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D&D 5E Why do your sidekicks hit better than the PC's??

GreyLord

Hero
So, thinking about the sidekick rules in Tasha's....

You can choose a Warrior as a Sidekick and it can get a +2 to hit. This is not limited to simply when you do a ranged attack (as the fighting style) or limited to a certain amount of times with a random roll (archetype ability), but that they ALWAYS have a +2 to their attack if you choose that option.

It makes no sense to me that the sidekicks get this as an option, or fighting style type idea, whereas PC's do not. In melee, this means except for 3-4 attacks with a certain ability, the Sidekick will ALWAYS hit other things easier than a PC in general given all things equal.

Why isn't something similar allowed for PC's? It seems they are aware that warriors could use a boost to hit better as something to differentiate between the Warrior and others ideas such as a spellcaster or Expert type class (Wizard, sorcerer, Rogue, etc).

So, why such the reticent at allowing Warriors a better hitting ability than other classes in general?
 

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ehren37

Adventurer
IMO, non-casters should have had higher proficiency bonuses over half-casters, who in turn have a higher bonus over casters. Magic takes time to learn, meaning you aren't as good at hitting things or skills.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Warriors will have higher STRs and better magic weapons than non-warriors, so their total attack bonuses to hit with weapons in melee will almost always be better than other characters as they advance in level.

When you are playing your character, you never care how you got your total attack bonus, all that matters is the number. So there's no reason to worry about making sure the individual pieces that comprise the attack bonus "make sense" compared to all the different classes. That's getting way too far into the weeds of number crunching for no appreciable benefit.

If I'm a Fighter with an attack bonus of +7 with my longsword, and the wizard attacks with a +3 with her quarterstaff... it doesn't matter at all which bits make up the +7 and the +3. All that really matters is that the Fighter is better using their weapon than the wizard is.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
IMO, non-casters should have had higher proficiency bonuses over half-casters, who in turn have a higher bonus over casters. Magic takes time to learn, meaning you aren't as good at hitting things or skills.
They had slower attack bonus progressions in much of the playtest, until the decision was made to unify attack bonus and skill bonuses into a single proficiency bonus.
 


Quickleaf

Legend
I suspect it's for three reasons: (1) player classes have much more force multiplier options for their attacks than the sidekick NPC classes, so a +2 to attack will lead to much greater result for a player compared to a sidekick NPC. (2) to provide a consistent sense of the sidekick's contribution for players, to minimize a "this guy's useless" evaluation players might be hasty to make. (3) to keep it simple.
 

OptionalRule

Explorer
So, thinking about the sidekick rules in Tasha's....

You can choose a Warrior as a Sidekick and it can get a +2 to hit. This is not limited to simply when you do a ranged attack (as the fighting style) or limited to a certain amount of times with a random roll (archetype ability), but that they ALWAYS have a +2 to their attack if you choose that option.

It makes no sense to me that the sidekicks get this as an option, or fighting style type idea, whereas PC's do not. In melee, this means except for 3-4 attacks with a certain ability, the Sidekick will ALWAYS hit other things easier than a PC in general given all things equal.

Why isn't something similar allowed for PC's? It seems they are aware that warriors could use a boost to hit better as something to differentiate between the Warrior and others ideas such as a spellcaster or Expert type class (Wizard, sorcerer, Rogue, etc).

So, why such the reticent at allowing Warriors a better hitting ability than other classes in general?
I'm not sure of the utility of looking or comparing on a single ability. Just as monster statblocks have abilities the PCs don't have, it's not about being better, it's about being easier to run quickly. As a whole, sidekicks are much weaker than PCs, having something in one area doesn't change that.
 


Also, barring what I believe is a purely theoretical idea from WotC that people are playing sidekicks as player characters, you're likely to only have a warrior sidekick NPC in your party if your party is hurting for melee damage. If there's a successful fighter PC in the group, any sidekicks will be filling in different gaps instead.

I'm running five campaigns, off and on, and most of them have sidekicks, and they're all pretty much there to fill in gaps (and drag PC bodies out of battle to stabilize them).
 

GreyLord

Hero
Warriors will have higher STRs and better magic weapons than non-warriors, so their total attack bonuses to hit with weapons in melee will almost always be better than other characters as they advance in level.

