The Fighter's Fighter, perhaps even moreso than the Champion. This may, or may not, be a testbed for the subclass-swapping features that they talked about when discussing how they are going to fix the Ranger.
...why not just shelf them for now, and work on truly NEW additions such as ... (3) alternative class features mechanics?
But rather than coming right out with a UA and saying "Hey, here's some alternate features for the Champion, whatcha think?"... and then getting whole heaps of people screaming at them "Why are you working on these?!? The Champion is FINE!" Or "I don't want a Champion, I want PSIONICS!"... they create these subclasses with the barest hint of fluff just so we'd spend time actually debating the mechanics, rather than whether the mechanics were necessary to "help" the subclasses the mechanics were meant for.
Under that light... I think its easier to see what these game mechanics could be used for. The Brute's are possible alternate feature for the Champion... the Inventor's are alternate features for the Wild Mage *and* new mechanics for the Artificer... and the Circle of Spores could actually be its own real subclass since it has the most cohesive theme behind it. And hell, if I didn't know any better... the Circle of Spores has at its essence the theme of death and decay, which is the primary theme of the Children of Winter druidic sect in Eberron. There's been talk that perhaps the Artificer has been moved up while the Mystic has been pushed back... maybe what we're seeing here is the potential previews of what could be April's book of the Five Nations Adventure's Guide?
I think dual-wielders should get a bone somewhere.The Brute is clearly an effort to fix the issues people have noted with the Champion. They might want to tweak it so that you don't get a big advantage from dual wielding (maybe you don't get the bonus damage on off-hand attacks?). Other than that, it seems fine. Not my cup of tea, but there's nothing wrong with that.
I think dual-wielders should get a bone somewhere.
Unless you mix Champion 3 with something like Booming Blade or sneak attack or something else to add bonus dice, Brute wins and it's not close. Champion would add 2d6 (assuming greatsword) to 5% of all attacks, which is about 0.35 extra damage per attack., and less if you switch to other weapons. Brute adds 2.63 average damage per attack, and scales more quickly.Has anybody done a numerical analysis of Champion vs. Brute?
Keep in mind that Symbiotic Entity doubles your Halo of Spores damage output. Killing something with 6 points of damage is unreliable at best, but 12 points is a lot more likely.1 HP seems weak, but it's a "free" ally. The main problem I see is the need to kill the enemy with your Halo of Spores. What are the odds you'll ever get the killing blow with those 6 HP of damage? It doesn't seem like you'd actually get to use this often unless you have a bound prisoner to HoS until they're dead (which is dark). If the designers intend to ever see this get used it should be someone you'd damaged with HoS within the last minute.
I guess. You're still limited to 10' range on the HoS though, so if you're zombies start killing people (which is the point, right?) you don't get those as allies.Keep in mind that Symbiotic Entity doubles your Halo of Spores damage output. Killing something with 6 points of damage is unreliable at best, but 12 points is a lot more likely.
And if you're fighting a crowd of weak foes with 12 hp or less, it will get really out of hand, because Halo of Spores has no miss chance and no saving throw, and neither Halo of Spores nor Fungal Infestation has any usage limit. Every round, you'll make a free zombie.
Oh, for sure. I understood that part.The zombies have Undead Fortitude, too, so that 1 hit point is not as fragile as it seems.
And, for a final nail in the coffin, why would you bother with random spells? I mean a 10% of getting a specific spell is kind of bad if you really need it, and a lot of the time you'd be better off just casting the spells you've prepared like a normal wizard. I just don't see the appeal here.
There are classes (warlock) and subclasses (berserker barbarian, college of whispers bard, etc.) that seem to exist as much for DM's as for players. The brute (which I think maybe ought to be renamed the slayer) fighter and the spore druid seem to fit those bills, although the druid's bit about wildshape not being used for wildshape is pretty innovative (kind of like a paladin being "spell less" by pumping all the spell slots into divine smite, a "wild shape less" druid could pump all the wildshapes into something else; how long before the "rageless" barbarian appears?). I would have preferred a subclass feature that allowed the spore druid to get access to plant shapes for wild shape, but this is certainly more daring.
I have mixed feelings on the invention wizard. Some people on the threads have described wizards as fearless pioneers pushing magical boundaries, but mechanically, nothing could be further from the truth: wizards are basically magical auditors who spend their time stealing magic that they know will work from other wizards. So it would be nice if there was a subclass that did that. On the other hand, reaching out into the Weave and casting some random spell seems pretty sorcerer to me.
It's almost like there's a subclass for the sorcerer that is precisely designed to be just that: chaotic and random...or a base sorcerer mechanic in place that let's them tweak and adjust their spells using a daily replenishing resource...but that would be crazy right? God forbid the wizard not be able to out sorcerer a sorcerer.