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D&D 5E Fey Hobgoblin Mastermind Too Cheesy/OP?


Hi folks, I am looking to be a player for the first time in a long time. In fact I am looking at joining two groups, one full of powergamers and one full of newbies. I have wanted to play a gruff retired veteran who takes others under his wing, but is not the fighter he used to be. I can do that as a battlemaster, with warlord style maneuvers, but then I'd be a bit too good of a fighter. I was considering the Mastermind to be a bit worse at fighting, but able to help others more.

They Fey Hobgoblin has the following ability:

Fey Gift.
You can use this trait to take the Help action as a bonus action, and you can do so a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest. Starting at 3rd level, choose one of the options below each time you take the Help action, whether as a bonus action or an action:
  • Hospitality. You and the target of your Help action each gain a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d6 plus your proficiency bonus.
  • Passage. You and the target of your Help action each increase your walking speeds by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
  • Spite. Until the start of your next turn, the first time you or the target of your Help action hits a creature with an attack roll, that creature has disadvantage on the next attack roll that it makes within the next minute.
The Mastermind has the following ability:

Master of Tactics​

Starting at 3rd level, you can use the Help action as a bonus action. Additionally, when you use the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature, the target of that attack can be within 30 feet of you, rather than 5 feet of you, if the target can see or hear you.

So it looks as if the Hobgoblin Mastermind could use a help action as a bonus every turn (as is intended), then give 1d6+prof THP per turn. If you use the help action as a bonus first, then both you and your friend hit somebody, that person gets disadvantage on their next attack.

Mastermind is not exactly an OP subclass, but do you think the designers considered anybody using the help action so often when they designed the fey hobgoblin? Do you think the race/subclass combo is borked. Would it fit into either a newbie or powergamers group? Or is it just plain silly? I know that asking the DM is normally the real answer, but he is new to DMing and I have DMed for him for the last 30 years. He does not want to have to make the call on things like this and just leaves it up to players.

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The designers know that the Mastermind exists, and they still phrased Fey Hobgoblins to stack with that ability. I don't think it makes for anything overpowered, given that bonus actions are very valuable for Rogues and that any Wizard can had out normal Help actions without using any of their own action economy at all for the cost of learning a first level ritual and having to blow 10 gold on a familiar from time to time.

The temp HP might be a little on the powerful side, but so many subclasses seem to hand out temp HP like candy these days that it also might well be at odds with some other temp HP ability on the field. My main objections are that the "spite" option seems pretty tedious to track (it's definitely on you to take charge of remembering for the DM who was the first enemy hit by you or your Help beneficiary between your turn and that creatures next attack if you start spamming that every round) and that I think all these easily spammable temp HP abilities should just have a set value; I love rolling dice, but if it is a top up the temp HP every round thing I'd just as soon simplify it.
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I believe that when Master of Tactics refers to using "the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature," it is referring to the standard use described in the second paragraph of the Help action (PHB p.192).

Additionally, I do not believe the Spite option of the Fey Hobgoblin's Fey Gift gives your ally advantage on an attack roll (per the standard option) and the target gets disadvantage on its next attack roll.

Willie the Duck

Take a specific race (without many specific other features) and a specific class&sub-class (the later of which is considered relatively weak) up to level 3 and commit your bonus action (a mainstay of rogues) every round to give an ally advantage and an opponent (assuming at least one of you or your ally hit in a round) disadvantage on one attack, or give 2 people a small speed boost, or some reasonable THP. That's... perfectly reasonable benefits given the amount of resources (in terms of build and action economy) expended.


I would say "number of times equal to your proficiency bonus" still applies in terms of using the special hobgoblin abilities.
No, it clearly does not. That limit applies to using Help as a bonus action; but the special benefits apply whether you are using Help as a bonus action or as a regular action.

I think this combo is fine. It's strong but not OP. More importantly, it works by buffing the other PCs, so you aren't going to overshadow them with it (which is the usual problem with powerful builds).


Thanks for the feedback folks. It looks like it is balanced somewhat by the opportunity cost that Rogue's have giving up their other uses for bonus actions. Anything that mostly helps others can generally be on the stronger side without being a problem.

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