5E [Poll] Are any of the subclasses underpowered?

Are any of the subclasses underpowered?


  • Total voters
    80

aco175

Adventurer
I did not vote since none of my group has played any of these subclasses except assassin, and then only for a few levels. Does this make them all underpowered or underwhelming?
 
Champion Fighter is a bit underpowered, mostly because it's built around crit-fishing and critting with a single damage die isn't that amazing. Also, the 7th level feature Remarkable Athlete is rather unremarkable.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
Assassin is underwhelming because of the way Surprise works in 5e. If the Assassin could reliably get a 4e-style Surprise Round, it would be what you expect from the name. As is, the Assassin's player has to actively try to avoid triggering combat or initiative rolls to get his class features to work.

Based on reputation, Beastmaster is underpowered. But as noted above, that may be fixed or at least jury-rigged to be average. I have not played one myself nor played with one.
 

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
Champion Fighter is a bit underpowered, mostly because it's built around crit-fishing and critting. Also, the 7th level feature Remarkable Athlete is rather unremarkable.
I agree on Remarkable Athlete...what Champion wont have Athletics?
I house ruled it as a bonus to all ability checks mentioned in the ability, even with a skill the character is already proficient with.

The subclass plays fine, Fighter is a solid chassis, and frankly going MAX Defense with a Champion is super effective. Sword & Board, Fighting Style Armor and either Ranged or Duelist to round out your ranged attacks or more damage, plus Heavy Armor Master makes you rather tough at 21 AC with non magical plate and limited damage resistance. Causing Critical hits more often is never a bad thing, even if the sub-class does not use the ability to the max.

as for this:

Alchemist is really unpowered compared to the other two subclasses offered to this class. It can have some redeeming value with clever multiclassing, but most of the abilities have minimal impact on your adventuring day compared to alternatives.
To inaccurately quote Luke Skywalker: “ Everything in that paragraph, was wrong.” 👹
-An Alchemist is by raw numbers the second best healer after Life cleric due to their bonus to spells.

-is equivalent to a cleric with Potent Casting for cantrips, and a little behind an Evoker Wizard.

-Can convert a 1st level spell slot into experimental elixir that gives decent, not mind blowing,
but useful abilities plus around 11 Temp Hit points.

-Can Imbue Object on Alchemist tools at 11th level with Melf’s Acid Arrow, with bonus damage, 8-10 times a day. That is a lot of guaranteed damage.

I absolute agree on Storm Herald, though, bleah.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I agree on Remarkable Athlete...what Champion wont have Athletics?
I house ruled it as a bonus to all ability checks mentioned in the ability, even with a skill the character is already proficient with.

The subclass plays fine, Fighter is a solid chassis, and frankly going MAX Defense with a Champion is super effective. Sword & Board, Fighting Style Armor and either Ranged or Duelist to round out your ranged attacks or more damage, plus Heavy Armor Master makes you rather tough at 21 AC with non magical plate and limited damage resistance. Causing Critical hits more often is never a bad thing, even if the sub-class does not use the ability to the max.

as for this:



To inaccurately quote Luke Skywalker: “ Everything in that paragraph, was wrong.” 👹
-An Alchemist is by raw numbers the second best healer after Life cleric due to their bonus to spells.

-is equivalent to a cleric with Potent Casting for cantrips, and a little behind an Evoker Wizard.

-Can convert a 1st level spell slot into experimental elixir that gives decent, not mind blowing,
but useful abilities plus around 11 Temp Hit points.

-Can Imbue Object on Alchemist tools at 11th level with Melf’s Acid Arrow, with bonus damage, 8-10 times a day. That is a lot of guaranteed damage.

I absolute agree on Storm Herald, though, bleah.
Haven't seen a Druid in action with healing spirit?
 

Seramus

Adventurer
To inaccurately quote Luke Skywalker: “ Everything in that paragraph, was wrong.” 👹
-An Alchemist is by raw numbers the second best healer after Life cleric due to their bonus to spells.
Can I see your numbers? I'm interested because my own numbers place Life Clerics about 4th or 5th place in total healing, and almost every full caster outhealing the Alchemist. Even a Cleric1/Wizard19.
 

Coroc

Hero
Assassin is underwhelming because of the way Surprise works in 5e. If the Assassin could reliably get a 4e-style Surprise Round, it would be what you expect from the name. As is, the Assassin's player has to actively try to avoid triggering combat or initiative rolls to get his class features to work.

Based on reputation, Beastmaster is underpowered. But as noted above, that may be fixed or at least jury-rigged to be average. I have not played one myself nor played with one.
Assassin is somehow named a bit odd. True, it has some spike damage skills, but every other rogue subclass has them too and some much more reliable (swashbuckler). But the majority of its skills is the disguise and imitation skills as far as I see it. It should be called disguise expert or nonmagic polymorpher or such instead.

Imagine that: Kid opens D&D PHB, "oh cool assassin that is a ninja for sure", and then "ah no it is not it is an impersonator how boring".
 
If the assassin is doing it's job properly, it slips in, drops the target with one attack, then slips out again. If it ever comes down to "roll for initiative" the assassin has messed up.

Now, that might make it not a particularly useful addition to a party of dungeoneers, but it does what it is designed to do.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
Champion Fighter is a bit underpowered, mostly because it's built around crit-fishing and critting with a single damage die isn't that amazing. Also, the 7th level feature Remarkable Athlete is rather unremarkable.
Best fix for champion would be +1 HP/level.
That gives a nice boost and keeps the subclass in it's simplistic style.
 
