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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!

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

StirFriar

Villager
Love the work, looks cool. Strength for AC is a great idea. I a few complaints about exertion points:
  1. How do I regain exertion points?? There is nothing written about regaining them on a rest! The only thing I see is that I can battle meditate to get 1d4 once per rest. Is that it??
  2. Why no exertion point column? So... My exertion points at level 4 are two times one number on the chart doubled, added to another number on the chart? That is 2*2+1 times more complicated than it needs to be. Take out the "Bonus Exertion" column and replace it with an "Exertion Pool" column so that I know what I get and can reference it quickly. I get that you want the extra exertion to be a class feature, but it's extra work for the player.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
Brawler seems to work well as a name for a class meant to cover archetypes including Martial Artist Monk, a Gladiator, and a Thugish Street Fighter.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
So I've missed the fighter document when it was out but one thing about exertion doesn't sit well - spending it. Exertion should be something that builds up rather than being spent.
Perhaps rename it into stamina/endurance or make it a pool that builds up as you use abilities (up to a cap) and resets after rest (so basically a reverse of the current mechanic)?
 

ruemere

Adventurer
I'd like two make two not-so-simple wishes.

It would be great if it was possible to build the cast of Baki (the recent tournament arc). Baki and the Ogre play a different game, of course, so they would be monsters rather.

Add recommendations for Martial Styles, so instead of picking maneuvers, just pick a style and go with it.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
This is the first name change I personally find unnecessary. That's all.

The word Adept implies mystical. It's used for either magic or psionics in many settings from Shadowrun to Earthdawn to SF Harp and many other sources. To use it to mean a non-mystical kind of unarmed fighter character really just seems off to me, especially since the main reason to change the name is to do away with Ki Points that are linked to the Monk stereotype and replace it with a non-mystical equivalent.

If the class is a non-mystic class, then why not pick a non-mystic word to fit the class?
An adept is somebody skilled. Nothing to do with mysticism.

 

dave2008

Legend
Add recommendations for Martial Styles, so instead of picking maneuvers, just pick a style and go with it.
I think that is a good idea. Have you filled out the survey? That is where you should post comments if you want them to be heard by the designers.
 


ruemere

Adventurer
You already can do that. We call them 'traditions' rather than styles, though.
They are still pools to pick from. I was looking for something more like predefined list of picks to make. For example, a player says, I have no time to think it through, but I want to play a Muhammad Ali-type of character. And then GM replies, pick a Boxer trad, and remember, this is a fantasy game - you'll be punching through steel armor soon.

Pools and long lists of choices are fine, it's just that when you're playing a game for the first time, it is simpler to start with something decent and default instead.

As for the document - it's very chaotic. The list of Focus Features for example, is alphabetical, but Requirements create their own order. It is also not clear which abilities are offensive, which are defensive, and which are utilitarian. It gets worse when you consider how many different special abilities are available:
Adroit Defense, Martial Arts, Exertion, Combat Maneuvers, Exploration Knacks, Adept Archetype, Focus Features, Battlefield Etiquette, ...

Someone really needed to go wild while building the class. It's really confusing.

----
To be constructive, here would be my take on the organization of the document.

CLASS FEATURES
(add Exertion here)
(add Exertion recovery here - for short and long rests)

MARTIAL SPELL USES/LEVEL (a table)
(Martial Spell is a vancian system for tracking usage of special abilities)

MARTIAL SPELL LIST (well, it should be renamed to something martialartsy)
(list martial spells here - put ALL abilities here, from Adroit Defense, through Flurry of Blows, to Diamond Soul and other fancy stuff that is still mostly inferior to arcane spells)
(martial spells should have a few tags: Offensive, Defensive, Utility, Physical, Spiritual, Wondrous, Exploration)
(Physical are feats of body, Spiritual are feats of will, Wondrous are just that - wondrous and go beyond simple trained abilities)
(each martial spell should list Exertion cost to re-cast it during the same combat or scene)

Examples (note that recast is possible only during the same combat or scene one has used the ability - if you have only one instance of a Flurry of Blows in your martial spell slots, you will be able to use it during a single combat only):
Seven-Mile Step (level 5; Exploration, Utility; action: none; duration: 5 minutes; recast: Exertion 1)
Travel a path with a single step.
Multiply the distance traveled by your proficiency bonus.

Flurry of Blows (level 1; Combat, Offensive; action: attack action; duration: attack action; recast: Exertion 1)
Overcome by overwhelming them.
Gain bonus action usable only for making melee attacks.

Tougher than Rock (level 3; Combat, Exploration, Defensive, Utility; action: reaction; duration: until the end of the next round; recast: Exertion 1)
My body is my shield.
All damage taken is halved.

