Talk:Aura Guardian (5e Class)

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Kydro Reviews[edit]

Fluff
There's basically nothing here! This is about as filling and flavorful as a dinner plate with a single grain of uncooked rice. Great. I'm going to be in for a real treat with this one... Let me guess. All combat, right?

EDIT: Yes. All combat. Go read The Three Pillars of Adventure (5e Guideline) before you read the rest of the review.

Proficiencies
All armors. All weapons. It's an alternative fighter. Lots of combat oriented option power in there. STR and CON saves are damn useful. Generally, a class only gives one physical save and one mental save, but neither are the coveted DEX save, and there's no rule against all-physical saves. Just keep in mind that these proficiencies all together count for a lot of combat power on their own, and those saves double up in exploration power output. As long as the class features work with this, rather than stacking on top of it, I'm fine with this proficiency base.
Starting Gear
The armor/shield combo overloads the player's hands. They have no single weapon option, so they wind up either wasting a weapon or shelving the shield. Also, this section is very limited. It fails to take advantage of or demonstrate the gear versatility represented by their proficiencies. You can't build very many unique styles or looks with this. You COULD, however, start out with two greatswords and immediately hawk them for 100gp. Speaking of money, why does this class give you a random pile of money? I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is rather unusual, and I can't see any specific reason justifying it. Also, the max result is 240gp. The most likely result is 180gp. Either way, that is a ton of starting money compared to anything the core content can make.
Aura
Here's the problem with that word in 5e: It has no mechanical definition. It's a holdover from 4e that appears primarily as fluff mixed into several spell descriptions, and is similarly left undefined therein. My recommendation: Make a variant rule defining what auras are and how they work in 5th edition. Make it compatible with spells that use the word aura, so their mechanics do not change. (The easiest way to do that would be to openly exclude anything which does not link directly to the variant rule) Link to that rule from this trait. Until this is done, I will assume an "aura" is just a keyworded effect with no special mechanics of its own. Keep in mind that if there are any features which affect "your auras", this means your class will affect any spells which use that word cast by you. This means this class could have unforeseen consequences if given certain magic items, or if it is allowed to multiclass.
Guardian Aura
OK, so permanent AOE effects keyed to an action. Got it. You can have up to 5 total, but you start with a limited number, can only have one active at a time, (Thanks to the typical interpretation of concentration- but some players may argue that this is not a spell, and the rules for concentration don't explicitly prevent multiple non-spell concentration, so depending on the reading, this could be insanely powerful) and can only learn certain ones if you have a high enough level. Simple. Lots of content to choose from. Lots of option power here. It gives you a ton of build options, as well as actual versatility in play. I am disappointed in how much it focuses on combat. I was expecting a good mix of pillar focus between the auras, and that just wasn't there. It makes the whole thing rather flat. Also, I gather this is supposed to be a defensive class, and that's fine, but giving players too much option power with a defensive class makes it very easy for players to put together a "victory by default" build, turning defensive bonuses into an unstoppable (if rather slow) offensive build.
(Just so you know how predictable this class is, and how experienced I am at this, I wrote all of this before I actually read the auras. It all still holds true. It is everything I expected.)
Alright, let's go through the list...
  • Protector's Defense: OK. I tell my buddy to build a UAC barbarian. I choose a lance as my starting weapon and immediately buy a horse with my starting wealth, and make sure I always end my turn within 10ft of my DPS. We proceed to stomp the campaign. I already have no reason to learn or use any other auras.
  • Defender's Strike: Eh. Paired with a team of archers, especially if they're fighters, this could make your party into an unstoppable wall of arrows. Otherwise, this is basically mush compared to the first one, because it takes more teamwork to truly shine.
  • Healer's strike straight-up does not make sense. It is too abbreviated. If it means "Each time you make an attack action, allies within your aura regain hp equal to your aura bonus" then it's totally broken. 5e doesn't distinguish between "in combat" and "not in combat". As a consequence, this feature completely demolishes the healing economy in 5e, because after combat, you could just have everyone huddle around you and roll attacks on a wall. (Which, yes, can be targeted, according to the DMG) The DM could houserule a bunch of stuff to try and prevent it, like damaging weapons on hits, but that just changes the target chosen, or makes the player use an improvised weapon, like a stick, instead. Also, if a feature requires houserules in order to function in play, newsflash: it's broken!
