log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E UA interviews: The possible future for Pet Subclasses in 5e.


log in or register to remove this ad


CapnZapp

Legend
Wait. When PCs buy pets those are NPCs or non player. I don’t let the players “run” them. Do most folks?
I do agree that the beast can’t feel like it’s less than a purchased dog, or horse. But I’m OK with that being given by other means than complete action economy. Or at least balancing that against, say the fighters extra class features that give them more to do in combat.
Ok, we're waiting. :)

Done? Okay - then the purpose of a dedicated "pet class" is to grow a stronger bond than possible with a purchased pet.

The player is looking for a class that gives them (the player) full control over the pet, and provides much better battle resilience, so they can roleplay a trusted friend without an excessive risk of the pet dying.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You are talking about the current state of pets, not the desired state of pet per the vocal "pet classes are too weak" group
Actually, I think most people agree that for a "bear" or "wolf" type of pet, sending it into the midst of melee and it there doing some damage and soaking some too is plenty good.

The pet certainly does not have to be complex. It does not even have to approach the Champion (arguably the most straight-forward player character class).

Just give the pet its own move and attack and we're good :)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
So, still the version that completely and wholly dissatisfies CapnZapp and the like.
what now?

What dissatisfies me is if WotC keeps forwarding balanced solutions. It has been years since I identified that a balanced solution where the master+pet pair is no more powerful than any other PC simply cannot be satisfying. Either the master is significantly lessened compared to other Rangers (which feels very wonky) or the pet can't handle level-appropriate challenges. Of course, the PHB subclass suffered both these issues.

I'm just upfront with it, and wish WotC were too. It would save a lot of time and energy, is all :)
 

Parmandur

Legend
For the record, this is what the feature for the Artificer that Crawford said has received a great response looked like in the latest release (pending final polish yet to be published):

Iron Defender
By 3rd level, the tinkering in your free time has borne you a faithful companion, an iron defender. This metallic creature resembles a hound, a cougar, a bear, or another four-legged creature of your choice. It is friendly to you and your companions, and it obeys your commands. See this creature’s game statistics in the iron defender stat block.

In combat, the iron defender shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block or the Dash, Disengage, or Help action.

If the mending spell is cast on it, it regains 2d6 hit points. If it has died within the last hour, you can use your smith’s tools as an action to revive it, provided you are within 5 feet of it and you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher. The iron defender returns to life after 1 minute with all its hit points restored.

At the end of a long rest, you can create a new iron defender if you have your smith’s tools with you. If you already have an iron defender from this feature, the first one immediately perishes.

IRON DEFENDER

Medium construct, neutral

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points equal to five times your level in this class + your intelligence modifier + the iron defender's Constitution modifier

Speed 40 ft.

STR
14(+2)
DEX
12(+1)
CON
14(+2)
INT
4(-4)
WIS
10(+0)
CHA
6(−2)
Skills Perception +4

Damage Immunities poison

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages understands the languages you speak

Challenge n/a

Might of the Master. The following numbers increase by 1 when your proficiency bonus increases by 1: the iron defender’s skill bonuses, the bonuses to hit and damage of its bite, and the number of hit points restored by its Repair action.

Vigilant. The iron defender can’t be surprised.

Actions (Requires Your Bonus Action)

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target you can see. Hit: 1d8+2 piercing damage.

Repair (3/Day). The magical mechanisms inside the iron defender restore 2d8 + 2 hit points to itself or to one construct or object within 5 feet of it.

Reaction

Defensive Pounce. The iron defender imposes disadvantage on the attack roll of one creature it can see that is within 5 feet of it, provided the attack roll is against a creature other than the iron defender.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
This is a description of a sidekick/NPC companion.

Note your own words: "member of the party".
Thank you for getting the point!

As I said, there can't be a pet class that is both good and fair. Choose one or the other, you can't have both, WotC.

(Unlike you I hope they don't choose the defaitist approach. But even if they do, it would still be good to hear them officially say they give up on trying to create a proper pet class; something every edition of D&D since 3E has attempted)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Saying players don't touch the Beastmaster with a ten-foot pole is an exaggeration: one of the major issues WotC has with addressing the dissatisfaction with the Beastmaster is that it is a minority report. Most players are happy with it as is, though the dissatisfaction is higher than other options.
WotC says the Beastmaster is good enough. That you choose to believe them says volumes.

For the rest of us, it is clearly inadequate. Aggressively obvious, even.

So I guess we have nothing to discuss. You can have the PHB Beastmaster for yourself.
 

Undrave

Hero
No, actually, that's quite reasonable.

Why? Since it assumes the pet stays dead and now is replaced. A sad momentous event. It should not be possible to replace your dear friend just by snapping your fingers.

More importantly, the design should provide a robust pet that isn't significantly more likely to die than, say, the party Wizard. So this finding another beast shouldn't happen often enough to be a real detriment.

So that means you can end up with a character gimped for days because his class feature just died.

The party wizard is a bad metric since the Wizard isn't meant to be in melee. Maybe the party cleric would be a better basis?.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Last year, Mearls had a realization that they had been doing Summoning wrong the whole time: instead of having critters from the MM show up for a Spell, using the Spell HD guidelines (the real underlyign math of Spell balance in the game) to make a Spell Effect with some level of customizeable personality would get the job done. This is what you see with the Batltle Smith and this new Druid: Spell Effects with specific HD economy contributions in an Adventure day.
Maybe I lost track of the discussion here, but what has summoning rules to do with "the possible future of pet subclasses"?

