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D&D 5E WotC Ranger: Drakewarden released at D&D Celebration

Xeviat

Hero
It grows to medium-sized at 7th level...which is also when it gains flying speed.

Small characters can ride medium-sized mounts.

"Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15 . This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry..."

The drake has STR 16, which is 240 pounds carrying capacity. Halflings and gnomes weigh between 37 and 43 pounds. So it's clearly strong enough to carry a small character.

There's no reason a small character couldn't ride this medium-sized creature with flight...except that this ability is badly written. They can literally ride any other medium-sized flying creature that can support their weight from 1st level...but not their personal drake mount...until 15th.
Then I'd say it was to keep parity between small and medium races, otherwise there'd be a fairly big advantage to small drakewardens.

But! Super easy thing to house rule for groups that don't find flight to be an issue. I've had a flying character in low level games (they were melee though), and PHB small rangers could fly on pterodactyls, so ...

Wizards can be selective about things they worry about.
 

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...and they need to make sure the drake can't carry you and fly until 15th...even for small characters. So weird.
I've seen comments in the past around how they're adverse to things that might disadvantage characters of a certain size over others (for instance not allowing for a large playable race) so maybe that's the long and short of it here -- if it's not racial and instead class-based, then having a feature that would allow some characters, if they're halflings or other small creatures, to be "better" than others would disadvantage medium sized characters?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
An artificer can make their own winged boots at 10th level. Broom of flying is uncommon. Carpet of flying is very rare. Cloak of the bat is rare. The flying figurines of wondrous power are rare. Potion of flying is very rare. Quaal's feather tokens are rare. A spell scroll with fly is uncommon. Winged boots are uncommon. Wings of flying is rare.

Uncommon magic items are for 1st level characters. Rare for 5th level characters. Very rare are for 11th level characters.

A treasure hoard for CR 0-4 can contain items from Tables A-G. All of the items listed above are on those lists. Of course the later lists in the alphabet are rarer, but they become more common as you go up in CR.
 

Xeviat

Hero
It grows to medium-sized at 7th level...which is also when it gains flying speed.

Small characters can ride medium-sized mounts.

"Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15 . This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry..."

The drake has STR 16, which is 240 pounds carrying capacity. Halflings and gnomes weigh between 37 and 43 pounds. So it's clearly strong enough to carry a small character.

There's no reason a small character couldn't ride this medium-sized creature with flight...except that this ability is badly written. They can literally ride any other medium-sized flying creature that can support their weight from 1st level...but not their personal drake mount...until 15th.
Then I'd say it was to keep parity between small and medium races, otherwise there'd be a fairly big advantage to small drakewardens.

But! Super easy thing to house rule for groups that don't find flight to be an issue. I've had a flying character in low level games (they were melee though), and PHB small rangers could fly on pterodactyls, so ...

Wizards can be selective about things they worry about.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I've seen comments in the past around how they're adverse to things that might disadvantage characters of a certain size over others (for instance not allowing for a large playable race) so maybe that's the long and short of it here -- if it's not racial and instead class-based, then having a feature that would allow some characters, if they're halflings or other small creatures, to be "better" than others would disadvantage medium sized characters?
1. I don't see why. 2. They put various races at a disadvantage all the time. Sometimes based on size.

The aarakocra and fairy are objectively better than any other race just because of flying. Fairies can be small. Small characters can ride medium-sized creatures, that gives them the advantage because they can ride more mounts. WotC also gives halflings the ability to move through a medium-sized creature's square and hide behind medium-sized creatures...which is a distinct benefit that humans don't have...giving them a disadvantage. Small character can fit into smaller spaces than their medium-sized companions...again putting them at a disadvantage.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
I've seen comments in the past around how they're adverse to things that might disadvantage characters of a certain size over others (for instance not allowing for a large playable race) so maybe that's the long and short of it here

Yeah, that seems to be a design theme of 5e, to put a cap on synergies and limit unintended use cases. Which I know frustrates a lot of people who approach game rules as puzzles to be solved for optimized strategies and powerful exploits, but personally I don't mind it. It avoids rules fights, curbs the need for a volume of house rules, and shrinks the power gap between optimized and non-optimized PCs.

Anyway, this version of the Drakewarden seems to address every major complaint people had. Your drake is a constant companion, you're less locked into a damage type, everyone can use it as a mount at 7th level, and so on. It'll be on my short list of potential PCs if my group ever recovers from the long twilight of the pandemic.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I've seen comments in the past around how they're adverse to things that might disadvantage characters of a certain size over others (for instance not allowing for a large playable race) so maybe that's the long and short of it here -- if it's not racial and instead class-based, then having a feature that would allow some characters, if they're halflings or other small creatures, to be "better" than others would disadvantage medium sized characters?
Dollars to donuts, this is the reason. Access to flight at 7th level is perfectly reasonable - Wizards can learn the fly spell by then. However, they don’t want you having a Large companion that early, and they’re probably worried that a Medium sized creature flying on a Medium sized mount would strain suspension of disbelief. So, Medium characters get to ride it at 7th but can’t fly on it until 15th. And since they don’t want Small characters to make objectively better Drakewardens than Medium ones, neither can Small characters.

Not saying it’s a good decision, but I’m positive that’s the logic behind it.
 

Scribe

Hero
I've seen comments in the past around how they're adverse to things that might disadvantage characters of a certain size over others (for instance not allowing for a large playable race) so maybe that's the long and short of it here -- if it's not racial and instead class-based, then having a feature that would allow some characters, if they're halflings or other small creatures, to be "better" than others would disadvantage medium sized characters?
I literally cannot hate this concept (not you personally of course!) enough.

Let size matter! Let the race matter for classes! Lean INTO these differences!

Drives me absolutely nuts, when something like being Small + Class could 'unlock' a feature.

Man I hate it...
 



A medium drake could carry a small PC (or even a medium one if they where light enough). Since they aren't "mounted" the restriction on flying wouldn't apply.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
WotC makes the game set up for all the players who have not yet learned how to best balance all kinds of disparate abilities that might be overpowered or feel comfortable doing so. They don't care if you've been playing the game for the last 7 years and can identify right off the bat that you could use the features any which way without being a disruption to the table or overpowering yourself against your fellow players. They aren't writing these features for you... because they know that if you want these features that bad, you can just make the choice to allow them in your games. You don't need WotC to write it down for you in a book... you just change the rules for your own table. After all this time, no one should be surprised by the conversativism in rules management for the game.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
WotC makes the game set up for all the players who have not yet learned how to best balance all kinds of disparate abilities that might be overpowered or feel comfortable doing so. They don't care if you've been playing the game for the last 7 years and can identify right off the bat that you could use the features any which way without being a disruption to the table or overpowering yourself against your fellow players. They aren't writing these features for you... because they know that if you want these features that bad, you can just make the choice to allow them in your games. You don't need WotC to write it down for you in a book... you just change the rules for your own table. After all this time, no one should be surprised by the conversativism in rules management for the game.
You mean like releasing a PC race that can fly from 1st level...three days ago. But flight being too much before 15th level a few weeks from now.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Seems fine besides the flight thing, which is easy enough to ignore.

Edit: I could see a Warlock dip for the longer adventuring days so you can keep the dragon the whole time.
 




Scribe

Hero
Again, I don’t think flight being too much before 15th level is the problem here. Giving class features to some races earlier than others is.
Yeah, which is just such a safe, boring, design philosophy we are stuck with. Frustrates me way more than I should allow it to. :)
 



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