D&D 5E Homebrew: Advanced Fighting Styles

Undrave

Hero
I’ve been mulling over this concept for a while now, Advanced Fighting Styles (or Secret Fighting Styles?) that are linked to skills (and also interact more with weapon properties). Either you need proficiency in a skill to gain them or you learn that skill as part of the training for that style, haven’t quite decided yet. I’m not sure where to slot this idea: as a subclass feature or as an alternate rule or a bonus?

Here’s what I got so far:

Cunning Raven
Skill: Persuasion
When you inflict damage to a creature with a weapon attack, you may attempt to distract that creature. As a bonus action, make a Charisma (Persuasion) Check opposed by the target's passive Insight, and if you succeed the next attack against the creature by someone other than you is made with Advantage. Your target must be able to hear you and speak at least one language for you to be able to attempt this.

Dancing Mantis
Skill: Performance
If you inflict slashing damage to a creature, that creature cannot make Opportunity Attacks against you until the end of the turn.

Dazzling Unicorn
Skill: Arcana
Once per turn, while you are holding a weapon and have a free hand, you can spend a bonus action to enchant your weapon until the end of your next turn, or until you drop the weapon. While enchanted, your weapon inflicts magical Radiant damage. Starting at level 11, add your Intelligence modifier to the damage dealt by your enchanted weapon.

Hunting Eagle
Skill: Perception
Once per turn, when making an attack with a ranged weapon while you do not have advantage or disadvantage, you can choose to attack with disadvantage. If that attack hits, it is considered a critical hit.

Patient Turtle
Skill: Insight
If you did not move this turn, you can take the Dodge action as a bonus action, then, if you do, your speed becomes 0 until the end of the turn. If you use the Second Wind class feature, you also gain the benefit of the Dodge action.

Prowling Wolf
Skill: Nature
When attacking with a simple weapon, you gain a +2 to the attack roll if an ally is within 5 feet of the target.

Rushing Rhino
Skill: Athletics
You can attempt to shove creatures 2 sizes larger than you rather than just 1.

Steadfast Bear
Skill: Intimidate
You have advantage on all saving throws against the Frightened condition. You add your Strength modifier to any ability check that uses your proficiency in the Intimidate skill.

Stinging Scorpion
Skill: Medecine
When you inflict piercing damage with a weapon attack you can reduce the damage by any amount you desire down to 1 point of damage; and if you do, the target’s speed is reduced by 5 feet for every 2 points of damage you sacrificed until the end of their next turn. This ability has no effect on Construct, Elemental, Ooze or Plant monsters.

Striking Cobra
Skill: Sleight of hand
You have advantage on attacks made using a Light weapon you drew as part of your Attack action. You can apply poison to a Light weapon as a bonus action.

Tumbling Monkey
Skill: Acrobatic
Once per turn, when you inflict damage to a creature using a weapon with the reach property, or a quarterstaff held in two hands, you can move 5 feet as a free action. This movement does not count toward your maximum movement speed for the turn. This movement does not provoke Opportunity Attacks.

Unstoppable Boar
Skill: Survival
Whenever you take damage, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier.

Feel free to suggest concepts that could work for the missing skills: Animal Handling, Deception, History, Investigation, Religion, Stealth.
 
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Undrave

Hero
Animal Handling is really challenging… How about this:

Vaulting Destrier
Skill: Animal Handling
Your weapon attacks inflict an additional d6 damage if you have the high ground (such as attacking from the back of a mount). Mounting or dismounting only costs you 5 feet of movement.

And one for History based on the idea of analyzing the enemy's movement.

Ambushing Tiger
Skill: History
When you roll for initiative, roll two dice. For the first round of combat, you act on the lowest of the two result, and then on the highest of the results for the rest of the combat. You have advantage on the first attack you make against any enemy that acted before you during the first round of combat.
 
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Undrave

Hero
I like it, I would change the arcane one to doing force instead of radiant and make a religus one that did radiant...
Oh that makes sense!

I'd probably have to change the name though :p Force isn't really dazzling.

But I dunno if I'd want the Religion and Arcane styles to just essentially be repaints of each other...
 
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RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
I would remove opposed rolls and go with passive abilities; i.e., for Cunning Raven, say "make a Charisma (Persuasion) Check opposed by the target's passive Insight". Cuts down on rolls at the table.

I like the idea. They feel like the kind of thing you should be able to unlock by circumstance, like needing to go to the top of a mountain or journey into a sewer lair deep beneath a city to learn.
 

Oh that makes sense!

I'd probably have to change the name though :p Force isn't really dazzling.

