Talk:Samurai (5e Class)

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Just... Why did you create this?

Was is for a bet of who can cherry pick the most efficient combat oriented stuff among fighter, monk, barbarian between editions and slip in more combat stuff?

For future note, just changing things in the class to make it overpowered does nothing for both the player and the one making it. Pay attention to modifiers that are being added to the class overall and think about them from a practical standpoint. I am currently playing this class and will be modifying it to keep it to a proper 5e setting, and not game breaking.

Yep, as is this class is dumb. Cherry picks the best features from other classes. Honor surge is action surge, Deflect is a monk's deflection but better, etc. Xanathar's Samurai is a better example of how to do a samurai in 5e.--ADragon (talk) 13:31, 29 March 2019 (MDT)
Starting to think someone just wanted to make a meme class. D12 hit die is absurd--ADragon (talk) 19:28, 31 March 2019 (MDT)

Gr7mm's NeedsBalance request[edit]

Round 1
Daisho Super setting specific on the weapons. This should provide the reader with the mechanical equivalent for the setting specific weapons listed outside of the equipment list. Sigil carving is phrased weird, suggests that normally it can't be done. Recommend changing to a form of 'some do this" kind of statement. The weapon recovery over a long rest is cool, no real issues there. But the bit about the "minds eye" is confusing and offer's no context. Overall starting equipment does not need to be listed in the classes features unless they are truly extraordinary like the items made by Warlocks Tome or Blade pact boon features. There is no limitation on how far these weapons can be retrieved from either, nor any discussion about how to replace or create new bonds with other weapons.

I think that the class should maybe get a set of fighting styles to choose from and then bump the Stance entry into 2nd level. The class doesn't need and Action Surge ripoff anyway.

Fighting Stance[edit]

The stance thing has been done so much that it should be a simple mechanic to nail down by now, but this still manages to fail. To start with, it has the PC learn 8 out of 7 stances by 15th level. The class should be incapable of learning every option it has and then some. Multiple stances sounds like it shouldn't be an issue until you actually take a look at what its talking about, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it. It seems to combine some of the most fiddly mechanics and concepts from the Bo9S and holds onto their mechanics hoping it'll provide a sense of control to the heap. TLDR, it doesn't. Activating all 8 out of 7 stances at once is way too much. 2 stances at once is really cool and I think could stick around once the stances themselves are handled properly. Overall as I look at the stances, the more I realize that the whole feature should be pushed to 2nd level so it can still do cool things without outshining the classes that the features are taken from. The last line should read as follows: You can enter a stance as a bonus action. You can remain in a stance indefinitely or until you activate a different Stance, are knocked prone, become grappled or restrained, become incapacitated, or the stance ends itself. The effects of a stance only apply while you are in a stance.

I made a point to remove the bit about "end of combat" as that is not a standard metric of encounters in 5e.

Stone Stance Your AC and weapon damage are increased by five, but your movement speed is reduced by half (rounded up) and attacks of opportunity made against you are at advantage . In addition, Enemies attacking allies other than you within 5 feet gain disadvantage on their attack.

As is, this stance does several things that are very problematic. It launches the PC's AC higher than any other non-magical static bonus, provides a free bonus to all attacks that would make a legendary weapon blush, and outclasses the protection fighting style in every way. The use of THP should help retain a sense of durability, though I am unsure of allowing Con mod and Proficiency or if it should just scale with Samurai level. With the intent of the stance in mind I recommend the following:

When you enter this stance and at the start of each of your turns while you have at least 1 hit point or more remaining, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your Constitution Modifier (Minimum of 1) + your proficiency bonus. These temporary hit points last until you are no longer in this stance. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can immediately use you bonus action to deal an additional 5 damage to the creature. If a creature within your reach becomes the target of an attack, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. Opportunity made against you are rolled with advantage. If you use more than half of your movement speed in a turn, this stance immediately ends.

Wind Stance. This one is pretty straightforward, but it also allows the PC to do what the rogue and monk can do before either of them... Aside from some wording cleanup and removing the bit about "strike from the void" this one has a pretty neat mobility set into it without too many glaring issues. Even then, this is the least of the classes problems if the stances get moved to 2nd level.

