We need to talk about the Slayer

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:53 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:48 am
Anarfin wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:20 pm
Slightly revised Slayer

Slayers (and Wanderers and Wardens) do not have proficiency in Great Shield.

Any thoughts?
I don't think I would want to prohibit Wardens from gaining proficiency in Great Shield. Wardens represents a broad category of defender-types that includes city guards, shirriffs and other policemen, some soldiers, many Rangers, etc.
This is true. I have seen other game systems do an either/or choice for characters too, that can work or not depending on how they are implemented where you can be proficient, but are limited on what character abilities can be used while equipped. For example, a lot of systems allow dual wielding, but there are restrictions on what can be effectively used as one of the two weapons, so if you are using the wrong weapon, then no attacking with both for you. And when it comes to great shields, tower shields, etc, there are some things a character just should not be able to do with it no matter how proficient they are. Now, I could see burning Hope, Inspiration, whatever for a one-off crazy stunt/attack that would normally never work, but that is up to the DM to allow, not the rules as written.

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Anarfin
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:26 pm

Ok, in case of Wardens and Wanderers it could be optional. For me, Great Shield is a kind of "military shield". I can see Heralds using it, but certainly not the Counsellors (i am not sure about Bounders, but I lean to "no").

Any thoughts about Slayer options?

Sama64
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Sama64 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:44 pm

i may be wrong, but the foe-hammer has been designed for dwarves, that is why this archetype gets proficiency with heavy armours, all shields and the aptitude Hooped and Clasped.

but (we already discussed it elsewhere) it doesn't suit well with other cultures like beornings for instance.

I have a player who chose to play a dwarf slayer and i'm pretty sure we will choose the foehammer archetype at Level 3. So i am very much interested in the modifications you propose for the slayer/ foehammer (because i fear an invincible dwarf foehammer with a mattock surclassing both enemies and other player-characters).

my only concern is that it minored the attractivity of the archetype, maybe we can add a "little something" to balance the modification of "Hooped and Clasped" and other aptitudes...

Mykesfree
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Mykesfree » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:58 pm

While I think the D&D CR system is a bit wonky in general, after reading the original post, In my opinion, the LM didn't run the monster to the best of its abilities.

One of the major problem with "Solo" monsters in D&D is the action economy. A single monster never has enough actions to compete with the Players. In this case, the Spider had a ranged attack of 40ft that could target 3 players at a time. So it was a bit in favor of the players, but the monster still could really hinder players in one turn. The range here is a big factor, as the Slayer would have to waste an attack have to to get in range to hit. The Terrorise ability was only used once, but the Slayer has problems with this type of attack. The Slayer had to use inspiration to dig out. If the Spider kept its distance and tried to keep on using this ability it would have negated the advantage the Slayer would have on its attack rolls and if the Slayer didn't use its abilities while in a Battle Fury, would be at disadvantage.

I know this is all easy to type after the fact, and at the table it is fast. Overall I think the Orginal posters created a great and exciting story with the players. In the end, the exciting story is what matters.

BookBarbarian
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:04 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:20 pm
Ok, that will be long post... ;)

...snip...

In my opinion Slayer should be durable skirmisher or durable heavy hitter, so I think I'll try something like that:

...snip...

Any thoughts?
I love your example of Slayers from Lore. For me the titular slayer has to be Turin Turumbar. When it comes to just being good at killing things this guy is it. Whether Man, Orc, Elf, Dwarf, Dragon, Friend, or Foe he has slain it and in the end he will slay a Vala so I mean that's pretty impressive.

Foehammer does such a good job of recreating these kind of characters like Turin that I love it! But it's maybe too good of a recreation for the balance of the game. I think Battle fury is iconic to the class, I also think AiME Heavy armor that caps at 16 is just fine to add to the class. The problem is the potential the +4 of the Great Shield, which happened here and the potential +5 AC from Dexterity that this Fohammer would get at one more level.

I find that even small increases to AC drastically impact a characters survivability due to how Bounded Accuracy works. Hence my position on disliking the Swordmaster Barding Cultural Virtue.

Great Shield on the whole I actually like a lot. It provides incentive for just about anyone who can use one to get one.

