July 18, 2016

War Hulk (Redux)

Primal Path
Comments from the Finger: We first released the Path of the Colossus when the Hand was young, and this corner of the internet didn't get much attention. It was intended to be a more balanced version of the War Hulk from 3.5 -- a favorite of powergamers trying to make fighters and barbarians viable in that edition. It ended up having some significant problems which we eventually worked out, but the final product lacked a lot of the focus it might have had and didn't align itself too closely with how Primal Paths should work.
     Here's us making up for that.

Path of the Colossus

The colossus, known to most as a war-hulk, is a creature of the front-lines, swinging massive weapons and sweeping away smaller combatants in their fury. To a war-hulk, strength is the only attribute that matters: cunning is for the weak; faith is for the weak; speed is for the weak. Victory and conquest are for the strong alone. This path is a favorite of goliaths and giants, who step easily into crushing smaller opponents.

Larger than Life
Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you become a titan when you rage. When you begin a rage, your size doubles in all dimensions, and your weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases your size by one category—from Medium to Large, for example. This size increase does not stack with similar size increases, such as from the enlarge/reduce spell. If there isn’t enough room for you to double your size, you attain the maximum possible size in the space available. Your weapons also grow to match your new size. While these weapons are enlarged, your attacks with them deal 1d4 extra damage.
     While raging, you can use your action to make a massive swing against all creatures in a 15-foot line within your reach. Roll a separate attack roll for each target in the line.

Imposing Presence
At 6th level, your immense stature can block line of sight. Ranged effects drawing line of sight through your position treat targets behind you as if they have three-quarters cover. When you are raging, this becomes total cover.

Boulder Throw
At 10th level, you can throw massive boulders or other suitably large objects as weapons. A boulder is a massive, thrown (range 30/60), two-handed weapon that deals 2d8 bludgeoning damage.
     When a creature wields a massive weapon, it reduces the number of attacks it can make with the Attack action by one, to a minimum of one.

Colossal Strength
At 14th level, your Strength score and maximum becomes 22, and at 20th level, it becomes 26, rather than 24.
     When you make a melee weapon attack while raging, the attack has reach, if it did not have have it before.

Sidebar: Size
While the Path of the Colossus can be taken by members of any race, the DM should limit access to this path to races of appropriate size. Gnomes and halflings, for example, are poorly suited to throwing boulders, but goliaths and minotaurs are well suited to the task.



Changelog: 7/18/16: Larger than Life: Does not stack with other enlargement effects
Boulder Throw: Includes clause for other large objects
7/20/16: Colossal Strength: Strength becomes 22, rather than increasing by 4. If it's naturally 20 or higher, it becomes 26. Added reach
7/21/16: Colossal Strength: Typo: Lower than 20 -> 22. Higher than 20 ->26
8/28/16: Colossal Strength: Fixed to only work with barbarian capstone, rather than any above 20 Strength increase.

24 comments:

  1. Cool re-master (:
    I think it would make more sense to make Colossal Strength increase the STR by 2 with a 22 cap, and a 26 cap at level 20. It's just weird to nerd the class-generic capstone in my opinion. If that's too weak I'd add a second feature with more flavor to balance it out.

    Also, does the Larger than Life feature stack with Duergar's Enlarge racial trait? Cause that sounds a bit broken.

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    1. Or the Hulk class's size increase too?

      Plus, if at level 20 the max STR becomes 26, what would even make it possible to get those two points at that level?

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    2. I second the first thing mentioned by Jonothan, nerfing the class capstone is something I would not want to codify in MFOV subclasses; that level in general is really dry - it just gives you the equivalent of 2 ASI in strength and while it arguably fits, I feel a more flavorful feature could be added or take its place.

      On the topic of boulders, could there be a small addition of "or other suitably large objects" so that you can throw other things if the terrain does not have giant rocks?

