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Sidekicks instead of Extra Attack?

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I don't see how Sir Hackalot, the level 9 fighter would want to sacrifice his actions to allow his squire to take a attack action with a lower bonus and, probably, lower damage.
Well, sure, if he has a squire. If he takes a page(npi) from Robillar, OTOH, and has a wizard Henchman, even one of half his level, it could be well worth it, in some situations.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The "don't view as character option" ship has already sailed.
Before post #6?

No it hasn't sailed. YOU may not want to engage in that discussion, but others might and apparently do, as I also don't think it should be a character option. Feel free not to engage in discussions about them not being character options.

I think making it a substitute for extra attack would be a big mistake. All too often the ability would be gimped, such as when the sidekick is ordered to stay outside by the king, killed, paralyzed when the PC isn't, and so on. Or it would be overpowered, such as still being able to attack when the PC is down, dead, paralyzed, attacking at a distance with a sword, etc. Extra attack is better than the former, and worse than the latter, and the latter would come up more often I think.

Better to make it something more akin to a magic item and have the sidekick be pure bonus.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
According to my experience, players really hate to have their characters become less efficient because they have befriended a wide-eyed orphan (rogue 1) or a slightly-unhinged farmer woman (paladin 1, an npc in my campaign which is now level 5) who joins the party (if you guess nobody wanted to play a beast master as written you would be right). So, as far as my group goes, saying that the companion can act if you sacrifice your action (or part of your action) would mean no companion in the game.
No it hasn't sailed. YOU may not want to engage in that discussion, but others might and apparently do, as I also don't think it should be a character option. Feel free not to engage in discussions about them not being character options.
Ok, it seems like I have communicated my suggestion poorly. I’m not suggesting offering players the option to take a Sidekick instead of Extra Attack. Nor am I suggesting that characters who gain companions in the course of play lose Extra Attack. I am suggesting a hack where the Fighter’s 5th, 11th, and 20th level feature (as well as the Paladin’s, Ranger’s, Barbarian’s, and Monk’s 5th level feature) is that they gain a Sidekick. This isn’t a player option where they can choose to trade one thing for another, it’s a DM option where they alter the core features all players of certain classes get.

It also makes little sense, as the main PC is always more powerful than the companion, so I don't see how Sir Hackalot, the level 9 fighter would want to sacrifice his actions to allow his squire to take a attack action with a lower bonus and, probably, lower damage.
Um... Sidekicks level up at the same rate as their PCs, so it’s not at all true that the PC is always more powerful. Sidekicks, by design, are less complex, not less powerful. Sir Hackalot’s squire would be a level 9 Warrior, so the only discrepancy in damage between his attacks and Sir Hackalot’s should be maybe a point if Sir Hackalot had higher starting strength, and maybe a point if Sir Hackalot has a magic weapon.

And to reiterate, my suggestion is not that Sir Hackalot have the option to command his squire to attack instead of using one of the attacks granted to him by the Extra Attack feature. My suggestion is that Sir Hackalot’s DM have the option to, at session 0, say, “hey I want to try a house rule where at 5th level you get Sidekicks instead of the Extra Attack feature.”

Having an companion is a perk but it also has a cost. The henchman is entitled to a share of treasure and has its own personality, which may not always mesh with the characters' plans. Since the compaion is a weaker character, it also means to you have to spend some ressources to ensure it survives the tougher challenges which affect the group.

In my campaign, companions are always of a lower level than the PCs and receive half-a-share of XPs. If, for some reason, the companion contributed significantly to the success of the party during an encounter, he might gain a full-share of XPs, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
It sounds like you’re talking about something other than the new Sidekick mechanic from the Essentials Kit.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Ok, it seems like I have communicated my suggestion poorly. I’m not suggesting offering players the option to take a Sidekick instead of Extra Attack. Nor am I suggesting that characters who gain companions in the course of play lose Extra Attack. I am suggesting a hack where the Fighter’s 5th, 11th, and 20th level feature (as well as the Paladin’s, Ranger’s, Barbarian’s, and Monk’s 5th level feature) is that they gain a Sidekick. This isn’t a player option where they can choose to trade one thing for another, it’s a DM option where they alter the core features all players of certain classes get.
Yeah. That's very different than what it sounded like in the OP. I'm still not sure I want them tied to class like that, but that's definitely a much better idea. :)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Before post #6?