When you are playing your character, you never care how you got your total attack bonus, all that matters is the number. So there's no reason to worry about making sure the individual pieces that comprise the attack bonus "make sense" compared to all the different classes. That's getting way too far into the weeds of number crunching for no appreciable benefit.

If I'm a Fighter with an attack bonus of +7 with my longsword, and the wizard attacks with a +3 with her quarterstaff... it doesn't matter at all which bits make up the +7 and the +3. All that really matters is that the Fighter is better using their weapon than the wizard is.

With 20 being the highest one can get...not necessarily.

And why would you not GIVE your sidekick the other +3 weapon that you found?

Now, you get a +4 to hit at level 9, with another +5 from your STR, and a +3 weapon for a +12. Your sidekick also has a +4 prof bonus to hit at level 9, with another +5 for their STR (remember, they also get to add to their stats), and a +3 weapon AND a +2 to hit, so they now have +14 to hit.

They also will have 2 attacks as you have two attacks.

There are several PC classes that have worthless bonuses in comparison in the PHB...and a Battlemaster...they are so limited by default that your skills will last one combat...maybe two if you are VERY lucky...while the NPC warrior doesn't have their bonus ever die out.

NPC Warrior will outdo many of the PC warrior classes in many cases...

I don't see why Martials don't get the extra bonuses to hit...

Anyone who thinks a Wizard (or any other class) can't get a 20 STR or DEX is kidding themselves...because 20 is the max, you HAVE to eventually put your stat increases SOMEWHERE if one is not using feats...and not everyone uses feats.

If something is good enough to give to the Sidekicks, it should be good enough to give to PC's (though in theory, one COULD use the sidekick idea as a PC according to Tasha's...which could bring up other interesting questions that are open ended with the rules in there...for example...if I am a Storm Giant PC using a sidekick warrior class...is my STR still limited to 20? and if it is not...when I add stat bonuses...can I get it higher than 30?...sorry...just thinking of the cheese one can do with the Sidekick rules of Tasha's).
 



vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
There's some features of the Sidekicks that are better than some stuff the classes get.

The Helpful + Coordinated Attack + Inspiring Help is just way better than Bardic Inspiration, IMO.

Battle Readiness of the Warrior is super basic yet very appropriate and powerful. Could have been the 6th level fighter feature.

Martial Role could have been a 1st level Fighter feature in Addition to FS.

14th level fighter could gain another FS instead of a floating ASI. There could have been ''Improved FS'' .

Anyway, the advent of the sidekicks gave me some cool features to add to the classes I felt lacking in the PHB, at least.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
It's too keep it simple. Honestly if I were making warriors NPCs, I probably would not have included any abilities you need to track like second wind and indomitable.
Now, you get a +4 to hit at level 9, with another +5 from your STR, and a +3 weapon for a +12. Your sidekick also has a +4 prof bonus to hit at level 9, with another +5 for their STR (remember, they also get to add to their stats), and a +3 weapon AND a +2 to hit, so they now have +14 to hit.
This feels like a very much like a straw-man argument to me, rather than one that is based in actual play. I'm a pretty generious DM when it comes to treasure, and at 16th level, only two of the four characters who use weapons have +3 weapons. Having so many +3 weapons that you're giving extras to the side kick seems super Monty Haul to me.

If you think it is a really big deal though, I'd say test it out in actual play. Next time you get to make a PC, ask to play a Warrior NPC and see if it feels overpowered next to the rest of the party.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
There's no reason you can't play a warrior if you prefer the +2. Tasha's even says that a player might play a sidekick as their only character if they're looking for something simpler than a typical PC. They're meant to be roughly on par with PCs, but with less moving parts.

That said, Fighters get a lot of great features that Warriors don't (action surge, etc) so I, personally, would much rather play a Fighter.
 

NPC Warrior will outdo many of the PC warrior classes in many cases...
OK. Let's check this. The Warrior is a cut down Champion Fighter who at low level gets Martial Role in place of a fighting style and Action Surge. They don't get extra ASIs and their third attack is delayed from level 11 to level 15

At fifth level they are fairly comprehensively behind; they get their extra attack a level late. At sixth level they close the gap - but are either an ASI behind (which adds to hit and to damage) or a feat behind, which can be a gamechanger. So we can say fairly comprehensively that from fifth level onwards the warrior has fallen behind the champion fighter.

