log in or register to remove this ad

 

Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #10: Adept

Welcome to the 10th Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of the game’s adept class. The adept is a renaming of the monk of O5E, and allows us to portray a wide variety of unarmed combatants.

Adept_-_Júlio_Cesar_Oliveira_Rocha.jpg



When you have absorbed the playtest document, please take the survey and let us know what you think!

 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Faolyn

Hero
I've never really been interested in monks, so I honestly can't do a good job comparing the adept to anything. But here are my thoughts:

Most of this still feels very monkish to me; while I'm getting that "whirling dervish" feel you clearly want to add, I'm not getting a pugilist vine.

Renaming things helped, as did changing ki to exertion, which is what I guess you did--but you get a lot less not-ki now? That'll suck even more for Four Elements monks and other monks that rely on spending ki.

Brutal Defense: I kind of like being able to base AC off Strength--it suggests a person whose muscles are so rock-hard as to be impenetrable. But I'd say that you can get it even if you're not wearing any armor. Maybe this should just be one ability: pick either Wis or Strength, and you can use that for AC.

Combat Maneuvers: I think you should add Tooth and Claw to this list. I also note that Adepts get +1 to the save DC. Is this going to be a potential thing for other classes, such as possibly with a feat?

Exertion Focus: I think there should be one of those "immovable mountain/can't knock me down" type of abilities, and this might be a good place for it. If not here, then as a focus feature.

Focus Features: So this would be a good place to put some boxer/street fighter abilities. How about a KO ability that might be very tough to pull off (disad or -5 on roll) but knocks the target unconscious on a success? An ability that lets you pin a foe? Some sort of bonus to grappling? Bear hugs? A "cheap blow" that causes the target to have disadvantage on its next roll? I don't know much about boxing. Some of that's probably wrestling.

One thing I've always wanted was a polearm-type monk. Perhaps a focus that allows for such a thing? A variety of the Weapon Proficiency that grants you proficiency with a reach weapon--and perhaps another one that lets you have the Adamant Mountain maneuver.

Also, how does Deflect Spells work? Also, I think you need to emphasize that this is against attack spells only. I know you say ranged spell attack, but I think it needs some arrows pointing at it.

Exploration Knacks: Slight issue with the Religious Training ability--that's already part of the Religion skill. This knack isn't granting any new abilities.

For Wall Walk and Water Walk, you may want to ignore saying you're casting a spell on yourself and just say that you can climb up sheer surfaces and walk upside down without the need for a roll (as per the Spider Climb creature trait) and can walk across liquids without sinking. And you might also want to say that at the start of your next turn, you fall/sink if nothing else is keeping you up.
 


Jeff Carpenter

Adventurer
100% on board with a more generic name for this and other classes. Love this and the barbarian rename.

Any chance of renaming the cleric and the bard. (Might have missed this if you said so already).
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
I haven't given any feedback on anything yet. I'm not sure how pedantic we should get and what type of feedback you're exactly looking for.

Name of the Class
I'm not fond of the name adept at all. It's a simple detail, but it's such an imprecise word. By its definition, it can apply to almost any typical fantasy class which are generally specialist with one or few set of skills. The word adept does not suggest a fighter, pugilist or anything of the sort.

Unarmored Defense & Brutal Defense language
My only comment would be that you use very different languages for both features. Unarmored defense is the original description by WotC, and it simply states how to calculate your AC. Your feature (brutal defense) has a more natural language approach to it. Whatever you choose, I would use the same for both.

Brutal Defense
I really like having more options to opt into a strength-based monk. One of my favourite things of 4E was the inclusion of a Brutal Scoundrel thug-type for the Rogue class. However, from the wording, you only use your strength if you wear light armor.

So, if I use a medium armor like, let's say a Breastplate, my AC will be 14 + my dex? And if I wear no armor at all, it will use dexterity for my AC? Why not have the feature just switch to strength for every calculations? There's already incentives to use the lighter armor because they don't cap the bonus you get from your ability modifier.

Martial Arts
I noticed that the second paragraph "You gain the following [...]" only has one difference from the original one, it doesn't mention "you aren't wearing armor". This is probably so it works with the Brutal Defense feature, but what are the consequences on builds that go for a more traditional Unarmored Defense approach?