But I dunno if I'd want the Religion and Arcane styles to just essentially be repaints of each other...
1) force can totally shimmer and shine.
2) I agree it was very slapdash... I would want a unholy necrotic too... or to do something different
 

Undrave

Hero
I would remove opposed rolls and go with passive abilities; i.e., for Cunning Raven, say "make a Charisma (Persuasion) Check opposed by the target's passive Insight". Cuts down on rolls at the table.

I like the idea. They feel like the kind of thing you should be able to unlock by circumstance, like needing to go to the top of a mountain or journey into a sewer lair deep beneath a city to learn.
Oh that's not a bad idea actually! I think I'll edit it for that! Also I now realize Cunning Raven wasn't in alphabetical order...
1) force can totally shimmer and shine.
2) I agree it was very slapdash... I would want a unholy necrotic too... or to do something different
I was thinking I might go for something other than Force for the Arcane one, something that's just slightly less universally good? Maybe fire or Lightning?
 

Undrave

Hero
1) force can totally shimmer and shine.
2) I agree it was very slapdash... I would want a unholy necrotic too... or to do something different
Okay, how about I make the Arcane one:

Blasting Thunderbird
Skill: Arcana
Once per turn, while you are holding a weapon and have a free hand, you can spend a bonus action to enchant your weapon until the end of your next turn, or until you drop the weapon. While enchanted, your weapon inflicts magical Lightning damage. Starting at level 11, add your Intelligence modifier to the damage dealt by your enchanted weapon.

And then, for Religion, I go with:

Purifying Unicorn
Skill: Religion
Whenever you regain hit points, or fail a Saving Throw, you gain a bonus d6 applied to your next Saving Throw. This effect remains until used or until you finish a short or long rest.
 

Okay, how about I make the Arcane one:

Blasting Thunderbird
Skill: Arcana
Once per turn, while you are holding a weapon and have a free hand, you can spend a bonus action to enchant your weapon until the end of your next turn, or until you drop the weapon. While enchanted, your weapon inflicts magical Lightning damage. Starting at level 11, add your Intelligence modifier to the damage dealt by your enchanted weapon.

And then, for Religion, I go with:

Purifying Unicorn
Skill: Religion
Whenever you regain hit points, or fail a Saving Throw, you gain a bonus d6 applied to your next Saving Throw. This effect remains until used or until you finish a short or long rest.
i like it
 

Quartz

Hero
I’ve been mulling over this concept for a while now,

Sorry but that's a whole heap of No for many reasons. Principally because you're stealing / obviating class features (e.g. the Paladin who doesn't get to add radiant damage to a normal attack until level 11) or fighting styles (Prowling Wolf) or violating KISS or - like in particular your last two - are hugely powerful and must-takes unless limited (e.g. requiring reactions or bonus actions).

And

Dancing Mantis
Skill: Performance
If you inflict slashing damage to a creature,

Why just slashing damage?

Hunting Eagle

This needs to be better written. Do you mean take the Attack action? And roll once with Disadvantage? It's ridiculously wimpy anyway unless you are a Diviner and can substitute a good roll for the Disadvantaged roll.
 

Undrave

Hero
Principally because you're stealing / obviating class features (e.g. the Paladin who doesn't get to add radiant damage to a normal attack until level 11)
I've since decided to switch the damage type to Lightning, but maybe Fire would work better since it's so often resisted? I don't think it's any better than getting access to one of the Weapon Attack Cantrips. It's the 'don't worry about having a magical weapon or not' style. Also: you need an empty hand. It's designed to make you use a versatile weapon, basically one of the least attractive type of weapon to a melee character.
fighting styles (Prowling Wolf)
Well these ARE Fighting style. Am I stealing a particular Fighting style I forgot about? Note it's limited to working with Simple Weapons.
like in particular your last two - are hugely powerful and must-takes unless limited (e.g. requiring reactions or bonus actions).
Oh... I forgot to make Tumbling Monkey a once per turn. I'll edit that in.

Temp HP are already limited since they don't stack and go away after a rest. And they can't raise you if you're at 0 HP. I could limit the style to working with Medium Armor or less? I could also turn it around and make it my missing Bludgeoning damage style where you can get Temp HP once per turn from inflicting Bludgeoning damage, so it's more active?

Why just slashing damage?
It's the Whirling Dervish style. You’re slashing movements with a sword or scimitar turn into a spinning dance that makes you hard to hit.
This needs to be better written. Do you mean take the Attack action? And roll once with Disadvantage? It's ridiculously wimpy anyway unless you are a Diviner and can substitute a good roll for the Disadvantaged roll.
I say once per turn so that you could use it if you gained a Bonus Action ranged attack somehow (like with a Hand Crossbow). I was trying to make a sort of called shot type of action. You're trying to hit a more difficult target for extra damage. Ideally, you'd combine this with the Archery style to get +2 to your attack roll. Should I throw in extra damage?
 
