February 29, 2016

Scout

Ranger Archetype
Comments from the Finger: A quick read, no pun intended.

Scout

You have received training in a unique fighting style that favors fast movement and devastating attacks.

Distance Runner
Beginning when you select this archetype at 3rd level, your base walking speed increases by 5 feet. At 7th level, this movement speed bonus increases to 10 feet, and at 15th level it increases to 15 feet.
     Additionally, you can perform a Forced March for twice as long before suffering levels of exhaustion.

Skirmish Strike
At 3rd level, once on each of your turns, when you attack immediately after moving at least 10 feet, you can deal an additional 1d8 damage on a hit. At 11th level, this bonus damage increases to 2d8.

Vigilant Scout
Starting at 7th level, you can make an initiative roll with advantage. After doing so, you must complete a short or long rest before doing so again.

Swiftblade
At 11th level, when you use your action to Dash or Disengage, you can make an attack against a creature within reach.

Sprinting Dodge
At 15th level, when you use your action to Dash, attacks against you have disadvantage until the start of your next turn.



Changelog: 2/29/16: Distance Runner: Increased movement speed at 7th and 15th level
Skirmish Strike: Increased damage at 11th level
3/30/16: Skirmish Strike: Reworded: no longer requires the attack to be made on the Attack action, as long as it is on your turn (to allow better synergy with Swiftblade.)

17 comments:

  1. It's cool, though I kinda miss the progression. I don't know the math here, nor can I play test it, but a 1d8 doesen't seem much at later levels.

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    1. Well, this is intended to be similar to the +1d8 damage the Hunter archetype can get at this level, but to some extent you might be right about progression, since 11th level doesn't provide as much oomph as the hunter's does. I'll have to think about it for a bit

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    2. Also, I wonder how would "using dash as an action" in his abilities work if he grts the ability to dash as a bonus action? Would it still have to be used as action or would, tor example, the capstone work with a bonus action dash?

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  2. While I always did love the Scout in 3.5, would it perhaps fit more naturally to work as a Rogue archetype instead with a progression closer to its original design by unlocking Sneak Attack on a target if it made the necessary movement?

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    1. See, that kinda works (especially mechanically) but I have a hard time accepting that a rogue is more thematically similar to the scout than a ranger. I might create a rogue variant which accomplishes the same thing, but I think it would need a new theme to wrap it in as well.

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  3. I do like the idea, but I feel like it's a little under powered. The base walking speed increase is nice, but I feel like the extra 1d8 damage after moving will be extremely under powered at later levels. Sure it goes up an extra d8 at 11th level, but I feel like it's too late by then. Decreasing the bonus damage die to 1d6, then adding another progression to it would make it much nicer. Increasing it to 2d6 at 7th, and then 3d6 at 11th would round it out nicely.
    The vigilant scout is a good idea, but it's extremely under powered, especially for a 7th level ability. Gaining the Alert feet would be a straight upgrade instead of this ability, and then some. Simply gaining advantage on one initiative roll per short rest is not enough. Now gaining advantage on all initiative checks would really round out this 7th level, lest it will be quite a dead one.
    Now swift blade, in contrast with everything else, is fantastic. It's right in the wheel house of the theme of the mechanics, and it's not too overpowered since it's only one attack. I think it is fine where it's at.
    Finally, Sprinting dodge does it's job very well. It keeps your character mobile, while keeping them out of harm's way. Problem is, it doesn't help much if harm's already in their way. I think including disengage ontop of dashing to activate the ability would round it out to be a nice 15th level ability. It's nice when the ranger realizes it can't face tank a seriously nasty baddie.
    Overall, good concept, and I like it. It just needs a little oiling in the hinges and it'll be a great option in place of that dreadful core archetype for rangers. You all know what I'm talking about.

    P.S. Playing the Versatilist archetype in one of my campaigns right now, and I'm loving it.

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    1. I'm glad you're liking versatilist!

      @Skirmish Strike: As for damage on this one, I'm not pulling my numbers out of thin air; I used the Hunter subclass as a point of reference. Colossus Slayer grants a static +1d8 once per turn, with a caveat as to when you can deal this damage, which is exactly how I implemented Skirmish Strike. Hunter can also get significantly more attacks against multiple targets at 11th level with Multiattack, and I only added 1 attack when you get Swiftblade, so to compensate for this, I added +1d8 at 11th level as well. Essentially, this subclass should be right on par in terms of damage -- not weak by any extent.

