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Level Up (A5E) Level Up Class Preview: Adept

The Kickstarter has launched and already has nearly 2000 backers! Over the next month, we have plenty of fun stuff to show you. Let’s start with a class — and we’ll start at the beginning with the Adept.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Stalker0

Legend
Also according to the playtest, you can spend HD to regain exertion (although it takes a minute), which will help between fights even if there's no time for a short rest.
Actually I did make an assumption that base amount of exertion classes get hasn't changed, which could be in error. Perhaps classes get more exertion at base (aka more than twice their prof bonus which is what it was before)
 

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niklinna

Looking for group
When I was playing a monk (1st through 9ish level) I never got to a point where I was totally out of ki and needed some. I also tend to end the day with spells available or end videogames with 300 unused potions so I am on the conservative user side of the equation.
My take on potions: "Don't drink your money!"

I never found monks interesting in any other version of D&D. This A5E Adept has my attention.
 

Stone Dog

Explorer
So...

Flurry of Blows- Right after you take an attack action (hit or not, just take the Attack action), spend 1 exertion to make two more attacks, specifically unarmed attacks. Hit at them with a sword, kick at them twice.
If I get how 5e works, if somebody has an Extra Attack, it is still one attack action. You make the Attack action for two melee attack rolls and then a flurry, you still only get two more unarmed attacks.

Powerful Blow- Spend a bonus action to wind up. If you land a hit before your next turn ends, add at least 1d6 damage to the total (because you can't get PB before 5th level, minimum 1d6 MA die).

Flurry is two chances to deal full damage with bonuses instead of Powerful Blow's one confirmed instance of a single die and Flurry has no set up required.

Maybe useful if crit fishing is a thing and the extra damage gets multiplied? If that could be the case, then you'd only need to spend the exertion when you know you have a crit coming your way.

Am I missing anything? I'm not completely familiar with 5e.
 

Alright lets dig in! I'm not going to do my super deep dive like I did in the playtests. What I am going to do is highlight two sections, one for things that I have immediate concerns about (aka is there a mistake here you all wish to correct), and then the other is mainly for my preference stuff (aka probably too late for this but hey got to try!)

Immediate Concern
  • Powerful Blow: This thing is just bad, really bad. Even if it cost 0 exertion.... it still wouldn't be great. Why would I give up my unarmed strike (aka my martial arts bonus action) for the chance to blow 1 exertion to add in less damage than an unarmed strike would do? This cost compares to two unarmed strikes (aka flurry)....I just cannot ever see wanted to use this over a flurry, and certainly not enough to actually consume a focus slot. While there are other focuses I think are pretty bad, I can at least imagine a use for them. For this one I can't.

  • Undefeated: Unless temporary hitpoints have changed in LU, I don't know if the mechanics of this match your intent. I feel like the idea is that when I go to 0 I get in a free attack, and manage to stay up. But temp HP doesn't do that.... I'm still unconscious (nor does the temp hp block death fails on a hit). I guess it works ok with the 17th level Brawler's relentless ability....but that's a pretty niche case.

  • Boon of Speed (Exalted Athlete): How do you move more than your speed in a round? Things like dash just increase your speed, maybe there are maneuvers that do it? Did you intend this to be base speed? It also feels a little weird that the faster I am the more effort (aka distance traveled) I have to use to get benefit out of this, but that is what it is.

  • 11th level Practiced Techniques: A number of these say 11th level requirement....but you don't get a new technique at 11th level (its 12th). Is that a multiclass thing or is this an oversight? Same thing occurs with focused speech at 15th level.

  • Share Focus: This is just a tightening of the wording. Mechanically it says you can target any creature (aka including yourself)....which is cool. However the first sentence somewhat implies its just for others.....so I'm not sure which one you intended. Personally I think it should also work on yourself, these guys are mainly about personal power so it fits their flavor much better.

  • Relentless: I would just add a "may" to this ability. I don't think the intent is for a character to not spend their last exertion because they are so low on hp that they are afraid that they may drop because of the roll.... that seems the exact opposite of the flavor this ability is supposed to entail.
General Concern
Most of my concerns I noted in my original review, and most of those are still in play. So I will only try to focus on ones I have not discussed before...well mostly, I may have one or two that I think bare repeating:)
  • Exertion Use: It still feels like this class goes through exertion so quickly you can hardly blink. My biggest issue in the playtest was I found it very difficult to choose manuevers and focuses for a character....because exertion use blew through my reserves so quickly I had to be extremely stingy with choosing things that spent exertion. I don't feel like that changed in the final product, its 2 exertion cost everywhere!

