Have we rebalanced the Champion Yet?

Xeviat

Adventurer
I'm getting ready to start a new campaign tomorrow (tomorrow is session 0), converting a 3E adventure to 5E, and as I'm want to do playing always gets me looking at player options and wanting to try balancing them better. In doing a little prepwork before working on a Barbarian rewrite (I want to steal some ideas from Pathfinder 2's Barbarian and not have the barbarian have uses of rage, because it feels weird for a barbarian to conserve rages; I always imagine a barbarian in a tophat and monocle).

So, that aside, I've come back to the Champion. Jeeze, where do I begin. I feel like the general consensus is that it's weak, but not like super weak.

Here's the damage progression for the Battle Master (x3 for 2 short rests and 1 long rest per day), just using the basic maneuvers. This doesn't take into account the other riders, or that reposte or precision attack could add more damage. We're just getting a baseline.

LevelBattle Master
34d8 (18) x3 = 54
Student of War
44d8 (18) x3 = 54
54d8 (18) x3 = 54
64d8 (18) x3 = 54
75d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
Know Your Enemy
85d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
95d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
105d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
115d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
125d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
135d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
145d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
157d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
Relentless
167d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
177d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
187d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
197d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
207d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5

Without posting a full table, you can see it will take a lot of critical hits to add up to the Battle Master's extra damage. Luckily, that's like most of the battle Master's class, just their maneuvers, while the Champion gets a second fighting style (+1 AC seems like the safe option) and regeneration when bloodied below half-hp.

When comparing the Champion's damage to the Battle Master's damage (when the battle master is just putting all their dice into simple maneuvers and doesn't care about the effects of the riders), spreading their dice over 2 encounters per short rest, the Champion behind the battle master in damage. This is across a 3 round combat, assuming action surge is being split across 2 combats, the standard white room stuff. OH, and this is putting a greatsword in the champion and battle master's hands, to make the most of the higher crit (it would be further behind if using a smaller die).

LevelDifference
3-7.5 (79%)
4-7.5 (80%)
5-6 (91%)
6-6 (91%)
7-8.3 (88%)
8-8.3 (89%)
9-8.3 (89%)
10-10.8 (86%)
11-9.4 (91%)
12-9.4 (91%)
13-9.4 (91%)
14-9.4 (91%)
15-10.5 (91%)
16-10.5 (91%)
17-9.3 (93%)
18-12.8 (90%)
19-12.8 (90%)
20-9.4 (94%)

I'm not as concerned at 10th level and above, because the Champion can get a +1 AC bonus there (though someone could pick up, a ranged style to compliment their main style, or have defensive and protector) and it becomes more difficult to compare (Interestingly, I did a little side comparison for what if crits were just x2 damage, instead of only the dice, and it reduced the gap a bit; highest spike was at 10th level at -9.1, BUT 20th level was -1.4! The percentages also stay above 90% except at 3, 4, and 10)

As I was looking at the Battle Master, I put it side by side against the Eldritch Knight. I pretended the EK had a Smite ability as a way of simply valuing their spell slots. The BM ends up starting WAY higher than the EK up until 7th level, the EK runs only a little behind from 7th through 12th level, and then the EK stays ahead except at levels 15 and 18. The EK gets extra features other than their spell slots, and they can't actually Smite, but it was an interesting comparison.

It made me wonder if part of the solution to buffing the champion might mean nerfing the battle master from 3rd through 6th levels, and then maybe giving them some other features at higher levels to compare to the champion's 10th and 18th level features.

What are your thoughts?
 
I'm getting ready to start a new campaign tomorrow (tomorrow is session 0), converting a 3E adventure to 5E, and as I'm want to do playing always gets me looking at player options and wanting to try balancing them better. In doing a little prepwork before working on a Barbarian rewrite (I want to steal some ideas from Pathfinder 2's Barbarian and not have the barbarian have uses of rage, because it feels weird for a barbarian to conserve rages; I always imagine a barbarian in a tophat and monocle).

So, that aside, I've come back to the Champion. Jeeze, where do I begin. I feel like the general consensus is that it's weak, but not like super weak.

Here's the damage progression for the Battle Master (x3 for 2 short rests and 1 long rest per day), just using the basic maneuvers. This doesn't take into account the other riders, or that reposte or precision attack could add more damage. We're just getting a baseline.

