D&D 5E [+]What Characters Are You Excited to Build?

Rocker26a

Explorer
I do like the snowball thing, and the Tasha’s Favored Foe ability has that a little, since the language of it means that you can reasonably conclude that each turn you can add another d4 to your damage, so round 1 is 1d4, round 2 is 2d4, etc.
I did the math back when it came out though, and it still doesn’t outperform Hunter’s Mark on average.

Exactly, they were close with Tasha's Favoured Foe. But they were still too safe with it! Can do it as a part of your attack and it gets better at nice levels, but. Still concentration, still single target, a reduced base damage die from Hunter's Mark even! And then as you say, even if you interpret it as an additional die each turn (which lets be real, they almost certainly didn't intend and they just weren't explicit enough), it's not even better than just casting the damn spell all this has spiralled off from! Phooey.

Honestly I think the bard would have a better niche if they aimed a little more toward the mytho-historical Celtic and Germanic bards.

The theming of Bards is pretty scattershot in general, I think you can easily feel stuck between things whatever you lean into. It was only the other day that I found out, rules as written, Bards can only use musical instruments as their spellcasting focus, even explicitly non-musical subclasses like Eloquence or Spirits or whatever. Swords is only saved by it's starting feature letting you use a martial melee weapon.

For instance, rather than favored enemy or Hunter’s Mark, Banes that reduce the potency of a type of monster or make it more vulnerable, like making it hard and painful for a creature to fly if they fail the save when you hit them. You know how to make it easier to kill dragons because you studied them, and you know how to craft Dragon’s Bane which makes the target’s breath weapon deal less damage and reduces its speed, especially with special movement types like flying. Troll’s Bane would shut down healing and regeneration and make the target take extra damage from fire and acid. Etc. useful against many creatures, but especially potent against one, and it makes the whole party more effective.

I think those are cool ideas! You may be suggesting more along the lines of features than spells with these, but I've long believed that a few spells comparable to the Smites would be a great addition. They'd add a degree of legitimacy to the Ranger's role that they otherwise lack.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Poisoner's not worth it, and probably won't have the "Background" tag for 1st level feats that UA8 mentioned. Instead, take Alert. Alert is a double layer insurance that you get to go first on that all important first round. It both adds your Proficiency Bonus to Initiative, and lets you swap Initiative counts with another party member if you roll low and they roll high.
No I’m good thanks.

Unless I know the DM is gonna be chill about me crafting poisons a lot, I’m going to go with the stockpile of 2d8 damage poisons and being able to apply them as a bonus action, which will apply to vastly more rounds of combat than a feat that only helps with the first round.

Also tbh on another look, the assassin subclass is at best even with the 2014 version. Extra damage equal to your rogue level once per combat encounter is absolute garbage, literally a ribbon. Only advantage on initiative keeps it from being dramatically worse than original assassinate. I forgot that assassinate and bonus proficiencies is all you get at level 3.

Ugh. Hopefully it improves before publication. If not, my group will just use the 2014 assassinate feature with the UA change to not need surprise, or I’ll go back to ignoring the subclass and just playing my actually competent Assassin class.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Exactly, they were close with Tasha's Favoured Foe. But they were still too safe with it! Can do it as a part of your attack and it gets better at nice levels, but. Still concentration, still single target, a reduced base damage die from Hunter's Mark even! And then as you say, even if you interpret it as an additional die each turn (which lets be real, they almost certainly didn't intend and they just weren't explicit enough), it's not even better than just casting the damn spell all this has spiralled off from! Phooey.
Yeah. I was super disappointed by that feature.
The theming of Bards is pretty scattershot in general, I think you can easily feel stuck between things whatever you lean into. It was only the other day that I found out, rules as written, Bards can only use musical instruments as their arcane focus, even explicitly non-musical subclasses like Eloquence or Spirits or whatever. Swords is only saved by it's starting feature letting you use a martial melee weapon.
Yeah 5e Bards are potent, and if I ignore the things I dislike about them and play fast and loose with minor rules like Spellcasting focus, it’s reasonably fun to play, but IMO it’s just not a Bard in any meaningful way, Bardic Inspiration sucks, it doesn’t need so much casting, and JoAT is kinda wasted on the class.
It should be the class that gets super limited use of 6+ level spells, and give bardic way more juice.
I think those are cool ideas! You may be suggesting more along the lines of features than spells with these, but I've long believed that a few spells comparable to the Smites would be a great addition. They'd add a degree of legitimacy to the Ranger's role that they otherwise lack.
Doing the Banes as spells would actually be really cool. You could load up the right tools for the job ahead, which is very Ranger.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
Yeah. I was super disappointed by that feature.

The OCFs in general were a let-down for me. Primal Awareness was another sticking point, just something about expressing Ranger's connection to nature solely through spells irked me. I just feel like if anything should be innate, it should be that.

