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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

Teemu

Adventurer
If these capstones are intended to feel a little overpowered, you’re gonna need to amp up the overpoweredness a whole lot more! The bard capstone is basically a subtle mass suggestion, but with a long casting time… that’s overpowered at level 20? Once per day turn a miss into a hit? Gain commoner followers…? These are pretty weak for something that’s supposed to make you feel a little too powerful.
 

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dave2008

Legend
If these capstones are intended to feel a little overpowered, you’re gonna need to amp up the overpoweredness a whole lot more! The bard capstone is basically a subtle mass suggestion, but with a long casting time… that’s overpowered at level 20? Once per day turn a miss into a hit? Gain commoner followers…? These are pretty weak for something that’s supposed to make you feel a little too powerful.
Some feel suitably OP to me. The Archdruid comes to mind.
 

Teemu

Adventurer
Some feel suitably OP to me. The Archdruid comes to mind.
Really? If the capstone is intended to be something different, not just numbers, and something that you’re not going to keep for very long since the campaign is likely to wrap up, why not go way beyond what the rules offer?

What if a druid could change the climate of a region once per week? What if a cleric could convert an entire nation once? A fighter could strike the earth and crack the continental plate? Something way beyond what you can normally do.
 

dave2008

Legend
Really? If the capstone is intended to be something different, not just numbers, and something that you’re not going to keep for very long since the campaign is likely to wrap up, why not go way beyond what the rules offer?
Yes, I feel like that is what the Archdruid does.

Now I want to be clear, I am not in favor of OP capstones. I am developing my own epic rules (post lvl 20 play) and that is where I believe OP content belongs, not in capstones.
What if a druid could change the climate of a region once per week? What if a cleric could convert an entire nation once? A fighter could strike the earth and crack the continental plate? Something way beyond what you can normally do.
What if? That, to me, is the realm of post lvl 20 play. But everyone is different. If you want a more OP capstone you are free to house rule want you want, just as I am free to nerf them as I want.
 

Faolyn

Hero
If these capstones are intended to feel a little overpowered, you’re gonna need to amp up the overpoweredness a whole lot more! The bard capstone is basically a subtle mass suggestion, but with a long casting time… that’s overpowered at level 20? Once per day turn a miss into a hit? Gain commoner followers…? These are pretty weak for something that’s supposed to make you feel a little too powerful.
o5e mass suggestion affects up to 12 creatures and lasts for one day. This affects 50 creatures and lasts for 6 days.
 


Teemu

Adventurer
What actually really sells the mass suggestion is that there is NO SAVE.

so it’s got power, I just think it’s awfully clunky.
There is a save, but it’s made against the initial performance. I think it could be a 1 minute performance and charmed without a save, followed by a 9th-level mass suggestion, no save because you need a minute anyway, and this is intended to be a capstone. Whether it’s 12 or 50 people rarely makes a big difference. 50 or 1,000, yeah, that’s a difference, but not a dozen vs 40 or 80.
 


Kozos

Explorer
Hmmm. Have your removed the fourth attack from the fighter or have you moved it to 17th level?
Also the ranger one feels a bit underwhelming? Perhaps let you keep one elemental as a companion permanently that gets resurrected/changed on a long or short rest?
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
Is the intent that the capstone for each class is basically balanced with all the others, because right now these are definitely not.

To echo what some others have said, herald is quite weak. It's basically a weakened version of death ward, which is a 4th level spell and even on the paladin list.

Contrast that with warlock, which give a better version of a 9th level spell. (Preminant forsight! Yes Please). plus enemies are vulnerable to a damage type of your choice! Either one of those by itself is super good and way better than the herald's ability. Both of them together is pretty insane.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Some feel suitably OP to me. The Archdruid comes to mind.
I think Capstone abilities should evoke flavour rather than just eschew mechanics and while unlimited wildshape is nice , I'm not sure the Archdruid is all that OP really. Sure they get to kill or ressurect one creature per day and gain a high powered alt-fireball. up to 4d8 damage to someone within 20 or 30 feet

But I'm looking at the Storm of Vengeance Spell which is a flavourful 'weather control' effect, has a 360 ft radius and does (round 1) 2d6 thunder damage (deafened), (round 2) 1d6 acid damage to all creatures, (round 3) 10d6 lightning damage to 6 creatures, (round 4) 2d6 bludgeoning damage and then turns the area into difficult terrain, nerfs ranged weapons, becomes a severe distraction to spell concentration and causes 1d6 cold damage (rnds 5 - 10)

a 20th Level Druid invoking a natural disaster - changing the terrain around them as they batter their enemies would be an epic capstone to me, more so than just a strong gust of wind, exploding clumps of dirt or a giant snowball.

So put me in the camp of wanting the capstones to be more powerful but also flavourful (eg the Berserkers Garrison of followers is flavourful and potentially useful, the clerics is flavourful but being commoners and not garrisoned (in a temple) not so useful)
 
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