LevelBattle Master
34d8 (18) x3 = 54
Student of War
44d8 (18) x3 = 54
54d8 (18) x3 = 54
64d8 (18) x3 = 54
75d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
Know Your Enemy
85d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
95d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
105d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
115d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
125d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
135d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
145d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
157d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
Relentless
167d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
177d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
187d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
197d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
207d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5

Without posting a full table, you can see it will take a lot of critical hits to add up to the Battle Master's extra damage. Luckily, that's like most of the battle Master's class, just their maneuvers, while the Champion gets a second fighting style (+1 AC seems like the safe option) and regeneration when bloodied below half-hp.

When comparing the Champion's damage to the Battle Master's damage (when the battle master is just putting all their dice into simple maneuvers and doesn't care about the effects of the riders), spreading their dice over 2 encounters per short rest, the Champion behind the battle master in damage. This is across a 3 round combat, assuming action surge is being split across 2 combats, the standard white room stuff. OH, and this is putting a greatsword in the champion and battle master's hands, to make the most of the higher crit (it would be further behind if using a smaller die).

LevelDifference
3-7.5 (79%)
4-7.5 (80%)
5-6 (91%)
6-6 (91%)
7-8.3 (88%)
8-8.3 (89%)
9-8.3 (89%)
10-10.8 (86%)
11-9.4 (91%)
12-9.4 (91%)
13-9.4 (91%)
14-9.4 (91%)
15-10.5 (91%)
16-10.5 (91%)
17-9.3 (93%)
18-12.8 (90%)
19-12.8 (90%)
20-9.4 (94%)

I'm not as concerned at 10th level and above, because the Champion can get a +1 AC bonus there (though someone could pick up, a ranged style to compliment their main style, or have defensive and protector) and it becomes more difficult to compare (Interestingly, I did a little side comparison for what if crits were just x2 damage, instead of only the dice, and it reduced the gap a bit; highest spike was at 10th level at -9.1, BUT 20th level was -1.4! The percentages also stay above 90% except at 3, 4, and 10)

As I was looking at the Battle Master, I put it side by side against the Eldritch Knight. I pretended the EK had a Smite ability as a way of simply valuing their spell slots. The BM ends up starting WAY higher than the EK up until 7th level, the EK runs only a little behind from 7th through 12th level, and then the EK stays ahead except at levels 15 and 18. The EK gets extra features other than their spell slots, and they can't actually Smite, but it was an interesting comparison.

It made me wonder if part of the solution to buffing the champion might mean nerfing the battle master from 3rd through 6th levels, and then maybe giving them some other features at higher levels to compare to the champion's 10th and 18th level features.

What are your thoughts?
That's what I did, actually. I dropped one of there superiority dice and added an extra maneuver at low levels. Worked out just fine.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
That's what I did, actually. I dropped one of there superiority dice and added an extra maneuver at low levels. Worked out just fine.
I'm gearing up to test using spellpoints, but a smaller amount and having them recover on a short rest. While I was doing that, I started noticing the difference between Battle Master superiority dice and Eldritch Knight Spell points was a lot more than I thought.
 
A proposed.buff: when a Champion does an Action Surge, they get to make 1 additional weapon attack.

BM ends up being ~1.33 DPR better until level 5, where it falls to under 1 DPR. Then at 17 it ends up being 2-3 DPR behind.

(This assumes +X weapons at reasonable spots. Champion might do better if they got a flamingtongue to leverage crits a bit more. It also doesn't assume advantage, nor does it include BM using their dice when they crit.)
 
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I've always thought that the champion is deliberately designed to be a bit weak so that it's an unattractive option for optimization-minded players who would probably be bored playing such a simple character anyway. While at the same time the champion is made for the type of player that doesn't want to make too many decisions in either character building or combat, and they probably won't even notice or care if their champion is a bit weaker than other fighters.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
@Xeviat did you take into account when the BM rolls a critical hit the superiority dice are doubled as well?

Also, BMs already have a feature at 10th and 18th, their SD go up.
 
