May 16, 2016

Scorpion Heritor

Primal Path
Comments from the Finger: This is a weird gem converteout of 3.5, but I think it'll fit into our desert-themed material nicely.

Path of the Scorpion

The scorpion is thought to represent revenge and death, but to those who live in the vast desert wastes, the scorpion has come to symbolize stealth, passion, and preservation in the face of extinction. After all, the scorpion cannot be killed by the untamable waste, and it bows to no power other than its own. Some barbarians of the wastes worship at altars dedicated to ancient scorpion gods, and become Scorpion Heritors, men transformed by the Waste into forms better adapted to their harsh environment. With time, they come to possess the power of scorpions, and even begin to resemble them.

Sneak Attack
Starting when you adopt this path at 3rd level, you know how to strike subtly like a scorpion. Once per turn, while you are raging, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.
     You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.
     This extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class. At 6th level, it increases to 2d6, at 10th, it increases to 3d6, and at 14th it increases to 4d6.

Scorpion Instincts
Starting at 6th level, you gain proficiency in Stealth and Survival and you can add twice your proficiency bonus to Dexterty (Stealth) and Wisdom (Survival) checks you make while you are in the desert.

Venomous Blood
At 10th level, you have immunity to poison damage and can't be poisoned. Additionally, while you are raging, you can deal your additional damage from Sneak Attack as poison damage.

Scorpion Tail
Starting at 14th level, while you are raging, you sprout a spectral, yet tangible, scorpion tail. This tail is a finesse, reach weapon which cannot be disarmed and deals 1d8 poison or piercing damage (your choice) on a hit. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make an additional attack using your tail.



Changelog: 5/16/16: Description: Typo fixed
Scorption Tail: Changed to allow you an extra attack with the tail. Critical hit stuff removed. Damage reduced.
5/18/16: Scorpion Instincts: You now get proficiency while not in deserts, and twice proficiency while in them.

25 comments:

  1. Great Archetype!

    Is that already the work of your new artist?

    Also, (maybe?) a typo: in the description, it says "they come possess the power", not sure if that's correct...

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    1. Artist: nope! Not to brag, but we just got a phenomenal artist or two, they kinda put this to shame.
      Typo: Fixed.

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    2. Can't wait to see them in action :D

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  2. I see the potential problem that poison is a very common resistance/immunity and sneak attack deals the same damage type as the weapon it's used with, meaning that the capstone has a higher chance of being worthless in any given fight than I'd be comfortable with (as it has no real utility outside of combat).

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    1. Question - should it really be called Sneak Attack? Maybe Exploit Weakness? I understand why it is named that as it follows the same mechanics but maybe rename it for flavor? I like the archetype as a whole but I could see it being confused as too roguish instead of raging barbarian. Just my opinion.

      Does the rage damage bonus also stack with the "sneak attack" bonus?

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    2. Rage specifies you have to use Strength, Sneak Attack specifies you have to use a Finesse weapon. While Finesse requires Dexterity, Sneak Attack doesn't actually specify that you have to USE the Finesse feature,only that the weapon must HAVE the Finesse feature, so you can just use Strength with your Finesse weapon to stack both Rage and Sneak Attack.

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    3. Yeah, it basically downgrades you to smaller weapons (you get your bonus damage with strength rolls, provided that you use a finesse weapon.)

      I stuck with the regular Sneak Attack name for ease of use. Anyone can look at that and go 'yeah, I know how that works' without riddling it out. Also, if another feature calls out sneak attack specifically, I want this to be included.

      Lastly, you're totally right about poison actually being too easy to resist -- I think I was just using the monster manual for reference on to how to build a stinger. I'll revamp this feature to make it a little more capstone worthy.

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    4. Gotcha - makes sense. Thanks, Finger!

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  4. An excellent subclass! I'll have to present this to my Half-Orc player before he hits level three, see if he wants to switch up his class.

    However, perhaps you could modify the last feature? It seems to me it would be a better idea to reduce the damage and let the player use it as a Bonus Action attack, akin to the third arm trait from your Warshaper subclass. As long as we're fulfilling the fantasy of having a weaponized tail, might as well complete the fantasy by letting you use it as a third weapon.

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    1. That's a really good call, especially if I let the tail use an ability score to damage. I don't think I love the image of it using a third weapon (like, it should be ended by a stinger, not a hand or something), but another attack totally works.

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    2. Well that was what I was getting at, it being basically a third arm with a weapon. You can't drop the weapon and it's a part of you, but functionally speaking you've got a third arm with a stabby bit.

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  5. This path looks like a lot of fun to use, especially when flavor is the primary focus. In my opinion, the power curve is a bit lack luster, but that doesn't really bother me. What I really like about it is what it brings to the table role play wise. It's rather unique, albeit rather niche.

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    1. This is totally going to be part of the desert update (which will come out in full on Patreon). It's a great kind of environment for roleplay. We'll be releasing more from this in the coming weeks, so look forward to that.

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  6. I think that this class needs a ribbon at first level, because /only/ getting sneak attack doesn't quite have the flavor that this archetype seems to focus on. It doesn't necessarily have to confer a mechanical advantage, but there should be /something/ besides 'Sneak Attack'

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    1. What about being able to survive in 'Hot' environments without having to make constitution checks vs Fatigue for the ribbon? I believe in Wild Hunt this was equal to 100 degrees.

      Hot and cold could also work, due to the fact that deserts become unbearably cold at night.

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  7. I would also give straight proficiency in the 6th level feature, and expertise while making checks related to the desert. I am well aware that it is intended for the desert update, but a Barb whose campaign starts in the desert before jumping through the multiverse as levels increase loses their 6th level feature entirely until they come back to the desert.

    That doesn't /feel/ good.

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    1. Supposing the campaign is set in Athas this is fine, that said, I don't think there are going to be many campaigns set in Athas until psionics have been released.

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    2. Yeah, that's a really good idea. I should be able to implement that change tonight sometime.

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  8. Is it intended that the capstone doesn't require a bonus action to use? Just wondering, because off of the top of my head I can't think of an official precedent. Doesn't seem like a major concern though, as the class itself seems underpowered in my estimation.

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    1. Yup! I originally had it as a bonus action, but I think it works way better this way. And as for the class's power level, I'm banking on the extra damage from sneak attack being powerful enough to put it on the level.

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    3. Thanks for the answer! I find it hard to mentally gauge sneak attack's value, but I guess barbarians can guarantee sneak attack on hit as long as they don't have disadvantage, which gives them a little boost in that area.

      Interesting idea that I hadn't seen yet, thanks.

      (Btw I think it would be cool to see some expansions to the Totem Barbarian like the ones in SCAG. Not true sub-classes, but still interesting territory to explore. Could include re-writes of this and other animal themed barbarian sub-classes)

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