Level Up (A5E) Hard Walled by Queen Bee Berserker Build Idea

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I have been trying to solve a very similar puzzle over the last weeks: A Dex-based Kobold Queen Bee Berserker.

The Kasurigama solves one of the problems, but not the other. It is a dual-wielding two-handed weapon, which would qualify for Feel My Sting and Furious Critical without the need for Heavy to be tagged on, but is not finesse (so no attacking with Dex, still a possibility for small STR based d12 attacks).

Another piece of the puzzle could be the O5E feat Revenant Blade from Eberron: Rising from the Last War, which requires you to be an elf (maybe cultures count?) and gives the Double-Bladed Scimitar the finesse property when you wield it (which makes it a finesse two-handed weapon).

A trio of magical solutions in the lightsaber theme would be the Sun Blade, which is a longsword (in O5E, in A5E the wording is more vague) with the finesse trait, the O5E Dawnbringer (longsword with finesse) or the O5E Sunsword (longsword with finesse). Finally: Windvane, an O5E legendary spear with the versatile and finesse traits.

Any update from the writers regarding a Zeitgeist errata?
I made a proposal upthread, and Ranger Wickett approved of it, though wasn't sure it'd be OP elsewhere.

And he's the guy who wrote Zeitgeist in the first place sooo... I think you're good to use that ruling?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

thuter

Explorer
Very cool, thanks for the clarification!

I will be playing the character (Dex Kobold Queen Bee Berserker) in the upcoming weeks, if it feels problematically powerful or overtuned I will let you know.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
To be 100% clear:

The only way this design is "Broken" is leaning harder into the Dex-Superiority meta. Though with A5e splitting skills off of specific attributes that meta is at least -somewhat- reduced. Though having your AC, Attack and Damage Values, and a Strong Save all on the same axis is still pretty powerful.

But since rapiers are 1d8 and allow for off-handing of short swords and daggers and stuff at 1d6 or 1d4, which requires a separate attack roll and offers no off-hand damage bonus from Dex without a separate class feature, the actual difference between dual-wielding light weapons or two-handing a greataxe is a -bit- minimal unless you can crit-fish like a Berserker.

A Berserker that uses Dex instead of Str is just gonna wind up easier to push around and harder to hit (10-15% depending on stat allocation). But they'll actually hit just as hard whether you're using a Rapier or a Greataxe so the difference in DPR is fairly minimal.

Well... almost.

A Berserker with Polearm Savant could crit-fish with the off-hand as a bonus action to increase their overall DPR above either the Feel My Sting or Greataxe Berserker. And the 1 point of damage (on average) they'd lose going from 1d12 to 1d10 wouldn't offset that much, at all, since they get an extra attack that deals 2.5 on average.

Though Greataxes themselves are technically hafted weapons, as well... so... wouldn't even have to take the 1 point dice-size difference. Could even get an upgrade by using a Maul since they, also, have hafts...
 

thuter

Explorer
I think the difference is mainly that now even small races can get access to dex-based d12 weapons, which they otherwise could not (kusarigama with Feel My Sting would make a non-heavy d12 str weapon that still allows for Furious Critical). Dual wielding is not a problem with Queen Bee at least, as it does not allow it. As far as I know there are no polearms that allow Dex for attacks either, so I think STR builds would still end up with higher DPR. That being said: It does allow some pretty good trades on versatility (d12 whips anyone?) and defences (better AC, dex saves more frequent than str saves), but again, only so for small characters; medium characters can do all this regardless of the ruling on the heavy property because they don't get penalized for using heavy weapons.

One con for Dex-based berserkers: the capstone ability does not improve Dex. Another more reasonable one is that Queen Bee does not allow damage increases from the Dueling fighting style, while a maul would get buffed from the two-handed weapon fighting style. And finally: There are no two-handed dex-based melee weapons as far as I can find, so any manouvers requiring them will not work with dex-builds.

On the topic of design and expectations: I really like creating builds that don't use their expected primary stat, because the wording strictly left an opportunity to do so. I would not really consider dex-based barbarians in O5E, since quite some class features just do not work with it (rage damage bonus, reckless attack come to mind).
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
MECHANICALLY speaking... there's no reason to not allow halflings and gnomes and goblins and other small heritages use d12 or 2d6 weapons. The limitation with Heavy weapons, there, comes exclusively for the purpose of narrative.

But... By slapping "Heavy" onto a dagger or a whip, you allow it to interact with the Berserker's "Furious Critical" class feature. And that's literally the only reason "Heavy" was chosen. But instead of "Heavy" the keywords of Versatile or Two Handed could've been used to avoid the "Small" problem. You could even change the wording to allow someone to apply any of those three keywords to the weapon in question, the only purposes is to allow for the use of Furious Critical.

I think Ryan's noted lack of system mastery just made it not something he considered at the time while updating Zeitgeist to A5e.

As far as the polearm/maul stuff: That was just me comparing the overall output of a dex-based Queen Bee compared to a str-based any other kind of Zerk.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top