PHB3 Hybrid Debut: Hybrid artificers are in, hybrid paladins are declawed, not much else has changed

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(Ignore the phrase regarding paladins in the topic title; I had made an erroneous assumption.) After eight months of testing and trying out, tampering and toying with, and tinkering and tweaking the builds for hybrid characters as per the playtest rules laid in Dragon Magazine #375, we, at long last, now have the debut rules for such characters available for our viewing pleasure. The hybrid framework appears to be approximately identical to the previous one; the most notable alteration would be the addition of the hybrid artificer entry. Yes, hybrid ardents, assassins, monks, psions, and seekers remain yet to be unveiled. The following are the changes that a cursory glance has discerned:

• The hybrid artificer has been made existent. Its singular class feature is Healing Infusion (Hybrid): "This class feature functions as the artificer class feature, except that you can create only one healing infusion at the end of each extended rest." While the other hybrid leader classes receive additional class features instead of simply their healing power, it must be bore in mind that the first infusion each day effectively acts as a surgeless heal, and that even this hybrid version of Healing Infusion allows the party's healing surges to be "redistributed" to a small extent. Arcane Empowerment and Arcane Rejuvenation are the two hybrid options of the artificer, the former coming with both Impart Energy and Augment Energy. To be perfectly honest, the hybrid artificer would be a solid option for the Magic Weapon at-will power alone. This hybrid class is mysteriously lacking the additional trained skill that it should have; perhaps this is an oversight?

• The Battlerager Vigor option of Hybrid Talent (Fighter Combat Talent) was given the following limitation: "This class feature functions as the fighter class feature except that you don't gain the bonus to damage rolls when wearing light armor or chainmail." This is but a minor blow to the potency of Battlerager Vigor-using barbarian|fighters and fighter|wardens.

• The allied action point benefit of the hybrid warlord's Hybrid Talent (Commanding Presence) was limited to once per encounter, supposedly to ensure that hybrid cleric|warlords were not superior to pure warlords. While I can see the line of reasoning here, and while powers such as Righteous Brand and Mighty Hew would be lovely for a warlord to have, one less feat is one less feat that can never be replaced, and splitting your healing class features into a once-per-encounter Healing Word and a once-per-encounter Inspiring Word does not mesh well with options that improve either of them, such as Improved Inspiring Word and Supreme Inspiration, and the lack of a third heal at level 16 is quite a bother.

Hold, hold, those are the only three mechanical changes and nothing more? This rings in my mind as dissatisfying. I had envisioned a more polished, more refined, more balanced set of rules for hybrid characters, not a disheartening rerelease of the article in Dragon Magazine #375 with minor changes here and there. Hybrid fighter|wardens and ranger|rogues are still overwhelmingly synergistic due to quirky interactions between their class features. Would it have been difficult to balance the offending hybrid classes with provisions such as "Once per round, when you use a standard action to attack with a [ranger/rogue] power or [ranger/rogue] paragon path power..." or "Once per round, when you use a standard action to attack with a warden or warden paragon path power...?"


Hybrid beastmasters remain worthless due to the arbitrary -1 penalty to attack rolls and defenses for the beast companion, hybrid paladins are still condemned with a hybrid Divine Challenge class feature of shoddy effectiveness, and WotC was too simple-minded to recognize that hybrid avengers, fighters, rangers, and rogues, cannot mark or use their striker class feature on melee basic attacks (charges, opportunity attacks, etc.) by default. What I find to be more aggravating is the severe deprivation of skill trainings and ritual casting that most hybrid characters are burdened with. Consider that a non-hybrid artificer receives five trained skills, Ritual Caster, and a set of free rituals; a non-hybrid invoker or wizard is similarly graced with four trained skills, Ritual Caster, and a handful of free rituals. On the other hand, hybrid artificer|invokers, artificer|wizards, and invoker|artificers have only three trained skills and no ritual casting whatsoever. Meanwhile, the all too effective ranger|rogue can pick out six trained skills due to the ill-thought rules for trained skills for hybrid characters.

I would rate the quality of this debut article as a solid red. With eight months of feedback and testing, you would have expected Wizards to be competent enough to apply a set of touch-ups to the rules for hybrid characters that can be intuited and implemented in the span of a day after having performed the research on it. This is a particularly reprehensible event given that the past two articles covering hybrid characters were playtest articles. Wizards had explicitly encouraged players to send their feedback and suggestions regarding hybrid characters, and many a thread delineating the failings and the ill-thought areas of these rules had arose on D&D 4e forums here and there. These eight months of comments and constructive criticism had amounted to nothing but slight modifications to hybrid Battlerager Vigor and Commanding Presence; the hybrid artificer was due for release anyway.
Shouldn't the Artificer's infusion thing say 'short rest'?  All the other hybrid leaders get their heal as an encounter power, why is the Artificer's effectively a daily?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Shouldn't the Artificer's infusion thing say 'short rest'?  All the other hybrid leaders get their heal as an encounter power, why is the Artificer's effectively a daily?