Tolkein's stories were rooted in Dark Age Myth where the mark of a Soldier/Warrior/Fighter was't a sword, but a Shield. A guy carrying a Sword/Spear/Axe in the Dark ages could just be cautious, but a guy carrying a shield was looking for or at least expecting a fight. This is so true that Boromir, arguably the most martial character in the fellowship, brings one with him from Gondor to Rivendell for a council meeting. And Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli all get shields from Edoras, before going to open war with the forces of Shadow. So I think there is good precedent for "If you can get a shield use it" kind of thinking. Also there may be some rpecedent in those passages for a Dwarf being too small to use a big shield, being he takes on that was made for a child, but I digress.

Dexterity bonus to AC while in Heavy Armor is something I like less. I think your way of limiting it is a good one. I'll try it in my game if our slayer seems to be taking too much spotlight time in battle.

Here is another thought I had. How would it work if while in a Battle-Fury a Slayer can not gain the AC bonus from a Shield or Great Shield? This would allow the Slayer to still get a very high AC, but if they want the Resistance to damage and other benefits a Fur Provides, they have to forgo it for the duration.

Some slayers might at this point, drop their shield to take their weapon in two hands, or even pull out a Greataxe like Hurin did in the example you posted.

I'll try it in my game too.

BookBarbarian
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:07 pm

Mykesfree wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:58 pm
One of the major problem with "Solo" monsters in D&D is the action economy.
This is absolutely true, for all the reasons you gave. Imagine the Tauler account if he had 3-4 Attercops in there too. That's an encounter I would run at the sight of for sure.

In 5e swarms of low CR monsters are way more deadly than a single Boss Monster. Which is great for Middle Earth! It's a game you you might solo the Balrog, but definitely have to flee from the hordes of weak Misty Mountain goblins.

Sama64
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Sama64 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 am

BookBarbarian wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:04 pm
Dexterity bonus to AC while in Heavy Armor is something I like less. I think your way of limiting it is a good one. I'll try it in my game if our slayer seems to be taking too much spotlight time in battle.

Here is another thought I had. How would it work if while in a Battle-Fury a Slayer can not gain the AC bonus from a Shield or Great Shield? This would allow the Slayer to still get a very high AC, but if they want the Resistance to damage and other benefits a Fur Provides, they have to forgo it for the duration.

Some slayers might at this point, drop their shield to take their weapon in two hands, or even pull out a Greataxe like Hurin did in the example you posted.

I'll try it in my game too.
I like these propositions a lot :)
I think i will add them as home-rules for my coming campaign

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Anarfin
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:43 pm

BookBarbarian wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:04 pm
Here is another thought I had. How would it work if while in a Battle-Fury a Slayer can not gain the AC bonus from a Shield or Great Shield? This would allow the Slayer to still get a very high AC, but if they want the Resistance to damage and other benefits a Fur Provides, they have to forgo it for the duration.

Some slayers might at this point, drop their shield to take their weapon in two hands, or even pull out a Greataxe like Hurin did [...].
I really like this idea. It gives player an option between high AC/lower dmg and Lower AC/high damage output (two-handed/versatile weapon or two weapons + Battle Fury Bonus) with damage resistance. It's nice and simple solution, I like it :)

I think I'll leave the Slayer with Great Shield proficiency, but I'll limit the effect of Hooped and Clasped (changed to +4/+2 in Medium Armour/Heavy Armour respectively) to Battle Fury only.

So the Foehammer would have 3 build options:

Str > Con > Dex for Heavy Hitting front-line Tank
Armor: Heavy Armor + Great Shield.
Weapon: Versatile, two-handed or two light weapons for Battle Fury
++Good damage, high HP, AC ~20 in normal combat
--AC ~16 in Battle Fury, no benefit from Extra Movement, heavy loaded, no Stealth

Str/Dex > Con: Heavy Hitting Skirmisher (stealth option)
Armor: Medium Armor + Great shield (or normal shield, if aiming at Stealth option)
Weapon: Versatile, two-handed or two light weapons for Battle Fury
++Good damage, AC ~20 in normal combat (18 if Stealthy option), AC ~18 in Battle Fury, Extra Movement
-- Lower HP, heavy loaded

Dex/Con > Str: Mobile tank (stealth option)
Armor: Medium Armor + shield (may not have free load to carry Great Shield)
Weapon: probably Versatile - may not have free load to carry wider array of weapons
++AC ~18 in normal combat, AC ~18 in Battle Fury, Extra Movement, high HP, Stealthy
--Lower damage output, lower carry capacity

I like that :)

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