Exertion Pool
I'm not fond of the approach of mentioning the exertion currency once (page 4) and stating that it is twice your proficiency bonus, and then realizing that this isn't actually true because I've got bonus exertion (page 7). Also, that would mean that a player of level 1 would have access to a pool of two exertion points without having any means to spend them as both Maneuvers and Focus are available at level 2.

I think the current presentation is more complicated than it should: maybe just have one column in the main class table with the number of Exertion points you have at a given level, just like they did with Ki? That seems more straightforward and simple to me.

General Layout
My opinion is that the order in which you present things is very overwhelming. What you're presenting here has a little bit more meat to it than the 5E equivalent and the order in which you present things is very important for a smooth assimilation. I have to admit that half-way through I was a bit confused between Maneuvers, Focus, and all that.

Simplified enough, here's the journey you're taking me on:
  • At 1st level, you start with these two features: Adroit Defense and Martial Arts. Cool.
  • At 2nd level, you'll have to choose traditions and from these traditions you'll choose maneuvers. But we're not going to present any of them now. You use Exertion to do these Maneuvers. I don't know what Exertion is yet. This is now in my mind, and it's noise. You opened something, and didn't close it.
  • At 2nd level, you have a resource called Exertion (ah, here it is) and you can use it to do Focus. You start with three: here they are. Cool.
  • At 2nd level, you also get to pick exploration knacks. But we're not going to present any of them right now. More noise.
  • At 3rd level, you'll chose an archetype, it's a specialization. Then it mentions traditions? Wait, is it an archetype or a tradition? I'm not shown any example. Third box opened, still unresolved. Now I've got a ton on my mind: features, maneuvers, focus, knacks, traditions, archetypes.
  • At 3rd level, you choose Focus Features. There's restrictions. Wait. Are they they related to my tradition? No. Wait, I'm mixing stuff up. They're not the same thing.
As mentioned, I'm told of Features, Maneuvers, Exertion pool, Exertion Focus, Exploration Knacks, Archetypes, Traditions, Focus Features. This is a lot. I definitely think you need to:
  • Trim a little bit of stuff: like the Bonus Exertion Pool as its paragraph seems, at first glance, useless and could just be one column in the table with how many points you have at each level.
  • Clean the language a little bit, there's a lot of words being thrown around. Exertion Pool is one thing. Exertion Focus is another. Focus Features seems to be another. Are Archetypes traditions?
  • Reorganize things thematically. You could talk about the first two features. Then you could talk about the Exploration Knacks: I understand why they're at the end. Then you could explain that the Adept has a pool of Exertion Points used to both use Maneuvers and Focus. You talk the maneuvers. Then you talk about the three Focus that you have by default. Then you talk about the additional Focus that you get. I don't want to jump from Focus, to Knacks, to Archetypes, back to Focus, back to Knacks.
To be transparent, 5E does this stuff alot and it drives me mad. So you and your team are not doing it better or worse, but by basing yourself on the structure of the 5E books I see the same issue coming up and as you have a little bit more crunch and choice to your product, it definitely hurts a bit more.

It was only a first read, it's getting a bit late here. I'll dig in the actual features, mechanics and focus another time. Cheers!
 

Auramancer

Explorer
Brutal Defense: seems like the use of Str in place of Dex should be optional. As written, it appears mandatory. I’d like a dexterous lightly armored adept, please.
 

Horwath

Hero
my 2 cents on this:

1st; I do not like the name. I get the idea to move from "monk" but this does not help one bit. Adept means almost nothing in this context.

2:
Adroit defense: I would just remove those 2 catogories, put light armor proficiency as default and have AC calculated as:
10+; use two of the following: light AC bonus, STR mod, DEX mod, WIS mod. So you can combine light AC with one out of 3 abilities or any two abilities out of 3.

3:
Maneuvers: any special reason you are breaking math and giving this class +1 DC? otherwise is OK.

4:
Focus feature: weapon skill seem too weak for this: maybe remove shortsword as default proficiency and add to all: number of extra proficiency equal to proficiency bonus that counts also as "adept" weapons, with usual Heavy and Special limitation.

