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


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lichmaster

Adventurer
Buy it. Now. Max tier. I want that DMs screen.
I already did it, man! And by the numbers we have now, I think it won't take much to get to that DM screen. Actually, I think @Morrus will have to spill some beans for the next stretch goals quite soon ;)
What I meant is that if at the table players with O5E characters end up envying players with the A5E version of the same class, that's one hell of advertisement :)
 

I already did it, man! And by the numbers we have now, I think it won't take much to get to that DM screen. Actually, I think @Morrus will have to spill some beans for the next stretch goals quite soon ;)
What I meant is that if at the table players with O5E characters end up envying players with the A5E version of the same class, that's one hell of advertisement :)
I knew what you meant I was just being annoying, I swear 😃
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Oh man.... I was so excited when I first heard about LU. More fully fleshed out systems, advanced char creation options, more crunch, smoother levelling experiences, this all sounds like my dream. I was so ready to back this thing, and couldn't wait till the kickstarter launched!

But ... a combination of some unpleasant interactions, and more and more components of the game being released that seem changed in unnecessary and undesirable directions, I've been having more and more hesitancy and doubts. And yet others seem to be getting more and more excited about it. I'm liking less and less of what I see and they're liking more.

Now this rewritten monk. I see in this thread numerous people saying they like what they see, and that they would be keen to play this. I think the mismatch here is the most telling. For me, this new Adept class repulses me almost as much as the Monk has always enchanted and captivated me, from when I played my first one in the early 80s. To me, a pit fighter who can exert himself is not a martial artist, not even close, and not even in the same realm as a true monk who can manipulate life force energy. To try to conflate them is abhorrent to me.

And so I guess I must accept that I am the odd one out here, and not the target audience for this thing after all, as much as I wanted to be. I'm glad that this project appeals to a lot of people and for those people I wish you a great deal of enjoyment from it. But for me, I think it's time to tap out. Enjoy.
 


Praeden

Explorer
I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to fix the Monk class, including playtesting a "Martial Artist" from 3rd-8th level. I found even one special technique per level from the base class to be a lot; add in subclass features, racial features, feats, and there's a lot of opportunities to forget about something you can do at the one time it comes up. And that was for me, who'd designed the class in the first place. So I'd suggest that this class, with over 2 goodies per level all told, is gonna be more than most can handle.
There is indeed a lot going on here. We already have Maneuvers for most classes, and Adepts also get Focus Features and Practised Techniques. What is the difference between these things?

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.
Agreed, and if that change is made then we have a clear (though it is not made explicit in the text) distinction between Focus Features and Practised Techniques.

Focus Features: Combat tricks
Practised Techniques: Movement and knowledge tricks


That still leaves the question: what distinguishes Focus Feature combat tricks from Maneuver combat tricks? Obviously the Focus Features are Adept only, but presumably this could have been handled by simply giving out more Traditions to Adepts from an expanded list.

Perhaps Focus Features are simply intended as a pick 'n' mix, which wouldn't work if they were shoehorned into Traditions?
 

There is indeed a lot going on here. We already have Maneuvers for most classes, and Adepts also get Focus Features and Practised Techniques. What is the difference between these things?


Agreed, and if that change is made then we have a clear (though it is not made explicit in the text) distinction between Focus Features and Practised Techniques.

Focus Features: Combat tricks
Practised Techniques: Movement and knowledge tricks


That still leaves the question: what distinguishes Focus Feature combat tricks from Maneuver combat tricks? Obviously the Focus Features are Adept only, but presumably this could have been handled by simply giving out more Traditions to Adepts from an expanded list.

Perhaps Focus Features are simply intended as a pick 'n' mix, which wouldn't work if they were shoehorned into Traditions?
Focus features don't really do the same things as maneuvers, though. And a number of them such as Stillness of Mind and Purity of Body used to be "mandatory" features in the old Monk class. They're still available now, but if you'd rather have something else, you're not locked into them. Other, like Adept Weaponry, give you additional overall capabilities, but they don't really work like a maneuver does.

Think of them as something more akin to warlock invocations, but for martial arts instead. And yeah, they're definitely there to be both an a la carte menu you can choose from freely and a unique, special set of things about the adept class rather than a generally-available set of combat techniques. Several, like Adept Weaponry and Forbidden Strike, also "plug in" to other adept features making them much less useful (or outright useless) to characters that don't have the corresponding feature as well.
 

Praeden

Explorer
Focus features don't really do the same things as maneuvers, though. And a number of them such as Stillness of Mind and Purity of Body used to be "mandatory" features in the old Monk class. They're still available now, but if you'd rather have something else, you're not locked into them. Other, like Adept Weaponry, give you additional overall capabilities, but they don't really work like a maneuver does.

