Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Returns to Monthly With Some Revised Subclasses


cmad1977

Hero
That doesn't do the same thing.

And "or you could just do this other thing that is vaguely similar" isn't something I consider a valid response. IMO, it's basically the same thing as thread crapping, except that it applies to individual posts.

Way to crap on someone who was trying to help you out.
Classy.


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When I see people wanting to make a two-handed finesse weapon, all I can think about is the complaints around here about how much better Dex is over Strength. And how doing so is taking away the one thing Strength had left going for it. Oh well, people live and learn. Eventually. Hopefully.
I think that there is less of an issue with a finesse reach weapon than a finesse Heavy weapon in terms of ability balance: the higher damage possible for a Polearm mastery and/or GWM feat is regarded as the last bastion of where a Strength build can beat a Dex build.
Although needless to say, I would also have conceptual issues with a Finesse Heavy weapon as well.

Watch any period kung fu movie. I know it's a personal taste thing for you, but there is a very strong precedence for finesse two handed weapons to exist (in fact, I'd posit that historical two handed sword fighting was more finesse and less Conan/The Hound).
I think that that is confusing a weapon wielded with finesse (ie with great skill and/or style) and the game term: finesse weapon (a melee weapon with which you can apply Dex mod to attack and damage rather than Str mod).
Whipping a weapon around very fast is not an indication of a finesse weapon. If anything, the speed with which a weapon is moved is a factor of the force applied to it and the athleticism of the wielder - both of which are the purview of Strength in 5e. Likewise the characters in those films didn't dump Str: they often display great feats of strength in 5e D&D terms: breaking objects and weapons, jumping great heights and similar athletics.
The display flourishes in many of those films likewise are more a Performance check than a Dex-based attack.
Now, they do also show great dexterity as well in avoiding attacks, feats of balance etc. But speed in repeated stabbing or whipping a weapon around is not a function of dexterity in 5e.

A finesse weapon in D&D 5e is one that doesn't require any force or degree of athleticism to wield: It is a weapon with which a 10-year-old child is just as dangerous as an adult in terms of ability to strike and lethality of wounds inflicted. Whether it is Bonnie Langford or Bruce Lee using it, its just as lethal.

Historical longsword (two-handed sword in D&D terms) does indeed have a lot more finesse than shown in the most films. That doesn't make it a finesse weapon in D&D game terms. Reflexes and balance are important, but so is force - translating into the speed with which you can control the weapon, and athleticism - translating into the speed with which you move your body, for both attack and defence. If you have to simplify things down however, I think that D&D's use of Dex as the stat most important for avoiding attacks, and Str as the stat most important for attacking is probably the best compromise.
 

Corwin

Explorer
I think that there is less of an issue with a finesse reach weapon than a finesse Heavy weapon in terms of ability balance: the higher damage possible for a Polearm mastery and/or GWM feat is regarded as the last bastion of where a Strength build can beat a Dex build.
Although needless to say, I would also have conceptual issues with a Finesse Heavy weapon as well.
Of course. I wasn't even trying to address the exponential impact feats would have on such a decision. I was mostly focusing on the tendency for larger weapons to have higher damage dice. Right now, if you want to deal d10, or better, you need to use a Strength-based weapon. That. But yes, making it heavy would exacerbate things even more by allowing GWM to apply.

I think that that is confusing a weapon wielded with finesse (ie with great skill and/or style) and the game term: finesse weapon (a melee weapon with which you can apply Dex mod to attack and damage rather than Str mod).
Whipping a weapon around very fast is not an indication of a finesse weapon. If anything, the speed with which a weapon is moved is a factor of the force applied to it and the athleticism of the wielder - both of which are the purview of Strength in 5e. Likewise the characters in those films didn't dump Str: they often display great feats of strength in 5e D&D terms: breaking objects and weapons, jumping great heights and similar athletics.
The display flourishes in many of those films likewise are more a Performance check than a Dex-based attack.
Now, they do also show great dexterity as well in avoiding attacks, feats of balance etc. But speed in repeated stabbing or whipping a weapon around is not a function of dexterity in 5e.

A finesse weapon in D&D 5e is one that doesn't require any force or degree of athleticism to wield: It is a weapon with which a 10-year-old child is just as dangerous as an adult in terms of ability to strike and lethality of wounds inflicted. Whether it is Bonnie Langford or Bruce Lee using it, its just as lethal.

Historical longsword (two-handed sword in D&D terms) does indeed have a lot more finesse than shown in the most films. That doesn't make it a finesse weapon in D&D game terms. Reflexes and balance are important, but so is force - translating into the speed with which you can control the weapon, and athleticism - translating into the speed with which you move your body, for both attack and defence. If you have to simplify things down however, I think that D&D's use of Dex as the stat most important for avoiding attacks, and Str as the stat most important for attacking is probably the best compromise.
Well said. These are the things I was attempting to touch upon, as well, in my last post.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If you have to simplify things down however, I think that D&D's use of Dex as the stat most important for avoiding attacks, and Str as the stat most important for attacking is probably the best compromise.

