January 15, 2016

Versatilist

Ranger Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Why choose?

Versatilist

Prerequisite: Archery fighting style or the Two-Weapon fighting style
The two classic expressions of a ranger are the close combatant, flurrying through combat with a weapon clutched in each hand, and the pinpoint sniper, dealing death with each loosed arrow. Yet a small number of rangers refuse to specialize into one of these camps, and instead perfect the art of balancing both styles in a fierce amalgamation of lethal fury.

Additional Fighting Style
Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the Archery fighting style or the Two-Weapon fighting style.

Versatile Combatant
Starting at 3rd level, your mix of fighting styles provides the following benefits:

  • When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can make an attack with a ranged weapon as the second attack.
  • You do not have disadvantage when you make a ranged attack within 5 feet of a hostile creature. 
  • On your turn, you can draw and stow a number of weapons up to your Dexterity modifier.


Sure-Footed
By 7th level, when you are prone, standing up uses only 5 feet of your movement. Additionally, your base walking speed increases by 5 feet.

Adaptable Assault
At 11th level, when you use your Attack action to make one light melee weapon attack and one ranged attack, you can make one additional attack with a light or ranged weapon.

Flexible Defense
Your flexible fighting style makes you challenging to predict. By 15th level if a creature attacks you and does not have advantage on the attack roll, you can use your reaction to increase your armor class for the attack by your Dexterity modifier.



Changelog: 1/15/16: Adaptable Assault, Flexible Defense: Level clauses added. Flexible defense typo corrected.
Versatile Combatant: You can draw or store any number of weapons. a number of weapons up to your Dex mod.
1/16/16: Sure-Footed: Effect 'moving through nonmagic difficult terrain' changed to 'your base walking speed increases by 5 feet'
Flexible Defense: You can't use this when a creature has advantage on an attack roll. Instead of imposing disadvantage on the attack roll, the effect now increases your AC by your Dex mod for the attack.
7/29/16: Prerequisite: Added
Additional Fighting Style: Reworded
8/30/16: Versatile Combatant: Reworded, and you always can always fire ranged weapons in melee without disadvantage.

20 comments:

  1. adaptable assault and flexible defence don't have levels, also you spelt defence wrong

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  2. This seems super unfinished and is one of the least creative things I've seen you guys produce. Versatile combatant looks like it takes from the crossbow expert and dual weapon fighting feats and the 7th level class feature is just from the athlete feat. Adaptable assault would not work with a ranged weapon as you need to have a free hand to reload. Also, you might as well just specify hand crossbow or pistol because you wouldn't be able to hold a longbow in your off-hand and use a weapon in the other.

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    1. I mean, a throwing dagger or axe is perfectly acceptable as a ranged weapon...

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    2. A couple of quick responses:

      On creativity: The Versatilist is a lot like Universalist for the wizard, that is, my attempt at a 'default' archetype for the class. So it doesn't attempt to do anything new with the ideas here, just present an expression of a singular ranger archetype.

      Versatile Combatant: This was the last feature I wrote and I honestly didn't check the Crossbow Expert feat one way or another. I'm AFB right now, so I'll come back to this later.

      Adaptable Assault: The loading property is a problem I never considered. I'll do some reading and fix the problem soon

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    3. I don't think it takes any action to drop a weapon. Theoretically, you could attack with a light melee weapon, drop it for no action, draw a longbow with a bonus action, then make 2 attacks with it. Considering that you can move between the attacks in multiattack and split up your movement with actions, I see no problem in taking a bonus action in the middle of a multiattack.

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    4. A little more in-depth response now that I'm in front of my books. Blake is off-base in the assertion that Versatile Combatant borrows from Crossbow Expert -- none of its features are really similar -- but it does borrow the quick-draw section from Dual Wielder. This is something I've done before and it's really important to this subclass working correctly. Importantly, I've also changed the section to allow you to draw any number of weapons on your turn, rather than both weapons, but only once, which was not my intent.