  • Adroit Step: Useless. Difficult terrain is the easiest combat problem to solve. Also, the aura only affects people within 10ft of you. So it only works for your allies if you stand in the middle of the difficult terrain during their turns. Show of hands: Who wants to play as a bridge over a minor nuisance? AT LEVEL 3?? Also, this one doesn't benefit from the aura bonus, so it starts out bad and continues to get worse as you gain levels.
  • Deadly Defense: Does not make sense. You're trying to invoke 3.5e attacks of opportunity within a bubble. This is a terrible idea on so many levels, and the execution just makes it worse. You do realize that the reason AoOs were changed to OAs was because pretty much the entire hobby community hated them, right? This style of OA makes combat static and boring. People assume their positions and roll each other to death, because any other choice gives the opponent extra actions. As for the mechanical execution, this aura is a PAIN IN THE ADDS to actually use. Its effect balloons/spiderwebs outward to cover an irregular, lumpy, cloud-like shape based on your AoE-covered allies' weapon reaches. Does not scale with bonus.
  • Determined Charge: Makes no sense. By my best guess, in order for this to work for your allies, you need to stand somewhere between them and their target, acting as a bridge for the effect, and all they gain is attack advantage. If that isn't the intended effect, let me ask: Do your allies need to start their turn in this aura, end their turn in this aura, or merely pass through any portion of it in order for the effect to trigger?? RAW, you are the only person benefited by this, and it gives you a permanent attack advantage from level 5 onward. That's crazy overpowered. I would build for DPS and switch to this immediately at level 5 and never go back. Good solo show build right there. Does not scale with bonus.
  • Group Athletics: Cool. We're now wrestling masters forever. Do you have any idea how broken reliable grappling is with a party of creative players? Just by myself, I could use this to build a character who can dismantle any creature around its size, regardless of their CR. VERY busted if I used a large-size homebrew race. Again, because it is more efficient for me to build for my own auras, rather than having the party build to my spec, this is easily a one-man show-stopper feature. Not to mention these two skills are additionally useful outside of combat as well, so this is very potent. Does not scale with bonus.
  • Keen Edges: Ooh, a return of crit threshold modifiers! How regressive of you! Since crits are an optional rule in 5e, and there's nothing else in the game which affects them, this feature is basically useless. Does not scale with bonus.
  • Traveler's Cloak: Revolves around a homebrew spell that makes no sense. Useless. Does not scale with bonus.
  • Protector's Courage: This... This is actually very cool. I like this one. Do not touch it. It does everything right. Useful in all 3 pillars, grows with you, and helps the whole party as a team. This should be a first level option.
  • Traveler's Speed: I buy a horse. I now have 120 movement speed. I play a speed-optimized monk. I now have over 200 movement speed. Oh no, I can only move my normal speed after an attack? That's fine, I'm still a murder-slingshot.
  • Resilient Troops: Great, an aura bonus to ALL FREAKING SAVING THROWS. Well, that blew my favorite option out of the water. This covers fear saves and then some! Just call me and my AC-optimized party, "The untouchables", because from here on out we can walk through anything.
  • Healer's Sanctum: Holy shit. This is literally the song, "We Are the Champions" by Queen, transformed into a D&D class feature. There is no redemption, this needs to go.
Ok, look, what the heck is up with all the defaulting to advantage? You have a perfectly good bonus that you could be giving your allies, and that bonus is much closer to being balanced than permanent free advantage. Why not just use it?? The trait even says that your auras are supposed to get stronger based on that bonus, so why don't they?? Also, by restricting the level at which you can learn certain auras, you are reducing the bonus value range those auras will ever see, reducing the value of the bonus overall. It makes more sense to make all of the options available, AND BALANCED, from first level, so they all benefit equally from that nif-TTM bonus mechanic you made. You know what the saddest part of this feature is? Features which give optional permanent effects just become build choices. People will choose a build focus, choose the aura that suits it best, and activate it once. They have no reason to activate any other aura unless they're in a tight spot. Essentially, all other auras will effectively play second-fiddle to whatever aura suits the character build best. It means everything that is cool about this feature is ruined by the feature's options, and that's sad, because this really is a cool idea.