  • Weapon Skill: I don't have issue with the ability itself, its more that at 5th level I can pick up the much cooler Adept Weaponry which completely negates Weapon Skill, and so I now have a dead focus slot. Similar thought on Closed Soul/Magic Resistance....but the level gap there means its going to happen much less often.

  • Great Reputation: So I love that you all are putting more social pillar stuff into your classes. And as always the question is....where is the line between believable boosts and unbelievable, and we just hit my line with this one. Battlefield Ettiquette is fine to me, I get a bonus because of my connection to those people...but it doesn't force anything....perfectly fine. But this one....so my personal nemesis from the other martial arts school....he's cool with me when we meet? Every fighter that wants to attack the party....is going to stop and hang with this guy first? I personally rather this was like: "you roll a 20 on any charisma check to persuade, etc etc", that at least involves a little time and effort, and the DM can handwave that when its cinematically appropriate (um....you killed this guys parents in front of him, sorry persuasion is not going to work right now).

  • Perfection Achieved: So this takes me from a 5.5 average to a 7.08 average (roughly), for 1 exertion. This is awfully expensive. Now if this was all martial arts die rolled in the round....sign me up, that feels like a cool capstone. Or if I could see the result of the martial arts die and then choose to replace it with a d12 roll...ok maybe. But as it....just feels very lukewarm. I still feel like people underestimate how fast adepts can burn through exertion, all exertion is precious even at high levels.

  • Way of the Fist (Warrior Monk): So I actually playtested a homebrew monk that got back 1 ki every time they crited, so I have first hand experience into this kind of ability. And the ability....is really really good, and that's just at 1 ki. The fact here is at higher levels you could recover 2 or 3 exertion on every crit, I am a bit worried that this one ability is going to overshadow some of the other subclasses (especially since you all have various manuevers that help crit). Now granted these subclasses all look pretty cool, so maybe it balances in the long run (and you are using unarmed strikes when other adepts get to run around with greatswords). I will say it blows the pants out of all monk subclasses save maybe the Monk of Mercy (probably even then).

  • Greatsword Adepts: This is not a true balance concern more just uniqueness. I feel that every 5th level adept is going to want a greatsword for their Adept Weapon (maybe 6th level if they really want stunning strike). That's a full extra 1d6 damage on two attacks, I can't see anything that is better than that.... everything else that would come close requires exertion. Of course there are those that will choose fun options to fit their flavor, there always are....but it doesn't change the fact that picking up a nice big weapon seems the clear choice here. And I don't think the dances really change that. Only the warrior monk seems to have cool enough unarmed strikes to avoid the temptation.

  • Jump Distance Math: I have no issue with adepts being crazy anime jumpers. Its just more how does that math actually work? Example, an Exalted Athlete with Gale Walk and using Long Step gets double + double + triple their normal jump distance. Is that x7, is it like old school crit math and its actually x5. It it a true exponential where each one enhances the next, aka 30 foot jump x2 -> 60 x2 -> 120 x 3 = 360 feet?

  • Unorthodox Arsenal: I have no issue with an improvised weapon prof and use, that's cool. But, why do I only get to do cool things with improvised weapons? I could see a gladiator motiff for this class, but the flavor of the class doesn't really push that....this guy is meant to be a more "fighter" adept. But this mechanic is asking me to trade in good unarmed strikes or real weapons to use improvised stuff in order to get any benefit from my subclass...it feels off to me.
Highlights
  • Knacks to Practiced Technique: Good change
  • Total Combat / Unlikely Weild: Nice additions
  • Vengeful Spirit: Wait, a really flavorful and cool ability that doesn't completely gobble up all exertion? Nice! This one is really neat even if it is niche.
  • Death Blow is a fun capstone
  • I like the new Practiced Techniques: Instant Step is fun (and one I actually consider worth the exertion cost), Sixth Sense is really solid, Shadow Walk is just different enough from Instant Step that they both have a place (I could even see a monk take both)
  • Exalted Athlete and Warrior Monk both seem like really nice subclasses, I feel the mechanics highlight the flavor very well.
1. Powerful blow is pretty great when you can’t to a flurry this round but can next round. Burn this turns wasted bonus action and 1 exertion to make next turn awesome. Useful when you have to, say, dash on a turn and not be able to attack til next. There ya go.

