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D&D 5E Starting to Hate Hexblades

Zardnaar

Legend
And never even seen one in action.

One of my players said he might have a new recruit. Ok cool level 9 good aligned Drow campaign pick something appropriate.

So this potential new player wants to roll stats. We just stopped doing that die to out of control powergamer who left and turns out they were ultra toxic. Kicked out of and banned from virtually every group including Warhammer.

Potential new player had 3 ideas.

Multiclass Ranger/Monk
Multiclass paladin/sorcerer/warlock/bard
Multiclass Bard/Warlock/Paladin

I played every individual class but pointed out one of my rules is don't deliberately build a bad character.

The hexblade of course was just a dip. Just like the last player where I okayed the hexblade but not the multiclass.

This player seemed to want to quicken fireballs with these multiclass builds because by level 20 they will have level 7 spell slots........

Kinda explained the game isn't going to level 20 plan was level 12 but probably wrap it up soon at lvl 10/11.

Player promptly didn't want to play anymore said I took the fun out of it. Fair enough. To me is just a disconnect between expectations.

Tried helping him out with suggested builds eg Paladin6/Hexblade3 or 8/1 or a Sorlock. Being new I suggested to also keep it simple MCing can bite you in the ass. I have a cleric8/sorc1 and Rogue8/fighter1.

So two back to back players basically wanting to abuse the Hexblade (one had 20 charisma, the other wanted to roll to see what they get).

And the whole Drow thing. Party full of Elistraee's faith and they also wanted a fiendpack Tiefling. Didn't seem keen on the no pvp rule. Last player wanted to follow Lolth in said party....

So not sure if they were just new or potential powergamer with unrealistic expectations (by level 20). Out of the various local groups afaik I'm the only one running at level 9. The other groups tend to fall apart or run shorter games with 4 games vs my 2.

Anyway just a rant.
 
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Blue Orange

Adventurer
I guess this is why the half-casters in the various editions always seem to be clerical or druidical? Fighter/magic-user is just too powerful a build, from the BECMI D&D elf to the modern hexblade problems you mention.

One of the things that always got me about powergaming, though...if half of these things were real, people really would be exploiting the wazoo out of them. Wizards would haste armies, flaming spheres would be cast into the enemy's granary, lords would send clerics to cast contagion on the enemy's troops...

Don't hate the player, hate the game. ;)
 


Zardnaar

Legend
I prefer to hate a) the multiclass rules and b) the ability score system that uses MAD as a balancing factor.

Hexblade dipping is driven by b) and enabled by a). The hexblade itself is fine.

Yeah the next time someone wants to play a single classes hexblade it will be the first.

I kind of look at the hexblade as a band aid to the failed gish concepts in the PHB.
 

I prefer to hate a) the multiclass rules and b) the ability score system that uses MAD as a balancing factor.

Hexblade dipping is driven by b) and enabled by a). The hexblade itself is fine.
I am so done with a la carte multiclassing and the homogenization that collective system mastery has brought. If I never see another Charisma based multiclassed character, it will be too soon.
 


Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
I've done single-class hexblade and my opinion:

They're alright. Certainly scratched the itch of arcane gish where bards and wizards felt too magical and Tricksters and EK felt too martial. They aren't particularly show stopping any more than a base warlock is but they keep pace with most other characters, including other martials, just fine. Its a good role to take up if you really want a "martial with options" but okay with your options being magical. Of course, you lean on your curse damage mostly, though.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I’ve been trying out a Goliath Hexblade in the Frostmaiden campaign. Only about 3rd level, but so far, haven’t been much impressed with the class, my NPC follower, a Goliath scout is doing far better than I am.

Unfortunately, the game is on hold, so I haven’t gotten to see if the class gets better. Certainly seems less impressive so far than a typical warlock with Eldritch blast.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I've done single-class hexblade and my opinion:

They're alright. Certainly scratched the itch of arcane gish where bards and wizards felt too magical and Tricksters and EK felt too martial. They aren't particularly show stopping any more than a base warlock is but they keep pace with most other characters, including other martials, just fine. Its a good role to take up if you really want a "martial with options" but okay with your options being magical. Of course, you lean on your curse damage mostly, though.
Yup, I also have played single-classed hexblade. It does what it says on the tin.

