FuckBallzKill! I mean TrentGorBugger! Damnit, JewsFluffBadger!
My buddy is setting up a 5ed D&D game. It’s only going to be once a month but fuuuuuuck its been too long. So, what I’m going to do here is some quick and dirty research. There’s a few characters I want to play and, as I’ve not played 5ed yet, I want to know how they’ll work. Of course a Fighter will always be a beat stick and a Wizard will always be a pussy bitch with mommy issues, but I like to be sure.
The Paladin – Marl Fuller
Elevator pitch; Druss the Legend with nicer table manners
Equipment; great-big-fucking-hammer, simple chain and leather
Alignment; Neutral Good
Mechanically speaking, 5th ed paladins dont seem to be that different; detect evil is now 1+Cha mod uses per day; it now detects Celestials, Fiends, Undead and consecrated or desecrated areas rather than alignment; smiting uses spell slots and levels damage with higher slots; and lay on hands got fiddled a bit.
Overall, more tanky, less healy. In a quick scan, I come away with the impression that paladins are taking notes from the bard a little – flexibility rather than direct specialisation. Not a deal breaker for me, Paladins always did that to a certain extent.
The big change is the alignment removal. I know that 4ed brought this to the table, but fuck that edition, that edition’s a dick.
This actually helps Fuller – I get to have all sort of angsty character development up until third level when I take my Paladin Oath. I’m thinking Oath of Vengeance (I get to be a fucking angel!) or Compassion (because I’m a softy at heart).
I’m liking the look of the Paladin so far. Fuller may soon stride the highways and byways of the Sword Coast, walloping fucks with a big-ass hammer.
The Ranger – Ves
Elevator pitch; The Joker mixed Gregory Hiens
Equipment; long sword and a knife
Ves is a walker of the paths of Loec, the god of shadows, and he believes himself destined to be the god’s avatar one day.
Alignment; True Neutral
Basically I’m after a wardancer. I know there used to be a prestige class for that, but I figured that I’d start off at the ground floor and generate some decent hit points before upgrading.
Unfortunately, in 5ed, Rangers seem to be the weakest class in the game. Its not useless… just not optimised for what it needs to do. They can track stuff. Yup. Tracking. That’s useful. Gonna need me some tracking. Yeah.
The main reason that I wanted this guy was for the two weapons and sudden stabby murder, but I’m rapidly becoming leery of the ranger…
BUT THEN THERE WAS THE HUNTER
The hunter is a Ranger variant who HUNTS FUCKING GIANTS! Looking it over this guy is the all singing all dancing ranger that can still deal with hordes but who focuses on eliminating big stuff. I like.
The Bard – Aemoss
Elevator pitch; blatant rip off of Uber Amos from Eisenhorn.
Since bards are traditionally rolled out to make other members of the party groan, they are masterfully applied to the gnome. Coupled with this and my masterful ability to roleplay fucktards and monsters, Aemoss is going to be just there to piss folks off to the most righteous degree.
Ok, lets see here…. WHERE THE FUCK IS MY BARDIC KNOWLEDGE?
Well, Aemoss is out the window – I was banking on bardic knowledge just for the ability to troll PCs and NPCs by giving them useless information.
A closer look at the bard, however, peeks my interest. They can get up to 9th level spells now, they get 3 instruments, and they gain better offensive spells. Bardic Inspiration got tweaked as well; no constant bonus, instead an additional D6 for an inspired PC – that’s an additional D6 on anything – the rogues sneak attack, the fighters greataxe crit, the buff check on the bard himself.
The also get Vicious Mockery – the D&D equivalent of online abuse – and at third level you can take a specialism – stabbing or playing the lute.
The usefulness of a lot of the Bard’s abilities frequently depends on your imagination and roleplaying skill. Of course, they also tend to have measurable mechanical aspects that allow you to pull off your imaginative tomfoolery with varying degrees of success.
It’s also worth noting that many of the Bard’s best spells rely on Wisdom saves. It is advisable that you occasionally branch out, even picking somewhat inferior spells, in order to ensure that you can target multiple abilities. Otherwise, you might end up with great spells that are completely useless against your enemy.
Overall big improvement.
Wizard – Geruun
Elevator pitch; Elrond
Race; High Elf
Oh, Chris, don’t you mean you want to play a sword sage or a hexblade?
… Get out.
I’m after a wizard that can say ‘fuck you’ in a variety of languages – namely zappy languages AND stabby languages. So I’m looking for a competent second tier fighter who can pour the elemental rage of the universe on my enemies. Not asking much.
