Homebrew class: the PARAGON

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Inspired by some discussion in the "Fixing Fighters" thread. The elevator pitch is that this class is for characters who are defined by sheer superhuman strength and size: your Heracleses, your Samsons, your Fezziks, your Gregor Cleganes.

THE PARAGON

Class Features

As a paragon, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice:
1d12 per paragon level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + your Constitution modifier per paragon level after 1st

Proficiencies
Armor:
Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons, improvised weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Religion, and Survival

Heroic Stature
Your prodigious size and strength make your blows powerful, but imprecise. Whenever you make an attack roll using Strength, add only half your Strength bonus, rounded down, to the roll. But whenever you make a damage roll using Strength, you can add double your Strength bonus to the roll. If you double your Strength bonus this way, you can't add your Strength to any other damage rolls you make this turn.
You also count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift (doubling those values).

Brawler
You are a fearsome fighter with your bare hands or with any object that comes to hand. You can roll a d6 for your unarmed strike damage and a d8 for improvised weapon damage.

Unarmored Defense
While you are not wearing armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Muscle Mass
Starting at 2nd level, your physical power begins to grow without limit. Your Strength score increases by an amount equal to half your paragon level, rounded down, as shown in the Muscle Mass column of the Paragon table. Your maximum Strength is 20 + this amount.

Straining Sinews
Also starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your already extraordinary capabilities. Whenever you fail a Strength check, you can roll 2d6 and add the higher of the two dice to the result of the roll. However, you take strain damage equal to the total of the two dice. Strain damage is psychic damage, but it cannot be resisted or prevented, and it also reduces your hit point maximum by the amount rolled until you finish a long rest. If the result of the Strength check is still a failure, you can strain yourself futher, repeating this process. On a single check, you can strain a total number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of once).
When you attempt to push, drag, or lift an object, you can use your reaction to take 2d6 strain damage. If you do, for the next minute you count as two size categories larger, rather than the one provided by your Heroic Stature feature (doubling your capacity again).

Paragon Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype which shapes how you seek to exercise your power. Choose Challenger, Gentle Giant, or Master Smith, all detailed at the end of the class description. The archetype you choose grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature, except for your Strength, the maximum of which is increased by your Muscle Mass feature.

Heavy Hit
Whether you wield oversized weapons or simply swing them with tremendous force, your blows do massive damage. Starting at 5th level, whenever you deal damage with a weapon or unarmed strike using your Strength, roll one additional damage die (or two additional dice if your weapon normally has two damage dice, like a greatsword).
This increases to two additional dice at 11th level and three additional dice at 17th level (or four and six with a two-dice weapon).

Mighty Throw
Starting at 6th level, you can accurately hurl objects immense distances. When you make a thrown weapon attack, triple the weapon's normal and long range values.

Great Cleave
Starting at 9th level, you can use your action to make a melee weapon attack against two creatures within 5 feet of each other and within your reach. Make a separate attack roll and damage roll for each target.
Starting at 18th level, you can attack every creature of your choice within your reach this way, rather than just two.

Demolish
Starting at 10th level, you have advantage on Strength checks to break objects and structures, and deal double damage to them with attacks using your Strength.

Tireless
Also starting at 10th level, whenever you would gain a level of exhaustion, you can choose to take 2d6 strain damage instead.

Mythic Stature
At 14th level, your reach increases by 5 feet. You now count as two sizes larger when determing your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift. When using your Straining Sinews to increase your effective size, you count as three sizes larger rather than two.

Straining Resolve
Starting at 15th level, when you fail a saving throw, you can strain to succeed instead. Roll 3d6, add the highest die to your saving throw result, and take the total as strain damage. On a single save, you can strain a total number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of once).

Paragon Archetypes
A paragon is by definition an exceptional person, and the feats they set out to accomplish are unique to them. However, over the ages, certain recurring archetypes can be discerned among these singular heroes.

Challenger
Challengers are enthusiastic warriors and athletes, forever testing their strength against ever-greater trials. They may strive to prove their worthiness to a monarch or a god or some other authority figure, or they may simply find thrill in the challenge itself.

Wrestling Trial
Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you can attempt to grapple or shove a creature as a bonus action. You count as one size larger for the purpose of grappling. You can use your Straining Sinews feature to increase your effective size as a reaction when you grab a creature, and this size increase also counts for the purpose of grappling.
When you successfully grapple or shove a creature, you deal bludgeoning damage to the creature equal to your unarmed strike damage. You don't add your ability modifier to this damage, but do roll any additional damage dice you gain from your Heavy Hit feature.

Athletic Conditioning
Also starting at 3rd level, you become proficient in the Athletics skill. If you were already proficient, you can choose a proficiency in another skill instead. In addition, climbing and swimming no longer cost you extra movement.

Racing Trial
Starting at 7th level, when you take the Dash action, triple your movement instead of doubling it, and also double your jump distance for the turn. You can choose to take 2d6 strain damage to quadruple your movement instead of tripling it, and triple your jump distance instead of doubling it.

Endurance Trial
Starting at 13th level, as a bonus action, you can take 1d6 strain damage a number of times of your choice up to your Constitution modifier. You gain 10 temporary hit points for each die of strain damage you rolled.

Apotheosis
At 20th level, you have surmounted every challenge the mortal world could offer you and earned the reward of immortality. You no longer age and cannot die of old age. You have advantage on all saving throws, and your hit point maximum and ability scores cannot be reduced.

Gentle Giant
Some paragons have an amiable nature that belies their imposing physique. They use their strength not for their own benefit but to protect and aid those weaker than them---which is to say, everybody. The friendship of such gentle giants is truer and more valuable than diamonds.

Warding Arms
Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you can interpose your great arms and hands to defend your companions from danger. When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within your reach, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.

Giant's Shoulders
Your friends can accomplish more standing on your shoulders, figuratively and sometimes literally. Starting at 3rd level, when you take the Help action, the creature you are helping can roll an additional 1d6 and add it to the result of its attack or check.

Calming Hug
Starting at 7th level, you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened. You can use your action to attempt to grapple another creature that is charmed or frightened. If you succeed, the effect ends on that creature.

Go Away
Starting at 13th level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack using your Strength, you can push that creature 10 feet away from you. You can choose to take 3d6 strain damage to push the creature 30 feet instead.

Tall Tale Hero
At 20th level, you have grown so far beyond ordinary folk that your size category increases by one and your reach increases by 5 feet.

Master Smith
Great strength can be used to create, not merely to destroy. So when a paragon takes up a craft, the results are spoken of for generations. Master smiths can be found at almost all times in their forges, hammering at raw metal with both power and precision to shape items that are as beautiful as they are enduring.

Craft Expertise
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and blacksmith's tools. When you make an ability check to craft an item with any tool proficiency, add double your proficiency bonus to the check.

As Good As One's Tools
Also starting at 3rd level, you can maintain arms and armor to improve their effectiveness. When you finish a long rest, choose a weapon, suit of armor, or shield to maintain. For the next 24 hours, the item grants a +1 bonus to AC if it's armor or a shield, or a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls if it's a weapon.
You can maintain two items each long rest instead of one if you crafted both items yourself.

Fire in the Blood
At 7th level, you gain resistance to fire damage. You can use your action and take 3d6 strain damage to become immune to fire damage for 1 minute.

Masterpiece
At 13th level, you complete a great work, crafting a magic item of your choice. You can choose an item of very rare rarity or less, or work with your DM to create a unique item of comparable power. If this item is lost or destroyed, you can reforge it by spending a month at work and using 1,000 gp worth of materials.

Smith of Legend
At 20th level, you craft an artifact of your choice, or enhance your Masterpiece item with the power of an artifact. You are forever bound to this greatest of your works: you automatically succeed all death saving throws for as long as it exists, but die immediately if it is ever destroyed.

Obviously Muscle Mass breaks certain rules of D&D design, but it's kind of essential to the fantasy here. The penalty in Heroic Stature is there to offset the bonus from Muscle Mass and pay at least lip service to bounded accuracy in a way that I hope is thematic. It's not actually necessary to do this for numeric balance: by my math the paragon's Strength could behave "normally" and we'd still get an expected DPR on par with a vanilla fighter just by moving around the Heavy Hit bonuses a bit. But by high levels they'd be hitting at least AC 18 on a natural 2, which might not be desirable. Blame it on the system using the same score for accuracy and damage...

The big question for me is the strain effects. I'm frankly just guessing on the proper numbers to balance them. I deliberately tried to avoid using strain as a regular combat resource and reserve it for "emergency" type abilities.

Anyway, this is obviously all just a rough draft and proof of concept. What do you think? Is there something there?
 

