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We tend to burn through Inspiration pretty quick.
Of course, we're 11th level, now, and some of the save DCs are 18 or 20, which are really hard if you're not proficient in them.
At least we're generous with handing them out to each other.
SG: I REALLY like your idea of broadening character options rather than making characters more powerful.
1 bonus skill proficiency
Stuff like that. Just little things customize the PC. I know some are a lot more powerful than the others, so they might need to be adjusted somewhat.
I'm even considering some new feat-level knacks:
Heirloom weapon: 1 specific weapon has a magic bonus equal to half your proficiency bonus.
Magical Scholar: You increase the number of spells you can prepare per day by an amount equal to your proficiency bonus.
Exotic Weapon Training: Select a number of weapons equal to your proficiency bonus. You add 1 exotic quality to the selected weapon (light, reach, thrown, finesse, versatile, etc.)
I'll be starting a new campaign relatively soon, and here are two house rules I am considering.
1. PCs get a number of inspiration equal to their proficiency bonus.
2. PCs will begin with a "knack," which will be roughly equivalent to half a feat.
Do these sound like fun and not-overpowering optional rules?
This sounds a lot like that scene in "A Few Good Men" where the Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations doesn't list where the Chow Hall is. :-P
And speaking about different kinds of saving throws, we actually made Intelligence saving throws last night in our RotRL adaptation.
Legendary Actions and Lair Actions can really help the action economy of single monsters against a party of PCs. Throw in a couple minions, and it gets really interesting.
Yeah, I've been working on making a bunch of conversions of classes and archetypes from PF to 5E and it's been super easy!
For example, if you want to play a Sherlock Holmes-type character, you could use the following "custom" background:
Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Insight
Also, leveling up is a breeze!
Leveling up (usually) isn't about bigger and better numbers. It's about more choices and options.
And a lot of the options are already cooked into the class designs.
If you choose Champion Fighter at 3rd level, your archetype features are pretty much set in stone for levels 7, 10, 15, and 18. You still get to choose your feats/ability score increases at levels 4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, and 19, so there is customization still. And if you really want a customizable Fighter, you'll probably choose Battlemaster at level 3 instead of Champion. Champion is the "simple" option and Battlemaster is the "complex" option and Eldritch Knight is the "magic" option.
Many of the archetypes are choices between "simple" and "complex," which is also a pretty elegant design element. For example, barbarians can choose the Path of the Berserker, which is a pretty straightforward Cuisinart of death, or the Path of the Totem Warrior, which gives you some real subtle magic and some interesting choices at levels 3, 6, 10, and 14. Well 3, 6, and 14.
Exactly. The ranger looks really lame in the book (What--Favored Enemy doesn't give you a bonus to attack or damage rolls???) but is super effective in play (Oh....the Archery Fighting Style is +2 to hit against EVERY opponent, and hunter's mark is +1d6 damage AND doubled on a crit...).
Rogues can sneak attack only once a round??? But pretty much EVERY round! And sneak attack damage is ALSO doubled on a crit! WOW!
It's actually a really fun and elegant system.
I really like how they did spells.
For clerics, druids, paladins, and wizards, you can prepare a number of spells per day equal to your class level (half your class level for paladins) + your spellcasting ability modifier.
At low levels, you can prepare a ton of spells per level, but only cast a few per day. At higher levels, you can prepare a few spells per level, but have more spell slots per day. You can even cast many low level spells with higher level spell slots for more powerful effects. This leads to some real versatility and some real interesting resource management decisions.
My group is 11th level, and everyone is contributing equally. My cleric might not be a big damage dealer, but he is definitely a force multiplier. Everyone else in the party deals a ton of damage: barbarian, two-weapon fighting fighter (7 attacks when he surges!), the rogue consistently sneak attacks (but didn't one night!), the ranger is REALLY lethal (magic longbow + Sharp Shooter feat + hunters mark spell can be 1d8+6 + 10 + 1d6 = around 24 per hit), and the wizard does awesome AoE damage even if he usually botches the damage rolls.
Yeah, low level blasts are REALLY powerful.
I wanted to run an encounter with a coven of low-level witches, and had to make up a bunch of new magical powers for them because even one first level spell can kill a 1st or 2nd PC even if they make their saving throw. Even a single lucky cantrip can kill a non-d10 PC--or an even slightly wounded d10 or d12 PC.
But spellcasters do get a lot fewer spells per day, which is a real good balancing factor. And most primary casters (Circle of the Land druids, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards) have ways to "recharge" and gain additional spell slots per day, if not per encounter.