Yeah 5e Bards are potent, and if I ignore the things I dislike about them and play fast and loose with minor rules like Spellcasting focus, it’s reasonably fun to play, but IMO it’s just not a Bard in any meaningful way, Bardic Inspiration sucks, it doesn’t need so much casting, and JoAT is kinda wasted on the class.
It should be the class that gets super limited use of 6+ level spells, and give bardic way more juice.

Just from what I've seen, that seems to be a big part of why people took to College of Eloquence so favourably, gives Bardic Inspiration some more application and a bit more insurance so you can be more liberal with it's use.

Doing the Banes as spells would actually be really cool. You could load up the right tools for the job ahead, which is very Ranger.

And I think that somewhat lessens the trouble that's always been there with some iterations of Favoured Enemy/Terrain, ones that let you swap them out when convenient as opposed to rigidly enforcing them as a part of your character. It tends to become like "well if you can always change to the creature type/environment that you're currently encountering/adventuring through, it's basically meaningless that you can pick and choose at all". Whereas having a range ha of spells to suit a variety of threats, but it's incumbent on you doing your Ranger-y thing, considering what you know of the dangers ahead of you and preparing accordingly (and it doesn't require you foregoing any aspect of your character's backstory or origin to do), I think that suits a lot better. Y'know, like Gerald in the Witch or whatever.

Like I've always thought there's no great reason for Ranger to be a known spells caster, beyond WOTC just not giving up on that mechanic entirely and somebody's gotta be one, but. I'd even let Rangers be exceptionally good prepared spells casters, let them swap out (a handful of?) spells on short rests, while they're doing their meditating.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The OCFs in general were a let-down for me. Primal Awareness was another sticking point, just something about expressing Ranger's connection to nature solely through spells irked me. I just feel like if anything should be innate, it should be that.
Yeah I mean I like the later level ones, because Hide In Plain Sight is garbage, but like why not just describe the effect? I get it, it’s simpler to have spells, but the Ranger shouldn’t need a spell to read the land or the behavior of an animal.
Just from what I've seen, that seems to be a big part of why people took to College of Eloquence so favourably, gives Bardic Inspiration some more application and a bit more insurance so you can be more liberal with it's use.
Yeah for sure. Being able to get more out BI is great.
I sometimes feel like the one good part of the 3.5 bard gets thrown out with a lackluster class that requires multiple splats and decent system mastery to get up to the level of a fairly effective wizard.

But Inspire XYZ were excellent. Why not let the bard have effects that require some kind of recitation, are used as a bonus action, and everyone that can hear the bard can be affected for an amount of time depending on the “song”, like combat stuff is mostly 1 minute, travel stuff might be 24 hours, and anything in between depending on the effect? If we must limit it beyond that give it an “up to Y” limit of targets.
And I think that somewhat lessens the trouble that's always been there with some iterations of Favoured Enemy/Terrain, ones that let you swap them out when convenient as opposed to rigidly enforcing them as a part of your character. It tends to become like "well if you can always change to the creature type/environment that you're currently encountering/adventuring through, it's basically meaningless that you can pick and choose at all". Whereas having a range ha of spells to suit a variety of threats, but it's incumbent on you doing your Ranger-y thing, considering what you know of the dangers ahead of you and preparing accordingly (and it doesn't require you foregoing any aspect of your character's backstory or origin to do), I think that suits a lot better. Y'know, like Gerald in the Witch or whatever.
😂 Not gonna lie you got me with that.

But yes agreed 100%

I do think that the most recent UA Natural Explorer is fine, and gives the Ranger back some tie to nature, which it obviously needs to have.
Like I've always thought there's no great reason for Ranger to be a known spells caster, beyond WOTC just not giving up on that mechanic entirely and somebody's gotta be one, but. I'd even let Rangers be exceptionally good prepared spells casters, let them swap out (a handful of?) spells on short rests, while they're doing their meditating.
Rangers should be prepared absolutely. It’s totally backwards to make them known spells. Ranger and Paladin are totally backwards on Spellcasting.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I still want to play some concepts in 5e! Like I really want to build the Frog knight character from Final fantasy(EDIT: Chrono Trigger), but not as a noble paladin who's been transformed into a frog humanoid, but as a grung with delusions of heroism - a hexblade/college of sword.

His magic is heavily water/swamp based. Shield is a temporary bubble, Eldritch blast is his tongue slapping people at range etc...
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
I’ve suggested the same thing before. Cant speak for @Zardnaar but what I suggested to replace favored enemy was basically the features of the Hunter Ranger.

But, in the end I don’t love the idea because I do think that there should be a “basic” Ranger subclass. Idk maybe the Hunter gets all three options instead of the base class’ one of three.