(Taking a recess from this project atm)--Gr7mm Bobb (talk) 19:03, 30 May 2019 (MDT)

Alrighty, back at it today and I'm beginning to think that the class could use a friendly restructure overall. Like shifting around some class features and such. Then we can dive into the core mechanics of the classes design, which appears to be its stances, which is pretty cool and flavorful and not something that a core class does. So that sort of foundation is pretty ideal when making or working with a class outside of the core 12. I don't mind when abilities are cherry picked from classes if it makes sense and does not do it better then that class that the piece was stolen from. The only real issue that arises after that is when the new class takes something that is iconic or pivotal to another classes identity. (action surge, ki, sorcery points, inspiration, extra attack+, sneak attack, martial arts, cunning action, smite, etc.) I'm not saying they should be "off limits" but they should be measured with the same weight they bear in the original class. If you're making a Martial class things that are great to steal would be Extra Attack and Fighting styles. Use those and no one will bat an eye and you get a nice solid combat bump without having to re-invent the wheel. I'm going to start sorting through the entirety of the class and try and get it clear and concise so it can be fun and balanced for those that use it. Since the original author has not contributed to the class since 2016, I'm going to try and take charge and even this thing out. Wish me luck and feel free to help if you see something that would be effective in these goals.--Gr7mm Bobb (talk) 12:33, 31 May 2019 (MDT)

I'd like access to make changes.[edit]

I just spent the last half an hour doing grammatical and wording edits. Probably should've checked to see if I could actually edit it. Ah well. But most of the changes i made were simply making the abilities more coherent. I really enjoy playing this class in a pure-homebrew campaign. I suppose that could make me bias but I wouldn't add something like "while in this stance you are immune to damage" of course. I know that it's been brought up that this class is essentially a few of the official ones pieced together, which is why i'd like to offer some ideas to make it seem more Samurai like and less like the XGE one. I wouldn't rewrite the class obviously but a few flavour texts here and there that would make it feel more like a Samurai. ---- Ancalagon


I think that Deflect should simply be taken off the class. It doesn't really make sense that you can throw back an arrow with a sword, plus it's just a ripoff of the Monk. Possible changes could be either just take it off and forget about it or add a bit to Parry. Parry is currently "when another creature hits you or another creature with an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage dealt by the attack by 1d6 + your Dexterity modifier + your Samurai level. You can use this feature twice, you regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. You gain an additional use of this feature at 7th and again at 15th level." My thoughts would be one of three changes: 1. Change the die rolled to 1d8 at the 6th level, 1d10 at the 11th level and 1d12 at the 16th level. 2. Increase the number of uses, instead of gaining extras at 7th and 15th, make it 6th, 11th, 16th. 3. At the 9th level, as long as you are wielding your Katana you can use parry on ranged Attacks/Spell Attacks. The way it's written now, it's unclear if it means hit by a melee attack only. But most likely that's the case. At any rate the throwing an attack back with a sword doesn't make sense and is easily fixed. ----Ancalagon 10/29/19


Am I the only one who thinks there are too many Archetypes for this class? I know it's nice to have options but I think 3 solid Archetypes would make the class a lot easier to understand. Yojimbo and Shoyu seem all over the place, Kyudo and Iaijutsu Master actually seem like Samurai style fighting, and Shogun is pretty much just yelling but i guess it works.

  Shoyu could be simplified by changing the way you gain access your ancestors. Just make it so you gain the corresponding ancestor if you are Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic. And if the player acts not according to the alignment then the ancestor refuses to help them (DM's choice). This would nudge the player to be more consistent. 

  Yojimbo gives you spells that make no sense if you're trying to replicate the effect with a weapon. I get what they were going for and it's actually pretty cool but maybe make up the effects instead of saying you cast spells. Or just get rid of the archetype altogether. 
  Shogun works but I think you'd have to change Shogun Stance's name as it has nothing to do with the Archetype. 
  Iaijutsu Master and Kyudo may need a bit more tweaking but they are pretty balanced otherwise.

As it was pointed out, the core mechanic of the class are the Stances. Perhaps incorporating them into the Archetypes would serve them better? Although the combos don't all make sense. This brings up the issue that the Archetypes feel disconnected from the main class features, like it's two different classes parallel to each other. With Kyudo you could play off the stances pretty easily and have it make sense- each stance granting different arrow types/damage with their own effects. Iaijutsu Master plays off them well already so not sure if you'd need to change that much. Shogun is mainly buffing your allies so I guess they use the stances for themselves. Yojimbo is straight defensive, so some stances mean little to it. Shoyu is the most disconnected from the class by far, it could literally be its own class as it is three "paths" already. Each with their own abilities and playstyles.

