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Pan wrote:
I'd love to give 5E a whirl but my players don't want anything to do with it. Not because of WOTC or the rules they are just enamored with Pathfinder and the APs so that's where I'll have to stay.

You could see if they'd be interested in playing a Paizo AP converted to 5e. The DMG isn't out yet so it's hard to say how difficult that would be. But it's something worth trying, especially if you feel 5e might be the better system.

I wouldn't be surprised if a community forms to share lists of AP encounter conversions. That shouldn't breach any copyright (would mostly be creature lists and custom builds) and is a boon for all parties involved.

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In all fairness a robust system of options is only a great advantage if some choices don't severely outclass others.

For 3rd many feats are just plain bad while others are simply auto picks for a given character type.

In reality 5th ed characters have more options on their turn at first level since they can innately do many things 3rd requires you to have feats to perform.

ulgulanoth wrote:
From what I've read 5e streamlines the character building experience into one of just ticking boxes like a quiz, making all characters look or feel the same which has killed all enthusiasm for 5e to me; now I haven't played the game so a question to those who have to give the system a fair chance; how easy is it to create the more outlandish characters and how unique can you make a character mechanically?

That's quite a hyperbole, but there is significantly less choices than in Pathfinder (and I don't mean just due to overall content).

You don't allot skill points each level-- you chose skills and have maximum proficiency in them.
You don't get skill increases and feats every couple levels-- you chose a feat or attribute increase (2 points) every 4 levels.
Archetypes are there but you can't stack them and they are mandatory.
And backgrounds exist to greatly increase variety (giving you proficiency in additional skill and tools while also granting players small thematic benefits).

The game very much stresses roleplay and has systems to encourage it and if embraced characters should still feel perfectly unique. Players interested in more crunch probably will not be interested though.

Personally I'm not too worried about a lack of initial content-- I'll be trying the system out in a sand-box world idea I've had for some time.

A lack of early campaign books shouldn't be much of a problem. Players looking to play in a setting like FR or Darksun have 2nd/3rd/4th material to draw upon.

5th being a very simplified system makes converting things extremely simple. If you look at a 3.x/PF creature you can identify things like "High AC", "Low HP", or "Acid Spray Attack" and then plug in appropriate values for other creatures around that level. Things like advantage/disadvantage can often replace the fiddly modifiers everywhere.

I will agree that getting some Adventures out there would go a long way towards helping the system. Actually putting out several free adventures online would be a loss leader that could really drum up some excitement for the system and give players a real incentive to adopt 5th.

Right now I'll likely be playing PF or the IKRPG for my next game (and finishing a RotRL campaign with several new players). I know for sure 5th will be the next edition I DM.

[Edit: changed "switch" to "adopt"-- there's no reason players can't play multiple systems]

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All look like good changes.

Might still want to look at adding abilities for after level 9-- it basically becomes just Teamwork feats and spells.

Ranger styles would help the class out (could just replace the precise shot feat) and help it feel more like a ranger hybrid; it would also solve the issue of qualifying for feats with 3/4 BAB and MAD attribute demands.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
...I hope you are going to let the Hunter take the lower level versions of spells that they have (so they can get stuff like strong jaw before Druids do).

Just to clarify: Strong Jaw would then be gained at the same level as the Druid-- Animal Growth would come a level later than the Druid. (not to suggest you didn't know this)

No that sounds like a good option to me. I think it's more a matter of the hunter need more than a slight tweak so it gets overlooked.

But buffing will be one of the biggest uses of hunter spells and that's a functional way of enabling the class.

@Irradiated Haggis: Not sure what your AF: wolf would accomplish-- you can only have AF up on one target at a time. So unless there is more than one hunter... :P

I do agree that Animal focus, as what is supposed to be the unique aspects of the class, should be more than a just stat/skill bonus (and if it remains that then at least allow it to stack-- make it morale like a Barbarian rage; uninspired is one thing, uninspired and dysfunctional is inexcusable).

It'd be nice if the Devs would update us on what they plan to do with this class going forward. The thread has been dead for the last couple days since the current class is unexciting and the Devs have been quiet about possible changes.

Not that I don't like the alternate casting ideas but I doubt we'll see a new system for the hunter since it seems designed so that spells are secondary to the martial focus.

It would be awesome to see it as an archetype that focuses more on spell use.

LadyWurm wrote:

Given that we're talking a major overhaul here, I think the hunter definitely needs another round of playtesting. I would also say the shaman could use another round too, given it's getting pretty significant revisions.