IMO, it's all abstractions that we have to come to our own understanding of in terms of the fiction. I don't buy for a second that staves shouldn't be finesse under most posited explanations of finesse in this thread, for instance. You can find a way to justify it, but it is a justification after the fact, not the reason that quarterstaff wielders who aren't monks have to use Strength.


Anyway, at the risk of further stirring the pot, I'm also talking to my players about making many of the two handed weapons able to have reach at the cost of a damage die step, with different stances. Basically, the default is whatever the weapon normally does, and as a bonus action you can change stance to reach, losing a die step, and stay in that stance for the rest of the fight, if you want, or change back as another bonus action.

Some weapons will also steal a bullet point from Spear Mastery, and gain a Lunge property, where they can spend a bonus action to gain reach for the rest of their turn. These would be the Rapier, Longsword, at least.

Haven't decided on quarterstaff yet. A lot of staff fighting can be very similar to two handed spear fighting, which should have reach IMO. But it's also versatile. Versatile and variable reach, I'm not sure of, so maybe just add Lunge to it.

Now, I know some of you think that such things should only live in feats or whatever, but I disagree completely.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Way to crap on someone who was trying to help you out.

Telling me that I'm doing it wrong and should just use what is already there, as if I wasn't aware of what is already there, isn't helping me out.

A critique of the weapon itself might help, if I needed help, but, "or you could just do this other thing that doesn't accomplish the same actual things, but is kinda similar" does not.
 

IMO, it's all abstractions that we have to come to our own understanding of in terms of the fiction. I don't buy for a second that staves shouldn't be finesse under most posited explanations of finesse in this thread, for instance. You can find a way to justify it, but it is a justification after the fact, not the reason that quarterstaff wielders who aren't monks have to use Strength.
No justification needed unless you have someone hung up more on realism than the tropes that you want your game to express. Simply houserule that quarterstaves (or indeed any/every weapon) has the Finesse property.

Anyway, at the risk of further stirring the pot, I'm also talking to my players about making many of the two handed weapons able to have reach at the cost of a damage die step, with different stances. Basically, the default is whatever the weapon normally does, and as a bonus action you can change stance to reach, losing a die step, and stay in that stance for the rest of the fight, if you want, or change back as another bonus action.

Some weapons will also steal a bullet point from Spear Mastery, and gain a Lunge property, where they can spend a bonus action to gain reach for the rest of their turn. These would be the Rapier, Longsword, at least.
It might be worth considering whether you want to word it as "reach" for all of them, or some might simply have "may make an attack against a target up to 10ft away" or similar wording. Reach interacts with attacks of opportunity and other effects in ways that you might prefer to keep standard.

Haven't decided on quarterstaff yet. A lot of staff fighting can be very similar to two handed spear fighting, which should have reach IMO. But it's also versatile. Versatile and variable reach, I'm not sure of, so maybe just add Lunge to it.
I houseruled that the quarterstaves in the weapons table were the actual 6ft+ solid wood object that first comes to mind with the name. Thus they were two-handed rather than versatile. Giving reach to them wouldn't be a stretch.
However, as they are, you might want to distinguish between the 3-4ft long clubs/hanbo/jo/walking sticks usable in one or two hands, to which giving a reach option probably isn't appropriate, and the full-out staff which should require both hands, but to which reach is probably more appropriate.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No justification needed unless you have someone hung up more on realism than the tropes that you want your game to express. Simply houserule that quarterstaves (or indeed any/every weapon) has the Finesse property.

It might be worth considering whether you want to word it as "reach" for all of them, or some might simply have "may make an attack against a target up to 10ft away" or similar wording. Reach interacts with attacks of opportunity and other effects in ways that you might prefer to keep standard.

I houseruled that the quarterstaves in the weapons table were the actual 6ft+ solid wood object that first comes to mind with the name. Thus they were two-handed rather than versatile. Giving reach to them wouldn't be a stretch.
However, as they are, you might want to distinguish between the 3-4ft long clubs/hanbo/jo/walking sticks usable in one or two hands, to which giving a reach option probably isn't appropriate, and the full-out staff which should require both hands, but to which reach is probably more appropriate.
Good points!

The Lunging property should probably just say that you can attack enemies 10ft further away than normal. Give it to rapiers, one handed spears, maybe a couple others. Depends on if I make greatswords Reach or not.

