log in or register to remove this ad

 

Critical Role Echo Knight is Wildemount's Most Popular Subclass

Russ Morrissey

Comments

jgsugden

Hero
One recent example is the poison moss/spores in Wave Echo Cave that trigger when a "creature" moves within 5 feet of them. The dupe, not a creature, could pass them harmlessly, and the echo knight could then switch with the dupe to avoid them. This DID require the foreknowledge that the moss was poisonous, which the ranger had learned by casting Detect Poison and Disease. The echo knight used the dupe to "attack" the moss, which I ruled would trigger the spores (which I viewed as the only sane ruling to make), which the dupe was then immune to. The party then simply waited until the gas dispersed.
I've run and played in this module a total of four times (played once, run 3 times).

Attacking the moss is not supposed to activate it, and it is supposed to trigger whenever someone crosses it. Regardless, they could have just gone around it. In all four passes through the WEC I experienced, the PCs triggered the fungi. However, in none of them was the entire party impacted by the initial cloud. In one of the four games the PCs pushed through, while in the other three they went around.
The dupe can move in any direction, including straight up into the air. There are things in LMoP that are 10'-15' feet high and need to be climbed up or down; this ability trivializes those.
What did they access that was not accessible through mundane climbing? Anything? Climbing is a trivial task all by itself.
Spellcasting enemies including Glasstaff, Mormesk the wraith, and Black Spider are all kitted out with spells and that require a "creature" as a target, so they effectively had almost nothing they could use against the dupe. Glasstaff was particularly embarrassing in this regard...
Glasstaff has never cast a spell. Fragile and low initiative... even with the shield spell he was killed before he went. However, had he charmed or held the fighter, the image would have been stopped.

Mormesk doesn't have spells, and his attack would kill the image if it hit... but given that it is a wraith and is so focused on snuffing life, as soon as it realized the echo was not alive it would likely have focused on another target. Mormesk was particularly effective in the games I DMed due to bad PC tactics. The scouting rogue ended up trapped in the closet and became a specter. A wounded sorcerer (maybe warlock? been a while) was critted and became a specter.

The Black Spider and his four allies pretty much followed the suggested tactics in the book. When I ran him, his first action was to use a suggestion spell to try to send the front line fighter away from the battle, then (returned) to invisibility and hid behind the spiders. He returned to visibility when there was a target that looked wounded enough that magic missile might finish them off. A suggestion on the fighter would have been just as effective. If he attacked the image, it would have wasted the spell, which is nice, but certainly not overpowered for a 3rd level prime ability of a subclass.

I went back and looked at your old posts on this thread. You were remembering that the image has no senses, right? If the fighter has total cover from the enemy, it often means they can't see the enemy. That means all attacks would need to guess the location and would be at disadvantage.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I'm gonna go ahead and judge this based on my actual experience of seeing this subclass in play in my campaign for the past three months.
 

Parmandur

Legend
One recent example is the poison moss/spores in Wave Echo Cave that trigger when a "creature" moves within 5 feet of them. The dupe, not a creature, could pass them harmlessly, and the echo knight could then switch with the dupe to avoid them. This DID require the foreknowledge that the moss was poisonous, which the ranger had learned by casting Detect Poison and Disease. The echo knight used the dupe to "attack" the moss, which I ruled would trigger the spores (which I viewed as the only sane ruling to make), which the dupe was then immune to. The party then simply waited until the gas dispersed.

The dupe can move in any direction, including straight up into the air. There are things in LMoP that are 10'-15' feet high and need to be climbed up or down; this ability trivializes those.

Spellcasting enemies including Glasstaff, Mormesk the wraith, and Black Spider are all kitted out with spells and abilities that require a "creature" as a target, so they effectively had almost nothing they could use against the dupe. Glasstaff was particularly embarrassing in this regard.

