Level Up (A5E) Thoughts on A5E classes from your table(s)?

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
How's your experience been with the various A5E classes?

I've been running several weekly games of a5e for months; my players, some of which overlap multiple games, feel that some classes are MUCH more powerful than their 5e counterparts, whereas others are weaker. They've had mixed satisfaction with optimizing inside the system.

Most of them are coming from 5e with various levels of experience. Not every class has been played extensively, I'm only going to list the ones that have reached mid-tiers (level 8+).

Adept - The monk player refused to touch the adept because they didn't get poison immunity. Personally, I'm glad that adepts don't get immunity to such a flexible source of damage/effect.

Bard - Player satisfaction with bards have been pretty good. They've enjoyed the enhanced power brought on by Battle Hymns. As with many things in a5e, more options means more keeping track of what your character can do; remembering exactly how their hymns work, especially when they get buffed, can be used at different times through different actions, etc. is a challenge. They never remember that they can use them as a reaction at the end of another creature's turn. The instrument specialization bonuses are also frequently forgotten.

Berserker - There are berserker characters in two games- and they're both easily the most powerful character on the field. Brutal critical stunning or blinding enemies is nuts when you couple equipment and maneuvers that can result in a 17-20 crit range; add to this stacking rage HP, high AC from heavy armor and a shield and the tempest auto-cover bonus, advantage on dex saves and having a rogue's evasion vs said dex saves means that unless the enemies are primarily ranged fliers or mental saving throw monsters, the berserker is going to make mincemeat of even deadly encounters. Maneuvers are a potent cherry on top of a class that is better than the 5e barbarian in basically every way.
The players think that berserker is very overpowered, I'm inclined to agree.

Cleric - The cleric player has not complained that some of the spells 5e clerics had as automatic go-to's have been nerfed, and he's really been digging a lot of the features that the core cleric gets, as well as the potent healing bonuses the healer archetype grants (maxed hit dice rolls on short rests for everyone!).

Fighter - This one's not been tested to mid-tier, but the general thought is "a battlemaster but I also get a subclass." They miss action surge, though. The only oddity that's come up has been Maneuver Specialization in Catch Your Breath- it makes CYB incredibly potent, and might break hit dice expenditure for the fighter since they get 1d4 exertion for a minutes' rest to burn 1HD. They get way more healing from CYB than they would from short resting and rolling hit dice, and then they also get their EP back from said short rest.

Herald - Players have felt underwhelmed with the Herald, which is sad in my mind; I quite like the class. But these players have come from 5e paladins, and they're used to exploding things with paladin-crits using 99% of their spell slots.

Ranger - The ranger player definitely took a lot of getting used to the a5e ranger; their abilities come up frequently, but for the longest time the player was very frustrated that they couldn't get weapon focus - archery without multiclassing to fighter. They're now mid-tier and have built their character's To-Hit so high that they rarely miss anything; I dread to think what'll happen when they take the feat that lets them ignore cover.
They were very dissatisfied with the Wildborn ranger being a 1/3 caster, rather than the 5e ranger's 1/2 caster.

Rogue - Has been using the Mugging Hit maneuver against nearly every enemy they can. They love it. I love that they love it.

Warlock - The main warlock player seems to be happy with his experience, aside from Fireball only doing 6d6. I think he enjoys the flexibility of spell points.
Oddly, another 5e warlock player complains that they choose a warlock specifically so they don't have to faff about with multiple levels of spells etc, and that spell points complicate the whole thing.
 

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noodohs

Explorer
IMO, the classes should be compared to each other and not to o5e. O5e has a lot of balance problems and many of those were addressed with A5e, so I expect many players who liked to take advantage of broken options will be disappointed to find they actually have to try now.

As a player, I have so far enjoyed the changes. I am playing a rogue/ranger multiclass and both have felt very good to me.
 


