3E ended, it was common knowledge that it was weak.

If you have played 200 hours of Echo Knight, I consider you to be very knowledgeable and will value your educated opinion. The book has been out for about a month, so that would be essentially 40 hours of D&D a week. If you have significantly less experience with the class, I am going to say we still need to reserve our judgment.

And once again - Invoke Duplicity is a very different beast in play. There are superficial similarities, but if you think them worthy of comparison, you lack a deep understanding of one or both of them.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
@jgsugden yep, people on internet chat forums tend to conflate the importance of internet chat forums. (I should know; I'm a chief offender.) It's fun to discuss the pros and cons of the game, but I've learned to walk away when folks dig their heels in and start arguing.

The Echo Knight looks overpowered to me, but I doubt it'll top the Hexblade. I haven't played one yet but I will at the first opportunity...not because I want to check how balanced it is; it just looks like a lot of fun to drive.
 

Mercador

Explorer
I guess they calculate the numbers out of characters with Wildemount content activated, so the 28M is misleading, since it's the total number of active character sheets (I am only repeating what I read here in earlier threads about that site).
28 millions character sheets, no matter the books, I would buy it but 28 millions that create Wildemount specific content, I think it is not possible. Not with a book with a 2 months old lifetime.
 

Mistwell

Legend
I have a group that just hit level 3 and one player is running a tiefling echo knight. I’m finding that the duplicate ability is REALLY powerful for a level 3 character. TBH it feels more like an ability you should get at level 5 or 6.

It’s also a little ill-defined. Can the duplicate speak? The character can attack from the duplicate’s position - can they take other actions? Open doors? Grapple? Pick something up?
Please let us know how your second session with the Echo Knight character goes. I am curious to hear play reports on it.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Please let us know how your second session with the Echo Knight character goes. I am curious to hear play reports on it.
The player has spent two sessions keeping her own character behind 3/4 cover while using her dupe to make ranged attacks and draw enemy fire. The dupe gets taken out regularly but the player just re-summons her the following round with a bonus action and attacks again.

Combats have been against duegar who have some versatility but no AOE attacks. The one time in two sessions they managed to actually tag the real echo knight with 5 points of damage was when an invisible one snuck around the cover to get right next to her.

Player is very bright but this is her first ever D&D campaign so it's not like she is any kind of expert player. Most everybody else is running PHB-based characters and the power difference is absolutely noticeable. It's not game-breakingly bad but it's absolutely there.
 
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Mistwell

Legend
I'm still telling you take a gander at those spells. Magnify Gravity for example, is just outright better than any other first-level AE damage spell. It's 60' range, 2d8 damage (CON save for half) in 10' radius centered on a point you choose (thus making it vastly easier to position than other low-level AE spells), aaaaand it halves the movement (halves, not -10' as you might expect, not even -15', halves) of creatures who fail the save, aaaaand all non-worn objects within the radius require a STR save (spell save DC) to pick up at all.
snare.
I agree with you, that spell is more powerful than it should be for a 1st level spell. That feels more similar to the second level spell Shatter. Same range (60') same radius (10'), same save for half (Con), slightly worse damage type (Thunder is resisted more than Force), and better damage ( 3d8 vs 2d8) but no half-speed rider (which feels about like a d8 of damage in value) and roughly the same impact on unattached objects. That feels close enough to be firmly a 2nd level spell...but it's a 1st level one.

However, it's worth pointing out that you picked THE ONE AND ONLY SPELL WHICH WAS RANKED BLUE on the guides I've seen. For example, Treantmonk ranked all the other Duramancy spells as green, red, purple, or orange from that book except Magnify Gravity. Meaning you highlighted likely the exception to the overall rule that the spells in this sourcebook are pretty well balanced to kinda below average or situational.

As for the Sub-Classes, Graviturgist is average or slightly below average for Wizard sub-classes. Probably above transmutter and necromancer, but bottom half for all wizard sub-classes.

Chronurgist, however, is overpowered in my opinion. BUT, only because of one ability they have. I think their sub-class related abilities are all fine in terms of balance (I would put them on the more powerful side but not more powerful than, for example, a divination wizard), except for that one ability. And that is their 10th level ability that has an issue: Arcane Abeyance. Arcane Abeyance let's you 1) get around concentration, and 2) it gets around the casting time, lowering the casting time to one action regardless of the casting time for the spell normally.

