August 2, 2015

Crusader

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Tome of Battle, Book of the Nine Swords was a 3.5 book regarded today with mixed opinions. It introduced three base classes to the edition, which thematically were replacements for three mechanically weakest martial classes of the edition. Swordsage replaced monk, Warblade replaced Fighter, and Crusader replaced the paladin. Mechanically, these classes used a system of maneuvers which functioned similarly to spells and allowed to classes to walk in lockstep with the high powered casters of that edition. Today, the Warblade and the maneuver system has been inherited in the Battle Master fighter subclass, and we've done our own version of the Swordsage.
     Perhaps the design decisions to omit the maneuver system from this subclass and make it a fighter subclass will be controversial ones, but they allowed me to focus on the interesting mechanic of the delayed damage pool and simply being tough to kill. Otherwise, this class might have primarily focused on channel divinity at lower levels, or had too many features and too much power. As it stands, this class represents a defensive, tanking fighter, much like the Warden of 4e.

Crusader

Fully clad in shining armor, the Crusader is a wall of steel, the tank of a medieval battlefield. Whether drawing his blade against man or monster, the Crusader strikes true, and always lives to tell the tale.

Steely Resolve
Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you have a pool of delayed damage that allows you to forestall the effects of your injuries. When you take damage, this damage is added to your delayed damage pool, instead of being subtracted from your hit points. At the end of your turn, you take damage equal to the total stored in your delayed damage pool, which then resets to 0.
     When you restore hit points, you choose whether it reduces your damage pool, your restores your hit points normally, or both (you can split the amount of healing as you wish).
     At 3rd level, your delayed damage pool can hold up to 5 points of damage. Any damage beyond that comes off your hit points as normal. The maximum damage your pool holds increases by 5 at 6th (10 points), 9th (15 points), 12th (20 points), 15th (25 points), and 18th (30 points.)

Furious Counterattack
At 3rd level, you gain a bonus to damage on melee attacks equal to your delayed damage pool divided by 5, rounded down.

Damage Flush
Beginning at 7th level, you can, as a bonus action in your turn, reduce your delayed damage pool to zero without decreasing your current hit points. After using this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again.

Die Hard
By 7th level, it is exceptionally hard to kill you. You no longer suffer instant death from taking damage exceeding your hit point maximum. In addition, instead of falling unconscious when you are reduced to 0 hit points, you are instead incapacitated and prone. Death and death saving throws otherwise function as normal.

Impose
Starting at 10th level, when a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to change the target of that attack to yourself. This attack has advantage against you.

Indomitable Soul
At 15th level, you gain advantage on an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saving throw. After using this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again.
     Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Improved Damage Flush
Beginning at 18th level, you can use Damage Flush a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier. When you do so, you can also end either one disease or one condition afflicting you. The condition can be blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned. You regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest, or 1 use when you complete a short rest.



Changelog: 8/3/15: Damage Flush now also ends one condition.
8/4/15: Features rearranged. Die Hard is now 7th, Damage Flush is now 7th and no longer ends conditions, Impose is 10th, Indominable Soul is 15th, Improved Damage Flush is at 18th level and ends one condition and changes use of Damage Flush to Con/long.

19 comments:

  1. this seems like a dangerous one to play as since now you're looking to take damage in order to maximize your own damage. I like it though, since it offers a sort of risk/reward balance that really makes you feel badass, especially with the later abilities allowing you to take hits ment for others making sure to increase your damage output for a turn and protecting your allies, the indominable feature making sure you stay your own and refusing to back down to outside influence like mind magics, Diehard making it so you are still consious and aware of what is happening (though i dont see what it really does besides the intimidating factor of being awake...) and then there is the Damage flush taking a titch of risk off of the risk/reward mentioned above and making him all the more badass, kinda making a sort of an extra healing thing with durability bumps. simply, this is a build to make the player feel badass.

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    1. I'm glad you like this one; it's one of my favorites so far.

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  2. The level 18 feature seems a bit weak...
    It's effectively a 30 hit point heal that can only target yourself. Even compared to the champion it seems underpowered (regen 5-10 when below 1/2 hit points with no action required and no rest requirement).
    The damage boost vs. crit chance is of about equal value and, in crusader's favour, the other features are more useful than an additional fighting style and remarkable athlete, but for a level 18 feature it just feels pretty weak.

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    1. I'm super open to changing Damage Flush and tweaking the rest of the class to make it more on par with other archetypes. I was being pretty cautious when I was writing this since it's really easy to roll with this idea and make something that's basically impossible to kill.

      The simplest options to make the capstone stronger (and I'm probably going to go with only one of these) are:

      Increase the size of the damage pool so that at 18th level you're effectively healing around 50 hp (maybe I should do this anyway.)

      Make this feature Con mod per long rest.

      Add an additional effect. I was thinking "When you do this, you may end one condition affecting you."

      What do you think?

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    2. I like con mod per long rest because it means you can throw off hits more often, but throwing off a status effect seems to fit the whole "badass" thing better. Though status effects arent really a thing to rely on being hit with since they arent exactly common.

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    3. I'd go for more uses, maybe with the option to end specific status effects (incapacitated, stunned, poisoned and paralysed perhaps?).

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    4. I add more uses per day once I work out how to keep it from being spammed for 5 consecutive rounds. For now, Damage Flush removes one condition.

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    5. For the next round/1d4 rounds your delayed damage pool cannot exceed 0.

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    6. Also, to clarify, what's the issue with spammability? Any paladin can bring similar levels of self-healing to bear in a shorter time, also consider that the paladin's healing actually heals whereas the crusader's can only heal damage from that round (where there will probably be damage spilling over that it can do nothing about, unlike the paladin).

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    7. Damage Flush is a bonus action, whereas most other healing is an action, including Lay on Hands. With the maximum of 5 / long rest, a Crusader could conceivably ignore up to 30 damage each round for the entire length of a decent combat while still making all his attack rolls. This strikes me as a little powerful.

      It would actually be nice to give Damage Flush at a lower level so you could get more use out of it, but I wouldn't want to remove another feature or dilute one into a ribbon.

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    8. Was thinking about lower level damage flush too, it does seem like a feature the class relies on for its flavour.
      Perhaps make damage flush an action with a later feature that lets the crusader make a weapon attack as a bonus action when it's used (as with eldritch knight and casting spells).
      As for feature diluting to facilitate this, die hard is practically a ribbon as it is (at 15th level with a delayed damage pool there's no way they'll take that much damage instantly and being able to crawl and speak while on 0hp isn't that much of a benefit) and indomitable soul doesn't really fit the class unless it's meant to be the midpoint between a fighter and paladin.

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    9. Totally jumbled the order! My only concern now is that it'll be too powerful, but at least the progression has a little more meat.

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    10. That seems a lot better, the capstone actually feels powerful now as well.

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  3. This seems like something from Allods xD Is that where the inspiration came from?

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    1. Don't know what that is. This class is inspired by the Crusader from the 3.5 Tome of Battle splatbook.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Is the bonus to attack constant (derived from how much damage you can have in it), or current (derived from how much damage you DO have in it) ?

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    1. I think I understand your question correctly. Furious Counterattack deals additional damage based on the damage in your damage pool, not the maximum size of your damage pool.

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  6. This would actually make for a really awsome duelist type of a character. Though, I would either multiclass in something that grants manouvers to gain "Parry" and "Riposte", or I would take the "Duelist Master" prestige class someone made.

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