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Eubani

Adventurer
I went with a simple add Proficiency bonus to weapon damage on a turn that the character uses action surge or second wind.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
I've always thought that the champion is deliberately designed to be a bit weak so that it's an unattractive option for optimization-minded players who would probably be bored playing such a simple character anyway. While at the same time the champion is made for the type of player that doesn't want to make too many decisions in either character building or combat, and they probably won't even notice or care if their champion is a bit weaker than other fighters.
That is pretty much it. I've never played a BM and no one at our table ever has, either. Champions, EKs, Samurai, and Cavaliers so far.

I don't like Superiority Dice (the name alone is horrible) and hate tracking additional resources for a character.
 
I think the Champion could steal a feature from the Unearthed Arcana Brute, and it would put it on more or less even footing with the Battle Master where damage is concerned.

Brute Force
Starting at 3rd level, you’re able to strike with your weapons with especially brutal force. Whenever you hit with a weapon that you’re proficient with and deal damage, the weapon’s damage increases by an amount based on your level in this class, as shown on the Brute Bonus Damage table.

Fighter LevelDamage Increase
3rd1d4
10th1d6
16th1d8
20th1d10
Not sure how your theorizing accounts for Action Surge, and thus not sure how to account for applying Brute Force to Action Surge, but it seems to be in the rough ballpark to me.

Without accounting for Action Surge, at 3rd-4th level nets a +2.5 damage per round, at 5th-9th nets a +5 damage per round, at 10th nets a +7 damage per round, at 11th-19th nets a +13.5 damage per round, and at 20th nets a +22 damage per round.
 

fearsomepirate

Explorer
The Champion's damage output is a little below the Battle Master's in theory. In reality, I see BMs hit their next short rest with unspent dice more often than not. Analysis paralysis is real, and the Champion never gets it.

Remarkable Athlete is also underrated, and it's better than any BM ribbon.
 
I think the Champion could steal a feature from the Unearthed Arcana Brute, and it would put it on more or less even footing with the Battle Master where damage is concerned.



Not sure how your theorizing accounts for Action Surge, and thus not sure how to account for applying Brute Force to Action Surge, but it seems to be in the rough ballpark to me.

Without accounting for Action Surge, at 3rd-4th level nets a +2.5 damage per round, at 5th-9th nets a +5 damage per round, at 10th nets a +7 damage per round, at 11th-19th nets a +13.5 damage per round, and at 20th nets a +22 damage per round.
I looked into that. The biggest gap champions have is 3-4. This helps least then.

Make it +1d4 on the first hit on a turn and it does a decent job.

But that adds conplexity. So I looked for another flat damage add, and got "extra attack on an action surge". This also adds an ability for a champion to burst (with action surge), and scales eith short adventuring days.

At 3 it means AS round is 3 attacks; at 5 it becomes 5, at 11 7 and at 20 9 attacks. This gives a larger percentage boost when the champion was weaker.

It also makes the level 17 2nd action surge extra tasty.

Another option would be to let the champion make a weapon attack when she uses her second wind.

The damage budget is similar, the wording simpler, and it doesn't double-scale at 17 (which while cool, was unintentional).
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I would suggest just using the UA: Brute instead of the champion. With their save bonus, ''weapon expertise (extra damage), extra fighting style etc, it feels like and old-school fighter while being mostly on-par with the BM.

As a side note, this is an alternate feature my players can take when playing a barbarian. I have the same problem with deliberate rage as you :p

Alternate Feature: Rage
The sting from your foes' attacks fuel the mighty fury that
burns within you. Each time an hostile creature hit you for 5
damage (after resistances, immunities or damage reduction)
or more, mark a level of rage. You can also use your reaction
to mark a level of rage when you fail a saving throw or a skill
check. The levels of rage are cumulative. Your rage lasts for 1
minute. It ends and reset to 0 level of rage early if you are
knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven't
attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken
damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn
as a bonus action.

1. You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength
saving throws.
2. Your melee attacks using your Strength deals +2 damage
3. You have resistance to Bludgeoning, Slashing and
Piercing damage
4. Your melee attacks using your Strength deals +4 damage
5. After a hit from a melee attack using your Strength, the
target's speed is reduced by 15 feet until the end of its next
turn
6. After you hit an hostile creature with a melee attack
using your Strength, you deal damage equals to half the
damage you did on your damage roll to every creature or
your choice within 5 feet.
 
Aggressive Recovery: When you use your second wind, you may also make a weapon attack with each weapon in your hands (max 2). If any of these attacks score a critical hit, the healing from your second wind is maximized.

This gives you about the right amount of DPRest to match up with a BM, has a fun mini-game (crit fish for MAX HEALING! bwahahaha), helps two-weapon champions with their bonus action dependency a small tad, and is simple.
 
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I'm getting ready to start a new campaign tomorrow (tomorrow is session 0), converting a 3E adventure to 5E, and as I'm want to do playing always gets me looking at player options and wanting to try balancing them better. In doing a little prepwork before working on a Barbarian rewrite (I want to steal some ideas from Pathfinder 2's Barbarian and not have the barbarian have uses of rage, because it feels weird for a barbarian to conserve rages; I always imagine a barbarian in a tophat and monocle).

So, that aside, I've come back to the Champion. Jeeze, where do I begin. I feel like the general consensus is that it's weak, but not like super weak.

Here's the damage progression for the Battle Master (x3 for 2 short rests and 1 long rest per day), just using the basic maneuvers. This doesn't take into account the other riders, or that reposte or precision attack could add more damage. We're just getting a baseline.

LevelBattle Master
34d8 (18) x3 = 54
Student of War
44d8 (18) x3 = 54
54d8 (18) x3 = 54
64d8 (18) x3 = 54
75d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
Know Your Enemy
85d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
95d8 (22.5) x3 = 67.5
105d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
115d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
125d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
135d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
145d10 (27.5) x3 = 82.5
157d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
Relentless
167d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
177d10 (38.5) x3 = 115.5
187d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
197d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5
207d12 (45.5) x3 = 136.5

Without posting a full table, you can see it will take a lot of critical hits to add up to the Battle Master's extra damage. Luckily, that's like most of the battle Master's class, just their maneuvers, while the Champion gets a second fighting style (+1 AC seems like the safe option) and regeneration when bloodied below half-hp.

When comparing the Champion's damage to the Battle Master's damage (when the battle master is just putting all their dice into simple maneuvers and doesn't care about the effects of the riders), spreading their dice over 2 encounters per short rest, the Champion behind the battle master in damage. This is across a 3 round combat, assuming action surge is being split across 2 combats, the standard white room stuff. OH, and this is putting a greatsword in the champion and battle master's hands, to make the most of the higher crit (it would be further behind if using a smaller die).

LevelDifference
3-7.5 (79%)
4-7.5 (80%)
5-6 (91%)
6-6 (91%)
7-8.3 (88%)
8-8.3 (89%)
9-8.3 (89%)
10-10.8 (86%)
11-9.4 (91%)
12-9.4 (91%)
13-9.4 (91%)
14-9.4 (91%)
15-10.5 (91%)
16-10.5 (91%)
17-9.3 (93%)
18-12.8 (90%)
19-12.8 (90%)
20-9.4 (94%)

I'm not as concerned at 10th level and above, because the Champion can get a +1 AC bonus there (though someone could pick up, a ranged style to compliment their main style, or have defensive and protector) and it becomes more difficult to compare (Interestingly, I did a little side comparison for what if crits were just x2 damage, instead of only the dice, and it reduced the gap a bit; highest spike was at 10th level at -9.1, BUT 20th level was -1.4! The percentages also stay above 90% except at 3, 4, and 10)

As I was looking at the Battle Master, I put it side by side against the Eldritch Knight. I pretended the EK had a Smite ability as a way of simply valuing their spell slots. The BM ends up starting WAY higher than the EK up until 7th level, the EK runs only a little behind from 7th through 12th level, and then the EK stays ahead except at levels 15 and 18. The EK gets extra features other than their spell slots, and they can't actually Smite, but it was an interesting comparison.

It made me wonder if part of the solution to buffing the champion might mean nerfing the battle master from 3rd through 6th levels, and then maybe giving them some other features at higher levels to compare to the champion's 10th and 18th level features.

What are your thoughts?
Are you taking into account BattleMaster short rests?
 

Eltab

Adventurer
The Champion is supposed to be easy to understand and play, not overwhelming new players with decisions (learning the 5e rules is a task all its own). Any boost to the class should be simple and straightforward, such as "You can add your proficiency modifier to your damage rolls."
 

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