Talk:Oath of the Reaper (5e Subclass)
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Hello, fellow wikian! I see you wanted to make a variation of paladin, I can see that. Here are my comments on your work:
- Class? Archetype? The current title is a bit misleading, because in 5th edition, there is a class, and there is an archetype, or sub-class. If you want to make a separate class from paladin, I suggest change the name entirely. If you want a variation of paladin but want to retain the previous template, I suggest you revamp the entire thing into an archetype. You may want to consult your Dungeon Master's Guide for an example of archetype - the Oathbreaker.
- Class Feature Spread. 3rd level is seriously crammed - I counted nine class features on 3rd level alone. This makes a 3rd-level Reaper!paladin overpowered, compared to other classes. Note that most classes rarely have more than two or three class features per level, and paladin has only two class features at 3rd level.
- Divine Sense? This class feature is on the table, but its description is not there. "Refer to paladin" is lazy - you must define the description for your class feature. Same goes to other features, such as Fighting Style.
- Hands of Darkness. So it's Lay on Hands, but with more features. It's a bit interesting variation, but here are some comments on this feature:
- This adds an additional attack to Reaper!paladin, but is it necessary? I mean, as a paladin-based class Reaper!paladin already has a decent melee attack abilities, so personally I found this rather redundant. I like the gimmicks, however.
- Regaining 5 points per each hour in darkness, and losing 5 points per each hour in bright light? Interesting, but in 5th edition, you rarely auto-regain your resources without finishing a short rest or long rest. I think regaining all spent point only when finishing long rest in dim light and/or darkness would be better.
- Font of Souls. A pool of resource for Reaper!paladin, is it? Here are some comments:
- First off, the resource pool increase is rather... inconsistent. You have 5 souls at 3rd level, which is increased by 1 at 6th level, by 2 from onward until 16th level... and suddenly by 5 from 17th level. I suggest implementing a more regular spread would definitely help.
- What measure is a soul, by the way? From what I see from class feature description, a soul represents a fragment of soul, if the Reaping Strike feature is correct. (You can gain more than one "soul" from a single creature, right?) But then, a soul still must be valuable enough, right? I mean, can I cast speak with dead on a soul I have? Can I cast resurrection on it so it can revive? The list goes on.
- I see you did a quasi-Font of Magic feature there, but the amount is, again, inconsistent. This time, it means that it is not in par with other classes' features that does the similar stuff. This makes a soul a bit less valuable than other resources. The conventional 2-3-5-6-7 spread would suffice, I see.
- Curse of Darkness. Ouch. No temporary hit points hurt like heck. This means you can gain less supports from your fellow adventurers as well. By the way, on what exactly do you have disadvantage? Attack rolls? Damage rolls? Saving throws? Ability checks? All of the above? Speed -5 feet and +1 to initiative is... well, it's just my opinion, but for a paladin, it's kinda meh.
- Night Eyes. Not bad, I guess. Simple is the best, I s'ppose.
- Shadow Smite. Define "shadow damage", because there is no shadow damage in 5th edition. Perhaps you mean necrotic damage?
- Reaping Strike. So let me get this straight. You have to count the culminative amount of souls you reaped so far, in addition to current amount of souls you have. You know what, I think just having an adventure or two for a +1 sword would be much easier than relying on this feature. Oh, and there is no "free action" in 5th edition, you just don't use an action at all.
- Aura of the Soul Harvest. Paladin's aura feature is mostly buff/debuffs, and Reaper!paladin's aura feature is resource recharger. Plus, the size of aura is a bit messy here, note that not only paladin, but also many other classes rarely have an AoE feature with a radius larger than 30 feet.
- Channel Darkness: Mark of the Reaper. Just gaining extra souls? Nothing else? This feature is quite weak, I think, considering that it consumes the precious feature use. Oh, and "lasts for 2 turns" is definitely not what 5th edition does, you might want to consider "1 minute" or "at the start/end of your next turn".
- Shadow Strike. So this is Extra Attack feature, but with more options. Let me see:
- Shadow damage again.
- Regaining reaction is overpowered.
- Do you really need to use the term "shadow shift" if you can do with just explaining its mechanism anyway?
- For an option that consumes 10 souls, regaining hit points equal to damage dealt is rather... meh.
- You do not use 1d12 turns for a condition. I think 1 minute will definitely do.
- Aura of Darkness. Actually... this feature is not bad. Although it might be more interesting if it did something more than just than giving a chance for additional damage.
- Soul Tap. I still do not get the value of a single soul, but one thing is for sure: You might want to use advantage, instead of giving a fixed (and rather weak) number of bonus, for a roll. At least it's what 5th edition is using a lot. If you're going for advantage, the soul cost must be higher than 1, too.
- Gift of Souls. Uhh... Define "dark mana"? Define "shadow shift"? I know shadow shift was introduced above, but seriously, you should use the terms defined in the rules, rather than making up one for yourself.
- Dark Steed. I thought casting find steed with a bit of variation would do. The current version is a bit too strong, especially the part where all attack rolls against your steed have disadvantage. This means while you are riding your steed, all attack rolls against you could have disadvantage.
- Darkening. Not bad, actually.
- Corrupting Touch. Not bad, either - the problem I see stems from Hands of Darkness, rather than this feature.
- Shadow Servants. You mean this shadow on SRD, right? Considering that a shadow's Strength Drain attack can create a new shadow as well, it might be a bit risky to have a shadow as your flunkies. I must think on this.
