Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Survey: Sidekicks

From: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/survey-sidekicks:

Take our latest Unearthed Arcana survey.
Last time, Unearthed Arcana gave you a straightforward way to turn a creature into your sidekick and have that companion level up with you. Now that you’ve had a chance to read and ponder these options, we’re ready for you to give us your feedback about them in the following survey. This survey will remain open for about three weeks.
This Is Playtest Content
The material in Unearthed Arcana is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game design and editing. They are not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Adventurers League events.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I rates most of it highly, with the exception of the warrior's extra attack and bonus proficiency, expert's expertise and reliable talent, and the spellcaster's magical recovery and buffed up cantrips.

I also don't think the spellcaster should get as many spells as it does, and should start with two cantrips.

However, I also told them that I would take these rules as they are if they were proposed for a 5e DnD Lite module where the game is slimmed down and simplified.
 

I haven't filled it out yet, as I want to put a little more thought into it.

Right now, my big thought is that it would have been better to have separated out side kick stuff so that Bob the apprentice wizard, Fido the dog, and Defiler-of-Pixies the wizard's new "best friend" quasit familiar all don't have the same options.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I haven't filled it out yet, as I want to put a little more thought into it.

Right now, my big thought is that it would have been better to have separated out side kick stuff so that Bob the apprentice wizard, Fido the dog, and Defiler-of-Pixies the wizard's new "best friend" quasit familiar all don't have the same options.

I actually think the fact those are not separated out is one of the best aspects of this experiment, actually.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I haven't filled it out yet, as I want to put a little more thought into it.

Right now, my big thought is that it would have been better to have separated out side kick stuff so that Bob the apprentice wizard, Fido the dog, and Defiler-of-Pixies the wizard's new "best friend" quasit familiar all don't have the same options.

Not sure what you mean? Restrict these to certain types of creatures?
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
I rated the basic "overview" rules pretty highly -- level up when the PCs level up is great; gaining extra hit dice, ASIs and proficiency bonus is also nice and straightforward.

But I slammed the 3 classes pretty hard. They are exactly the opposite of what I want in a sidekick. The sidekick rules should be downright boring. They should be mostly passive bonuses to keep the sidekick survivable and relevant at higher levels, plus some useful abilities that enhance the main PC somehow. For example, I like the warrior ability that gives +1 AC, and the spellcaster ability that gives +mod to cantrip damage, and I really like the expert ability where, when you help someone, the person you are helping gets +1d6. That kind of stuff is pretty cool. But stuff like Extra Attack and Second Wind and Expertise and friggin' 9th level spells belong in the hands of the main characters -- the PCs -- not their supporting cast.
 



Sure it is: low intelligence creatures being limited to Warrior makes sense.

I am not saying that Fido should be casting spells, but it does seem like there could have been a beast variant on the expert tract (trained animal or something like that). In addition to the time-honored gimmick of "I trained my pet to help me steal stuff" (I mean the trailers for Aladdin are in theaters now, so it is kind of timely), dogs and pigs can be trained to be better trackers than untrained animals, and I am sure there are a few other things that I haven't thought of.

For a third tract, there could be something like a tiefling or aasimar (or even sorcerer) (Fido discovers he is 1/8 blink dog or something), but powers rather than spells. If dogs had wish spells the world would be drowning in bacon......
 

CTurbo

Explorer
I love the idea of sidekicks, love how streamlined they are, and that they can level up and get more powerful.

There are a few things I would change though.

I don't like that the Warrior class gets 3 extra attacks. I think they should get 1 extra attack, but have some kind of scaling damage bonus similar to the Barbarian's rage damage or the Brute's bonus damage. They would need a new level 11 and level 20 ability though, and no I'm not sure what. Maybe a not dying when you drop to 0 hp ability, or are there too many of those? Maybe a bit of hp regen at 11 and more at 20? Too good? I do like the idea of it being defensive.

I don't like that the Expert class gets a second attack. It just feels really out of place. I would replace it with Uncanny Dodge. I don't think this class needs ANY bonus damage at all. Damage is not what this sidekick is about.

I don't like that the Spellcaster class gets high level spells. I think they should be set up like half casters topping out at 5th level spells, but with cantrips, and have their spells recharge on a short rest. That's really the only thing I'd change here.
 

For familiars (which I don't recall being mentioned in the UA), the sidekick things could work, but I think all the Big Evils would make the familiars be experts (focus on charisma) so that they could persuade the damned fools....I mean mortal "masters" to do things that the Big Evils want.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Fido the dog is already restricted to one sidekick option, unless someone casts awaken on him. So obviously the current list of sidekick options isn't a good fit for the beasties.

I am not saying that Fido should be casting spells, but it does seem like there could have been a beast variant on the expert tract (trained animal or something like that). In addition to the time-honored gimmick of "I trained my pet to help me steal stuff" (I mean the trailers for Aladdin are in theaters now, so it is kind of timely), dogs and pigs can be trained to be better trackers than untrained animals, and I am sure there are a few other things that I haven't thought of.

For a third tract, there could be something like a tiefling or aasimar (or even sorcerer) (Fido discovers he is 1/8 blink dog or something), but powers rather than spells. If dogs had wish spells the world would be drowning in bacon......

I'm fine with just allowing beasts to take the expert class, honestly.
 

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