The rest of the classes, with the possible exception of maybe the Brawler or Investigator, don't really seem to need a round three. They're mostly just balance tweaks.

I definitely agree here (though I haven't followed all the classes closely)

The Slayer looked like it was performing well but could use some tweaks to increase the synergy of mechanics

The Skald looked really awesome (and balanced).

But the Hunter probably should undergo extra testing (and from what I saw of the Brawler and Investigator I could see the same thing).

Not necessarily the place to discuss these thing (I couldn't help myself) but it is important to point out the Hunter needs some serious work to advance beyond a weaker druid alternate...

Couldn't agree more!

And while the Ranger spell list includes some "trap" options like Instant Enemy I think it's safe to assume that prospective hunters are intelligent enough to know that. In fact these spells could become useful for possible archetypes that might include the favored enemy rule.

Animal Growth seems extremely useful as a spell. Though it will effectively reduce the AC by 2, it will increase HPs by 2/HD and the to hit by 3, damage by 4 (plus the dice increase) and the CMB/CMD by 5/3 respectively. That can be huge for both damage output or combat maneuver effectiveness.

Strong jaw is useful as a damage buff that is not tied to an overly present bonus type.

In both examples they show a greater discrepancy between the hunter and the druid; the druid will get each spell at level 9 and 7 respectively while the hunter won't until 13 and 10.

This further increases the gap of effectiveness between the Druid and the Hunter in the Hunter's own niche!

Allowing the hunter to instead take them as ranger spells helps (changing the levels to 10 and 7) but it shows that the attempt to simplify the Hunter class to just using the Druid list without any modification is problematic.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Frogged wrote:
Does anyone else think the bonus type for the Snake aspect of Animal Focus is a little strange? It provides a bonus to attacks of opportunity, but since it is an enhancement bonus, it won't stack with your masterwork or magic weapon.
Good point.

More reason to change the enhancement bonus on all aspects ;)

(I badger in jest-- partially at least).

Adam B. 135 wrote:

Adding a template to your animal companion could be cool. Make it something like a choice between the Giant Template and the Advanced Template. And I don't mean the simple templates. I mean the full templates.

Another idea to help them out with their accuracy problem would be to have animal companions use the d10 hit die track, or to make the animal companion's BAB equal to the Hunter's level.

Perhaps the Animal Companion could gain eldritch claws at something like 4th or 5th level? Or even weapon focus or improved natural attack?

I really like the idea of the hunter's AC getting a template. Would be an easy method of scaling up the AC in a controlled fashion.

It would definitely make the AC notably more advanced which seems to be the feel the devs want for the class.

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Siren's Mask wrote:
Could you give us a better idea on what niche or focus you want this class to have? As of now it seems like its built around team work feats. I hope this is not the case, because while many teamwork feats are nice, the prerequisites and lack of support from anyone besides your pet is hurting this class.

First of all, Excellent post! I really feel like you've not only come to the same conclusion as many of us but did it with actual game experience.

I do personally like the teamwork feats; the idea that you fight better with your pet than anyone else. I hope they don't remove (all of) them, but do agree it should not be the class concept alone.

I hope the devs see the trend with:
+ Animal focus' bonus type being an issue (making what should be a major class benefit minor)
+ The feeling that the Animal Companion is not different enough than the other class' to make the hunter the AC class
+ The Hunter could use more ranger aspects; personally I'd like some access to Combat Style (which would really help the low BAB and Mad stats).

For most OOC healing the Hunter could just use purchased wands like most healers do so I don't feel healing spells are a justification for spontaneous casting.

For the record I fall on the prepared caster side of the debate (though LadyWurm's spontaneous+1 did seem like a very interesting casting style). The druid list contains too many situational spells for effective spontaneous use, and I feel the same subset of spells will appear on just about every hunter's list. Thematically this would be a loss for what seems like a resourceful character.

So if OOC healing is not an issue that would mean IC healing is important. Many of the playtest's I've read have mentioned the need for mid combat healing for the hunter. Given the AC isn't as sturdy as a front line fighter (but will want to be up there anyways) and without it the hunter loses most of his effectiveness it seems like the durability of the pet should be increased.

LadyWurm wrote:
You some ways, the spontaneous casting could actually prove to be a boost to the hunter's overall effectiveness and power level. The ability to repeatedly crank out buffs and heals on herself or her companion would give both of them a lot more combat durability and potential.