- Soul Rip. An AoE necrotic attack feature, with additional soul-replenishing gimmick. Since you must have a plenty of way to replenish souls by now, I don't think this is necessary at all. Plus, this can endanger your own teammates as well.
- Dark Champion. A capstone feature, yet a bit too strong and a bit confusing in two ways: +20 damage on every attack that you have advantage? Too strong. And when does the creature makes a saving throw to resist having vulnerability to "shadow damage"?
I'm skipping the shadow spells entirely, because I don't think you would need additional list of spells at all, and a Reaper!paladin won't be able to use cantrips and any spells higher than 6th level without multiclassing anyway.
In short: I don't think the idea itself is bad or anything, but the implementation definitely needs more tweaking here and there. I see the tendency of every features focused entirely on combat, especially on dealing damage and replenishing souls, which unfortunately can lead to a rather dull character. I suggest adding more "fluffs", as in, make it more reaper-ish in non-combat way would help improve your works. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 13:32, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
- I'm going to have to agree with mister Whoever, (honestly I kinda want to try and make a reduxed version as an archetype), but I figured I'd point something out; At 15th level, there's this description for a feature. "The Paladin gains resistance to Necrotic, Psychic and Shadow Damage. The Paladin also gains advantage on saving throws involving Necrotic, Psychic or Shadow damage, spells or effects." So, clearly, Shadow damage is another type... For, some reason? Just figured I'd point that out.--Blackbando (talk) 15:58, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
- Dear Blackbando - I agree with your words, I assume that what OP intended was an additional damage type that differs from conventional necrotic damage. However, frankly speaking, I don't see why one would even need an additional damage type, when it could be nice and all if it was just good ol' necrotic damage. I mean, it's not defined at all (all it says is "shadow damage", nothing else; note that necrotic damage is defined as "withers matter and even the soul" in the SRD page) and it overlaps in necrotic damage in every way. Unless there is any plausible reason to create a brand-new damage type that none of the other classes and creatures have resistance or immunity, I find this extremely unnecessary. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 15:10, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Dear OP - I see you are very zealous with your work! Here are some more comments on your edits:
- 17th-Level Features. Note that gaining access to higher-level spells counts as a separate class feature on its own. Which means having another class feature at the same level could easily make an overpowered level, unless the class feature is a really teeny tiny bit.
- Free Action? As I have mentioned in my previous comments, there is no "free action" in 5th edition. You either use your action, bonus action, or reaction, or you just do it without using any actions. If you don't use any actions at all, you don't even mention it uses any kind of action at all. Not even "free action".
- Font of Souls. So you don't regain all souls per rest, is it? Interesting, but unconventional. Just speaking this, I'm not saying it's bad or anything.
- Reaping Strike. I forgot to mention this in my previos comments, but the bonus stacks with the weapon's original bonus, right? It's kinda... strong, at least. Plus, do you really need to add even more features in this? In regards of options:
- Note that magic weapons seldom break at all. Since the Reaping Strike feature makes the weapon magic if it isn't, the first option is rather pointless.
- When does the weapon cast a shadow? When it is swung? Or at any time?
- Rerolling works on any attack? Or does it only work with the weapon attack using that weapon?
- Again, initiative and Wisdom (Perception) check is not exactly a good option for a paladin-based class, although it does help. Plus, the "weapon becoming sentient" part needs more details. A magic weapon is already rare in 5th edition (note that buying and crafting one is optional rules in 5th edition - magic items in 5th edition is, literally, priceless) and a sentient weapon could make a campaign simply by existing.
- Soul Cleave. The mechanism is a bit messy. I suggest ranger's Whirlwind Attack feature might give you some better wordings.
- Dark Steed. Feat is optional rules in 5th edition - you do not mention it at all unless you provide a variant rules that can be used when the campaign uses the feats.
- Weight of Souls. Another penalty feature. Unconventional, but since the Reaper!paladin is rather overpowered at the current state, I can even say this could be a conterweight - too little to balance out the whole, though.
- Soul Barrier. So you gain resistance to three (two if you don't count the enigmatic "shadow damage") damage types, and gain advantage against any spells that involves the following damage types. (Or is it? Is the charm person spell "psychic spell" even if it doesn't do damage by itself?) Very overpowered.
- Dark Soul. You should define the radius of your blindsight, or do you intend to have an unlimited range of blindsight? Note that the only class in SRD that gains blindsight on its own is rogue, and even that is disabled when deafened.
- Yet another penalty feature. Again, what measure is "radiant spell"? If sacred flame is a "radiant spell" but fire bolt is not, what makes it so different? Is daylight a "radiant spell", even if it does not deal any damage on its own?
In short: The wordings are ambiguous, which can cause a serious problem in the hand of a crafty rules lawyer. (I know one myself, and boy, it was a nightmare.) The class features are overpowered and rather messy, and needs some cleanings here and there.
I acknowledge that some may find the concept of "reaper" is rather overused, and personally, I also think the same. Too many "reapers" and "angels of death" are here and there, I could even say that this wiki is probably struck with the Black Plague. However, I find some potentials in this one - I see you are zealous with your works, so I suggest my comments to improve your works. This might sound a bit offensive, but as I said in my previous comments, making an archetype, instead of class, might be a good start for creating your imaginations into a homebrew data. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 15:10, 6 June 2017 (UTC)