Whew. One feature in and this class already has enough content to carry multiple characters through to 20th level. Unless all of the other features are ribbons, this class is clearly broken at a glance. I... I just can't go on any further This class is so predictable, reviewing it is boring, and explaining all of the reasons why the mechanics don't work is time consuming and exhausting. You can probably replace the rest of my likely review with "Blah blah blah, totally unbalanced, blah blah blah, do you even own a PHB, blah blah, rewrite from scratch." It is a cool idea expressed as a mechanically shallow and dysfunctional class. --Kydo (talk) 14:29, 4 February 2017 (MST)

Proposal for Revision[edit]

Hmm, seems like a job for someone with free time in hand! I might not be the brightest mind in D&D Wiki, but I do love revising things into more functional and interesting versions. Mind if I do the rework? I welcome criticisms, as well as suggestions on revision. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 01:32, 5 February 2017 (MST)

Wow, if you think you have the stones to sort this thing out, by all means, have at 'er! You are right though, it will take time. Probably more than a month. It hinges on counterbalancing, which is pretty much the hardest design technique to employ. You should check out Help:Balance, it's incomplete, but it has a good introduction to counterbalancing at the bottom. --Kydo (talk) 07:00, 5 February 2017 (MST)
Thanks for your support! Again, I may not be the brightest mind 'round here, but as long as it is interesting enough, why not? Challenge accepted. I'm on my way! --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 07:15, 5 February 2017 (MST)

Concerning Revision[edit]

So I just uploaded my first draft of the revision, it's still WIP, but thank goodness I worked on this thing for hours. I was originally going to make a new article, say, Aura Guardian (5e Class) (Revised) or something, but luckily I was permitted to make a direct revision, so here we go.

Here are were some things that bug me:

  • Should I keep Hit Dice to d10, or reduce it down to d8? The current version is using d8, but as far as I can see it, the new AG is more of a tanker than a bruiser, with no Extra Attack feature and any other features that can boost damage. Nevermind, I added Extra Attack feature to Steadfast Stance archetype. That archetype will be the bruiser I was looking for.
  • Does the Aura Bonus increase count as an increase? In other words: Is the 7th and 13th level dead? I'm not sure about this one. Also nevermind, I reckon Aspect Aura features scaling up with level is definitely an increase. Doubly so since I added some features that gives extra movement.

I will be most grateful if you leave any comments concerning the revision process. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 07:43, 5 February 2017 (MST)

As this was originally my class, I would like to still be used for the proposed revisions. I do like what I see at present. I would also like to state, that as requested, I made an Aura variant rule primarily for this class and it could be used for the Aspect Auras giving them more detailed mechanics. --Roteton Kin (talk) 12:34, 5 February 2017 (MST)
First of all, I would like to give my apology for modifying your work. I know the change is drastic; sometimes I just carried away a bit too much with myself. Still, I am most glad to hear that you approve my proposal. I will do my best to make Aura Guardian great ag- er, I mean, balanced and interesting. Any comments or suggestion concerning revision is welcomed.
Just checked the Aura variant rule, and I think I understand what you originally intended with your aura. Please note that making your aura concentration-dependent could be risky, as a concentration can be broken by damage or other hostile situations. I'm changing some aspect spells to no longer require concentration, or make some annotation that it will still maintain its effect without breaking concentration over the aspect. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 15:11, 5 February 2017 (MST)
As far as I know, damage, combat, movement, talking, taking actions, taking reactions, and taking bonus actions do not end concentration. In fact, not even all conditions end concentration. For example, being restrained doesn't end concentration, nor does bejng charmed. The mechanics for concentration are found in the PHB with the rest of spell mechanics. I think either you're misunderstanding the rules, or I've missed a boxed text somewhere. --Kydo (talk) 13:17, 6 February 2017 (MST)
Oof, my bad. I was referring Constitution check (or Concentration check in 3.5, I remember my sorcerer doing it every time) and the word didn't come out properly. What I was concerned is that most of the initial aspects spells such as hold person or heroism required concentration, which forced me to change the entire list. Now that I think of it, however, maybe it would be too broken if I allowed both aspect features and concentration spells at the same time. So yup, no harms done. I'm still working on this. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 16:45, 6 February 2017 (MST)
Dude! Glad to see you're still in the home brewing game! I like the idea of having an actual aura mechanic that the community can make use of, thank you for making that! --Kydo (talk) 13:17, 6 February 2017 (MST)
Well, unless you have any additional input on the Aspect Features I added so that every Aspect has 3 features. I tried to keep them on par with the other Aspect Features in regards to resolve point cost and level of spells produced. --Roteton Kin (talk) 22:33, 8 February 2017 (MST)
Thank you for cooperation! I was thinking the same thing, since Aspect Features are pretty strong by themselves. I'm checking my copy of PHB and DMG for resolve point costs. Now that I think of it, I was a bit rushed when I made a rework on your article. I am sorry for making such a drastic change, but at the same time, I am glad that you approve it. Let's get this baby done, fellow wikian! --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 23:24, 8 February 2017 (MST)

Dear Roteton Kin - I count a total of 13 aspects so far, 5 of which are versatile-exclusive. My initial idea was to have about 10 to 12 aspects plus 4 to 5 aspects for versatile stance, but frankly speaking, I am running out of idea to fill out the remaining two to three aspects. I will give my best shots, though, and I will let you know when I am done. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 08:33, 9 February 2017 (MST)