I did have some fun with an evil rival party of adventurers that also included the brother of the echo knight who has the same abilities as the sister. The adventurers learned for themselves what a pain in the ass it can be to face somebody with those abilities. Also including an amusing dueling dupes exchange.
That actually all sounds awesome. Though you might be letting the echo do more than intended in the text.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Currently 6 sessions into a Wildemount campaign and the party fighter has been an Echo Knight for the last two. Certainly a powerful and useful ability, but haven't seen it harming the spotlight of the other players or making it more difficult to run challenging encounters. I DMd a Battlemaster Fighter for 20 levels in my prior campaign, and played an Eldritch Knight for 14 levels through Tyranny of Dragons, and I'd put the Echo Knight so far on par with them, just in a unique way.
 

Azzy

Newtype
No. If you think that's a requirement to seeing that something is obviously overpowered, then, I'm afraid I don't think agree and I don't think that's a reasonable position
I think it's entirely reasonable. I cannot count the times that I've seen someone claim that such-and-such (in D&D, WH40K, or other games) is over/underpowered when in my experience in game it wasn't (and vice-versa with claims that something is not over/underpowered).

There are too many variables in actual gameplay that drawing conclusions from simply reading it or considering "white room" scenarios is inherently flawed. Also, the scientific method requires testing. ;)
 

jgsugden

Hero
I'm gonna go ahead and judge this based on my actual experience of seeing this subclass in play in my campaign for the past three months.
As noted by myself and others: If you let them do more than they're allowed to do RAW, it isn't really fair to call them overpowered.

Your experience is one factor. However, you might wish to conider that a change of perspective and considering other views may be of use. Other people are having other experiences that conflict with yours. Some of us have been running them a bit closer to RAW and see them as effective, evocative, but not overpowered.

Further, when you have yet to express anything that shows them being able to do something more amazing in your game than other PCs can do with climbing, walking another path, etc.... it is hard to undersand why you think them overpowered.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
As noted by myself and others: If you let them do more than they're allowed to do RAW, it isn't really fair to call them overpowered.

Your experience is one factor. However, you might wish to conider that a change of perspective and considering other views may be of use. Other people are having other experiences that conflict with yours. Some of us have been running them a bit closer to RAW and see them as effective, evocative, but not overpowered.

Further, when you have yet to express anything that shows them being able to do something more amazing in your game than other PCs can do with climbing, walking another path, etc.... it is hard to undersand why you think them overpowered.
What am I allowing that isn't RAW?


As noted by myself, the person who had the rules wrong according to RAW (grappling, two bonus actions needed) was you.
 

jgsugden

Hero
What am I allowing that isn't RAW?


As noted by myself, the person who had the rules wrong according to RAW (grappling, two bonus actions needed) was you.
See my above post that addresses the concerns that you're playing it wrong.

You had it interact with the fungus, for one.

However, the main question you did not answer: Did you remember that the fighter needs to have LOS to the target of the Echo Knight? Otherwise there is guessing the square the target is in, disadvantage, etc...

And yes, my post from right after it was released had an error in it. We caught that error soon after. It can't be grappled and it can be resummoned if already in existence. I think our Echo Knight was impacted by these misunderstandings a grand total of one time before we caught them.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Yes I know about LOS. I have to constantly remind my player about it as she frequently tries to use the echo as a scout.

I think my ruling about triggering the moss by hitting it was a fair call. Certainly if my players had hit the moss and nothing happened, and then stepped on it and gotten poisoned, there would have been understandable complaints.

Regardless, I’m just sharing my experience with this subclass. For whatever reason, it’s important to you to establish that my experience is invalid, or my interpretation of RAW is wrong (even though on the whole, it’s somewhat less wrong than yours). That’s kinda weird.
 

jgsugden

Hero
Yes I know about LOS. I have to constantly remind my player about it as she frequently tries to use the echo as a scout.

I think my ruling about triggering the moss by hitting it was a fair call. Certainly if my players had hit the moss and nothing happened, and then stepped on it and gotten poisoned, there would have been understandable complaints.