He just means they get a free one after an extended rest, then burn an ally's surge to recharge. It's what makes them unique.

Also, the article, where is it?
Shouldn't the Artificer's infusion thing say 'short rest'? All the other hybrid leaders get their heal as an encounter power, why is the Artificer's effectively a daily?



Due to the wording of the Healing Infusion class feature, you would, in fact, be able to recharge your singular healing infusion during a short rest, but only that one dosage.
Hybrid paladins from Dragon 375 already had that nerf.
What could be done besides flat-out giving a "you can't use these things together" message a la adventure game to reduce synergy, Ads? I honestly can't think of much that wouldn't kill the hybrid versions of the synergistic classes. It's just the way things roll: some combos are very effective, others not so much. It doesn't bother me, and there's nothing wrong with it.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
There already was hardly any reason to hybrid Paladin when their MC feat provides an arguably better mark (unless you desperately need several Paladin powers for a build, which I don't really see happening).
Nice, like BRV wasn't weak enough.
Also, the article, where is it?



Where is the article?
Ah, okay, I didn't read the OP right then, I guess.  My bad.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I suspect "weak" is a relative term here.

There are some pretty nutso ranger/paladin hybrid builds...I just am not really liking hybrids at all.  60% of the time they are underpowered, 30% of the time they are OK, and 10% of the time they are a little insane on the power scale.

Where's the link to this?
Hybrid paladins from Dragon 375 already had that nerf.



My mistake; this makes the hybrid artificer and the new limitation on hybrid Battlerager Vigor the only actual changes to the article so far.

What could be done besides flat-out giving a "you can't use these things together" message a la adventure game to reduce synergy, Ads? I honestly can't think of much that wouldn't kill the hybrid versions of the synergistic classes. It's just the way things roll: some combos are very effective, others not so much. It doesn't bother me, and there's nothing wrong with it.



"Once per round, when you use a standard action to attack with a [ranger/rogue] power or [ranger/rogue] paragon path power..." or "Once per round, when you use a standard action to attack with a warden or warden paragon path power..." would have rendered the class features in question that much more bearable.
Where's the link to this?



...Apparently, its a secret...
Perhaps I'm missing something, but what tricks are we talking about here? Because I seem to remember those lines popping up in the original version. You'll have to be more specific about this.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).

Where's the link to this?



The Compendium.

Where's the link to this?



...Apparently, its a secret...



It's a secret to everyone!
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).

Where's the link to this?



The Compendium.




might want to edit your original post to clue people into that.
usually these type posts of yours are about dragon articles.
It's too bad that they didn't figure out a way to let people apply features from one class to non-class powers (like letting a fighter/rogue either mark or apply sneak attack on a basic attack, but not both).  Many hybrid characters are going to be missing out on charges, OAs, or powers from multiclass/racial PPs.

We've been playing with that as a house rule for ages.  It would have been nice to see it make it into the rules.

Hybrid fighters just suck when they can't mark on charges, or OAs etc. 

There already was hardly any reason to hybrid Paladin when their MC feat provides an arguably better mark (unless you desperately need several Paladin powers for a build, which I don't really see happening).



One feat for Plate+Heavy Shield + low AC Cha Striker? Radiant Delirium and Price of Cowardice cover the ranged Paladin choices and Virtuous Strike is a melee basic with good feat support. And eventually True Nemesis will come into play. Sorcerers are already spending that feat for Leather Armor anyway...
This may be hard to answer given the article still isn't out, but...

Does using a power swap for one of your hybrid powers mean you don't count as having that power anymore for parity?

Encounter 1 Class 1
Encounter 3 Class 2 -> Powerswapped to MC power
Encounter 7: CB says I have to take Class 2 power.
This may be hard to answer given the article still isn't out, but...

Does using a power swap for one of your hybrid powers mean you don't count as having that power anymore for parity?

Encounter 1 Class 1
Encounter 3 Class 2 -> Powerswapped to MC power
Encounter 7: CB says I have to take Class 2 power.

That's interesting, because CB won't let me power swap the encounter 3 at all.
You HAVE to have at least one power from each side of your Hybrid, no exceptions. So yeah, you've gotta keep that Encounter 3 Class 2 power until level 7, at which point you can swap it for anything you want.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
This may be hard to answer given the article still isn't out, but...

Does using a power swap for one of your hybrid powers mean you don't count as having that power anymore for parity?

Encounter 1 Class 1
Encounter 3 Class 2 -> Powerswapped to MC power
Encounter 7: CB says I have to take Class 2 power.

That's interesting, because CB won't let me power swap the encounter 3 at all.



