Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Sidekicks


The main reason why a two-player party doesn't just hire an NPC with actual class levels to accompany them is because that's an entire character sheet, with their own resources to track and manage. This approach doesn't solve that problem at all.

Perhaps this is my disconnect with the folks who think this is too complex. I've never had a problem with players having two characters. It's not an issue at my tables. Unless the player is a complete noob, it's usually the role playing of two characters that makes having two characters an issue. Having to juggle the mechanics of two PCs is not twice as hard as using one. People do it all the time.

What I like about this is these characters don't have the full complement of PC powers. It's obvious they aren't there to be in the limelight. (I do agree the spellcaster should not be a 9-level spellcaster. That's not an NPC. But that's easily tweaked. Besides, an NPC spellcaster is always more difficult to deal with no matter who is running it, DM or PC.)
 

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how these classes are simplified in any way. The degree to which the Warrior looks like the Champion is very high.

I was expecting these to be more in line with 3E-style simplified NPC classes, but these are just giving class levels to a monster.
Considering the champion is the simplest subclass in the entirety of the game, that seems like an unfair example.
 

Inchoroi

Adventurer
So I could throw away my subclass and make the existing Beast Companion actually useful in combat ...

... Or I could be a superior Ranger subclass such as a Gloom Stalker or Horizon Walker with an animal companion that's pretty much going to be as good anyway.

Yeah, let's not pretend this does anything else besides completely render the Beast Master obsolete. Which I don't necessarily have a problem with, mind you, because I never thought the Beast Master should've been an entire subclass to begin with, or at least not in its current concept. But it is what it is.

One of my players is considering exactly this, now.
 

Considering the champion is the simplest subclass in the entirety of the game, that seems like an unfair example.
The champion is the simplest of the PC classes, but it still represents the mechanical bulk of an entire player character. There's no reason why any non-player tag-along should be anywhere near that degree of complexity.
 

The champion is the simplest of the PC classes, but it still represents the mechanical bulk of an entire player character. There's no reason why any non-player tag-along should be anywhere near that degree of complexity.
No, it doesn't represent the mechanical bulk of an entire character. "Entire characters" range from multiclassed spellcasters to clerics to monks to whatever have you.

There are worlds of difference between the champion and literally every player option in the game.
 

JPL

Adventurer
Here's the Monster Manual list for Challenge 1 . . . What looks good? The wee baby dragons, for sure . . .

Animated armor
Brass dragon wyrmling
Brown bear
Bugbear
Copper dragon wyrmling
Death dog
Dire wolf
Dryad
Duergar
Faerie dragon (young)
Fire snake
Ghoul
Giant eagle
Giant hyena
Giant octopus
Giant spider
Giant toad
Giant vulture
Goblin boss
Half-ogre
Harpy
Hippogriff
Imp
Kuo-toa whip
Lion
Quadrone
Quaggoth spore servant
Quasit
Scarecrow
Specter
Spy
Swarm of quippers
Thri-kreen
Tiger
Yuan-ti pureblood
 

No, it doesn't represent the mechanical bulk of an entire character. "Entire characters" range from multiclassed spellcasters to clerics to monks to whatever have you.

There are worlds of difference between the champion and literally every player option in the game.

I believe that the point made is that on a 1 for 1 basis, a sidekick should not be as complex as a full pc even one as simple as the champion (Besides that, it might be fair to say that the warrior sidekicks are more complex than champions with the additional stuff they're getting- looking at you, Danger Sense and Battle Readiness).

Basically if, when you ask yourself, "would I rather play a sidekick than [insert class here]," and the answer is "yes", there is probably an issue to be addressed.
 

No, it doesn't represent the mechanical bulk of an entire character. "Entire characters" range from multiclassed spellcasters to clerics to monks to whatever have you.

There are worlds of difference between the champion and literally every player option in the game.
It's a bulk of an entire character, not any player character.

The difference between a champion and a multi-caster is pretty significant, but there's no reason why any non-player character should approach even the complexity of a champion. We're literally talking about a character that doesn't have a player. Nobody benefits from it having more complexity than is absolutely necessary. Complexity only adds to the difficulty of the DM running the character, on top of everything else they have to do.
 

epithet

Explorer
For your sidekick to cast a level 9 spell, you would have to recruit him early and then level up 17 times. I think by that point the poor bastard has earned his epic spell slot, having followed you around for that long.
 


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