Regardless, I’m just sharing my experience with this subclass. For whatever reason, it’s important to you to establish that my experience is invalid, or my interpretation of RAW is wrong (even though on the whole, it’s somewhat less wrong than yours). That’s kinda weird.
This whole thread has been a series of people claiming the subclass is overpowered (without substantiating it) and other people telling them to simmer down, explain what you think is broken and what your experiences are, and then analysis that shows that there is very little going on here that is actually that special.

I always go back to the Mystic Theurge when these Hexblade/Echo Knight/Cleric of Order broke the game arguments. Mystic Theurge was a 3E option offered that blew people's minds. It gave you access to wizard AND cleric spells. Your spellcasting fell a few levels behind a pure spellcaster, but while they were casting 7th level wizard spells, you had access to both 6th level wizard AND 6th level cleric spells.

People claimed it was ridiculously broken. They swore it ruined the game. They said EVERY spellcaster would be a Mystic Theurge from that point on. The vast majority of people on Enworld, on the WotC boards, on other boards - they all called it insanely overpowered.... and then it actually hit the tables and people started to discover it felt weak. Very. It was playable, but you were playing with toys that other people got 10 to 15 sessions earlier. You were the 4th kid that never had any new clothes - just a series of hand-me-downs from your older brothers and sisters.

Echo Knight looks cool and creates some interesting and fun options. However, when you get down to it, there are only a few things you can do with it that you can't achieve in other reasonably accessible methods. It is cool to teleport over the pit (rather than jumping it). It is cool see an enemy waste a spell on a target that can't be impacted by it (rather than have someone make a saving throw). But it is not broken.

And it sounds like you have not put any battles in front of the PCs where the image is entirely negated, yet. Those happen. Then you feel a lot like a fighter with no subclass at all, which is kind of unfun.
 

Mistwell

Legend
I always go back to the Mystic Theurge when these Hexblade/Echo Knight/Cleric of Order broke the game arguments.
I always go back to the 3.0e monk, when 3e first came out. People looked at how they got something every single level, and thought that meant they were easily the most powerful class. Took about 6 months for that to die down on this message board.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
I always go back to the Mystic Theurge when these Hexblade/Echo Knight/Cleric of Order broke the game arguments. Mystic Theurge was a 3E option offered that blew people's minds. It gave you access to wizard AND cleric spells. Your spellcasting fell a few levels behind a pure spellcaster, but while they were casting 7th level wizard spells, you had access to both 6th level wizard AND 6th level cleric spells.
I came in later to 3E so my experience with that sort of thing was the original Warlock. Them having the first at-will magical attack just blew some people's minds. People on the forums did up charts of its "potential damage" if you used it every round for a continuous eight hours, as if that was a realistic use case. Then, as you say, people using them in actual play and it turned out to be nothing particularly special.
 

That actually all sounds awesome. Though you might be letting the echo do more than intended in the text.
Yes, I think I would be much stricter in what I allowed the echo to do, irrespective of RAW. If the echo is supposed to be an alternative universe version of you, it seems unlikely that there exists a universe in which you are hovering 15' in the air.
 

I think it's entirely reasonable. I cannot count the times that I've seen someone claim that such-and-such (in D&D, WH40K, or other games) is over/underpowered when in my experience in game it wasn't (and vice-versa with claims that something is not over/underpowered).

There are too many variables in actual gameplay that drawing conclusions from simply reading it or considering "white room" scenarios is inherently flawed. Also, the scientific method requires testing. ;)
White room is the scientific approach, or the closest you're going to get to it, in D&D. I needs to be used intelligently, i.e. not assuming you can long-rest after every encounter or the like, but it's the best tool we have.

Actual play is subject to no controls whatsoever, and tends to produce results that are meaningless unless they highlight very specific issues (which will almost always have come up prominently in white room examinations), because too much else is in play, not least player skill, DM skill, DM kindness-nastiness, whether the DM is keen to "shut down" a certain ability, how the DM builds his encounters, what the rest of the group is playing, the environment of the adventure, whether the DM is running 1 encounter/day or 15 encounters/day, and so on. Actual play definitely has some value, but claiming you should totally ignore white room analysis and act like a class/race/etc. is fine until it shows it isn't in your game is obviously silly. Yet that is literally what is being proposed by some people.