      Aurtose is correct that you could still use adaptable assault by dropping weapons, and the Palm is right that you could use thrown weapons, but the intent is that you could trade your weapons out multiple times in a single attack action, switching between two-weapon fighting and archery on a dime. The slight edit I've made to Versatile Combatant should afford that and correct the problem before.

      Lastly, Sure-Footed borrows a little from the Athlete feat, but also has an important difficult terrain effect which isn't present in the feat. The feats provide a good suite of mechanics that work well in 5e, and I'd be crazy if I didn't adapt them when I needed something that has already been field-tested.

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    5. Personally, I would replace "draw or stow" with "draw and stow" else it sounds like you can either only draw or only stow. Also, as an anti-cheese measure, I'd put a limit of 4/turn there, else a player could pull an ridiculous number of greatswords out of a bag of holding on their turn.

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  3. You know, the bummer about Adaptive Assault is that it'd work and be totally awesome, if guns were a normal DnD thing. As it is, swapping back and forth between ranged and melee seems overly clunky unless you're flinging throwing daggers (which, I admit, would be rather fun)

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    Replies
    1. It is a good thing that guns are in the dungeon masters guide.

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  4. Flexible Defense seems to just be a better version of the Deep Stalker from Unearthed Arcana's Stalker's Dodge, and Rangers already get to move through nonmagical difficult terrain unhindered with their base level 8 feature, so Sure-Footed is a little redundant.

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    1. This subclass has been sitting on the shelf for a while; I think I wrote it before deep stalker even released. But you're right on both of these points. I'll be rolling out a few more changes to deal with them

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  5. What could be a simple (or complex) solution to the "Draw and stow weapons" issue could be to make a new weapon: The Bow Sword

    Something like this:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/32/d1/4c/32d14ce4ab205bc965191946681e229c.jpg

    http://pre09.deviantart.net/b176/th/pre/i/2012/119/6/a/rainbow_dash__s_opalescent_bow_short_sword_by_pilkarc-d4y0tkb.png

    Make it switch-able as a bonus action, and when it is in sword form it uses short sword damage, and when in bow form it uses shortbow damage. Badabing badaboom.

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    1. Interesting idea (and why didn't I write this already when we did Weaponsmith?)

      My only problem mechanically is the bonus action switch, which ties you down to one change a turn, and eliminates two-weapon fighting on a turn that you switch.

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  6. I'm not sure this will please any of the haters, but this seems like an awesome way to mimic Peter Jackson's version of Legolas. I like it -- though Flexible Defense seems to presume you aren't already receiving your Dex bonus on your AC. Maybe Wisdom? (I'd suggest proficiency bonus, but that duplicates the Parry feat.)

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    1. Ha! I actually wrote this after playing Shadow over Mordor and really getting into how fast the character could switch between archery and swordplay.

      That's a good point about flexible defense; it really isn't as clear as it could be that you add your Dexterity modifier again if you already add it. Wisdom modifier seems strange for this purpose, though. I just don't see the connection between Wis and being hard to predict, and thus hard to hit.

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  7. I'd say that Flexible Defense is OP, but the Shield Spell is a 1st-level powerhouse for 5 AC for the WHOLE ROUND after use, declarable after you know if the spell will help you.

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    1. Right, and we're talking about a 15th level character. Next to some other 15th level characters, it makes sense.

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  8. For Adaptable Assault, the ability is worded so that you have to use your Action to make an attack with a melee weapon, as well as a ranged weapon, which RAW wouldn't benefit from Versatile Combatant's clause about not gaining disadvantage for making a ranged attack within 5ft of a hostile creature, since that is specifically for the attack made as a bonus action.

    Is this the intent?

    It seems a little strange to allow for a second ranged attack, but then have both made at disadvantage. The only ranged attack that wouldn't have disadvantage is the attack made as a bonus action, after you have made two ranged attacks at disadvantage.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I probably should mess with adaptable assault and remove the disadvantage for all ranged weapon attacks in close quarters.

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