For heals a wand of cure light will generally work just as well and be very cost effective. It does seem that healing is very much needed for the animal companion but I wouldn't want to see a large portion of the druid (and ranger if they do add support for some spells) list go unused because the spells are too situational.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

...Basically, the precise companion ability is granting the hunter the Precise Shot feat, but only with respect to whether or not her pet provides a –4 penalty for being in melee with the hunter's opponent.

That penalty doesn't have anything to do with cover, cover is a separate thing.

The "shooting into melee" rule gives you a –4 penalty on your attack roll, the "other creature providing cover" rule gives your opponent a +4 bonus to its AC.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I can see the case for changing precise companion into just Precise Shot as a bonus feat, or even making this ability "the animal companion never makes anyone take the –4 penalty for firing into melee." It would be easier to use, and not invalidated by actually taking Precise Shot.

What if instead the ability instead countered the cover rather than shooting into melee? That way the ability would stack with precise shot and assist the 3/4 BAB hunter in hitting an opponent (important for using the teamwork feats).

The ability would still provide the same net benefit, would still be impeded by anything else engaging the target. It also would be more interesting than just giving a preset feat; however, it might be too good stacking with precises shot.

In that scenario a frost giant would have been better because there the terrain limits the dragon's ability. Compare that to most PFAP encounters where the opposite is generally true.

I'm not sure a solo test is best to begin with. Given most games involve several players a solo encounter might not give the entire picture.

In a party you can together be prepared for everything and then test how effective the class is in it's given role, in comparison to other classes, and for problematic interactions when the encounters are scaled up.

If you're solo testing because of real life limitations (understandable) perhaps comparing the hunter to other similar classes could illuminate the classes strengths/shortcomings.

teribithia9 wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
...Hunter is supposed to share in the attacking and has no wildshape. What does Hunter get?
Any of a myriad of the boosts from the animal focus ability, free teamwork feats, and an animal companion that shares the free teamwork feats so that you don't have to try to convince your friends to make characters who have tw feats, too, just to be able to use yours? I personally love this class.

The issue is numerically it is hard to see how the hunter can keep up.

Teamwork feats are really awesome and thematic, but the benefits are relatively small. Compared to the Druid who has an animal companion that is essentially equal in competence the Teamwork Feats, medium armor, and Animal Focus has to compete with Wildshape and better spellcasting.

Compared to the Ranger the Hunter has better spellcasting, Animal Focus, and Teamwork Feats. However the Ranger will have better HP, a full BAB, more feats (requirements dropped on some, earlier access on others), and the benefit of favored enemy.

Even if you assume that the numbers will compare (doubtful) the hunter will still have an Achilles-heel; if he loses his animal companion he has essentially lost his teamwork feats until he can get a new one-- that's a big issue considering animal companions are not the most durable creatures.

It's not a lack of love for this class (concept) that has some of us criticizing the current build-- quite the opposite. The teamwork feats are certainly core to the class and something I don't want to see dropped; but they are not doing enough to carry the class currently.

I definitely feel the class compares poorly to similar classes (summoner, druid, ranger, and inquisitor). Not to suggest that the summoner is a good baseline but the hunter should be noticeably better with it's pet than the other three classes and right now it gets marginal benefits at a comparably large expense (druid casting, wildshape, and other abilities; ranger BAB, hitdice, Combat style, and favored enemy/terrain)

Given it's a ranger alternate class more customization on what the hunter's combat role is would be nice. Perhaps something simple like melee, ranged, or spell based-- or even a delayed port of ranger combat styles. The issue with abilities being related to a single combat style limits character .

But the focus of the class seems to be one of a beast master (I'd vote for that as it's final name). If it is to be a beast master it should get a better animal companion than the druid or ranger. While the animal aspect bonus is nice, it won't compare to a summoner, or even a druid with the better spellcasting to buff it.

I'd suggest several options like:
+ Give the animal companion a small pool of evolution points for an extremely restricted list of eidolon evolutions: Improved damage, improved natural armor, skilled, ability increase, etc...

+ Allow the Hunter to spontaneously heal like a cleric, but only the animal companion. Alternatively, as suggested in this thread, grant the hunter the ability to lay-on hands with it's animal companion.

+ Grant an ability that automatically increases the animals intelligence so that the 1/4 level increase can be spent on combat stats.

+ Grant accelerated access to summon nature's ally so that the spell casting ends at level 9 (similar to the summoner).

Just some brainstorming on possible methods to scale the class up appropriately, patch some shortcomings, and prevent the class from becoming too shoehorned into a single style of play.

PS: anyone know if the ACG will come with archetypes? Many issues, especially shoehorned playstyle, can be addressed with archetypes.