So it's a delicate balancing act, but it IS balanced.
Our divination wizard uses direct damage spells a lot: fire bolt, chromatic orb, fireball, lightning bolt, wall of fire, cone of cold. He also has a Rod of the Evoker, so he can avoid friendly fire, which is nice.
We're doing RotRL, so there are lots of battles with lots of targets, so AoE spells have been really useful. And with his Portent ability, he can give poor rolls to opponents.
We also have an "emergency" campaign of around 5th level. I play a really dumb parkour specialist rogue (thief) that is really fun. The rest of the party is a fighter (champion) two-weapon master, a tiefling dragonblooded sorcerer, a human (?) warlock with faerie familiar, a dwarf Tempest cleric and a dwarf bear barbarian. It's a fun, silly campaign where we're not very optimized. I share DMing duties with a guy who plays a Green Guardian paladin.
I also ran a short campaign with an elf rogue (assassin) archer (who LOVED the way 5E does sneak attack!!!!!), a red dragonborn paladin of vengeance grappler, and hill dwarf cleric of war.
Our party is 11th level. I play a hill dwarf cleric of Life. Pretty much everyone else out-damages, but my main job is buffing, not damaging. I can "nova" if needed, and I have lots of useful utility spells.
The rest of our party is an elf rogue (arcane trickster) archer, human wizard (diviner) blaster, human ranger (hunter) archer, halforc barbarian (berserker) two-handed basher, human fighter (eldritch knight) two-weapon fighter.
The rogue might have NOT gotten a sneak attack 3 times. The ranger archer is our main damage outputter (hunter's mark + Hordebreaker is pretty awesome, even when the secondary target doesn't get the extra damage from hunter's mark). The wizard is super versatile--those Portent Rolls are lifesavers! The barbarian is really good at smashing things--the only odd bit is that he went from 1d12 axe to a magical 1d10 glaive, to a 1d8 greatclub of speed.
The eldritch knight is often frustrated by the number of Bonus Action options he has. He originally built the character as an old school Fighter/Thief/Magic-User. Going EK 3/AT 3/Wiz 3 he would be CL 5 at level 9, but tons of 9th level cantrips, and even MORE bonus action options.
We all started at level 1 (except the barbarian, who joined us around level 8 or 9), and it's been a fun ride. There is a really fun power boost at level 5 for EVERY class, which is fun and exciting.
PATH OF THE MARAUDER:
Path of the Marauder
I'm only about 25% through Mistborn.
Am I not deep enough into it yet?
Vin isn't annoying, but the constant reminding that she's constantly hiding or trying to be ignored because she doesn't trust anyone gets a little annoying. At least she's having fun learning Allomancy.
I've just heard so many great things about Sanderson, and he's written a whole bunch of books, so I'm hoping I get to like him.
I'm currently struggling through Mistborn: The Final Empire and tried reading Elantris a while ago.
What am I missing? I should really be liking Mistborn. It's a magical superhero heist. I love capers. I'm loving the Allomancy, particularly the Magneto-bits and physical and sensory boosts.
Is it the lame characterizations and even lamer names?
The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack and its sequels by Mark Hodder feature Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne in a steampunk London.
Soulless and its sequels by Gail Carriger is a comedy of manners featuring vampires and werewolves acting as secret agents for Queen Victoria in a steampunk London.
Boneshaker and its sequels by Cherie Priest is an alternate history steampunk Civil War on the brink of a zombie apocalypse in a walled off and "abandoned" Seattle.
Shadows over Baker Street is a series of short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes with a Cthuluesque pastiche. "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman is a particular favorite.
1. Yes. While raging, you are both angry at and hating magic. :-P Or maybe more generally, that would be up to interpretation by the GM and players?
2. I don't know. Does the Mage Slayer feat do something similar? My books aren't with me. I guess I don't want the barbarian cleaving ancient eldritch manifestations. Interrupting spell concentration seems a little weak for a 10th level ability. But still useful. Something to think about. Maybe if combined with the ability to use your reaction to hit a spell with a duration of instantaneous, like hitting a lightning bolt with your big giant axe and grounding it out and dispelling it....and reflecting it back if you roll a Natural 20!
3. Thanks for the feedback! :-D
I like the Marauder, a lot. I wonder if there is any way to show some synergy when a Marauder moves from one target to the next, especially as part of one turn.
What about increasing the damage from 2 points of extra damage for every 5 feet of movement taken when moving between two opponents?
Or when you attack one opponent after attacking a different opponent during the same turn, you have advantage on your attack rolls?