- Human Fighter (Sword + Shield)
- Half-Yeti Barbarian (Greatsword, reflavored Half-Orc)
- Human Rogue (Trickster, Hand Pistol as reflavored Hand Xbow)
- Halfling Monk (using the rules from the previous packet plus some homebrew)
Cunning Action (Rogue)
Grade: A- (good, but needs a small tweak)
The Rogue player absolutely loved this. He plays a Dex/Cha based Trickster Rogue with a Silver Tongue and Deadly Aim (with his pistol, a re-flavored hand xbow). So for his character, I gave his Cunning Action the following options:
- Use an Item
- Deceive* (new ability, see below)
The Rogue had a fantastic time playing with his new toys. Over the course of the adventure he used every single one of his Cunning Action options. He did admit that being able to make an extra Move or a Hide attempt every round was a little OP. As the DM, I agreed with him. I think it would be better to change the Move option to the Disengage option (move half your speed, no Opportunity attacks). I think that makes more thematic sense anyway.
I also wrote up a new Rogue ability called Deceive.
- Deceive: [action] You confuse, bluff, and fast talk your enemy in circles and your poisonous words leave him flummoxed. Choose a creature within 25-ft of you and contest your Charisma against its Intelligence. If you succeed, the creature grants Advantage to the next attack made against it. You attack cannot come from you. The ability automatically fails against mindless creatures and creatures immune to charm.
This ability worked really well in play. The point is that the Trickster Rogue distracts and confuses a target, giving his ally Advantage. This really encouraged teamwork within the party, without slowing down the game. And since the Rogue can't use this to give himself Advantage, it prevents the Rogue from playing selfishly. Please feel free to use this homebrewed ability in your games.
Action Surge (Fighter)
The Fighter player absolutely loved this ability! When he used Action Surge, it usually turned the tide of combat. In one scene the players stumbled into a room of demons and lost initiative. The demons charged and the party was surrounded. The Rogue and the Barbarian took some heavy damage. The Fighter was the first of the party to act. He used Whirlwind + Action Surge to make another Whirlwind. Four attacks later, the party was no longer surrounded! The Fighter felt like he really saved the day.
As the DM, I really like how this boosts the Fighter. It definitely makes him a more frightening combatant. I think it goes a long way to bridging the martial vs magic power gap. As it requires a Rest to re-fresh, it can't be spammed in back-to-back combats. All in all, I think it made a very fine addition to the Fighter's kit. The Fighter CAN have nice things!
Roll with the Blow (Rogue)
The Rogue also tried out this ability. As a [Reaction], the Rogue can halve the damage from one melee attack. This ability worked out very nice in play. The Rogue is primarily a ranged combatant and almost never goes into melee. But with this new ability I saw him go into melee several times. Having an ability to help mitigate damage, he felt safer standing up next to the Fighter and the Barbarian along the front lines of combat. When the Rogue used Roll with the Blow, it didn't change the tide of combat much, but it did help him survive.
From my DM perspective, I think it really helps reinforce the tricky nature of Rogues. They're slippery targets, dashing in and out, stabbing when they see an opportunity. If they do get hit by the enemy, they're able to dodge part of the attack. This also has implications for things like traps that make melee attack rolls. Excellent Rogue ability!
Second Wind (Fighter)
The Fighter also had this new ability but he never got a chance to use it. I guess that's a good thing!
(Second Wind: 1/day you can use your [Action] to regain half of your maximum HP.)
I was very excited about the new Rogue and Fighter abilities we saw in the D&D Livestream Playtest. After trying them out last night in my own playtest game, I can say that I am very impressed. Both classes are getting some amazing buffs. If this is any indication of how the next playtest packet (August???) is going to be, then I can't wait to see what else they have in store!!!
Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!
My improvements to the Ranger: A Better Beast Master Ranger.
Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!
Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.
Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus.