Talk:Dragon Rider, 2nd Variant (5e Class)
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This may be one of the best classes in D&D home brew i mean you got really cool features and your best friends a dragon can this class get any better.--Alucarddragonborn (talk) 11:50, 11 December 2017 (MST)
About the Class
This class seems to break numerous conventions and overall is far too powerful. Here are just some of the class's issues.
- With the current power level of the class, it should not have a d10 hit die
- Soulbound. does not adequately descriped, the dragon is proficienct in too many saving throws(make it your saving throws), how the dragon acts in combat is not descriped(when it rolls initiative, death saving throws, and how it attacks), the dragon also shouldn't be allowed to effectively double your damage output at 1st level, the dragon should require your action to make an attack among various other issues
- Mount. The earliest most PC's should have access to flight is 5th level unless you are a race that is entirely balanced around it which this class is not
- Greater Partner. This feature is far too powerful and you largely shouldn't gain more than one feature past 3rd level
- Supreme Partner. This feature is the same at Greater Partner, it provides you with far too much.
- Complete Bond. What even is this feature? Consider changing this to you gain temporary hit points equal to half your maximum hp, and your dragon gains temporary hit points equal to half its maximum hp
- Surge of Strength. Changeable ability scores have been phased out in 5e, this needs to be reworked.
- Many other things are wrong with the other subclass features, consider reading through the Class Do's and Don'ts (5e Guideline), 5e Class Design Guide, and the relevant sections on classes in the PHB and DMG for how to properly balance, create, and design classes.
- On a final note, the dragon has a ton of other issues. Medium sized creatures have a d8 hit die, the dragon has far too high flying speed, it has far too high a AC, it deals too much damage, balance wise it shouldn't be able to fly at 1st level, the breath weapon should be recharged on a short or long rest as it is not balanced to allow you to have multiple aoes, among a few other things need to be fixed.
This class does have a cool concept and many features fit the class well, but overall the class is ridden with features that are non-standard, unbalanced, and/or poorly described.--Blobby383b (talk) 03:01, 17 February 2018 (MST)
Hey, I was hoping to use this class in an upcoming campaign and after I read your comments regarding balance I kinda see your point on a few things. I talked with my DM about the things you had in mind and here's what I have to compromise to balance things out: Hit dice: Yes, I do think d10 is a bit high, d8 would put it on par with Paladins and those fulfill the same premise of hybrid fighter.
Soulbound: There is some details that are not 100% explained but you can still read between the lines to what it entails. 4 saving throws I will admit is too much, three is probably for the better. Its actions in battle are effectively that of another PC's actions, I didn't think that had to be explained, and as such the whole "double your damage at level 1" is mitigated by the DM effectively preparing scenarios with an extra PC in mind.
Mount: Move being able to fly while mounted to be part of the Greater Partner perk, and loses bonus flying speed while you're mounting (as in, its flying speed is equal to its walking speed while mounted).
Greater Partner: Yeah that's a lot of bonuses, I think it's the class' way of making the dragon an adult in strength without changing the size. I would suggest keeping the stat increases, AC and extra attack, drop the bonus move speed, increase to breath DC and damage resistance.
Supreme Partner: Keep the stats, armor and extra attack, drop the speed, damage resistance and breath DC.
Complete Bond: The "for 1 minute" kinda implies these are temporary hit points, but again the wording could be improved. I would also like to make the counterargument about how much you receive around the idea that you have to think ahead while using the current iteration of the skill; if you save it as your "oh s***" button while you/your dragon are near death you won't get nearly as much hit points than if you were moderately healthy.
Surge of Strength: If changeable stats are being phased out completely then a whole new ability is required to replace it. My DM and I both recommend that instead of 2/4 extra Strength the skill adds 1/2 extra die to melee damage rolls after modifiers (as in, the extra die are not multiplied by crit/flank modifiers).
Dragon's stats: I think I took care of the ludicrous flying speed (I didn't realize level 17 dragons had 120 flying speed, 130 for Red Dragons). By level 17 the dragon has 19 + DEX armor, that isn't too outlandish for a reasonably equipped PC of the same level. The dragon does hit hard, but that's for an early level character; the dragon has no means of upgrading its attacks and can't make use of weapons that could deal more damage. The breath weapon does need a cooldown of some kind (NPC dragons have cooldowns, I don't see how Rider dragons don't) but short/long rest is a bit too hard, 5-6 turns is reasonable. The "multiple AoE" argument is situational cause half the dragons don't have damaging AoEs outside of their breath weapon (unless their Rider goes down the Dragon Mage path, but that's another can of worms).
If you have any further balance concerns, which I'm sure you do, don't be afraid to talk about it, this class has major potential but I am open to compromise for balancing it out.
Second Balance Pass
Since no one else commented or objected to the balance suggestions I made, I can only assume people are okay with them. However no one else feels like adding anything of value to rebalance the class. I took some time to think things through and there are two notable concerns I need to bring up this time.
Soulbound: As it stands, there is no significant drawback if your dragon dies, depending on one's playstyle it's effectively an ablative shield or trap tripper that can be revived with a long rest's worth of ritual time. With the emphasis of the character and dragon bonded at a spiritual level there needs to be a form of mechanism where the character is hindered if that bond is disrupted. My suggestion is "If your dragon dies, you take psychic damage equal to 3 times your character level and suffer a -2 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and saving throws until you bring your dragon back to life."
Spellcasting: Has no one else noticed that the spell list only goes up to 4th level? While two of the three subclasses don't mind the Dragon Mage subclass has access to up to 6th level spells. I had to improvise a list to go up to 6th level spells but I'm questioning if it would be 100% balanced.
The class is still quite unbalanced. I think one of the key problems is that at level one the class receives both Fighting Style and two cantrips, potentially giving it an outsized fighting potential at first level. I think that the Ranger (revised) should be the class to emulate, or maybe fighter, eliminating cantrips from any non Dragon Mage completely, but giving access to 1st level spells slightly earlier, for example the Ranger at levels 1-5 gets 0,2,3,3,4. This would make up for the loss of the cantrips. The Dragon Rider should be focused on working in conjunction with the dragon, not in being a powerhouse unto themselves.
It just seems like a lot of reinventing the wheel keeps happening here when the Beastmaster Ranger could be a template to follow.