Final thoughts would be to focus on Shogun, Iaijutsu Master and Kyudo. Ditch the other two. Try to incorporate the stances into the Archetypes even it's something small. Obviously the class is combat based, which some consider 'overpowered' but in my experience it makes the character useless anywhere else. So they should at least be great in combat, so a bit of extra damage from them is expected. I won't do any big changes for a while but if no one has any objections then I'd like to go ahead and just do it. ----Ancalagon 11/1/19

Connecting this class closer with the subclasses is a great idea. The core ideas of the subclasses seem to match what you simplified them into above. Making the class's features work hand in hand with different subclasses is very important. With these balance concerns addressed, this class will be well along than it is now. Go ahead, be bold and make your changes. Just make sure to remove {{needsbalance}} too then! --Green Dragon (talk) 08:17, 19 November 2019 (MST)

Level Changes to Abilities[edit]

So as the table is currently, levels 7 and 13 are open. Which is fine, you don't need something at every level. But my thought is that the others seem a bit clustered. Level 5 sees Extra Attack, Honor Archetype Feature, and the additional Fighting Stances. Making level 5 a very powerful milestone for the class. I would suggest moving either Extra Attack or the Archetype Feature to level 7. Also two others stick out; move Precise Strike to level 13 and move Supreme Meditation to level 17. Simple reason being to leave Ability Score Improvements as the only level up feature for their levels. ----Ancalagon 11/22/2019

Lightning Blade[edit]

In regards to the recent change to Lightning Blade (Iaijutsu Master level 7 ability), I don't think bringing the level that you no longer take a point of exhaustion is necessary. It's a very powerful ability that plays well off of its drawback. This change just seems to be an attempt to make the Iaijutsu Master Archetype more powerful. Unless a solid argument as to why it should be level 11 that the drawback no longer happens, I suggest undoing that particular change. --Ancalagon 1/1/2020

Class feature progression[edit]

Hi, I’m currently playing this class in a home brew game and I’ve really liked a lot of the changes made over the past few months. I’ve been playing the class as a Kyudo subclass and I had some suggestions that I think could help balance the class and make the progression more gradual. Since most of the changes involve moving existing things around I’ll add my table suggestion below and add any notes after it.

  • Level "Prof. Bonus" Features
  • 1st +2 Daisho Set, Parry
  • 2nd +2 Bushido, Fighting Stance (+2)
  • 3rd +2 Honor Archetype
  • 4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
  • 5th +3 Extra Attack
  • 6th +3 Honor Archetype Feature
  • 7th +3 Fighting Stance (+2), Parry x2
  • 8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
  • 9th +4 Crucial Seppuku
  • 10th +4 Honor Archetype Feature
  • 11th +4 Possessed Blade, Void Stance
  • 12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
  • 13th +5 Precise Strike
  • 14th +5 Honor Archetype Feature
  • 15th +5 Fighting Stance (+2), Parry x3
  • 16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
  • 17th +6 Supreme Meditation, Bushido x2
  • 18th +6 Honor Archetype Feature
  • 19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
  • 20th +6 Ronin, Kami's Stance

The biggest change I would suggest is removing the level 6 and 14 ASIs. I don’t think the class needs them since it already has plenty of features. It makes more sense to give it the base amount of ASIs, rather than the Fighter amount. This opened up space to move the subclass features a bit and spread the fighting stances out too. The second biggest change is at level 11, where the Void Stance is gained. In order to balance the Void Stance at the lower level it was given a restriction that leaving the Void Stances gives you a point of exhaustion. This restriction is removed at level 15. If this is still unbalanced then the Void Stance could be flipped with the last two stances that are gained at level 15. These changes were made with the Kyudo subclass in mind and I didn’t balance them with the other two subclasses, although I don’t think that should cause a problem. Thanks for all the work you’ve done to make this class fun so far. The only other major change I would suggest involves replacing the Possessed Blade feature, but it doesn’t necessarily affect the above changes--Jguilmon (talk) 07:48, 5 February 2020 (MST)