(Also, as an aside, I really feel like if we found all the people who claimed white-room stuff was pointless or whatever, then compared that to a list of people who preemptively banned stuff because it was OP or broken, we'd find it had many of the same people on it. Not practical, sadly.)

WH40K vs D&D shows a steep difference, too, here, which kind of ruins your point. WH40K is an adversarial skirmish game where you both have specific rules you're supposed to be sticking to and are both trying to "win", rather than to essentially "tell a story together", as all D&D is. Actual play is therefore massively more reliable in that case. It's still subject to player skill, which is a huge variable, and army comp, which is another huge variable, and a dumbass with a bad comp, or a dumbass who runs into a counter-comp may manage to make the most profoundly broken (not just OP, broken) army look bad. But that's rarer, because there are a lot fewer variables and people are "playing to win", not role-playing or encouraging a story being told.

I've been playing skirmish games and RPGs for 32 years now. So I can compare two things:

1) The number of times something looked bad in a reasonable white-room analysis (i.e. not one assuming a long rest after every encounter or the like), and yet played absolutely fine because of some unexpected factor.

and

2) The number of times something looked pretty bad in a reasonable white-room analysis, and then played out somewhere between close to as bad, or much worse.

And 2 is vastly more common than 1, in my experience. People who are mechanically-inclined aren't idiots about this sort of thing. So long as the white room analysis is reasonable, the worst case scenario is that it points out potential problems. Negative bias applies to both scenarios so claiming that doesn't work here.

I do have some sympathy for people who are distrustful of white-room stuff though, because the key word here is "reasonable". A lot of white room analysis isn't reasonable. It makes assumptions that are either not true, not intended, or are based on an extremely specific combination of factors, without being clear on it. And some white-room analysis is simply bad faith stuff designed to make something look bad even when they know it isn't (thankfully rare here, because we're so damn old, I suspect, that we just don't care enough to do that!). So like I am sympathetic to not wanting to trust white-room stuff, but equally, my experience is that when it is done in a reasonable way, it is usually correct in at least highlighting that there is an issue/problem.

If your position is just "take the white room stuff on board, but see how it actually works for your group", then I think that's fine and not silly. But ignoring it entirely, even where it's reasonable? Silly.

(As discussed, Echo Knight merely seems powerful to me, rather than broken or anything. It's not going to be any more of an issue than a well-played Wizard - probably less. That's one thing D&D 5E has to reckon with - some of the most "overpowered" classes and races are the base classes and races.)
 

Whatever use white room analysis has for evaluating a class in the combat pillar, it is not use whatsoever in the exploration an social pillars. And the issues raised here are with the Echo Knight's exploration pillar performance, not it's combat performance.
 

When you guys were describing how the Echo Knight got around these traps and what not, I just thought it sounded cool tbh. What's the point of features if you can't use them creatively to get around stuff? That's the whole point of features...
 

Whatever use white room analysis has for evaluating a class in the combat pillar, it is not use whatsoever in the exploration an social pillars. And the issues raised here are with the Echo Knight's exploration pillar performance, not it's combat performance.
I actually largely agree with this. I was responding to the frequent suggestion that white room stuff is broadly useless. It is less useful in exploration/social pillar stuff, because that is so variable.

That said, a lot of actual tabletop experience of those pillars is equally subjective/inapplicable. I play with three different DMs, and their styles (and mine) are all different. One guy makes you roll checks to the point where you feel like you're going insane, and thus something like Reliable Talent or the Eloquence Bard's deal with never rolling less than a 10 on Persuasion/Deception would be insanely amazing in his campaign. Whereas another one of them goes strongly on RP and description and rarely ever makes you check unless it's pretty dubious and you're relying on the character to do it, and those abilities wouldn't come up a great deal.
 

jgsugden

Hero
Whatever use white room analysis has for evaluating a class in the combat pillar, it is not use whatsoever in the exploration an social pillars. And the issues raised here are with the Echo Knight's exploration pillar performance, not it's combat performance.
This was addressed extensively. And, as noted, it is a whiteboard problem, not an actual gameplay problem.