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dave2008

Hero
I definitely like the idea, but it at first glance it seems a bit OP to me. One thing that jumps out is being able to get a strength of 30. This seems a bit much, I might by it more if there was some flavor of the class being demigod (like a greek hero) or something, otherwise it seems a bit much for even the Mountain. You already giving them bonus damage, do the need the extremely high strength score? I would think capping it at 24-26 would be fine.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I didn't look at subclasses. The base class is interesting. Am I reading it right that he doesn't get extra attack?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Definitely something here! :)

As for strain damage, I would remove it. Use a different mechanic IMO.

The base class is way too much like the Barbarian. In fact, given Hercules and Achilles propensity for raging, I would make Paragon a subclass of Barbarian and go with that.

Otherwise here are my comments on what you have. I like a lot of the ideas, but I do think many are too strong as written. Also, I don't recall seeing Extra Attack anywhere, which I would definitely add.

Brawler
I would keep the damage to 1d6 for both unarmed and improvised weapons. Increase the damage to 1d8 around 8th-12th level sometime.

Unarmored Defense
Get rid of it. I would replace this with something where they can throw off damage like a Goliath instead.

Muscle Mass
Definitely OP. Gaining a +1 bonus to STR and then it goes up automatically is too much IMO. With the Barbarian capstone ability, it would already go up to STR 24.

Straining Sinews
When you fail a Strength check, you can roll 2d6 and add the total to your check possibly turning it into a success. You can use this features a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1) and you regain all uses when you finish a long rest.

Heavy Hit (too OP as is)
When you hit with a heavy weapon or a versatile weapon used with both hands, you can choose to add twice your Strength modifier to your damage. You can use this features a number of times equal to your Strength modifier (minimum 1) and you regain all uses when you finish a long rest.

Mighty Throw
Love it! We have a homebrew feat called Long Thrower which is similar.

Great Cleave
With Extra Attack you could already attack two targets...

Demolish
Love it!

Tireless
I would make it you can roll a DC 20 CON save to ignore the exhaustion.

Mythic Stature
Awesome idea. I would have to play with the numbers to say yea or nay though.

Straining Resolve
When you fail a STR, DEX, or CON save, you can choose to succeed instead. You cannot use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Also, that is a TON of features for a class! Much more than any other. I like all the subclass ideas, and think if you pared things down a bit you could have either a nice class or a great subclass for Barbarians! The Barbarian subclass would be my own preference given some of the features Barbarians already have that you are mimicing in a manner.

All told, I like the idea-- I can see something like this developing into a Hercules or Achilles, etc. It models a lot of what you see these characters do in movies and stories.

I might try a write-up of your ideas to a subclass of barbarian and post it when I have time. Keep working on it!
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
I definitely like the idea, but it at first glance it seems a bit OP to me. One thing that jumps out is being able to get a strength of 30. This seems a bit much, I might by it more if there was some flavor of the class being demigod (like a greek hero) or something, otherwise it seems a bit much for even the Mountain. You already giving them bonus damage, do the need the extremely high strength score? I would think capping it at 24-26 would be fine.
The demigod flavor is in there, but it's deliberately vague so you can let your hulking strongman have whatever origin you want. In an earlier ideation this class was something of a "physical sorcerer": defined by a supernatural ancestry which gave the character inhuman strength rather than magic. But I felt dividing the subclasses up by archetype worked better. A demigod doesn't have to be a Challenger, they can be a Gentle Giant or a Master Smith too. And a challenger doesn't have to be a demigod, they can be giantblooded or whatever else you dream up.
 
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TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
I didn't look at subclasses. The base class is interesting. Am I reading it right that he doesn't get extra attack?
Correct. Heroic Stature and Heavy Hit provide the damage instead, on a "one massive strike" model loosely based on the rogue. The math is similar -- somewhat lower DPR against a single target, actually, but there's Great Cleave to consider.

(This might address some of your confusion, too, @dnd4vr .)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Correct. Heroic Stature and Heavy Hit provide the damage instead, on a "one massive strike" model loosely based on the rogue. The math is similar -- somewhat lower DPR against a single target, actually, but there's Great Cleave to consider.

(This might address some of your confusion, too, @dnd4vr .)
I can understand your thinking, but personally I wouldn't like a warrior-type class without Extra Attack, regardless of DPR. I even get bugged at times that Rogue never get Extra Attack, not even a subclass of Rogue... while two Bard subclasses get it. :rolleyes:
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Anyway, this is obviously all just a rough draft and proof of concept. What do you think? Is there something there?
FYI there is an error in your pdf class features table or your Paragon Archetype description. The levels when features are gained don't match up.

Also, I've gone through it all and revised my version (totally based on yours, with tweaks here and there). Check out the pdf.
 