Best fix for champion would be +1 HP/level.
That gives a nice boost and keeps the subclass in it's simplistic style.
That's a nice idea, but I don't think the game really calls for that level of fine tuning. The differenced between an "optimised" and unoptimized" character is far bigger than any class/subclass differences. So long as it's fun to play it doesn't matter if X is a bit weaker than Y (where Y is a paladin).
 

Krachek

Adventurer
I agree completely, but, then again, this isn't a thread about what's fun to play, which I find often isn't the same at all as what's the most optimal. Viewing the game through the lens of optimization tends to focus the conversation on combat, both through DPR, nova damage, and battlefield control. Actual games of D&D aren't played in a whiteroom, and aren't solely focused on combat though. Depending on the campaign, and the amount of and importance placed on non-combat encounters of various sort really change the notion of both power and player enjoyment.

I'm assuming that this thread indexes more the mechanical and optimized element of 'power', as a yardstick with which to compare subclasses.
A agree to both of you.
I have note that the concerns of some posters about optimal characters are not equally share with the Dev team.
We won’t have more errata to level precisely all classes.
The UA on variant classes is the best hope on this subject.
Rather to do poll it would be more useful to create a coop thread to share home brew fixes to level classes and subclasses,
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
If the assassin is doing it's job properly, it slips in, drops the target with one attack, then slips out again. If it ever comes down to "roll for initiative" the assassin has messed up.

Now, that might make it not a particularly useful addition to a party of dungeoneers, but it does what it is designed to do.
I get what you are saying, but that's not how the class works sadly. I would be cool though. You cant ''drop'' a target before the initiative roll because of how surprises work: you have to have the jump on the enemy without him having spotted any of your companion, then win initiative. If you do, you get a crit against it. But with the amount of hp creatures have in 5e, its rather hard to drop a worthy target in one shot.

And the rules and cost of poisons are prohibitive.

What I'd give them:
-Gain disguise and poisoner kit: add proficiency to the DC to resist your poison. Can craft 1 poison from a small list with 1 hour of downtime. More powerful poison are available at higher level.

- Death attack: if when you deal your sneak attack to a creature you had advantage against, you can use your bonus action to force it to make a Con save or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

- Assasinate: Attacks against a surprised creature force a Con save, on a failed it dies.
 
The Assassin really shines in a party that does Stealth well because then there isn't the same need to go solo. In a party full of clanking fighter types who couldn't sneak around in a room padded with cotton the Assassin struggles a lot.
 
I get what you are saying, but that's not how the class works sadly. I would be cool though. You cant ''drop'' a target before the initiative roll because of how surprises work: you have to have the jump on the enemy without him having spotted any of your companion, then win initiative.
Assassins operate alone, and need to react quickly.

If you do, you get a crit against it. But with the amount of hp creatures have in 5e, its rather hard to drop a worthy target in one shot.
Assassins are meant to kill kings, not dragons.

And the rules and cost of poisons are prohibitive.
The employer should cover the cost of expenses.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The Assassin really shines in a party that does Stealth well because then there isn't the same need to go solo. In a party full of clanking fighter types who couldn't sneak around in a room padded with cotton the Assassin struggles a lot.
Currently retraining my lvl 4 assassin to a thief in a friend's campaign because its a party of new 6 new players + me, all of them playing Leeroy Jenkins variants :(
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Assassins operate alone, and need to react quickly.



Assassins are meant to kill kings, not dragons.



The employer should cover the cost of expenses.
All that's all well and good, but are those things happening regularly (lets say once per game) in any games?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
What I'd give them:
-Gain disguise and poisoner kit: add proficiency to the DC to resist your poison. Can craft 1 poison from a small list with 1 hour of downtime. More powerful poison are available at higher level.

- Death attack: if when you deal your sneak attack to a creature you had advantage against, you can use your bonus action to force it to make a Con save or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

- Assasinate: Attacks against a surprised creature force a Con save, on a failed it dies.
Then feel free! If you have an Assassin player in a group you are running, then you are well within your rights to give them the abilities you list here.

But if you think for even a second that WotC is going to make any subclass that allows a PC to instantly kill a creature regardless of their hit point total using nothing more than an attack with Surprise and a failed CON save... you're insane. They just designed an entire edition around the removal of Save Or Die abilities... they aren't going to put one back in just for the Rogue. Especially a Rogue at 3rd level (the level they get Assassinate.)
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Then feel free! If you have an Assassin player in a group you are running, then you are well within your rights to give them the abilities you list here.

But if you think for even a second that WotC is going to make any subclass that allows a PC to instantly kill a creature regardless of their hit point total using nothing more than an attack with Surprise and a failed CON save... you're insane. They just designed an entire edition around the removal of Save Or Die abilities... they aren't going to put one back in just for the Rogue. Especially a Rogue at 3rd level (the level they get Assassinate.)
Not saying at level 3, I mean a real ''assassinate'' feature as capstone feature...like, I dont know...the Open Hand monk? Who can do it for 3 ki from its 20 ki pools per short rest, and can to hit at any moment while on the same plane after the initial hit for a number of days.
EDIT: Oh, and they can decide to use this feature when they hit, no need to gamble the points in advance.

I must really be insane.
 

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