(Which, in my book, is high praise for an RPG class. I've seen far too many classes promise experiences they don't deliver, though it's less of a problem in 5E.)
 

Yeah the next time someone wants to play a single classes hexblade it will be the first.

I kind of look at the hexblade as a band aid to the failed gish concepts in the PHB.
That's my next character.

Although my most recently retired was a bard/pally/hexblade/sorc, which is not optimized for anything but goofiness.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I've considered banning any two spell casting classes just because I think the way spells are combined is pretty awful. That and it never made much sense to me, each class has a different source of power. Using warlock slots to power divine spells is kind of like trying to run a gas engine on diesel.

Not sure what the answer is, it just seems like it's always cheesily overpowered or a bad combo that doesn't really work. I allow feats, so if you want eldritch blast or some other spell to enhance your character take the feat.
 

nevin

Adventurer
In my experience the solution to those characters is to throw npc's that are optimized the same way at them. Those players tend to think its unfair when thier enemies start copying thier successful strategies. Then they they either leave or get a lot more reasonabke i. What they want to play
 

And never even seen one in action.

One of my players said he might have a new recruit. Ok cool level 9 good aligned Drow campaign pick something appropriate.

So this potential new player wants to roll stats. We just stopped doing that die to out of control powergamer who left and turns out they were ultra toxic. Kicked out of and banned from virtually every group including Warhammer.

Potential new player had 3 ideas.

Multiclass Ranger/Monk
Multiclass paladin/sorcerer/warlock/bard
Multiclass Bard/Warlock/Paladin

I played every individual class but pointed out one of my rules is don't deliberately build a bad character.

The hexblade of course was just a dip. Just like the last player where I okayed the hexblade but not the multiclass.

This player seemed to want to quicken fireballs with these multiclass builds because by level 20 they will have level 7 spell slots........

Kinda explained the game isn't going to level 20 plan was level 12 but probably wrap it up soon at lvl 10/11.

Player promptly didn't want to play anymore said I took the fun out of it. Fair enough. To me is just a disconnect between expectations.

Tried helping him out with suggested builds eg Paladin6/Hexblade3 or 8/1 or a Sorlock. Being new I suggested to also keep it simple MCing can bite you in the ass. I have a cleric8/sorc1 and Rogue8/fighter1.

So two back to back players basically wanting to abuse the Hexblade (one had 20 charisma, the other wanted to roll to see what they get).

And the whole Drow thing. Party full of Elistraee's faith and they also wanted a fiendpack Tiefling. Didn't seem keen on the no pvp rule. Last player wanted to follow Lolth in said party....

So not sure if they were just new or potential powergamer with unrealistic expectations (by level 20). Out of the various local groups afaik I'm the only one running at level 9. The other groups tend to fall apart or run shorter games with 4 games vs my 2.

Anyway just a rant.
One other point: I'm betting that for at least one of them, they've played MMOs but not ttrpgs before. A lot fo what they're expecting is totally reasonable for MMOs:

Planning for 'endgame' where you're already max level. Many MMOs don't really start until that point.

Looking for the most optimized build. Many MMOs have their challenges based on this, because people play this way. 5e is balanced to allow nearly any build because overcoming challenges is only one of many kinds of fun the game can provide.

Expecting to bring full resources to every battle. Even compared to other crpgs MMOs don't rely on attrition much.

Broody, loner characters, who don't have a reason to get along with anyone. MMOs, being crpgs of a sort, must railroad heavily. Ergo, getting along isn't on the player - it's forced by the system. And making edgy characters is often one of the only ways to self-express, since you really only have your appearance to go on (you won't spend much time talking to other pc's, you'll be raiding the whole time.)