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TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
@dnd4vr A few notes. Forgive me if I'm kind of harsh; I feel like I have some more license than usual given that I'm critiquing a revision of my own work. So let me start off by saying that most of all, I'm very happy that my ideas have struck enough of a chord to inspire others to put their own time into working on it.

Don't you think a character who looks like the Hero of Iroas deserves some sort of unarmored defense ability? It'd be a shame to cover that up.

Heroic Stature starts to run into bounded accuracy problems once the paragon's Strength + Muscle Mass bonus gets high. Under the hood, the point of my version is not to emulate big, inaccurate swings; that's just thematic justification. The point is to keep this bonus in check. At 20th level, a paragon without this ability would have +16 to attacks just from proficiency and Strength/Muscle Mass. So making the penalty optional defeats the purpose. And making it disadvantage instead of a numeric penalty causes it to be almost meaningless with such a huge bonus: "Okay, my worse roll is a 2. I still hit an 18."

Brawler needs to have a higher damage value for improvised weapons than for unarmed strikes. DM: "There is an army assembled before you. You are completely unarmed, but on the ground in front of you is the jawbone of an ass." Player: "Well, I could pick it up, but I do exactly the same damage by punching these guys, so I'm just gonna do that instead."

Changing Muscle Mass from an actual Strength increase to a simulated bonus undermines the whole fantasy of the class, which is to eventually be able to write a "30" on your character sheet. Players can feel the difference between getting a bonus that's kind of almost like being as strong as a titan, and actually being as strong as a titan.

For Straining Sinews, 2d6 is a huge amount to add to a check, especially at level 3.

Heavy Hit is extremely underpowered. Getting maximum damage on one attack is considerably worse than getting two attacks, there's a daily limit on it, and it doesn't work with unarmed strikes or improvised weapons which we gave the class a special class feature for just to encourage them to use. At levels after 5th, far from feeling superpowered, paragons are going to be dealing dramatically less damage than all their buddies. I know the extra dice in my version look like a lot, but have you checked out what a rogue does? You need a lot to keep up with Extra Attack.

I thought about doing Great Cleave with a single attack roll, but decided to flatten out the uncertainty a bit instead. Missing and doing nothing always feels bad, and a paragon is going to do a lot of that for the first eight levels. I decided it was time to throw the player a bone rather than double down on the do-nothing potential.

Straining Resolve just kind of blows the fighter's Indomitable out of the water. I tried to avoid doing that.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
@dnd4vr A few notes. Forgive me if I'm kind of harsh; I feel like I have some more license than usual given that I'm critiquing a revision of my own work. So let me start off by saying that most of all, I'm very happy that my ideas have struck enough of a chord to inspire others to put their own time into working on it.
LOL no worries! I have a thick skin when it comes to game design and try to be equally respectful of others' ideas, too. I appreciate constructive criticism for what it is and always appreciate others' insights. :)

Don't you think a character who looks like the Hero of Iroas deserves some sort of unarmored defense ability? It'd be a shame to cover that up.
Yeah, I totally get your point, but this is one of the reasons why I would make a subclass of Barbarian instead of a new class entirely. The only problem with that would be choosing 4 features for the subclass when there are so many good ideas to choose from!

If it wasn't for Muscle Mass, I would say keep it but make it 10 + Dex mod + Str mod.

I thought the Hard As Steel feature would be useful as an alternative. Also, a single level dip into Barbarian (likely for Rage!) would give you Unarmored Defense as well. Now, if your table doesn't play with multiclasing, that would be different, but IME nearly all tables use it.

Heroic Stature starts to run into bounded accuracy problems once the paragon's Strength + Muscle Mass bonus gets high. Under the hood, the point of my version is not to emulate big, inaccurate swings; that's just thematic justification. The point is to keep this bonus in check. At 20th level, a paragon without this ability would have +16 to attacks just from proficiency and Strength/Muscle Mass. So making the penalty optional defeats the purpose. And making it disadvantage instead of a numeric penalty causes it to be almost meaningless with such a huge bonus: "Okay, my worse roll is a 2. I still hit an 18."
That was my oversight. I was following the formula for raw STR boost, not realizing I was actually doubling the effective benefit over your version! I'm glad you caught it.

I went with disadvantage because, personally, I don't like the mechanic of figuring out the penalty. Also, with Heroic Stature + Muscle Mass and a STR 30 at maximum, you'd be accepted a -5 to hit for effectively +10 to damage all the time. You would still be +11 with max proficiency, same as everyone else, but +20 total to damage. Factor in something like GWF and it would jump to +30 damage. Doesn't that seem a bit overkill? I know you removed Extra Attack to compensate for this, but there are ways to get additional attacks as well.