2. Undefeated: Agreed though I can see half orcs also having a good time with it.

3. Boon of Speed: dash does not increase your speed, it increases your movement by an amount up to or equal to your speed. So as a result that should qualify for the wording for boon of speed. This is really going to incentivize people to use longstep for sure.

4. Weapon skill: great if you want a weapon that isn’t heavy or special and have plans for a different 5th level focus. Adept weapons: great if you need multiple weapons and if you really need that special or heavy weapon. Hard to compare the two, compare what you lose by taking up a fifth level focus slot to get it. Obviously don’t take both unless you really wish you had played a fighter or something.

5. Perfection achieved: Crits are gonna be more fun. Also it’s not the capstone, it’s half the capstone. Death blow is rolled up in it to. I am extremely curious if the intention is to allow the two to stack.

6. Great sword adepts: We probably should keep in mind they are adding weapons and aren’t seeing the whole picture here.

7. Unorthodoxies Arsenal: can’t use martial arts ability with improvised weapons (proficiency doesn’t mean adept weapons). This ability helps to take away that sting. You also still get all the normal adept stuff, so cool things are still useable as normal with this subclass. You just get more options.

edit: there is a limit on unorthodox if I read it correctly
 
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Ope just realized on unorthodox: extra attack: one strike with adept weapon, one strike improvised + unorthodoxies blow up, bonus action still get to flurry of blows. Looks like a nice little nova if I’m reading that correctly
 

niklinna

Looking for group
Minor quibble from a very brief read....

The Light Armor benefit you get at 1sr level should have a "may" in the rule. You should be given the option to use STR instead of DEX but not forced to as the RAW states.
Better yet, just say you use whichever is higher.
 

niklinna

Looking for group
It seems odd to me that Eye for Detail is a Focus Feature rather than a Practiced Technique. Nearly all the Focus Features relate most directly to combat.

For Warrior Monk's Lost Tradition, why do you have to choose a tradition you aren't proficient in? Or to put it another way, why do you have to avoid taking the tradtion you'll want to specialze in for your first 2 levels?
 


Faolyn

Hero
For Warrior Monk's Lost Tradition, why do you have to choose a tradition you aren't proficient in? Or to put it another way, why do you have to avoid taking the tradtion you'll want to specialze in for your first 2 levels?
I'd asked about that earlier--until we get an answer, it might be that you can take any tradition, not just the ones listed as being available for monks.
 


Stalker0

Legend
1. Powerful blow is pretty great when you can’t to a flurry this round but can next round. Burn this turns wasted bonus action and 1 exertion to make next turn awesome. Useful when you have to, say, dash on a turn and not be able to attack til next. There ya go.
Thank you, that is a use case. Do I think that compensates for the cost and the focus slot, not one bit....but your right this is a use case where the focus has an advantage.
 

VanguardHero

Explorer
Personally I went to a scenatio of having Advantage on your next Attack and wanting to make the most of it. 5e Monk suffered a lot for its Bonus Damage as a non-Fighter Melee Class requiring a separate attack roll AND resource usage. I'm very much in favor of giving them alternatives that don't suffer that problem.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
Ok, so, I'm reading the class more carefully, I'll be posting some observations as I go through it:
Instant Step can be used to teleport 500ft in any direction the Adept can see, and can bring along any creature up to the size of the Adept.
The text does not specify that the creature has to be allied, so could this be used to teleport with an enemy 500ft in the air (or over lava) and drop it, then use slow fall to mitigate the damage (or Gale Walk as a bonus action to fly to a safe zone). RAW this would be possible without any save or attack, apparently. Is this intended?
 

Horwath

Hero
1. Powerful blow is pretty great when you can’t to a flurry this round but can next round. Burn this turns wasted bonus action and 1 exertion to make next turn awesome. Useful when you have to, say, dash on a turn and not be able to attack til next. There ya go.
I would then rather burn 1 pt to Dash as a bonus action and then use Action to attack.
 


Horwath

Hero
Sure. Im just trying to point out that there may be situations where this can be useful, not that this will always be useful.
I think that it's a waste of a ability "slot", unless you are assassin multiclass, and then you use this round before you surprise your target, then burn 4 pts on 4 attacks on your "surprise" and hope for extra crit dice.
 

I think that it's a waste of a ability "slot", unless you are assassin multiclass, and then you use this round before you surprise your target, then burn 4 pts on 4 attacks on your "surprise" and hope for extra crit dice.
And I think to call it a waste is to assume combats are fought in a vacuum and you will always have the option to make the most optimized choice. I guess we are at an impasse on our feelings on it.
 




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