      @Vigilant Scout: In the past, I didn't shy away from constant advantage on initiative rolls, but in retrospect, I completely should have. No class in the game gets advantage on this roll, and in playtesting this feature I realized why: its a really powerful.

      But you also shouldn't compare a feature offered by any subclass against feats; instead, compare them against the relevant comparable subclasses. Hunter gets a choice at 7th level from All Opportunity Attacks against you have disadvantage, +4 AC after you take a hit, and advantage against being frightened. Passive advantage on initiative blows these completely out of the water. I might give a more passive buff in addition at this level (like +2 to initiative, or can't be frightened), but not advantage on initiative.

      @Sprinting Dodge: I think you might be underselling this one. All attacks against you have disadvantage if you dash, not just Opportunity Attacks. I'll have to think about this one.

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    2. On Skirmish Strike, I agree with you that it does very good damage in relation to the rest of the class as a whole. Really what I was thinking was giving it a bit more of a damage boost would help the ranger compete with monks and barbarians for dpt, instead of having to rely on their spells. Of course spells are fantastic, so they really don't need the damage boost. My main concern with it is the progression honestly. Yes it's great for early game dpt, but late game it would feel mediocre. Maybe adding one more progression at level 18 or something of the like to make it 3d8 so it keeps the archetype relevant in later levels.

      For Vigilant Scout, We've probably had different experiences DMing, because my players always roll crap for initiative XD

      I also like the idea of giving the ranger a passive buff. If you don't mind me throwing out an idea, an option could be something similar to second-story work. Sticking with the theme of the archetype really appeals to me personally.

      For Sprinting Dodge, things just have to go through testing. It's a really hard to nail down ability because it's a completely different play style to most orthodox classes. As a hidden boon from it, you're burning reactions on people. This could help your spellcasters take out multiple enemies. Either way, it needs a little tweaking.

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  4. I have a question about swift blade. My understanding is that when you use the dash or disengage action, you are granted an attack within reach(which is 5 or 10 feet). Does this attack have to be used immediately when you use the action(attack then move) or can you make the attack anywhere along the dash?

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    1. By RAW, you gain the attack when you use the action. So for Dash, you can only make this attack anywhere along your normal movement (not during the 30 feet of bonus movement, because you need to use the Dash action to get that movement.) With Disengage, you can use this action (and that attack) at any time, but you only gain the benefits of Disengage after you take the action.

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  5. I think I am missing something because it looks to me like Skirmish Strike and Swiftblade cancel each other out. This seems really terrible. Skirmish Strike requires you to use your action to attack, but Swiftblade means you need to disengage or dodge. It is comepletely possible thag I am missing something, but I'd like a response.

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    1. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'cancel each other out' in this context. By RAW here, you can't use Skirmish Strike when you make attacks with Swiftblade (since it's not made using the Attack action), and these are therefore mutually exclusive, but one does not invalidate the other somehow. In retrospect, the Swiftbade feature would probably have much better synergy if it could stack with Skirmish Strike, so I think I'll modify Skirmish Strike to work with it. Thanks for the comment!

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    2. Wow, thank you for fixing this so quickly. That's what I meant, you can't use them both at the same time. This class actually seems like one I may want to play now. I also just want to say that I love all the homebrew stuff on this site, (my campaign is practically 90% stuff from outside the PHB), and I tell me D&D friends about this site. Do you think you could finish the Mystic class that came out for UA from WotC? If so, I believe the disciplines known follows the pattern of "You know 'x' disciplines where 'x' is the square root of your Mystic level rounded up. Here is the PDF
      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://dnd.wizards.com/sites/default/files/media/upload/articles/Psionics.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwji_6O_pevLAhVG_R4KHRx7BaQQFggfMAE&usg=AFQjCNEGCw6OsfgrWiLfs_a71z_zYCP9gw&sig2=UPG5WeLyLnzznQ87Jz-Bqw

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    3. Also, can you make extra attack stack with them? So instead of this: "you can make an attack against a creature within reach." It is this: "you can make an attack as if you had taken the attack action, but this attack can only be made with against a creature within reach." Unless you aren't supposed to have them stack...

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    4. I didn't intend for that feature to stack with multiple attacks. If I did, it would probably be too powerful. Plus, this way it creates a more interesting trade-off. Do I Disengage and forfeit one of my attacks, or double-down and risk the opportunity attack?

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  6. This awesome archetype needs some adaptation if used with the ranger revised version cos @Vigilant Scout now is ruined by @Natural Explorer class feature. But I really love this archetype!!

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    1. You're totally right. I'm gonna have to readapt a lot of the Ranger archetypes for conclaves

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