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Level Up (A5E) What's In A Capstone?

A capstone feature represents the highest point of your adventuring career: that special ability you get when you reach 20th level in your chosen class. It’s a reward for countless adventures — and, of course, you usually get it just as your adventuring career ends.

With that in mind, we wanted our capstone class features to be something special. Not an interation of a previous ability. Not a numerical improvement in something you can already do. Something new, something special, something to strive for. Something big.

Capstones are intended to feel a little overpowered. After all, you’ll only get to use it for a short time. This is where you get to show off!

The below features are playtest material. With the Kickstarter only 10 weeks away, this will be the final public playtest. As always, we fully expect you to not like some of this stuff — that’s the point of playtesting. It lets us adjust course based on the feedback we get.

All capstone features are gained in their relevant class at 20th level.


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When you have read the playtest document, please fill out the playtest survey. Thank you!

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I do like the Beserkers followers, its very Conan especially when they are implicitly Garrisoned somewhere convinient (unlike the inconvience of the Clerics tail of commoners)

I would have liked to see a more Beastmaster like cap for Ranger although I suppose the Stampede ability could be seen as Tarzan calling the Elephants :)

still considering the others …
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Oh man. The paladin looks great! But put me down for an Archdruid.

Some folks will probably say that it doesn't matter. So few characters ever make it to the level cap...and they take so long to get there, and they won't be played for very long once they do.

I disagree, though. I think that the "capstone" for any character class should be a springboard for the next stage of their career, the next chapter in the D&D campaign. I would have new "Epic Subclasses" that get chosen at 20th level (or whatever the level cap is set at), which gives them the abilities they need for adventuring at levels 20 and up.

BECMI had the Immortals. 3.5E had the Epic Level Handbook. Level-Up could have Epic Subclasses.
 


Faolyn

Hero
Questions and comments!

Adepts: If you combine these two abilities--spending 1ex. to change your MA die to a d12 and 5ex to do max damage--does this mean that, since if you roll a 12 on this MA die you get to roll a second MA die and therefore add 24 damage to the total?

Bard: Nice! Very superstar here.

Berserker: This reminds me--are you doing your own version of the Epic Boons from the DMG? Doesn't really matter, but this is a neat ability. I imagine the book will go into detail about what the followers are actually like, statwise.

Cleric: Tell us what to think for ourselves, oh Shepherd!

Druid: Is Seen is a type of component now? I can't recall if you said that before. Also wow, yeah, Archdruids have some power now. Almost no components are needed, insta-kill and super-raise abilities 1/day (do they really need true resurrection? Raise dead isn't enough?), and super-elemental creation? Day-um.

Fighter: Have we heard about Maneuver Mastery before? Does this mean you know every maneuver in the book, or just the ones from certain traditions? I'm assuming if it's the latter, then you'd either have to learn all or most of the maneuvers from a particular tradition to Master it. Also, I like the Superior Accuracy trait.

I'm also interested in the picture that goes with it. Does that illustrate a particular fighter archetype?

Herald: While very nicely flavored, it seems awfully weak in comparison to the other capstones since it's unlikely that getting killed in this manner will happen very often. Honestly, it would still feel a bit weak if they came back at half or full hp because it's so unlikely to happen. (And let's face it: at 20th level, if you actually get killed, the killing blow is as likely to be 51+ damage as it is to be 50 or less.) This feels like they should have an extra ability in addition to this. Maybe something that lets them do extra Smite damage, or perhaps their Strength or other score should increase like the Berserker's does.

Marshal: Interesting abilities to choose from (yes, I know this was in the playtest packet). I eagerly await the info the books have on strongholds.

Ranger: You probably want to phrase the bit "creature of that element with CR 7 or lower is drawn to your presence and becomes your loyal companion" as "an elemental of CR 7 or lower." Since you brought up wood and ice in the druid section, I'm hopeful that we'll get to see more non-typical elementals in the MM.

Rogue: TIL I am a 20th-level rogue, since people often fail to spot me even when I'm just sitting there. Also, skill mastery? Nice.

Sorcerer: Your spellchecker exploded on ya. Appropriate, considering their other ability.

Warlock: I had to reread this one to make sure I got it. Necrotic is the default, but it doesn't have to stay that way. I would have made force the default, since you made EB a class feature. Highest Arcanum seems very cool and flavorful.