Fortunately, there’s a class for that; the Bladesinger. It combines magic and martial skill, with a little performance art, into a deadly, spell-slinging close-quarters combatant.
Its 2nd level feature is Training in War and Song. This gives it Proficiency with the Performance skill, light armour, and a single one-handed martial melee weapon of the Bladesinger’s choice.
Its other 2nd level feature is Bladesong, the big special attack of the class, an ability to enter a state of supernatural speed, agility and focus as a bonus action. You can’t use it if you’re wielding a shield [because shields are for pussies], or if you’re wearing medium/heavy armour.
Sorcerer – Raymarn
Elevator pitch; Han Solo
Pew-pew-pew! Punch it Chewy! I’m picturing a gunslinger, or perhaps Harry Dresden, when I think of this guy.
If I’m reading this all correctly then 5ed is the edition that finally got sorcerers right. They have metamagic now – and the ability to troll the wizards like pimp beasts. They’ve pinched the psionics mechanics, calling them sorcery points. That’s good. The stick in the mud, however, is that with the reworks to prepared spellcasting, the complaint that sorcerers prepare their spells once and can’t easily swap them out is more true than ever.
Something that I am happy to bow down and wrap my lips around is that you get your dragon/daeomon/gribby heritage right from the get go. Naturally this levels and you can get some nice stuff – armour, auras of terror, etc.
And then there’s Wild Magic.
Think of this like casting a spell in WHFB – you can potentially miscast. The worst thing that can happen however seems to be plantification or greasing you up right purdy like. In fact, many results are helpful. Oh, and they have a D6 hit die now. I don’t know how to feel about that.
The unfortunate problem with all casters in this edition is the reworked magic system. In terms of crunch this means that the sorcerer had a bit of bite taken out of their spontaneous casting, relinquishing another victory to the wizard, since now every caster can cast spells without using spell slots if they take their time and has access to all spells memorized for the slot.
Rogue – Kara Cooksbridge
Elevator pitch; professional dungeoneer
A quick look at 5ed Rogues is interesting. D8 hit die is nice, as is the list of skills and, if you can believe it, are better in combat than before because they can now reliably get sneak attacks every round. Also helping them out is the Cunning Action, which lets you run away.
At 3rd level, the rogue chooses between the Thief, the Assassin or the Arcane Trickster, who gets spells, cantrips, and a lot of skill with Mage Hand. Kara will probably go the route of the Thief because I like to have weaknesses.
Barbarian – Larl
Elevator Pitch; Bruce Banner.
Equipment; leather shirt and furs. Picks up whatever for a fight.
Damn, why am I not going full Mountain dwarf/half orc for this guy.
Skim reading these guys makes me think they’re mostly unchanged. They gain their con bonus to AC if they don’t wear armour, so Uber-Manly McMannington will get more of an outing.
They choose a path at 3rd level: the Berserker or the Totem Warrior. Reading both of them, Larl would be the Berserker, but the Totem Warrior has a much more appealing vibe for me. Think Bravestarr. Fuck, I love Bravestarr, that guy was badass!
Cleric – Azmodai Pachenko
Elevator Pitch; Anomen from Balur’s gate
Equipment; Full plate, monks vestments, sword, medium shield, spikey-as-fuck mace.
First thought; Oh boy, more firepower! I can be a living laser! Fuck me!
Second thought; Damn, the buff spells got a nail in the foot.
There are a handful of directions you can take a Cleric (giggedy). Knowledge and Light Domain Clerics, as well as some Nature Domain Clerics and most Arcana Domain Clerics, can afford a pure-Wis build. Many others, however will want a secondary ability of either Str or Dex. And of course Con is always useful.
For Azzie I’m looking at War and Nature Domains.
Nature; Good spell list, if a little Druidy. There are some good cantrips on the Druid list. Many are the same as the basic cleric list, allowing you to get just a little more mileage out of your cantrips. Charming animals and plants is… ehhh… its just really situational. You can auto dampen elements as well – giving you a inbuilt Dragon defence. Your Divine Strike comes in any flavour you like, allowing you to react to the needs of the moment.
War has some nice stuff too – its not Tempest or Light, but its solid. War Priest lets you swing with the best. Guided Strike helps you hit the weak spot for massive damage. War God’s Blessing basically stands in for Bless.
As ever, all thoughts and the like are welcome. Have I got something wrong? If so tell me in the comments below.