Just a guess, but they have the symptoms.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I played a Hexblade for a couple of years, and made it all the way to level 15 in the Storm King's Thunder adventure path. It was one of the most fun classes I ever played...but my DM had to take a hands-on approach to keep things balanced. Some of the changes he made:
  • The Grasp of Hadar and Repelling Blast invocations were removed from the game. I'm not sure why, but that's what the DM wanted. I thought that there were far worse offenders on that list than these two.
  • Spellcasters couldn't multiclass with other spellcasters. So no Sorlocks or Bardlocks or other broken combos. (This was true for all characters in the campaign, not just my Hexblade.)
  • Non-PHB feats weren't allowed. This was also true for all characters in the campaign.
There were others, but these were the only ones I really noticed.

EDIT: Writing that list made me realize that all of the "broken character combos" and "bad character design" that I've experienced in actual play (as opposed to theorycraft, or stuff I've only read about online), can be traced back to two things: FEATS and MULTICLASSING. I'm starting to think I might disallow both in my upcoming campaign.
 


And never even seen one in action.

One of my players said he might have a new recruit. Ok cool level 9 good aligned Drow campaign pick something appropriate.

So this potential new player wants to roll stats. We just stopped doing that die to out of control powergamer who left and turns out they were ultra toxic. Kicked out of and banned from virtually every group including Warhammer.

Potential new player had 3 ideas.

Multiclass Ranger/Monk
Multiclass paladin/sorcerer/warlock/bard
Multiclass Bard/Warlock/Paladin

I played every individual class but pointed out one of my rules is don't deliberately build a bad character.

The hexblade of course was just a dip. Just like the last player where I okayed the hexblade but not the multiclass.

This player seemed to want to quicken fireballs with these multiclass builds because by level 20 they will have level 7 spell slots........

Kinda explained the game isn't going to level 20 plan was level 12 but probably wrap it up soon at lvl 10/11.

Player promptly didn't want to play anymore said I took the fun out of it. Fair enough. To me is just a disconnect between expectations.

Tried helping him out with suggested builds eg Paladin6/Hexblade3 or 8/1 or a Sorlock. Being new I suggested to also keep it simple MCing can bite you in the ass. I have a cleric8/sorc1 and Rogue8/fighter1.

So two back to back players basically wanting to abuse the Hexblade (one had 20 charisma, the other wanted to roll to see what they get).

And the whole Drow thing. Party full of Elistraee's faith and they also wanted a fiendpack Tiefling. Didn't seem keen on the no pvp rule. Last player wanted to follow Lolth in said party....

So not sure if they were just new or potential powergamer with unrealistic expectations (by level 20). Out of the various local groups afaik I'm the only one running at level 9. The other groups tend to fall apart or run shorter games with 4 games vs my 2.

Anyway just a rant.

I have no idea what you're on about.

My last PC was a Drow Hexblade/ Swords Bard/ Ancients Paladin devoted to Elistraee.

The Hexblade patron was re-fluffed to Eistraee herself. The sword was the Moonblade of Elistraee
 

Hexblade is potentially overpowered as a class dip. The solution is to just emphasize, repeatedly in all situations, what a loser the Hexblade is. I mean selling your soul for power is one thing, but selling your soul to be the minion of an uppity, inanimate weapon is quite another. If you don't want Hexblades in your game, make the Hexblade patron obnoxious.

I think banning multiclassing makes the metagame conceit of classes feel even more metagamey. What I do fully support is that some classes should require work to unlock for multiclassing. Case in point, you shouldn't just get to take a dip into Hexblade warlock whenever you feel like it. You should have to meet a potential patron, put up with the facts that this weapon you found won't shut up, won't stop talking down to you, and likes to boss you around, and decide that yes, you'll put up with that to be SAD and wield the best cantrip.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
I don't let people dip.

If you're gonna multiclass in one of my games, which I generally try to avoid, it's going to be a commitment on your part, not a 1 and done "Oh, I just wanted these benefits".

Talk to me about what you wanna have from your class and we'll work something out that doesn't involve a dip. If that means designing or re-building a subclass or entire class to cover what you're hoping to do, so be it.
 


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