That one ability is broken, and I suspect as you suspect they didn't sufficiently playtest that ability. Playtesters should have been able to discover that a wizard with this ability could put up a Tiny Hut spell (for example) in a single action during combat - completely breaking the intent of that spell as an out-of-combat spell for long rests. I think I'd houserule this ability to require that any spell used with it can't have a casting time of more than 1 action, and if it's a concentration spell it counts as the wizard's concentration. That houserule would fix this sub-class to be within the bounds of other wizard sub-classes (though still on the upper half, probably top 3).
 

In regards to the spells, quite simply Ruin, you have not made the case these spells are broken.
Some are overpowered, in my opinion. None at a glance, strike me as broken.
...
......

Quote me where I said they were broken.

Come on. I'll wait.

You won't be able to, because I said they were overpowered, not broken, explicitly! :) So way to agree with me in a fashion that looks like disagreement. I also have to ask: are you even fully reading my posts? I think that's a fair question given this is the second time you've responded to me in a way that suggests you are not!

As for the rest of it, you seem to largely agree with my position. The Chronurgist is about as good as the Diviner (a very good subclass, arguably the best Wizard subclass, power-wise), maybe slightly behind, but fairly close, based on 2/6/10 etc. abilities alone. Then on top of that they have access to these badly-designed spells. You say a Diviner could make better use of some of them - probably right - but they can't access them.

As for "don't use them!", don't worry, I won't! I never said I would, did I? What I said was "this stuff is overpowered" in response to a suggestion that it surely was not. You seem to broadly agree, or at least think that it's towards the very highest end of the power graph.

Not sure what you're going on about re: three-card monte, but if you think a character who summons an illusion of themselves 60' away in front of a bunch of intelligent enemies and expect them to be perplexed should be treated as a "master illusionist", well, yeah I'm not going to do that.

Also buddy you seem to be confusing Anakin Skywalker and Darth Maul. Anakin lost limbs, Maul lost his lower half.

The Echo Knight looks overpowered to me, but I doubt it'll top the Hexblade.
Hexblade/Pact of the Blade is pretty bad (even alone, Hexblade is bad - but Pact of the Blade alone is fine). I mean, I'm definitely not saying Echo Knight is the first or most overpowered thing in 5E. But it doesn't feel like it was the result of really hardcore playtesting or anything.

And once again - Invoke Duplicity is a very different beast in play. There are superficial similarities, but if you think them worthy of comparison, you lack a deep understanding of one or both of them.
Let's be clear that @Todd Roybark is the one who compared them originally, and you, @jgsugden and claimed they were "comparable", so that's quite a thing to say.

Overall, I think the Echo power of the Echo Knight edges out the Invoke Duplicity power of the Cleric of Trickery.
They're comparable in utility.
Anything else is responses to that.
 

You won't be able to, because I said they were overpowered, not broken, explicitly! :)
So you never said it, you just implied it, am I getting that right?

there is no difference between the two except when dealing with law, and we aren't dealing with law, we are dealing with an elf game.
 

Mistwell

Legend
To those saying everything in this book was playtested adequately, I challenge you to review the Chronurgist's 10th level ability, consider what you could do with it in terms of allowing you to have two concentration spells up at once AND get around longer casting times for spells not intended for combat to make them 1 action casting, and tell me again that ability had adequate playtesting. Because I am just not seeing it. That ability...I mean Ruin Explorer may not be willing to use the word "broken" but I am for that ability. It's broken guys. It's breaking basic assumptions of the game. I don't think it's written as they intended it to function.
 

However, it's worth pointing out that you picked THE ONE AND ONLY SPELL WHICH WAS RANKED BLUE on the guides I've seen. For example, Treantmonk ranked all the other Duramancy spells as green, red, purple, or orange from that book except Magnify Gravity. Meaning you highlighted likely the exception to the overall rule that the spells in this sourcebook are pretty well balanced to kinda below average or situational.
I know you're the guide guy, but literally the first guide I found to Dunamancy spells had multiple ones rated in the top two categories, including four blue ones (though not Magnify Gravity, hilariously - maybe they just thing 1st level AE damage spells suck as a general thing).


Obviously opinions can vary, but a lot of people seem to think that Dark Star and a couple of others are extremely good spells as well.

I focused on Magnify Gravity because it's one spell. I don't really want to be putting the details of every Dunamancy spell on the internet, it doesn't seem quite right.

So you never said it, you just implied it, am I getting that right?
No, I explicitly said otherwise and explained the difference in some detail. I think it's quite unfair that you'd make such a comment without reading the thread and seeing that I'd done that.
 

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