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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


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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I love love love the fact that a lot of abilities now refer to the spell they are invoking rather than duplicating it with some thinly veiled chunibyo type "this is better than weapons & magic because it's ki" excuses. There is a big problem with adroit defense>brutal defense though in tat it doesn't say anything about that light armor+strength explicityly counting as being unarmored... Namely because adept speed & many o5e monk archetypes include the words "while you are no wearing armor" making it kinda like rage for a berzerker who chooses the heavy armor option. Every version of the d&d monk has been a mess to fit into a campaign without bein the main character in a game that doesn't have those but the adept looks like it will be as simple & trivial to fit into any campaign setting as nearly any other class.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
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.
How about Lodestar, to borrow from En5ider?
 

Faolyn

Hero
I love love love the fact that a lot of abilities now refer to the spell they are invoking rather than duplicating it with some thinly veiled chunibyo type "this is better than weapons & magic because it's ki" excuses.
Ugh; I actually hate that. I mean, I guess it makes sense if you're removing ki as the singular reason for the abilities--it's not like magic, it is magic, but I would rather it simply be a nonmagical ability that reflects the adept's sheer physical mastery.

(This, of course, is entirely personal taste here; you're not wrong with your opinion.)
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Ugh; I actually hate that. I mean, I guess it makes sense if you're removing ki as the singular reason for the abilities--it's not like magic, it is magic, but I would rather it simply be a nonmagical ability that reflects the adept's sheer physical mastery.

(This, of course, is entirely personal taste here; you're not wrong with your opinion.)
the problem with that bolded bit is that the d&d monk exists in a world where those spells are a thing. There are plenty of different ways for casters to gain & trigger their spellcasting powers including a bunch not yet ported from older editions I'm sure. There's nothing wrong with fitting the class into the settings & it too cast those spells somehow through its "sheer physical mastery". Casting those spells through sheer physical mastery only helps to make the class fit the worlds it gets played in.


Naruto serves as a perfect example of why this is a good thing in how there were a zillion different characters demonstrating what could be called classes while all of them fit the world rather than reinventing the wheel with genjutsu but not genjutsu. The only character in that entire series that actively put effort into not fitting the baselines of the setting was rock lee who was basically a backhanded slap ateverything that made the d&d monk obnoxious
 

Faolyn

Hero
the problem with that bolded bit is that the d&d monk exists in a world where those spells are a thing.
Well yeah--but there's also other abilities that other classes have that are similar to spells in some ways (a paladin's Lay On Hands and Smite abilities, for example). And part of the monk is that they have trained themselves to amazing levels.

So this is basically just one of those things that can go either way. They're either casting spells or they're just doing cool stuff that other people can only do by casting spells. I just happen to prefer the former is all.

(Which reminds me, @Morrus, y'all need some focuses or whatever for a Parkour Adept, in addition to the boxing and stick-fighting focuses I mentioned in my survey.)
 

Tinker-TDC

Explorer
I don't have a real problem with the name "Adept" but it doesn't evoke any feeling in me (that is, hearing the name fighter tells me they fight, hearing the name berzerker makes me think they'll go berzerk, hearing the name wizard or sorcerer makes me think of casting spells).
Since the Monk class was first introduced it's always meant an unarmed martial artist, though for a name I'd just say Martial Artist is probably the most instantly descriptive (even though technically fighters, paladins, rangers, and barbarians are all martial artists the instinct when you hear about a martial artist is geared towards an unarmed martial artist).
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I don't have a real problem with the name "Adept" but it doesn't evoke any feeling in me (that is, hearing the name fighter tells me they fight, hearing the name berzerker makes me think they'll go berzerk, hearing the name wizard or sorcerer makes me think of casting spells).
Since the Monk class was first introduced it's always meant an unarmed martial artist, though for a name I'd just say Martial Artist is probably the most instantly descriptive (even though technically fighters, paladins, rangers, and barbarians are all martial artists the instinct when you hear about a martial artist is geared towards an unarmed martial artist).
This is why Martial Artist doesn't work great (it's also a two-word Adjectnouner, the only thing worse for a full class name in my book would be a Nounverber).
 


Stalker0

Legend
Sadly, the best name for them is probably Fighter. But then you have to call the fighter something else (like Warrior), but of course, now you've made things confusing.
It also brings up a question, though probably too late in the design process, on whether unarmed combat should really be the purview of the monk/adept....or whether it should just be a fighter motiff.

Aka just give the fighter a solid unarmed attack, and let him be the pugilist with this manuevers and skill and xyz. In that case, you actually go harder on the wuxia aspects of the monk. The adept truly becomes a supernatural warrior, probably with wisdom as the primary stat at that point.

Now levelup inherited the 5e aspect of the class, and I think has done a good job letting people try to dial in their level of wuxia vs pugilist. But I think a good case could have been made at the beginning of the project to just give all the puglist stuff to the fighter, and then ask what a 100% wuxia/supernatural fighter type class could look like for the new monk.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
It also brings up a question, though probably too late in the design process, on whether unarmed combat should really be the purview of the monk/adept....or whether it should just be a fighter motiff.

Aka just give the fighter a solid unarmed attack, and let him be the pugilist with this manuevers and skill and xyz. In that case, you actually go harder on the wuxia aspects of the monk. The adept truly becomes a supernatural warrior, probably with wisdom as the primary stat at that point.

Now levelup inherited the 5e aspect of the class, and I think has done a good job letting people try to dial in their level of wuxia vs pugilist. But I think a good case could have been made at the beginning of the project to just give all the puglist stuff to the fighter, and then ask what a 100% wuxia/supernatural fighter type class could look like for the new monk.
Indeed. Monk is kind of like the Ranger - it's really a variant Fighter with Rogue and Cleric motifs (Ranger is a variant Fighter with Rogue and Druid motifs). Isn't there more similarity between a Kung Fu Master, a Jedi Master, and a Samurai like Miyamoto Musashi? Why aren't these all "special" martial artists?

To put another way, Goku, Lucario, Ryu, Kuwabara, and even Link all are able to generate spiritual blasts of power by charging spiritual energy into their fists, blades, etc. That energy is generated because they're really good martial artists from school that have honed their secret techniques over generations of masters passing on the knowledge to their disciples. It doesn't matter if you're a fistfighter or a swordfighter, a Jedi Knight or a Aura Guardian, a Spirit Detective or a Hylian Knight, these techniques are related to martial prowess, not to piety or the study of arcane magical secrets. This is the martial power source in its energy damage typess as opposed to reflected in bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage.

I have no problem with the Monk being a specialized class. It does ask, what is the role of the core Fighter in relationship with the Monk? Why isn't Ki Points the same resources as Superiority Dice?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Indeed. Monk is kind of like the Ranger - it's really a variant Fighter with Rogue and Cleric motifs (Ranger is a variant Fighter with Rogue and Druid motifs). Isn't there more similarity between a Kung Fu Master, a Jedi Master, and a Samurai like Miyamoto Musashi? Why aren't these all "special" martial artists?

To put another way, Goku, Lucario, Ryu, Kuwabara, and even Link all are able to generate spiritual blasts of power by charging spiritual energy into their fists, blades, etc. That energy is generated because they're really good martial artists from school that have honed their secret techniques over generations of masters passing on the knowledge to their disciples. It doesn't matter if you're a fistfighter or a swordfighter, a Jedi Knight or a Aura Guardian, a Spirit Detective or a Hylian Knight, these techniques are related to martial prowess, not to piety or the study of arcane magical secrets. This is the martial power source in its energy damage typess as opposed to reflected in bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage.

I have no problem with the Monk being a specialized class. It does ask, what is the role of the core Fighter in relationship with the Monk? Why isn't Ki Points the same resources as Superiority Dice?

My favorite rendition of the monk is the Swordsage from the Book of Nine Swords from 3.5ed. It was exactly like you described.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
My favorite rendition of the monk is the Swordsage from the Book of Nine Swords from 3.5ed. It was exactly like you described.
My ONLY issue with the Swordsage is that by its very name, Swords are defined as the norm, while the story behind the class should work just as well with any other weapon. I have the same issue with class names like The Hexblade, Pact of the Blade, Bladesinger, Swordmage, Duskblade, etc… a good class name expands the possibilities to the limits of the player's imagination within the concept of the class.

Otherwise yeah, the Swordsage is probably the best Monk out there. I'd argue that it directly led to our current Kensei Monk that can use blades, etc.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It also brings up a question, though probably too late in the design process, on whether unarmed combat should really be the purview of the monk/adept....or whether it should just be a fighter motiff.

Aka just give the fighter a solid unarmed attack, and let him be the pugilist with this manuevers and skill and xyz. In that case, you actually go harder on the wuxia aspects of the monk. The adept truly becomes a supernatural warrior, probably with wisdom as the primary stat at that point.

Now levelup inherited the 5e aspect of the class, and I think has done a good job letting people try to dial in their level of wuxia vs pugilist. But I think a good case could have been made at the beginning of the project to just give all the puglist stuff to the fighter, and then ask what a 100% wuxia/supernatural fighter type class could look like for the new monk.
That would be a different game to the one we're making though. I can certainly see a 5E variant with different class roles to O5E, but that's not this game.
 



dave2008

Legend
Indeed. I'm still trying to figure out what Level Up is trying to be as a 5e variant, though.
Really - it seems very clear to me. It is an "Advanced" 5e (thus A5e) compared to the "Basic" 5e of O5e.

Off the top of my head, Advanced meaning:
  • More choices in character creation and level up
  • More strategic and tactical options
  • More definition (complexity) in the exploration and social pillars
  • More definition (complexity) in item creation
  • More interesting and challenging monsters (if you want) with more lore and RP suggestions.
  • etc.
 

dave2008

Legend
I have no problem with the Monk being a specialized class. It does ask, what is the role of the core Fighter in relationship with the Monk? Why isn't Ki Points the same resources as Superiority Dice?
Because the feed back from the playtest was negative for a shared mechanic (superiority dice) so they developed different systems for different classes.

Personally I would have preferred a shared mechanic, but I can't really blame the D&D team for listen to their customers.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Because the feed back from the playtest was negative for a shared mechanic (superiority dice) so they developed different systems for different classes.

Personally I would have preferred a shared mechanic, but I can't really blame the D&D team for listen to their customers.
Just to add to this, I remember seeing the responses when they put out UAs with fighter archetypes that used superiority dice--everyone (on reddit, at least) seemed to hate it, seeing it as boring and too much like the Battle Master. Maybe people don't like superiority dice in general?

I'm with you; personally, I would have liked to have more shared mechanics and fewer individual subsystems.
 

dave2008

Legend
Just to add to this, I remember seeing the responses when they put out UAs with fighter archetypes that used superiority dice--everyone (on reddit, at least) seemed to hate it, seeing it as boring and too much like the Battle Master. Maybe people don't like superiority dice in general?

I'm with you; personally, I would have liked to have more shared mechanics and fewer individual subsystems.
IIRC, the playtest at one point had them for Rogue's too. I thought it could be a nice mechanic to use for all martial characters, but I guess it was not to be.
 

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