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    3. Strength: I wouldn't make the case that Colossal Strength hurts the class's capstone -- after all, it allows you to get as high as 26 Strength using it. It's more of an early capstone feature than anything. However, you might be right that a more dynamic feature might fit better here I'll have to mull it over.

      Size Stacking: Larger than Life isn't intended to stack with other enlarge features. I'll have to find a way to put that in the feature somewhere.

      Boulders: I can add a clause to this for throwing other objects, but I'm concerned that it'll be a little vague mechanically. After all, I only provide stats for what a boulder would look like, but I can't for any other object.

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    4. Strength: I see what you mean, it's not a straight nerf but it does make the level 20 capstone feel less good than it would for every other Barbarian archetype. I just think it's a bit odd to touch it at all.

      As others have said, it does feel bland compared to what you get in other archetypes at 14th. I would prefer something with a bit more flavour even though breaking the Strength cap even more is tempting from a powergaming perspective.

      Another thought on Larger than Life - would it make sense to scale up the d4 to d6 and d8 when the rage damage bonus increases? Or copy one of the monk weapons/bard inspiration/battlemaster superiority progressions?

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    5. On the topic of 'suitably large objects', I would assume that leaving it open to interpretation is a -good- thing, as the present situation means that you get full profficiency and heavy damage when throwing Boulders, but when throwing say, a car or tree, (bear with the example) you only get strength-to-hit and deal 1d4+str damage as it is an 'improvised weapon'.

      Needing giant rocks to be placed means that player agency is taken away for GM whim, and that is not something I believe belongs in a PC class?

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    6. Whoops, didnt see that you had implemented the change already! Thank you.

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    7. To strength: wouldn't it be easier to increase the value by 2 on 14th level and leave the capstone as is (except the maximum score of course)? Also, I would give some sort of minor unique trait like shoving smaller creatures both prone and pushing the 5 feet away, effectively 'sweeping away smaller combatants in their fury'.

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    8. I changed the way it works with the capstone a little bit, and I added passive reach while raging as a minor trait. Good notes!

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    9. Sorry for being nitpicky, but this new wording seems a little confusing. What happens when my strength IS already 20? Do I get the score of 22 or 26? And how does this work at level 20?

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    10. Sorry, that was a typo: at 20, you get 22. If higher than 20 (IE, because capstone) it becomes 26.

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  2. Can u sharpshooter feat a boulder?

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    1. The sharpshooter feat affects ranged weapon attack. The boulder isn't a ranged weapon, it is a thrown weapon.

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    3. @Finger: Not accurate by the vanilla rules.

      Per Sage Advice: "Similarly, “ranged weapon attack” means a ranged attack with a weapon." http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/rules-answers-september-2015

      Per Twitter: "Sharpshooter feat—the first two benefits work with a ranged attack with any weapon, including a dagger." https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/719326851173187585

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    4. Oh, you're totally correct. I always English that interpretation incorrectly. So, you can sharpshooter a boulder, and melee attack it. (But again, I'm not sure why you would want to spend a feat on that.)

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  3. Alsoooo u can't melee attack with a boulder right? It would that be a weird improvised weapon for melee range?

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    1. Technically, you can use it in melee as well, just like a dagger, which can be thrown or used in melee.

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  4. Colossal Strength.
    Your maximum strength score is the same as your new strength score.
    It's a bit interrupted in the PDF, with the reach effect between it.

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    1. Wow, I butchered that change. Should be fixed now -- thanks for pointing it out.

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  5. Typo in the level 14 ability, 20 Str matches both cases. (I'm assuming the 1st is supposed to be "less than 20".)

    Unrelated: does the massive swing use a separate damage roll for each target?

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    1. Yup, that was a typo. Also, massive swing rolls damage separately.

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  6. The Colossal Strength shouldn't make your strength 26 automatically if it's higher than 20, it should just increase the cap. You can go above 20 with the magic books (manuals), so If you got one before 14th level this becomes really f***ed up.

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    1. I forgot about manuals! I'll reword this to make sure it only increases when you hit the barbarian capstone.

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