Teleporting past a locked gate - rather than picking a lock or breaking the gate down - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting across a 15 foot wide gap - rather than leaping over it - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting up a 15' cliff - rather than climbing it - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting past a trap - rather than walking around it, disarming it, or otherwise evading it - cool, not game breaking.

That is not to say that there are not places where the Echo Knight can do something that the DM may not have intended to be possible. You get it at 3rd level - when misty step is available - and most of what you can do with the Echo Knight in the exploration tier is pretty much something that can be done with Misty Step. And as those things will be few and far between, the ability to do them over and over is nearly meaningless.

In my party that has the Echo Knight, only the Echo Knight can use these techniques to bypass challenges. The rest of the group has to find other solutions. The dwarf druid with mold earth filled chasms, built mounds to walk up, bypassed locked areas and traps, etc... for the entire party. The dungeon setting had to be right for that, but it was one of those situations where that cantrip was uber useful.

Here are the most powerful uses of the ability I saw:

  • Drawing fire. There were several situations in which the image drew a spell, a big attack or other single use or recharge ability away from other targets.
  • Avoiding attacking through cover. The image was able to position itself in a way to avoid attacking through cover, even though it was exposed to danger, while the fighter stayed in a covered position that had full visibility.
  • The extra attacks, obviously. Both the Unleash Incarnation and the extra OAs. The fighter has a 16 con, so there were a lot of extra attacks there, a lot like a war priest, especially at low levels.
  • Scouting after 7th level was obtained. With no ability to hide, this announced the presence of the party wherever it went. Still useful in some situations, although it caused more trouble than it prevented at first.

However:

  • The amount of time this subclass requires your bonus action is painful. The fighter went down a few times because he made the choice to use the bonus action on the echo rather than second wind.
  • We've mentioned the circumstances in which damage auras make the echo knight abilities useless.
  • There were a lot of combats where the echo knight's subclass did absolutely nothing beneficial for the party. The extra attack was not available or otherwise unusued, and the fighter could have attacked just as easily. It didn't even lock down OAs better. It might as well not have been there.
 

This was addressed extensively. And, as noted, it is a whiteboard problem, not an actual gameplay problem.

Teleporting past a locked gate - rather than picking a lock or breaking the gate down - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting across a 15 foot wide gap - rather than leaping over it - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting up a 15' cliff - rather than climbing it - cool, not game breaking.
Teleporting past a trap - rather than walking around it, disarming it, or otherwise evading it - cool, not game breaking.
Whether or not it's game breaking depends entirely on the game, which is why it is impossible to actually whiteroom. How big an obstacle a locked gate is intended to be depends entirely on the adventure design - it may well be designed to be too difficult to pick and too heavy to lift.
That is not to say that there are not places where the Echo Knight can do something that the DM may not have intended to be possible. You get it at 3rd level - when misty step is available - and most of what you can do with the Echo Knight in the exploration tier is pretty much something that can be done with Misty Step.
Misty Step costs a 2nd level spell slot. Using it to overcome obstacles comes at a cost - a very significant one at 3rd level. The issue isn't that the echo knight can bypass obstacles - it's that they can do it for zero cost.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I always go back to the 3.0e monk, when 3e first came out. People looked at how they got something every single level, and thought that meant they were easily the most powerful class. Took about 6 months for that to die down on this message board.
Reminds me of discussions of the Hexblade Warlock, tbh. It “gets more” than other subclasses, but...it doesn’t make a more powerful character than what is available in the phb. It just reads as powerful because it has more bullet points than other warlocks.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement1

Latest threads

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top