The question is therefore at 1st to 4th level. At third level and fourth level the champion and the warrior gain the same things (improved crit, ASI), and the fighter's level 1 second wind is gained by the warrior at level 2 so we only really have two cases:
L1: Fighting Style + Second Wind vs Martial Role
L2-4: Fighting Style + Action Surge vs Martial Role.

We can also say that the warrior's Defender martial role is worse than the Protector fighting style even if Protector requires a shield; it's easier to be next to your ally than your enemy when dealing with archers.

So this does leave Attacker. +2 to hit vs the archery, great weapon, or duellist fighting style and either Second Wind or Action Surge.

At first level the fighter's advantage is huge. Second Wind is 1d10+1hp and is likely to increase the fighter's hit points by 50%; it's implied that the warrior gets rolled hp (and doesn't get the half rounding up each level). At first level second wind is huge and probably bigger on its own than +2 to hit.

But let's put Second Wind Action Surge to one side for a minute and look at the fighting styles. Attacker is easy to calculate; through the magic of bounded accuracy +2 to hit when you hit on an 11 is an increase of roughly 20% of your DPR.

Archery: Archery fighting style with its +2 to hit at range is strictly worse than +2 to hit - but it's not very much worse if you want to be an archer. Action Surge with its explosive damage should be far better overall than +2 in melee for a specialist archer. And the ranger's just going to laugh at you.

Duellist: Taking the textbook duellist with a longsword and shield, the warrior should be doing 1d8+3 damage in melee or an average of 7.5. The duelist is going to be doing 1d8+5 or 9.5 on average. Even if we allow at 4th level a first ASI and a +1 sword it's 9.5 vs 11.5; the duellist fighter still hits more than 20% harder than the warrior so they do more damage per round.

Great Weapon: This one is closer. The warrior with a greatsword does an average of 10 damage on a hit before 4th level (2d6+3). The average damage from a greatsword hit is 3 + 25/3 = 11.333. Now I'm absolutely confident here that the action surge closes the gap in terms of dpr against being 20% more likely to hit. For a polearm (8.5 vs 9.3), a strongly suboptimal weapon without Polearm Master, action surge closes the gap (and is thus stronger thanks to being burstier and more front loaded) if you manage to have a rest for every ten rounds of combat. And you don't really have the hp to take ten rounds of combat without a rest.

So from level 2 to level 4 the warrior is a second rate champion fighter but not far off. From level 5 onwards the champion pulls away and never looks back assuming feats are in play.
I don't see why Martials don't get the extra bonuses to hit...

Anyone who thinks a Wizard (or any other class) can't get a 20 STR or DEX is kidding themselves...because 20 is the max, you HAVE to eventually put your stat increases SOMEWHERE if one is not using feats...and not everyone uses feats.
And anyone who thinks that a level 5 wizard is remotely as good with a sword as a warrior with is kidding themselves. Extra attack is huge.
If something is good enough to give to the Sidekicks, it should be good enough to give to PC's
The goal of sidekicks is simplicity so you leave anything you need to remember off the menu. So you have a significantly weaker class overall. The only worry here is multiclassing cheese.
 



GreyLord

Hero
There's no reason you can't play a warrior if you prefer the +2. Tasha's even says that a player might play a sidekick as their only character if they're looking for something simpler than a typical PC. They're meant to be roughly on par with PCs, but with less moving parts.

That said, Fighters get a lot of great features that Warriors don't (action surge, etc) so I, personally, would much rather play a Fighter.

It's more than that. The Side kick system allows you to play ANY creature as a sidekick...and since you can play one as a PC as well....

Which is why I bring up the Storm Giant as the PC sidekick. If I read it right, I get the stats that the Book gives for the creature, meaning I start with a 29 STR...if I read it right.

A +9 Dmg to Hit and Damage from the start is a pretty big boost...and it only goes up from there. I'd probably take that guaranteed +9 every turn over a ONCE use bonus action from an action surge between rests.
 

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