I would agree with the ASI suggestion. As pointed out in one of the earlier posts on the discussion board this class started out as quite a mess. I hope you've enjoyed the changes to Kyudo, always a challenge making a non-magical archer work. The fighting stances are definitely a tricky part of the class to balance, in terms of power/abilities and level learned. Interesting idea about swapping Void Stance with the last two learned, I tried to trim Void Stance to be less combat oriented so learning it a few levels earlier shouldn't be a problem- change you are unable to use any stance for two turns into simply switching out leaves you with a point of exhaustion? The problem with that is it makes the stance only to be used in combat rather than using the blindsight for recon primarily, plus two full turns in combat is quite a lot since the stances are the core of the main class. So I'd leave that alone for now. Possessed Blade is something I came up with to add a different ability than the previous one which was simply copy and pasted. I would like to know the reason for wanting to replace it, I know it's more or less just Spiritual Weapon but it would also be able to be used outside of combat which this class has very little of. Last is the table; 1. get rid of 6/14 ASI, 2. fighting stance from 5 to 6 and leave Archetype feature at 7, 3. Void Stance to 11 and Fighting Stance to 15, 4. Archetype feature from 15 to 14. --Ancalagon 2/5/2020
For the Void Stance, the exhaustion was just added as another limitation. You are also still unable to switch to another stance for 2 turns. The exhaustion was originally added to help balance the previous Void Stance but the new one still seems strong enough to warrant it below level 15. I do like the Possessed Blade feature as it’s written. The only reason it was removed was because I had a different feature that seemed important to add and I didn’t want to add something without taking something else away. The feature I added is: “Enlightened Blade - At the 11th level, you have progressed along the way of the warrior. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. Also, attacks made with your Daisho weapons count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.” I feel like the Daisho feature has a major flaw, in that it is meant to be your character’s primary weapon but since it’s added at level 1 it’s just a basic 5e weapon. This makes it more and more underpowered as you go, especially once other characters start getting magical weapons. That would be fine as a trade off but the increasing amount of resistances and immunities to non magical damage cut the class’s damage dealing in half if you are using your intended weapon. I felt that this feature was necessary and the Possessed Blade just seemed like the easiest to replace of the features in that level range, but it could easily replace the Crucial Seppuku or Precise Strike instead, or it could be added without removing anything else. Overcoming resistances and immunities seemed like it was a bit thin to carry a whole feature so I moved the Wisdom saving throw proficiency from Supreme Meditation down to give it a bit more since it seemed to match the theme of a more enlightened warrior, although it isn’t necessary to move if it should stay at level 17 --Jguilmon (talk) 12:21, 5 February 2020 (MST)
I would rather reduce added damage to Void Stance than tack on exhaustion. As I said, I was going for a more non-combative style with that stance anyway- so maybe 1d6 or 2d4 instead of 2d6 or just add damage to one attack per turn. But moving it to 11 is still a pretty good idea. As for Possessed Blade it would be easy enough to add in that your Daisho weapons become magical at say level 8 in its description. The proficiency in Wisdom Saving throws fits with Supreme Meditation pretty well I think. Honestly I'm just glad someone else finally added something constructive to the class. --Ancalagon 2/5/2020
I think your point about the Void Stance makes sense. I haven’t tried the updated version yet so it’s likely fine at level 11 as is, with 2d6 and no exhaustion. I do like the Possessed Blade feature you added, and the notes above are reasonable. I may have been too cautious about adding something to a class I’m actively using without removing something at the same time. I agree that the Wisdom Save proficiency does fit well with the Supreme Meditation as well. There was another notable change in the table I added above that I forgot to call out. I moved the Fighting Stance feature so that it starts at level 2 rather than level 1. This was due to some comments above on this page about how it gives abilities ahead of when other classes get their version, specifically calling out Wind Stance and Rogues. This seemed like a fair point so I moved the Fighting Stances to start at level 2 and moved Parry to level 1 since it is a defensive feature and is fairly reasonable. While this leaves the class at the same point as of level 3, it does make it weaker at level 1 and stronger at level 2. That covers all the major changes I can think of for the class, although I do have some tweaks that I can collate and add later. Thanks for all the work you’ve done in this class. --Jguilmon (talk) 18:40, 5 February 2020 (MST)
I made a list of changes and added in that change to fighting stances starting at 2. I did change Wind Stance so it wasn't overpowered. I think what's been said is a good amount to change for now, so I'll see if I can get the page unlocked. --Ancalagon 2/6/2020 9:41am EST
Just give an admin the heads up when the page should be locked again. --Green Dragon (talk) 15:05, 6 February 2020 (MST)

Stance Balancing[edit]

It's not that I think the stances are too overpowered as they are currently, but I think each one should have a drawback to use. This simply justifies any extra power they have. Right now most of them are fine but Wind and Lightning could use a negative. For Lightning I am simply thinking that after using the dash attack, movement speed becomes 0 until the beginning/end of the next turn. Wind is the obvious choice of OP in the stances, as it is almost a free dodge action. Therefore I suggest a -3/-4 to damage rolls while in that stance. Please feel free to add any other suggestions to stance balancing. --Ancalagon 3/7/2020 11:04am EST

Been mulling over Wind Stance for a while, instead of penalty to damage output I was thinking of having disadvantage on attack rolls against creatures larger than you. Reasoning is simply that wind has trouble affecting larger things, if we're going for some sort of logic. --Ancalagon 5/7/2020 12:34PM EST
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