Are you (or MMearls, I guess) saying they will only offer disposable pets (just summon a new copy) in the future?
 

Undrave

Hero
As I said, there can't be a pet class that is both good and fair. Choose one or the other, you can't have both, WotC.

Which is why I'd advocate to treat the 'animal companion' as an actual PC class. You can have someone play the wolf or just the player playing both. Balance encounters around the idea of having an extra PC. And you just warn the players outright what this implies.

And if you want the Ranger to be the best at working with an animal companion you give them class features that synergies well with the Animal Companion's own.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Maybe I lost track of the discussion here, but what has summoning rules to do with "the possible future of pet subclasses"?

Are you (or MMearls, I guess) saying they will only offer disposable pets (just summon a new copy) in the future?

Class Pet Features are Summoning Spells by a different name. Mearls laid out an idea for a new way to approach Summons/Pets, that these new features seem to reflect.
 

Parmandur

Legend
WotC says the Beastmaster is good enough. That you choose to believe them says volumes.

For the rest of us, it is clearly inadequate. Aggressively obvious, even.

So I guess we have nothing to discuss. You can have the PHB Beastmaster for yourself.

In my experience, it is good enough, and apparently in most people's experiences. WotC isn't going to errata the existing Subclass, but I expect we might see an alternate take in the next UA upcoming.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
So that means you can end up with a character gimped for days because his class feature just died.

The party wizard is a bad metric since the Wizard isn't meant to be in melee. Maybe the party cleric would be a better basis?.
Well, of course it's a delicate balance.

My point is that the class design should offer a sufficiently sturdy pet that the after-death-procedure isn't a planned event.

The point is, if replacing (or raising) the pet is too easy, that suggests the designer is aware the pet is at a significantly higher risk of dying.

I don't want the death of your beloved pet to be even more of a penalty than it already is.

But I do believe less specific is good here. The rules should not detail how to replace your pet in too close detail, since that event is not meant to happen. (Meaning that the death of any party member is not meant to happen yet it happens anyway).

I think it's better if the rules don't state specific time durations at all, leaving it up to the DM to decide if a new pet can be found in ten minutes or if it takes a week.
 


Undrave

Hero
Well, of course it's a delicate balance.

My point is that the class design should offer a sufficiently sturdy pet that the after-death-procedure isn't a planned event.

The point is, if replacing (or raising) the pet is too easy, that suggests the designer is aware the pet is at a significantly higher risk of dying.

I don't want the death of your beloved pet to be even more of a penalty than it already is.

But I do believe less specific is good here. The rules should not detail how to replace your pet in too close detail, since that event is not meant to happen. (Meaning that the death of any party member is not meant to happen yet it happens anyway).

I think it's better if the rules don't state specific time durations at all, leaving it up to the DM to decide if a new pet can be found in ten minutes or if it takes a week.

That makes sense.

Personally I've never been a fan of the animal companion class concept, specifically because of the can of worms it opens rules-wise so maybe I'm not the best to discuss it :p
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You are talking about the current state of pets, not the desired state of pet per the vocal "pet classes are too weak" group
Nah. None of us want a pet that’s as complicated as a PC. Move, attack action, maybe a special action that resolves about as easily as the attack action.

All it absolutely needs to keep up is properly scaling HP, and proficiency bonus.
Personally I have no problem with it, it just runs straight into the 'mundane pet' concept of the BEAST companion. But for other companions it works great.
The ranger isn’t mundane. The ranger casts spells. Why shouldnt the ranger have the ability to bond with a mundane creature in such a way that they can heal and even revive the beast pretty easily?
What is false? Have I ever discussed playtest material or some Battlesmith?

I was talking about the Beastmaster concept. The PHB version was woefully inadequate.
Your claim about a satisfying pet requiring an overpowered total package. It’s false.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So, still the version that completely and wholly dissatisfies CapnZapp and the like.
Let's see, since as far as I can tell they just want more powerful - something that doesn't require more rolls and therefore more screen time.

If they are looking for something that will drastically increase the screen time - which power doesn't do - please let us know what it is.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Which is why I'd advocate to treat the 'animal companion' as an actual PC class. You can have someone play the wolf or just the player playing both. Balance encounters around the idea of having an extra PC. And you just warn the players outright what this implies.

And if you want the Ranger to be the best at working with an animal companion you give them class features that synergies well with the Animal Companion's own.
I can’t stress enough how much this is a complete non-starter for me. Absolutely not.
Literally the Battlesmith and the revised beastmaster both do a companion well.

If they play test an optional variant beastmaster that has set stats (choice of 3-5 statblocks, each curated to do exactly what the designers expect) with the progression and scaling rules of the revised beast companion, I am almost certain that the overwhelming feedback would be positive.

I think it's better if the rules don't state specific time durations at all, leaving it up to the DM to decide if a new pet can be found in ten minutes or if it takes a week.

I’d absolutely never even consider playing that, unless the DM was willing to homebrew in specific rules where you left them out. I’m not going to play DM May I with my core character feature that is the primary reason I took the class, and that represents basically my entire subclass.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top