MARTIAL STYLES (name + list of Martial Spells):
Boxer
Commando (soft plus vital strikes plus stealth)
Hard Art (kicks, punches)
Soft Art (throws and blocks)
 
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Faolyn

Hero
Love the work, looks cool. Strength for AC is a great idea. I a few complaints about exertion points:
  1. How do I regain exertion points?? There is nothing written about regaining them on a rest! The only thing I see is that I can battle meditate to get 1d4 once per rest. Is that it??
  2. Why no exertion point column? So... My exertion points at level 4 are two times one number on the chart doubled, added to another number on the chart? That is 2*2+1 times more complicated than it needs to be. Take out the "Bonus Exertion" column and replace it with an "Exertion Pool" column so that I know what I get and can reference it quickly. I get that you want the extra exertion to be a class feature, but it's extra work for the player.
The info is in the Fighters packet. You get twice your proficiency bonus in exertion points, and you gain them all back after a rest.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In 3x, the Adept NPC class was used as a generic spellcaster class.
One thing we're definitely not worried about is people playing Level Up: Advanced 5E getting confused by 20-year NPC class names from two editions ago, and we're certainly not going to let that hamstring us! Even if they do become confused (which I don't believe they will, because it's not really confusing), the names in the game you play are the ones you become used to and are the associations you make. Honestly, it's not something we're concerned about.
 

Faolyn

Hero
One thing we're definitely not worried about is people playing Level Up: Advanced 5E getting confused by 20-year NPC class names from two editions ago, and we're certainly not going to let that hamstring us! Even if they do become confused (which I don't believe they will, because it's not really confusing), the names in the game you play are the ones you become used to and are the associations you make. Honestly, it's not something we're concerned about.
Just explaining to Corrosive why some people are saying Adept feels "magical."

I'm not hugely fond of Adept, mostly because it doesn't feel very fighter-y to me (rogues and spellcasters can be quite adept as well). But I've looked and can't find a better name that isn't also at least two words long; all of the one-word names (Pugilist? Brawler?) don't feel quite right either.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
One thing we're definitely not worried about is people playing Level Up: Advanced 5E getting confused by 20-year NPC class names from two editions ago, and we're certainly not going to let that hamstring us! Even if they do become confused (which I don't believe they will, because it's not really confusing), the names in the game you play are the ones you become used to and are the associations you make. Honestly, it's not something we're concerned about.
I don't think that you should let it hamstring you. On the other hand, I think that 3e's use of the term Adept (as well as 5e's two uses, and whatever else) should be considered as part of the many pros and cons to the name. (I'm not telling you what to do here; I presume you've gone through this process yourselves).

Ultimately, I'm not sure Adept is the best term, but your survey should say more on it.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I'm fine with Adept myself, but I do respect how important and powerful a name can be. A few other thoughts:

Militant
Warrior
Cenobite
Ascetic
Spartan
 


Stalker0

Legend
Something I've noticed as I made a few characters with the Adept. Though it says you get 3rd level maneuvers at 8th, because you don't get another manuever until 10th its actually 10th level you get 3rd level manuevers, which is a big gap.

Here's an example character I made as I was assessing the class.

Olacan was raised in a family of pioneers. But early in life, he found religion at the steps of a prophet, who has spoken of a holy land, that once found, will bring peace and prosperity to the entire region. Olacan has now spent the last 10 years of his life wandering alone, with only the sacred scrolls to train his body and mind. He is tough and rugged, but with only the occasional beast or brigand to test his skills on, he is not truly battle tested. Olacan has had very little interaction with other people, and emotionally is very stoic and sheltered.

Olacan the Adept (8th level Human)

Str: 19
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 8

Skills: Athletics (Expert), Acrobatics, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Religion, Stealth, Survival, Healer’s Kit, Drums
Saves: Str +7, Dex: +4, Death Saves +3

AC: 16 (+4 str, +2 leather)
HP: 59
Speed: 55
Attack: +7x2 (1d6 + 4)

Human: Die-Hard Survivor (+3 to Death Saving Throws)

Culture: Pioneer (Insight, Survival, +1 wis, +1 str)
Background: Hermit (Religion, Medicine, Healer’s Kit)

Feats: +2 Str, Skill Expert (Exp: Athletics, Prof: Acrobatics, +1 str)

Adept

Adroit Defense (Brutal Defense)
Exertion: 10
Focus Features (5), DC 13

  • Battle Meditation
  • Slow Fall (40)
  • Mind over Body (1d6 +8)
  • Stunning Strike
  • Shockwave
Battlefield Ettiquette
Empty Mind

Knacks: Adept Speed x2, Gale Walk, Hurricane Walk

Maneuvers (1st – 2, 2nd – 2). DC 16

  • Swift Combat Stance
  • Iron Will
  • Preternatural Strikes
  • Parry
 



ruemere

Adventurer
How about Martial Artist? Contemplative? Pugilist? Boxer? Martialist? Ascetic? Cenobite? Artiste? Jedi?
You basically want a perfect melee character who uses their body as a weapon and armor. An exemplar of unarmed engagement.

There is not a single easy way to describe such concept as there are probably as many there are cultures in the world. Or maybe even more.

So an adept - with a little twist - like adeptus (from Latin, "one who has achieved") is pretty adequate.
 

I wish 'flurry of blows' weren't such an iconic element of the adept/monk. It always struck me as weird that weapons were useful at low level when your fists do d4 but a staff does d8, but at high level they just became flavor. If you always did longsword damage with your fists, though, extra attacks become too strong.
 

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