January 18, 2016

Path of the Fin

Primal Path
Note from the Palm: I'm a shark, I'm a shark, I'm a SHAAAAAARK!

Path of the Fin

Tribal communities exist all across the realms, in all manner of locales and climes. While their customs often change, one steadfast certainty, seen time and time again, is the reverence for particular animals local to that tribe. These are often wildly varied; northern tribes may revere the Wolf or the Bear, those of the deserts follow the Hawk or the Jackal, and those of the jungle may aspire to the Ape, or the Tiger. It is in this tradition that the Path of the Fin, island warriors capturing the bloodthirsty essence of the great Shark, arose.

Feeding Frenzy
Fin barbarians, as opposed to their land-locked brothers, undergo much in the way of physical transformation when they enter a rage. Starting at 3rd level, while raging, you sprout rows of razor-sharp shark teeth and gain a melee bite attack which deals 1d8 slashing damage on a hit. When you attack a living creature with this bite, you heal a number of hit points equal to half the damage dealt.

Blood Sense
A fully grown shark can smell a single drop of blood in the water almost a mile away. At 6th level, you gain an amazing sense of smell. You gain advantage on all Investigation and Perceptions rolls dealing with smell, you can automatically track a single living creature whose scent you know so long as the trail is no older than a week old. By spending a minute concentrating, you can detect the scents of all living creatures in a 100 yard radius, or up to a mile in the water.

Mako
Starting at 10th level, your bite attack damage increases to 1d10, and a creature you bite must make a Dexterity save (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier) or be knocked prone.

Shark Force
At 14th level, you become a total amalgamation of shark and man. You gain gills, a small dorsal fin, and your skin becomes rough, like that of a shark. You gain a swim speed equal to twice your walking speed, you can breathe underwater, and your armor class increases by 2. Additionally, your bite damage increases to 1d12.

25 comments:

  1. Is the shark supposed to be proficient with his bite attack or no? because as is he isnt. On an unrelated note, THIS IS *&^%$#@ AWESOME

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    1. Yes. Technically speaking, anything that's a "Natural weapon" is usually defined as an unarmed strike. I'll adjust the wording.

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    2. (I already changed the wording from your original draft, since it was easier to define it just as a weapon.)

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    3. Also, the correct term is "JAWSOME!"

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  2. When detecting the scents of nearby creatures with Blood Sense, do they learn the specific type of creature it is? Just it's type?

    I also think they should gain some bonus to smelling blood (radius increase?), currently it doesn't feel much like blood sense, more just sharp smelling.

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    1. 1. That would require further skill checks; blood sense will let you know that there's a big creature 100 ft. in front of you, a Nature check will then tell you that it's a bear.

      2. It is just sharp smelling. The name is just thematic.

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    2. You know, I do like the idea, though. It would be interesting if you could detect creatures' types, or if you could know the exact locations of creatures that are below their hit point maximums.

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    3. I wouldn't do below hit point maximum, but perhaps take a lesson from 4E and 13th Age and use bloodied, when a creature is at or below half of its HP total.

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    4. As I am constantly saying to my players: "yes, he's bloodied. No, not because he's under half hp, but because you just hit him with a sword."

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  3. Could you attack with two light weapons and your bite in one round?

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    1. Yes, provided you have Extra Attack. You can use your bite for one attack, a light weapon for the other, and a bonus action to TWF with the other weapon.

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  4. Is it possible that the bite should go through resistances? Because the bite loses alot of power otherwise since it doesn't punch through resistance to non magical piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage.

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    1. Hmm...perhaps. I'll look into it.

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    2. I mean yeah it may become overpowered because of that but without it the best/coolest/AWESOMEST part of this class Falls short.

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    3. It has a really nice damage die progression on the bite, and healing hit points mid-rage is pretty powerful. My fear is that overcoming damage resistance might push it over the edge in terms of power. Prehistoric Warrior, for example, got only that ability at 3rd level.

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    4. That is true, it is a really powerful effect. But without that it pretty much becomes a gamble on whether you land a crit against bosses/high level enemies.

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    5. The Healing and +2 ac though does make it a very viable tank though. And that I love!

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  5. So is the a option of Totem Warrior or is it a different path entirely?

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    1. Different option entirely, but thematically it's grounded in the idea of a totem barbarian.

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  6. Is Shark Force permanent or only while raging? I assume only while raging but the wording is a little unclear.

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  7. This seems similar to the Totemic paths (since they also gain similarities to the Totem spirits)so you could simply go with calling it Totem of the Shark and still fit all of these abilities in there.

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    1. We could certainly do that, but it presents it's own balancing challenges that are more difficult to anticipate, and it presents some thematic hurdles (how, for instance, does it work for a barbarian to transform into a shark-man if he only selected Shark Force and no other Shark Totem features?)

      If you want to include this in your own game as a totem path, I encourage you to do so, but be sure to carefully navigate these problems.

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  8. Would it be unbalanced to have the bite constantly, but only heal when raging?

    As-is, if you want to focus on the bite then you're boned when you're out of rages except if your party enforces the 15m adventuring day and constantly takes rests.

    So you're forced to carry a second weapon, which may be objectively better than the bite. (Greataxe)

    However, from a theme standpoint I would like to be able to use the bite and not have to worry about other options. I am a SHARK after all.

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  9. How does the blood sense work in the water if you can't BREATH underwater?

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