5:
Knacks: religious training: it's weak. maybe change it to versatile training; gain training in two skills.
Nimble athlete and power tumble might be included for all classes as an option.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I find it odd that there would be a poll about renaming the warlord but not the monk. I too will echo the sentiment that the name “Adept” is too generic and not terribly evocative of the archetype.
 


I gave it a good skim and the one thing I noticed was Battlefield Etiquette. This feature seems out of place to me doesn't quite fit with the theme of the class, unless there's more to come that hasn't been revealed yet.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Adept is nice as a name for those who played the English-language versions of <i>Golden Sun</i>. For veteran D&D players, however, the name instead evokes the NPC caster class from earlier editions…
 

For veteran D&D players, however, the name instead evokes the NPC caster class from earlier editions…
I don't have a better suggestion for renaming the class but you're right, and that's how I feel. It reminds me of the NPC from other editions. I don't think its representative of what the class does at face value. If I didn't know the class and someone asked if I wanted to play an Adept I wouldn't think unarmored warrior.

EDIT: ...unarmed warrior.
 
Last edited:

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I have one complaint:

"Hurricane Walk Requirement: Gale Walk Your step is so light you seem to float in the air. You can use a bonus action and spend 1 exertion to cast fly on yourself. You also have advantage on Stealth checks related to noise. The effect lasts until the start of your next turn."

Can you just say "gain a 60-foot fly speed" or something to that effect rather than "cast fly on yourself"? I freaking hate having to cross-reference rules. (At all, but especially when the fly spell pretty much just gives you a fly speed. It's not like its effect is multiple paragraphs or anything. Why make people look it up?)
 



Other name options were considered:

Apex
Aspirant
Physio
Striker
Summit
Unleashed
Zenith
Kickpuncher
Batman
The-Option-Formerly-Known-as-Monk (TOFKAM)
Tryhard (seriously, who thinks, "That dragon over there - Imma gonna punch it"?)
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I have one complaint:

"Hurricane Walk Requirement: Gale Walk Your step is so light you seem to float in the air. You can use a bonus action and spend 1 exertion to cast fly on yourself. You also have advantage on Stealth checks related to noise. The effect lasts until the start of your next turn."

Can you just say "gain a 60-foot fly speed" or something to that effect rather than "cast fly on yourself"? I freaking hate having to cross-reference rules. (At all, but especially when the fly spell pretty much just gives you a fly speed. It's not like its effect is multiple paragraphs or anything. Why make people look it up?)
I second this request.......are you really casting a spell, or can you fly? Let them fly! (and I hate cross-references).
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Other name options were considered:

Apex
Aspirant
Physio
Striker
Summit
Unleashed
Zenith
Kickpuncher
Batman
The-Option-Formerly-Known-as-Monk (TOFKAM)
Tryhard (seriously, who thinks, "That dragon over there - Imma gonna punch it"?)
Well, clearly kickpuncher is the way to go!!!

I like @WarlockkingNelzul's suggest of ascetic. Adept fits, I think, but it doesn't have zing. BECMI D&D referred to this class as the mystic, but I think that has the same problems as adept. The name issue is hard, nothing leaps out and says "THIS IS IT!" Well, except kickpuncher!

1614371276502.png
 

Ascetic has the issue that it doesn't work for, like, Conor McGregor, who certainly punches well but hardly lives a life of restraint and detachment.

There was a small contingent that pushed for setting aside 'backwards compatibility,' which would have allowed for more finagling with the tropes of the game's classes, but the overall sense was that this would reduce the appeal of the book.

If I could redesign classes from the ground up, I'd take a page out of Gamma World 4e, where you picked two roles and smushed them together. You could be a Telekinetic Cockroach, or a Fire Robot, or a Spider Ghost. For a D&D-style game, there could be maybe 12 talent paths, and whenever you gained a level you could pick two paths to advance down.

Or if you've played The Witcher 3, every time you level, you get a point to put into a new power, and there are something like 20 powers that get new perks and options. You usually pick one specific build, mixing two or three styles of melee, or certain types of alchemy, or certain different spells. This would be like that, though streamlined because your brain works differently than a video game.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top