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Quartz

Hero
I've since decided to switch the damage type to Lightning, but maybe Fire would work better since it's so often resisted?

It's still an add. It's still stealing class features. On top of any other bonuses. What if a Paladin takes this? Does she get both adds to damage?

Note it's limited to working with Simple Weapons.

And those include the Quarterstaff and Spear, both of which can benefit from Polearm Mastery, and the Spear can benefit from the Duelling style to boot.

Should I throw in extra damage?

If you want it as a called shot it should replace your Action.
 

Undrave

Hero
It's still an add. It's still stealing class features. On top of any other bonuses. What if a Paladin takes this? Does she get both adds to damage?
It's be a pretty terrible fighting style if it didn't add anything to the character... and it's just a basic damage substitution, it only adds INT damage (a dump stat for most characters) after level 11 because by then you'd probably have other ways to overcome resistance to non-magical damage and at that point other Fighting styles would be WAY better. Honestly, if you get access Green Flame Blade or whatever, it's probably stronger.

If a Paladin takes this? Yeah they get to swap out their normal damage AND add the INT damage AND their D8 Radiant. But they still need to use a Versatile weapon and give up their shield.

But if you have a suggestion on how to make a Fighting style inspired by the Arcana skill, I'm all ears, this was just the first idea I had.

And I still don't know if I'll make this locked behind a feat, a type of boon/treasure, or a Subclass feature, so maybe a Paladin WOULDN'T be able to take it without level dipping.

And those include the Quarterstaff and Spear, both of which can benefit from Polearm Mastery, and the Spear can benefit from the Duelling style to boot.
You can't get the improved damage of the Versatile Spear and Dueling Style at the same time.
I hadn’t considered PAM, I admit… but if someone wants to use PAM with a weapon with no reach just to get the +2 bonus from Prowling Wolf… then they’re making an effort to specifically be a quarterstaff specialist and I’m not sure why that’s an issue? The Fighting style is doing its job by making weaker (aka Simple) weapons more attractive.

If instead the style handed out Advantage it’d be not only too strong (IMO), but it would be redundant with a bunch of stuff and cut off interesting tactical option, and if it just gave you a damage bonus to simple weapon… then it’s just making a Martial Weapon with the skin of a simple weapon, and at that point might as well pick a different fighting style and use a halberd.

Only other thing I could think of would be something like ‘if you hold two simple weapons you get +1 AC’ or something.

If you want it as a called shot it should replace your Action.
Until level 5 that would work, but by the time you get an extra attack nobody would ever use it, because you’d get better damage out of attacking twice. And as far as complexity goes, I like having choice between complex and simple options. Most of these styles are design to offer interesting questions during a fight and make you question which weapon to use beyond which one has the biggest die. Complexity is a feature, not a bug.

But again, if you got an idea for a Perception inspired fighting style I’m willing to listen.
 


Quartz

Hero
You can't get the improved damage of the Versatile Spear and Dueling Style at the same time.

You don't need to. Spear + Shield + PAM + Duelling style works just fine. Yes, you do a base of (1d6 +2) + (1d4 +2) damage, but that's fine. Giving an additional +2 per attack would give +4.
 


Undrave

Hero
I could do some fun stuff if the Bloodied condition was in 5e... There's just so little to hang fighting styles on and so few outcomes it gets ridiculously hard...
 
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Undrave

Hero
Inspired by animals who feign death, here is my Deception style:

Lying Snake
Skill: Deception
If you are target of a melee attack while prone, you can spend your reaction to stand up from prone and make a melee attack against the attacker. The attacker no longer gains advantage on their attack and if your attack hits, the triggering attack automatically misses.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
I think you'll have an easier time with some decisions here when you settle on the fiction for these. Are these secret styles available only to the few students of hard-to-find masters? Then they might be available to lower-level characters, albeit there should be a Background requirement, maybe a related Flaw or something. Are they truly ancient mysteries only still extant in hidden tomes? Then you should aim for higher level, and look for synergies with mid-tier features. And so on.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Feel free to suggest concepts that could work for the missing skills: Animal Handling, Deception, History, Investigation, Religion, Stealth.
Kiting/Cautious? Coyote
skill: investigation
Whenever you successfully deal weapon damage to a foe they make a WIS save against your investigation check, if they fail the save you gain +1 to hit on all attacks you make against them and +1 AC against all attacks they make against you, these bonuses can stack up to equal of your proficiency bonus.
 

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