Brawler needs to have a higher damage value for improvised weapons than for unarmed strikes. DM: "There is an army assembled before you. You are completely unarmed, but on the ground in front of you is the jawbone of an ass." Player: "Well, I could pick it up, but I do exactly the same damage by punching these guys, so I'm just gonna do that instead."
Well, this is where improvised weapons come in. An improvised weapon is supposed to have damage equal to a normal weapon if it mimics it in the eyes of the DM. The base "improvised weapon damage" is simply for items that don't mimic weapons. The jawbone of an ass would be a "club" and should do damage accordingly.

Maybe instead have the feature something akin to Dueling? When you attack with an improvised weapon you gain +2 damage or something?

Changing Muscle Mass from an actual Strength increase to a simulated bonus undermines the whole fantasy of the class, which is to eventually be able to write a "30" on your character sheet. Players can feel the difference between getting a bonus that's kind of almost like being as strong as a titan, and actually being as strong as a titan.
Sure, that would feel cool, right!? But giving a class a +1 ability bonus every other level is enormous! You are basically giving the class STR-only ASI's in addition to normal ASI's. Maybe something to encourage using ASI's on STR? Like if you use your ASI to gain +2 STR, you gain +3 instead?

Honestly, I don't know. You said you ran the numbers before and it works okay, but to me it just seems TOO good. Maybe during the games I'll try building a character and see how it works.

For Straining Sinews, 2d6 is a huge amount to add to a check, especially at level 3.
It is a large amount, but that is the point IMO. It helps ensure when the die roll goes against such a heroic character, they have a good chance of turning that failure into success. Maybe a flat d10 bonus would be better?

For myself, at least, I am trying to eliminate the straining damage mechanic. I don't think features should involve damaging the PC, and I don't believe any other class has features that do (I could be mistaken, but I can't recall any right now).

Heavy Hit is extremely underpowered. Getting maximum damage on one attack is considerably worse than getting two attacks, there's a daily limit on it, and it doesn't work with unarmed strikes or improvised weapons which we gave the class a special class feature for just to encourage them to use. At levels after 5th, far from feeling superpowered, paragons are going to be dealing dramatically less damage than all their buddies. I know the extra dice in my version look like a lot, but have you checked out what a rogue does? You need a lot to keep up with Extra Attack.
Forgetting unarmed strikes/ improvised weapons was another oversight (that's what you get when working late... ;) ). I would certainly add those as well!

Again, this comes down to the math. You say it works out, but on first inspection it is SO big. Also, when it comes to multiclassing, imagine a Barbarian 5/ Paragon 15? If I understand your version correctly, I would be dealing a whopping 6d6 damage with a greatsword, plus my enormous STR mod (when you add in Heroic Stature), TWICE a round!

It comes down to the numbers and while my version with maximum damage is weaker, it is almost equivalent to scoring a critical hit. It could well be my idea is underpowered, but I think your version could be too much given the right build. Maybe I am wrong? We should examine it more I think.

I thought about doing Great Cleave with a single attack roll, but decided to flatten out the uncertainty a bit instead. Missing and doing nothing always feels bad, and a paragon is going to do a lot of that for the first eight levels. I decided it was time to throw the player a bone rather than double down on the do-nothing potential.
Hmm... I was thinking of a single roll just to make it a bit faster, but allowing individual attack rolls works fine, too of course. However, this feature along with the Heavy Hit damage you have means I don't even have to work about multiclassing to get Extra Attack, you are basically giving it to them anyway. It is only a slight difference IMO due to the need to possibly move. Of course, if you are attacked on both sides, you can't use Great Cleave (until much higher levels anyway) to attack both targets since they are more than 5 feet apart.

I guess I just see this as situation-based abusive.

Straining Resolve just kind of blows the fighter's Indomitable out of the water. I tried to avoid doing that.
Well, it is significantly better, but it is also a 9th level feature vs. a 17th level one. :)

Trade-offs:
Any failed save vs only STR, DEX, or CON.
Reroll vs. auto-succeed
Long rest vs. short or long rest.

I find Indomitable is more useful because it applies to the saves Fighters are more likely to fail, i.e. the "mental" ones.