Think of them as something more akin to warlock invocations, but for martial arts instead. And yeah, they're definitely there to be both an a la carte menu you can choose from freely and a unique, special set of things about the adept class rather than a generally-available set of combat techniques. Several, like Adept Weaponry and Forbidden Strike, also "plug in" to other adept features making them much less useful (or outright useless) to characters that don't have the corresponding feature as well.

Focus Features are defintely reminiscent of Warlock invocations - that's exactly what I thought when I saw them. So Maneuvers/Focus Features for Adepts are like Spells/Invocations for Warlocks.

But then we have these Practised Techniques as well. After I made my first post, I thought that perhaps the movement ones could be folded into a Tradition, although I can't remember whether maneuvers have the same skill tree dependency that we see with some of these techniques, or whether it is just the maneuver degree which limits progression. And of course an Adept only tradition composed solely of movement skills might not get that much traction from players. As for the knowledge techniques - well they don't fit easily anywhere else, and there are some really nice ones that I can see you would want to keep.

Feats/Maneuvers/Class Features/Focus Features/Practised Techniques... It's a very busy class. But it is a tricky design problem. You want to give lots of options (and you have lots of really nice ones) while also making the whole thing backwards compatible. Overall the new game is looking very good.
 

I think I can supply the missing piece for you here: "Practiced Techniques" is the class-specific name for "exploration knacks." They all shared that name during playtesting, but as part of the final design pass, they got renamed to something more in-flavor for the class they were attached to.
 

Praeden

Explorer
I think I can supply the missing piece for you here: "Practiced Techniques" is the class-specific name for "exploration knacks." They all shared that name during playtesting, but as part of the final design pass, they got renamed to something more in-flavor for the class they were attached to.
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I think I can supply the missing piece for you here: "Practiced Techniques" is the class-specific name for "exploration knacks." They all shared that name during playtesting, but as part of the final design pass, they got renamed to something more in-flavor for the class they were attached to.
I know it's probably too late, but I really think they should go back to being called exploration knacks. Judging by other things (the 8 Days to Go Thread and T'lingbet's stats), both fighters and rangers have exploration knacks that are called that. So if some classes have exploration stats but others "don't" (because they're called something else), it's going to be confusing.
 



niklinna

Legend
Now this rewritten monk. I see in this thread numerous people saying they like what they see, and that they would be keen to play this. I think the mismatch here is the most telling. For me, this new Adept class repulses me almost as much as the Monk has always enchanted and captivated me, from when I played my first one in the early 80s. To me, a pit fighter who can exert himself is not a martial artist, not even close, and not even in the same realm as a true monk who can manipulate life force energy. To try to conflate them is abhorrent to me.
FWIW, the O5E Monk class is still there for you to use, if you like it better.
 

VanguardHero

Adventurer
Ohhh ok Knacks being renamed makes sense. My other question is that I love love love the ala carte build type with Invocation-esque Focus Features, is that common among the Classes now or just a particularly deep toybox for the Adept?
 

Ohhh ok Knacks being renamed makes sense. My other question is that I love love love the ala carte build type with Invocation-esque Focus Features, is that common among the Classes now or just a particularly deep toybox for the Adept?
All of the classes are significantly more customizable than they once were. One of the core design principle was "meaningful choices at every level." They're not all quite as modular as the adept is, but there is way more flexibility to create different types of character than there once was. That's actually one of the things that has me, personally, excited to play Level Up characters. There are whole different avenues of character creation that you can go down that just weren't there in O5E.
 

VanguardHero

Adventurer
All of the classes are significantly more customizable than they once were. One of the core design principle was "meaningful choices at every level." They're not all quite as modular as the adept is, but there is way more flexibility to create different types of character than there once was. That's actually one of the things that has me, personally, excited to play Level Up characters. There are whole different avenues of character creation that you can go down that just weren't there in O5E.
Oh yeah no, same hat, I'd meant in comparison to the Playtests. But I dug up the Adept and it had the same structure, it just feels a lot different with the Exploration Knacks being renamed and not shunted to the end of the class. Warlock was the only o5e Class I felt was adequately designed, and Adept being the Martial Equivalent (On top of Blade Pact) is very enticing. Adept definitely is top tier for classes I'm excited to play in LU :D
 

Oh yeah no, same hat, I'd meant in comparison to the Playtests. But I dug up the Adept and it had the same structure, it just feels a lot different with the Exploration Knacks being renamed and not shunted to the end of the class. Warlock was the only o5e Class I felt was adequately designed, and Adept being the Martial Equivalent (On top of Blade Pact) is very enticing. Adept definitely is top tier for classes I'm excited to play in LU :D
I'm personally still planning on that herald/bard as my first PC, but I can't fault anyone who wants to go with the adept.
 

VanguardHero

Adventurer
Fighter, Adept, Warlock, and maybe Herald are the top ones for me, gotta get a look at them all before I know which one speaks to me the most.
 


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