Wizard: No hit point reduction with Greater Intensity? Now that's an interesting tease for the base ability, which I imagine comes at level 11 or higher. Hey, @Steampunkette, take note of this for your S&S world. Also, true seeing sans seeing invisibility? Very interesting--plus makes the see invisible spell potentially quite useful even at this high a level (and frees up the slot you no longer need to spend on true seeing).
 

Darkwynters

Explorer
Maybe when herald is killed, they release a holy fireball! I agree, 50 HP of damage is a little small and maybe they come back after the battle once per long rest. Seems unfair to make a player wait a couple of sessions to get their beloved herald back.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Maybe when herald is killed, they release a holy fireball! I agree, 50 HP of damage is a little small and maybe they come back after the battle once per long rest. Seems unfair to make a player wait a couple of sessions to get their beloved herald back.
You misread the ability. They come back in 1d4 rounds. They then can't use the ability again for a month.
 




Darkwynters

Explorer
Ah! So Sin’shee the adept hits an opponent with her 1d6 fists (just using the 10th level 1d6 for the example) and uses Perfect Strike would get 12 dmg. Double max damage!
 

(Small typo in the intro: "not an interation.")

Herald seems oddly underpowered compared to the rest, at least assuming that the game still has the usual access to resurrection magic. Coming back with 1 hp mid-combat seems to invite a disappointing flicker of consciousness before being knocked again, having never gotten to do something. I have a soft spot for paladins, but I'd suggest "Once-per-month when you would be reduced to 0 hit points or otherwise die, you may defiantly stay up. For the next 1d4 rounds you cannot be reduced below 1 HP, but during this time you also cannot regain hit points, and at the end of this time you drop to 0 HP."

With Rogue, hiding as a reaction in plain sight is neat, but forcing them to stay immobile is a bit less fun. Maybe let them remain invisible until the end of their next turn unless they attack, so they have a chance to move to cover.
 


Stalker0

Legend
Off the cuff I’d say Warlocks capstone is insanely good, easily the best. All monsters are now vulnerable to my parties fire damage, and I have advantage on almost all d20 rolls, yes please. In contrast….poor poor sorcerer why are you always so ignored? Seriously the warlocks one is crazy strong and way more flavorful than the sorcerer

Wizard has nice flavor. The only thing that make sit worthy is it can penetrate most walls, providing some level of x ray vision at will which can be very very useful. Without that it would be weak

The adept provides for the ultimate single round damage, but once again just gives the class new ways to nova it’s whole load and then be a weak fighter until the next short rest.

The bard one is confusing, the effect lasts for 6 days but you can extend it by 1d4 rounds…i guess to get off that mass suggestion? There’s some neat stuff here got it feels a bit much, could use some trimming.

does the cleric still get an automatic divine intervention at some point? If not this capstone is bad compared to that.

herald one is neat, though not overly powerful for this level, but it feels epic and that’s the most important part.

The Marshall just copies the Paladin, but it also means the two together could grant a +10 to saves, effectively removing saving throws as even a thing, I really would choose something else here

rogue is decent.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
Looking forward to the first of October when this kicks off. Will the pdf be available soon after it ends or a little wait? This might be a physical and pdf backing for me.
 

dave2008

Legend
Oh man. The paladin looks great! But put me down for an Archdruid.

Some folks will probably say that it doesn't matter. So few characters ever make it to the level cap...and they take so long to get there, and they won't be played for very long once they do.

I disagree, though. I think that the "capstone" for any character class should be a springboard for the next stage of their career, the next chapter in the D&D campaign. I would have new "Epic Subclasses" that get chosen at 20th level (or whatever the level cap is set at), which gives them the abilities they need for adventuring at levels 20 and up.

BECMI had the Immortals. 3.5E had the Epic Level Handbook. Level-Up could have Epic Subclasses.
They did a survey early on in the process and the desire for epic / immortal rules ranked fairly low. It is not something that will be included in the initial LevelUp books.
 

dave2008

Legend
No, double dice plus double modifiers.

I have a personal houserule where your first die is maxed out, to avoid having crits where both dice roll really low.
No, by RAW you only double the dice (bold emphasis mine):

Critical Hits
When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack’s damage against the target. Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together. Then add any relevant modifiers as normal. To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.

For example, if you score a critical hit with a Dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the Attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.
 


Faolyn

Hero
No, by RAW you only double the dice (bold emphasis mine):

Critical Hits
When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack’s damage against the target. Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together. Then add any relevant modifiers as normal. To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.

For example, if you score a critical hit with a Dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the Attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.
By RAW in Level Up you also double the modifier.

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It was in the Combat playtest.
 

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