Thematically I can see Ranger and Paladin sharing space, sure. Mechanically I’d prefer to see them diverge a bit more than they currently do, but I get where you’re coming from.
I do like the snowball thing, and the Tasha’s Favored Foe ability has that a little, since the language of it means that you can reasonably conclude that each turn you can add another d4 to your damage, so round 1 is 1d4, round 2 is 2d4, etc.
I did the math back when it came out though, and it still doesn’t outperform Hunter’s Mark on average.

I’d love to see something where maybe you do wis mod extra damage per hit if the target is below half HP, so a Hunter could at least stack that with the “do an extra die of damage if the target isn’t at full HP” thing.

If only they’d move the bard further from “weird Jack of all trades wizard” and closer to the most knowledgable of the experts, and use reduced Spellcasting to expand the power of Bardic Inspiration and then give a level 1 or 2 choice between JoAT and a more “I sing and I know things” feature (like a minor legend lore type thing). Honestly I think the bard would have a better niche if they aimed a little more toward the mytho-historical Celtic and Germanic bards.

Sure, my point is simply that I think the design focus should be skill and matching thematics and mechanics, with the warrior combat prowess less of a priority.

Of course my rewrite would give Rangers Jack of all trades rather than Bards having it, and focus more on features that make the whole party deadlier.

For instance, rather than favored enemy or Hunter’s Mark, Banes that reduce the potency of a type of monster or make it more vulnerable, like making it hard and painful for a creature to fly if they fail the save when you hit them. You know how to make it easier to kill dragons because you studied them, and you know how to craft Dragon’s Bane which makes the target’s breath weapon deal less damage and reduces its speed, especially with special movement types like flying. Troll’s Bane would shut down healing and regeneration and make the target take extra damage from fire and acid. Etc. useful against many creatures, but especially potent against one, and it makes the whole party more effective.

Well built hunter Ranger was fine imho early on. Power crept out by gloomstalker.

Not always clear what to do and how to build it and a slight buff.

Ranger at least has been good on several editions.

Monks never been that great if they overtune it not a big deal imho. Hell they overturned the charisma classes.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I'd invite you to do so, I still think it sucks and is lame (despite still somehow being among the least worst iterations of the class)!

I hate the fact that it turned Conjure Barrage + Volley into class features! Like even if those spells were a part of the fantasy of Ranger for me, I'd still think that was a cop-out! It irks me that we're in the paddling pool of "oh have hunter's mark for free as your primary class feature (but it doesn't get any better until 20th level)"!

Bah.
Whereas I am in exactly the opposite boat.

If they're things you are specifically meant to be using, as part of basic play, they should be class features and not spells. Frankly, the Ranger shouldn't be a spellcaster at all, but that's an entirely separate can of tatzelwurms.

Turning every class feature under the sun into spells is genuinely one of the worst things 5.0 did, and I'm very glad to see them backing off of that policy, rather than the idiotic attempt in one of the playtest documents to go even further (making WARLOCK PACTS into spells, for God's sake!!)
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I still want to play some concepts in 5e! Like I really want to build the Frog knight character from Final fantasy, but not as a noble paladin who's been transformed into a frog humanoid, but as a grung with delusions of heroism - a hexblade/college of sword.

His magic is heavily water/swamp based. Shield is a temporary bubble, Eldritch blast is his tongue slapping people at range etc...
I believe you're thinking of Frog from Chrono Trigger.

Monks never been that great if they overtune it not a big deal imho. Hell they overturned the charisma classes.
It was perfectly fine in 4e. Quite good, even, since the Full Discipline powers actually gave you interesting things to do with your Move action, something not commonly seen.
 

Rocker26a

Explorer
Whereas I am in exactly the opposite boat.

If they're things you are specifically meant to be using, as part of basic play, they should be class features and not spells.
Frankly, the Ranger shouldn't be a spellcaster at all, but that's an entirely separate can of tatzelwurms.

Turning every class feature under the sun into spells is genuinely one of the worst things 5.0 did, and I'm very glad to see them backing off of that policy, rather than the idiotic attempt in one of the playtest documents to go even further (making WARLOCK PACTS into spells, for God's sake!!)

I do actually agree with this point in general, just the Conjure Barrage + Volley thing is a bad example where I hate it. Even if Conjure Barrage + Volley weren't spells and just things Rangers could do, I'd still be annoyed. I dislike Rangers being pushed into being exclusively bow and arrow guys. If you don't use a bow and arrow, you have no class features at those levels. (They already changed it so whatever but you get what I'm saying hopefully)
But yeah, agree in general. See; my thing with Primal Awareness. It's lame to have to cast spells to interact with nature as a Ranger, I reckon. Even if you get them for free, even if it's a free daily cast.
 

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