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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

timespike

Adventurer
Mutually Assured Destruction?
To give a more lengthy and thorough explanation to supplement the correct and succinct answer provided by @KanetheDM:

You'll also occasionally see SAD which stands for Single-Attribute Dependent.

A key principle (but by no means the only one!) of min-maxing for 5E revolves around taking things that are MAD and making them SAD. (Which sounds funny if you don't have context.)

For example, the ol' paladin/Hexblade warlock multiclass does this. Paladins need Strength and Charisma about equally; Strength for their weapon attacks and Charisma to run all of their class abilities such as spellcasting DCs, Aura of Protection bonus, and so on. By multiclassing into Hexblade warlock, they can use their Charisma modifier for their weapon attacks as well, thereby turning it into a SAD build that only needs to focus on Charisma.

Certain classes are also SAD by default. For example, a druid really doesn't need much other than Wisdom to be effective. Lackluster physical attributes can be covered by wild shape, but that spellcasting score is critical.

Some base classes (like the aforementioned paladin, but also the O5E ranger and monk) are more MAD by default. Typically when a class bridges between martial and spellcasting, you will see some MAD.
 

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VanguardHero

Explorer
I was recently looking at the Critical Role characters' stats and how their much higher than RAW values leads to much more interesting (and viable!) characters. A lot of what determines tiers of characters in 5e is SAD vs MAD. A Wizard only really needs INT, so they just need one good score. A Monk though? Dex for hit and damage and AC, Con for survivability as a d8 frontliner, Wis for AC and Stunning Strike. You need THREE solid rolls for the Monk vs ONE for the Wizard. Even worse in Point Buy where you get less than rolled average worth of stats. Matt's system of setting a safety net of rerolls helps a LOT to lessen the tier gaps. Sure, Wizard gets more Wisdom and Charisma, but they serve more as flavor stats, whereas Monk gets all their stats solid and get to actually function well.

And yeah, one level Hexblade dip helps any Charisma class that wants to Melee. Stone Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin, or even a Face Rogue. Really every Class should just be able to use their key ability stat to do their thing, if only there was some system that had figured that out WotC could've learned a lot from it...
 

niklinna

Looking for group
And yeah, one level Hexblade dip helps any Charisma class that wants to Melee. Stone Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin, or even a Face Rogue. Really every Class should just be able to use their key ability stat to do their thing, if only there was some system that had figured that out WotC could've learned a lot from it...
Some systems ditched the whole concept of a key ability stat. Heck, some systems ditched the whole concept of ability stats!
 

VanguardHero

Explorer
Some systems ditched the whole concept of a key ability stat. Heck, some systems ditched the whole concept of ability stats!
I was mocking WotC for setting game design back 15 years by refusing to acknowledge a lot of the great design decisions 4e made because Mearls hated it.

And that's true! It's pretty popular in more actual Rules-Lite systems iirc? It's a good system. I still wish d20 crunch based systems would just use Ability Modifiers and ditch the actual Scores, they largely feel vestigial at this point.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
I was mocking WotC for setting game design back 15 years by refusing to acknowledge a lot of the great design decisions 4e made because Mearls hated it.
Well, at that point why have six different attributes? Might as well have one bonus that is applied to anything a character does in which he has some form of training or skill... reminds me of something ;)
And that's true! It's pretty popular in more actual Rules-Lite systems iirc? It's a good system. I still wish d20 crunch based systems would just use Ability Modifiers and ditch the actual Scores, they largely feel vestigial at this point.
With this I totally agree. The odd scores feel really lame, and except maybe for str that influences how much you can carry, all the others have literally no mechanical purpose.
 

niklinna

Looking for group
Well, at that point why have six different attributes? Might as well have one bonus that is applied to anything a character does in which he has some form of training or skill... reminds me of something ;)
You can do TWERPS or you can do Fate. Either way ability stats are effectively gone. :)
 

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