Staff is still tough, though, because I also think most two-handed swords should have reach, and I definately see the quarterstaff as a full bo staff, not a jo or hanbo staff. But even a jo staff would have the Lunging property, in this set of houserules.

Perhaps versatile weapons of the right length and balance have Lunging when used 1hand, and instead have Reach when used 2hand. I feel like my players can grok that.
 


Al2O3

Explorer
Is anyone else worried that the arcane catchers' arrow now requiring both a hit and a save make the subclass really underpowered?
It's similar to battlemaster in some ways. Hit to trigger, save vs extra Effect. It often has something on a successful save, so it's still better than a normal hit.

Before it was a risk of missing and wasting it all.

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Chaosmancer

Legend
Is anyone else worried that the arcane catchers' arrow now requiring both a hit and a save make the subclass really underpowered?

No, you never choose to activate an Arcane Shot option until after it hits anyways, so they always hit and then it is save vs the effect, sometimes with the added damage always being active.

The exception is Seeking and Piercing Arrow, those two become saves entirely, you never make an attack roll for them the enemy just saves for half damage.
 

Litania

First Post
It very specifically says that you decide whether you are applying the effect when you attack. That means you would lose the arcane arrow if you miss. It's totally different form superiority dice, and a lot less powerful.
 

gyor

Legend
Someone who takes non consensual sharing of a private thing making them momentarily famous/infamous, and turns that into a media empire of really impressive scale and total wealth for their whole family?

Yeah, ok, I'll play that.

Reality television the RPG, it's so wrong it has to be right! We'll be rich!
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
It very specifically says that you decide whether you are applying the effect when you attack. That means you would lose the arcane arrow if you miss. It's totally different form superiority dice, and a lot less powerful.


Hate to be the guy who quotes the document, but if we're talking the Revised Arcane Archer then under the Arcane Shot feature, second paragraph reads:

"Once per turn when you fire a magic arrow from a shortbow or longbow {note that all arrows you fire are magical due to the first ability} as part of the Attack Action, you can apply one of your Arcane Shot options to that arrow. You decide to use the option when the arrow hits, unless the option doesn't involve an Attack Roll."


So, no, it says very specifically you choose to activate it after a hit, just like Superiority Dice.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I really like the Guardian Spirits barbarian, it can be re-skinned in multiple ways. They could be fallen comrades haunting the last survivor of a military unit (who now has anger issues ie ptsd). They could be minor gods worshiped by someone, or other similar spirits, instead of the ghosts of ancestors. Etc etc.

Plus I do like the notion of the barbarian hindering foes.

Good points!

The Lunging property should probably just say that you can attack enemies 10ft further away than normal. Give it to rapiers, one handed spears, maybe a couple others. Depends on if I make greatswords Reach or not.

Staff is still tough, though, because I also think most two-handed swords should have reach, and I definately see the quarterstaff as a full bo staff, not a jo or hanbo staff. But even a jo staff would have the Lunging property, in this set of houserules.

Perhaps versatile weapons of the right length and balance have Lunging when used 1hand, and instead have Reach when used 2hand. I feel like my players can grok that.

I'm sorry, but that's wrong. Using a sword two handed *shortens* your reach, not extends it (unless I'm not understanding how lunging works in game)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I really like the Guardian Spirits barbarian, it can be re-skinned in multiple ways. They could be fallen comrades haunting the last survivor of a military unit (who now has anger issues ie ptsd). They could be minor gods worshiped by someone, or other similar spirits, instead of the ghosts of ancestors. Etc etc.

Plus I do like the notion of the barbarian hindering foes.



I'm sorry, but that's wrong. Using a sword two handed *shortens* your reach, not extends it (unless I'm not understanding how lunging works in game)

A versatile weapon will usually be too end heavy to gain reach with one handed, without making a long, lunge, motion, and then recovering. You couldn't "threaten" the same area you can attack, and it makes sense to use a bonus action to represent that lunge and recover.

Used two handed, its still long enough to reach, but there is no need to "lunge and recover", and you can threaten just like with a spear.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Although I unfortunately don't do it anymore, I trained about 3 years with arming swords, bastard swords and long swords. With a two handed grip you lose reach, period. What you do gain is faster blade control.

Even without a lunge, you reach further one handed. If you don't believe me... grab some kind of stick. Put some kind of marker on it to show where the hilt should be. Grab it one handed and see how far you can touch ahead of you. Now, *without moving your feet* grab it two handed and see. You lose 4-6 inches of reach. The reason is because of hip/shoulder twisting.

Heck, you don't even need a stick, you don't even need to get up. Extend both arm in front of you, grasping an imaginary sword with two hands. Now trust your right shoulder forward, and observes what happens to your hands. They separate.

(please don't punch your monitor while doing so ;) )
 



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