Distracted DM

Distracted DM
IMO, the classes should be compared to each other and not to o5e. O5e has a lot of balance problems and many of those were addressed with A5e, so I expect many players who liked to take advantage of broken options will be disappointed to find they actually have to try now.

As a player, I have so far enjoyed the changes. I am playing a rogue/ranger multiclass and both have felt very good to me.
I emphasized this point, but the comparisons are inevitable; particularly since a goal of a5e, and which it mentions on and off in the book and in promotional media, is its compatibility with 5e. Plus, it's a5e- the advanced 5e.

But comparing the classes purely between themselves, so far berserker seems easily the top martial.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
It sounds like your players are disappointed with anything they feel makes them weaker in combat, and like the stuff that makes them stronger? There's a theme of 'I don't like that I don't get that O5E feature' running through it?
I was hoping to hear the experiences regarding the various a5e classes from other GMs and their players, not a broad generalization about the players at my tables.
 

Sepulchre

Explorer
I’m torn on whether berserker is overturned or whether it’s just a martial that’s actually been brought up the level of spellcasters. I also suspect that berserker peaks in relative power at levels 6-8. That’s where we are, and I expect to fall off as we move into the double digits.

I’ve enjoyed playing mine, and I normally only roll casters. I don’t think my A5e berserker is more effective than then A5e wizard I rolled for a one-shot.
 


Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
The Oracle cleric with Armor of Conviction, Clerical Charisma, and the Merciful devotion was the most fun I've ever had playing a cleric in D&D. Felt like a great mix of cleric and bard really. The bonus spells really gave the cleric a boost in the exploration department (identify, comprehend languages, detect thoughts, clairvoyance, etc).
 

Selganor

Adventurer
Bard - Player satisfaction with bards have been pretty good. They've enjoyed the enhanced power brought on by Battle Hymns. As with many things in a5e, more options means more keeping track of what your character can do; remembering exactly how their hymns work, especially when they get buffed, can be used at different times through different actions, etc. is a challenge. They never remember that they can use them as a reaction at the end of another creature's turn. The instrument specialization bonuses are also frequently forgotten.
It only costs the bard a reaction if he wants to activate a new hymn but if it is still active (or sustained) they can just declare a target whenever.

Regarding instrument specialties and hymns... May I suggest cards for them? The current hymn (with all the info on the card) on the table at the moment the hymn starts and once a target is declared the target gets the card.
For instruments either one laminated sheet where the current specialty (and possible "charges") can easily be marked or maybe a card per specialty with the names (and changed effects) for the affected spells.

Herald - Players have felt underwhelmed with the Herald, which is sad in my mind; I quite like the class. But these players have come from 5e paladins, and they're used to exploding things with paladin-crits using 99% of their spell slots.
Have the players realized how many exertion points they can get by using spells?
Warlock - The main warlock player seems to be happy with his experience, aside from Fireball only doing 6d6. I think he enjoys the flexibility of spell points.
Oddly, another 5e warlock player complains that they choose a warlock specifically so they don't have to faff about with multiple levels of spells etc, and that spell points complicate the whole thing.
What's the problem with the player who doesn't like flexibility in his spell levels? He can always cast them at highest level. And while probably "wasting" some of the spell power he would most often still have more spells than an O5E warlock has (or have I overlooked something?)

As for me I'm currently playing an A5E Savant/Marshal in an O5E game where all the rest of the rules are O5E and in another game an Artificer/Savant (where I seriously need way more Bonus Actions)
 

Pedantic

Legend
I don't really have an O5E comparison point, I've got two players without much 5e background, one who grabbed the Artificer, loved the casting mechanic and never wants to change characters ever again, and one playing an Esper out of Paranormal Power.

The biggest draw for me is honestly just the sheer volume of player facing mechanical support, particularly once you start throwing in the quite abundant 3PP material. I've mostly had players throw a concept at me, and then I've rooted around in all the archetypes/content I have to get them some support, and/or I've seen a mechanic I think one of them will like and tossed it over to them to review.
 

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