Well, good discussion! I like your feedback and I hope my responses will give you some food for thought as well. :)

EDIT:

So, some (very) quick number estimates this morning leads me to believe you are probably pretty close with Heroic Stature + Heavy Hit adding so many dice in damage. However, I would most certainly add a limit of once per turn or round even for Heavy Hit to avoid multiclass abuse, etc.
 
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dnd4vr

Adventurer
Quick question: did you mean for the size increases to also affect the size opponents you can grapple or shove, or is that only for Wrestling Trial?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
@TheCosmicKid : Here is my blend of many of your features into a Barbarian subclass. I had to tweak things and such, and there is still a lot of ideas from Paragon I would love to incorporate, but with the Barbarian base-class, I think much of it works ok. What are your thoughts?

1570990559773.png
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
I thought the Hard As Steel feature would be useful as an alternative. Also, a single level dip into Barbarian (likely for Rage!) would give you Unarmored Defense as well. Now, if your table doesn't play with multiclasing, that would be different, but IME nearly all tables use it.
We use it, but I try to allow for tables that don't, or for individual players who might not want to or don't think it fits their character. Rage might not be a good fit on a Gentle Giant, for example. And it's not like the barbarian has a monopoly on this feature: it already stole it from the monk.

I went with disadvantage because, personally, I don't like the mechanic of figuring out the penalty. Also, with Heroic Stature + Muscle Mass and a STR 30 at maximum, you'd be accepted a -5 to hit for effectively +10 to damage all the time. You would still be +11 with max proficiency, same as everyone else, but +20 total to damage. Factor in something like GWF and it would jump to +30 damage. Doesn't that seem a bit overkill? I know you removed Extra Attack to compensate for this, but there are ways to get additional attacks as well.
I don't worry about GWF in my designs, on the theory that if there's a problem when you combine a build with GWF, the source of the problem is GWF. Case in point: a 20th-level fighter with GWF is getting +60 damage in total, and can double that with an Action Surge.

Well, this is where improvised weapons come in. An improvised weapon is supposed to have damage equal to a normal weapon if it mimics it in the eyes of the DM. The base "improvised weapon damage" is simply for items that don't mimic weapons. The jawbone of an ass would be a "club" and should do damage accordingly.

Maybe instead have the feature something akin to Dueling? When you attack with an improvised weapon you gain +2 damage or something?
A club deals 1d4 damage. Going from 1d4 to 1d8 is effectively +2 damage. Except it plays better with Heavy Hit.

For myself, at least, I am trying to eliminate the straining damage mechanic. I don't think features should involve damaging the PC, and I don't believe any other class has features that do (I could be mistaken, but I can't recall any right now).
I'm not in love with the implementation myself, I need to clean it up a lot. And I want to use it sparingly in any case, because it's supposed to have the flavor of "pushing yourself to the breaking point in an emergency", not "using your health as an everyday resource". But given the precedent of characters like John Henry, I think the idea has a place as a unique mechanic for this class.

So, some (very) quick number estimates this morning leads me to believe you are probably pretty close with Heroic Stature + Heavy Hit adding so many dice in damage. However, I would most certainly add a limit of once per turn or round even for Heavy Hit to avoid multiclass abuse, etc.
I might be able to do something a little more elegant if I combine Heavy Hit and Great Cleave as a special action.

Quick question: did you mean for the size increases to also affect the size opponents you can grapple or shove, or is that only for Wrestling Trial?
Presently the latter, although it's still up in the air how much wrestling specialization I want to reserve for the challenger and how much should be in the base class.

@TheCosmicKid : Here is my blend of many of your features into a Barbarian subclass. I had to tweak things and such, and there is still a lot of ideas from Paragon I would love to incorporate, but with the Barbarian base-class, I think much of it works ok. What are your thoughts?

View attachment 114807
It's underpowered until you hit 14. Barbarian subclasses usually have a significant source of bonus damage at 3rd level, or else a really good defensive ability. A couple of situational/ribbon features aren't going to measure up. Beyond 14, it starts to run into the same bounded accuracy and (to a lesser degree) Extra Attack problems as we're dealing with in the full-class version. Plus from a rules comprehension standpoint it might be confusing how it interacts with the barbarian's capstone ability. Although I do like how with the bonus there, 2 remaining ASIs and +4 from the capstone, it's just possible to reach 30. That's neat.

On a nitpicking point, for Demolish, I'd favor double damage over ignoring the damage threshold for objects and structures. Ignoring the damage threshold means the paragon is somehow able to saw through a steel door with a 1-damage spoon if he wants to. The ability should encourage huge hits, not enable small ones.
 

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