Must be because I saved the character before the update.
Hybrid fighters just suck when they can't mark on charges, or OAs etc. 



I think Fighters should mark on a melee attack, but only if they use a Fighter power does the Combat Challenge part trigger. It seems very reasonable compared to the other Defenders.
You HAVE to have at least one power from each side of your Hybrid, no exceptions. So yeah, you've gotta keep that Encounter 3 Class 2 power until level 7, at which point you can swap it for anything you want.


The CB is adding some extra contraints that are not in the rules (PDF now up), I suspect by using the MC retrain rules as the levelup retrain rules.

If you are choosing your 13th level power, and have two powers from class A (3 and 7) and one from class B(1), you have to choose a power from class A to forget.  Annoying.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

The PDF is up...
The PDF is up...



Indeed it is; My read from the commentary is that the Devs know about things like MBAs not making Fighter marks, but see it as an aspect of your choice to hybrid i.e., not a problem that needs to be resolved.

Also, if you want to houserule Hybrid Talent as to also including skill training from one of the class skills, it wouldn't be overpowered.



Still nothing preventing hybrid warlocks to pick up two-fold pact at level 11 though, that I can see.

If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
Apparently there are going to be Sharpshooter Rogues in MP2.  And Hunter and Marauder Rangers, whatever those are.


Also, if you want to houserule Hybrid Talent as to also including skill training from one of the class skills, it wouldn't be overpowered.





Why wouldn't you just take Skill Training (or a Multiclass Feat, if applicable) and use Hybrid Talent for something else?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.


Also, if you want to houserule Hybrid Talent as to also including skill training from one of the class skills, it wouldn't be overpowered.





Why wouldn't you just take Skill Training (or a Multiclass Feat, if applicable) and use Hybrid Talent for something else?



I was quoting some of the dev commentary -- it would be "in addition to" not in lieu of.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
anyone else notice that the hybrid barbarian's rampage feature is no longer limited to just barbarian attacks?

Wow.  Thats.. just plain disappointing.  There are plenty of buggy bit that could have gotten nice solid solutions.  Heck, I was on the hybrid threads and there were plenty of strong patch ideas that seem to have been ignored.  For example, I believe on patch to the fighter marking / striker stacking aproach was:

"If you have multiple hybrid class features that modify or depend on an action, only features from one of your hybrid classes can be applied to that action."
Interested in a rambling collection of game ideas? Check out Schemes of the Dancing Chimera.
anyone else notice that the hybrid barbarian's rampage feature is no longer limited to just barbarian attacks?




Wow.  Just wow.

I'm sure this can be broken about a dozen ways. 
That's disgusting/fantastic:
I have this Starlock|Barbarian/Student of Caiphon build that was just screaming for Rampage,  but it didn't work.


Edit: oh well.....
Half Elf Barbarian|Avenger Crit Fisher with Twin Strike...
Wow.  Thats.. just plain disappointing.  There are plenty of buggy bit that could have gotten nice solid solutions.  Heck, I was on the hybrid threads and there were plenty of strong patch ideas that seem to have been ignored.  For example, I believe on patch to the fighter marking / striker stacking aproach was:

"If you have multiple hybrid class features that modify or depend on an action, only features from one of your hybrid classes can be applied to that action."



...And then you get a marking twin strike, which is all kinds of broken. Not to be offensive, but shouldn't you make sure your proposed fixes are, y'know, good before lambasting the real deal for being bad?

Really, at this point I'm curious about all those buggy bits and insane combos. Even the Rampage bit is just one extra hit, for instance. I'm just not seeing where all the brokenness and strange stuff is.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I'd think that's almost an oversight.  Seems contrary to the RAI of Hybrid. 
It says Rampage functions exactly like the Barbarian class feature from PH2.  The Rampage class feature from PH2 says, "...when you score a critical hit with a barbarian attack power..."  So I don't see how a hybrid gets to use it with other powers.


...And then you get a marking twin strike, which is all kinds of broken. Not to be offensive, but shouldn't you make sure your proposed fixes are, y'know, good before lambasting the real deal for being bad?

Really, at this point I'm curious about all those buggy bits and insane combos. Even the Rampage bit is just one extra hit, for instance. I'm just not seeing where all the brokenness and strange stuff is.



Really.  Care to explain what the difference between marking with Twin Strike and marking with Dual Strike is?
anyone else notice that the hybrid barbarian's rampage feature is no longer limited to just barbarian attacks?




Not sure how you're interpreting it this way... the hybrid section says that rampage "functions exactly as the barbarian class feature (Player’s Handbook 2, page 49)."

The PHBII description says, "Once per round, when you score a critical hit with a barbarian attack power, you can immediately make a melee basic attack as a free action. You do not have to attack the same target that you scored a critical hit against."

Seems pretty clear that it's barb attacks only. Even multiclassing doesn't get around it.