In regards to the 2 new aspect types, we could do Death and Greed. Another aspect idea could be Awareness. --Roteton Kin (talk) 12:26, 9 February 2017 (MST)
Death and Greed sounds nice! I can easily think of a way to implement Death, but maybe I have to grab another cup of coffee to work on Greed, I am not a very creative folk, you see. Awareness also sounds nice, maybe we can tweak some ranger features for this. As always, thank you for feedback! --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 21:58, 9 February 2017 (MST)
Death and Greed are finished. I like how you took Awareness and turned it into Vigilance. In regards to the armor proficiency, we should make it similar to Clerics in that regard. Light and Medium proficiency being the norm and Steadfast getting Heavy armor and shields. Steadfast should be considered beefier and Versatile should well...be considered more Versatile since it has access to more Aspects and such. Let me know what you think. --Roteton Kin (talk) 09:42, 11 February 2017 (MST)
Thanks for the comments! Also, thanks for taking Death and Greed, I had no idea how to do with Greed, and it looks awesome. Concerning armor proficiency, I do think the Aura Guardian deserves some improvement, because the class is... well, Aura Guardian, right? Blackbando below had a point there.
While I am at it, I was thinking of giving one or two more aspects for Versatile Stance archetype, for it is... well... versatile. As a more spell-oriented archetype, I thought it will be powerful to have some more aspects to wield. I would like to know how you think about this proposal. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 16:41, 11 February 2017 (MST)
We shouldn't need any more aspects yet but I can make the armor proficiency change. I do say yet because their is always room for growth. Afterwards, discussion for any additional aspects for either archetype can be added to this fantastic redesign that you and I made. Though I have to tip my hat off to you for the bulk of the redesign. You definitely took my original 3.5e adaption of the class to the next level. --Roteton Kin (talk) 17:47, 11 February 2017 (MST)
Always glad to be of service. This is actually my second or third work on actual class, not on archetype, and you might be aware of the fact that I was stealing a majority from ardents, which I glimpsed when I was skimming my DM's books and had a liking of. Thanks! --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 00:48, 12 February 2017 (MST)

Removed the stub template - I think the new aura guardian is ready to roll. Once again, I am most grateful to be of your service, once and for all. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 08:46, 22 February 2017 (MST)

Just a minor change - I read the Stance of Bulwark feature and it was sort of confusing, since the aura guardian uses it when the target "takes damage" but "imposes disadvantage on attack rolls." I changed it to either halve the damage the target takes, or redirect the entire damage to the aura guardian. Just reporting. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 07:54, 24 February 2017 (MST)

Further Discussion[edit]

So, uh, people have done a lot of discussing about this. Like. A lot. So, I'm just gonna add one small thing I noticed, that was mildly entertaining; The description-ish thing at the top of the page says "Clad in chain mail, with a battleaxe at the ready, a human rushes towards his allies to aid in the defense." This class doesn't get heavy armor proficiency. Or medium armor proficiency. It just gets Light armor.--Blackbando (talk) 11:08, 9 February 2017 (MST)

(Laughs) Now that you say it, you are completely right! The description was written by Roteton Kin when he (...he, am I right?) created the Aura Guardian. I participated in the rework, and my idea was that the Aura Guardian would be too strong if given access to heavy armor, since the class has area-of-effect buffs and debuffs and whatnot. So I deleted heavy armor proficiency from the class.
Although... you may scroll down to see that th Steadfast Stance does gives medium armor proficiency. I know, this means only chain shirts. Hmm... maybe it might not be a bad idea to give heavy armor proficiency, just like clerics. I might think about this for a while. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 11:14, 9 February 2017 (MST)
Roteton Kin and I agreed on adding medium armor proficiency as a default, and add heavy armor proficiency for Steadfast Stance archetype. Apologies for late reply - I am most forgetful these days. --WeirdoWhoever (talk) 08:01, 24 February 2017 (MST)
okie so aura bonus doesnt do anything anymore? if it does do tell me (^^;) --PrimalX
The Aura Bonus now has a purpose again. --Roteton Kin (talk) 00:42, 4 March 2018 (MST)
yas :3 PrimalX
Aura Bonus already gave you a bonus based on your Aspect Aura in the Aspect List, so the change was unneeded.--Blobby383b (talk) 01:42, 4 March 2018 (MST)
It has been a minute since I have looked at the class that I initially made. Thank you Blobby for the reminder. --Roteton Kin (talk) 14:26, 4 March 2018 (MST)
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