No it hasn't sailed. YOU may not want to engage in that discussion, but others might and apparently do, as I also don't think it should be a character option.
Why the hostility? Didn't you get your morning coffee...?

I haven't shut any discussion down. Feel free to discuss whatever you want. I don't believe it will become a character feature and I don't believe it will "steal" your Extra Attacks.

But since that's probably not what the OP wanted to talk about, I merely noted that the feature was likely "renamed" (from "hireling" or "retainer") because it *will* be offered as an simpler character option for players.

For players, not for other characters.
 

FXR

Villager
And to reiterate, my suggestion is not that Sir Hackalot have the option to command his squire to attack instead of using one of the attacks granted to him by the Extra Attack feature. My suggestion is that Sir Hackalot’s DM have the option to, at session 0, say, “hey I want to try a house rule where at 5th level you get Sidekicks instead of the Extra Attack feature.”


It sounds like you’re talking about something other than the new Sidekick mechanic from the Essentials Kit.
You're right. As there are no Target stores in my country, I didn't have the benefit of reading the new rules and actually only learned today that the Essential kit included rules about sidekicks.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Point of order: the intent of sidekicks is explicitly not as something for less experienced players to play, but as a way to give a small party (particularly single-players) a bit of a boost in utility, and another character to interact with. You certainly can hand a newbie a sidekick, but that’s not what they were designed for. The reason for making Sidekicks instead of monsters/NPCs with class levels is so that a solo player can more easily manage controlling one in addition to their full PC, or the DM can more easily manage them in addition to the enemy monsters/NPCs.

Now, since those of us who haven’t gotten early copies haven’t seen the final Sidekick rules, I am taking it as a given that Sidekicks will be simple enough for a even a new player to reasonably control alongside their character, since that is the explicit design intent. Obviously if they fail to live up to that intent, Sidekicks as class features won’t be a viable option. But for the sake of this discussion I’m going to assume they do live up to their intended function until the box comes out and proves otherwise.

So, with the knowledge that Sidekicks are meant to supplement small parties and the assumption that they will be reasonably easy to manage alongside a full PC, I’m interested in the possibility of using them as class features. Potentially replacing Extra Attack for martial characters, though that was just my first idea, I’m open to other possibilities.
It's a neat idea, but since I don't have the final Sidekick rules, either, all I can really say is Extra Attack looks like a decent candidate for swapping out. It seems likely the end result is the player winds up taking the same number of attacks he would normally, and that shouldn't slow things down too any degree unless the player is the sort to agonize over where to move his sidekick and how.

This would create a hefty hit point boost for the player, though. (And note, I do indeed mean the player, not the PC)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Is the exact rules for Essential sidekicks detailed in a thread somewhere..?
Not that I know of, but we can gather some information about what they’ll probably look like from the UA and from Chris Perkins’ comments about it from the DnD Beyond interview about the Starter set. He said the feedback on the UA was overwhelming positive, but clear that people wanted them to be even more streamlined, and that they were surprised by all the the interest in Sidekicks as an option for players to actually play as. He also mentioned that in the Essentials Kit, they are simpler than they were in the UA, and that when they level up the rules tell you exactly what they gain - how much their HP increases by, what new abilities they gain or spells they learn, etc. so you don’t have to make any build decisions for them. Also reiterated that you don’t track XP for Sidekicks, they just level up when their PC levels up. Oh, and that the DM and player are supposed to work out between each other who will control the Sidekick in combat.
 

D1Tremere

Villager
The sidekick rules work great as employees that a franchise gets in the new Acquisitions Incorporated book! You can select one to accompany your party on jobs, and use the sidekick rules to automate them.
 

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