We need to talk about the Slayer

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

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:24 am

As a Wood-elf Cultural Heirloom, the Spearman's Shield should provide better benefits than an average buckler; so it's fair that it provides the full AC of a standard shield. As Anarfin points out, the Spearman's Shield is reclassified as a shield as the buckler is omitted from the equipment tables. That doesn't preclude a LM from introducing the buckler into his game, if so inclined, as distinct from the standard shield.

So, back to discussing the Slayer and whether it needs to be fixed?
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:32 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:24 am
As a Wood-elf Cultural Heirloom, the Spearman's Shield should provide better benefits than an average buckler; so it's fair that it provides the full AC of a standard shield. As Anarfin points out, the Spearman's Shield is reclassified as a shield as the buckler is omitted from the equipment tables. That doesn't preclude a LM from introducing the buckler into his game, if so inclined, as distinct from the standard shield.

So, back to discussing the Slayer and whether it needs to be fixed?
Nope, gonna keep sidetracking for a bit. lol

My favorite character back in 1st Ed AD&D was an elven fighter/magic-user. He did two-weapon fighting with a long sword and spiked buckler. Sometimes the spike was poisoned. That edition's version of the buckler did not exactly match the historical buckler either, as it strapped to the forearm and left the hand on that arm free. For a mage, that was very useful, as spells could be cast with that free hand. Whether historically accurate or not, the gaming version of bucklers I have seen strap to the forearm like that, while bigger, normal shields both strapped to the arm and had a hand grip on the inside of the shield to hold for better parrying and blocking and bashing.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:11 am

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:32 am
My favorite character back in 1st Ed AD&D was an elven fighter/magic-user. He did two-weapon fighting with a long sword and spiked buckler. Sometimes the spike was poisoned. That edition's version of the buckler did not exactly match the historical buckler either, as it strapped to the forearm and left the hand on that arm free. For a mage, that was very useful, as spells could be cast with that free hand. Whether historically accurate or not, the gaming version of bucklers I have seen strap to the forearm like that, while bigger, normal shields both strapped to the arm and had a hand grip on the inside of the shield to hold for better parrying and blocking and bashing.
Whether called bucklers or not, small, strap-on shields for archers and spearmen also go back many centuries. At least some of these could also be held in the off-hand. They seem appropriate for the Wood-elves as well as for the Rohirrim, who favor spears and riding into battle.

My own favorite AD&D combination, since you've brought it up, was the Half-elf Ranger.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Michebugio
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Michebugio » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:23 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:37 pm
I feel like I must be missing something here. In this context, what does 'light' mean in reference to the Dwarf Slayer and his tower shield (1d6, light)? Isn't the tower shield essentially the same thing as a great shield which weighs around 35 lbs.? I am not finding rules in AiMe (Player's Guide) for 'shield charge".
... and all other posts on the subject
"Light" is just a (probably pedantic) notation that means that it can be used as an off-hand weapon. I ruled by the way that it could only be performed as a one-time stunt, and only if associated to a full movement in a straight direction. The player simply wanted to "slam" the enemy with all his body using the shield as the impact surface, so I had to improvise.
Still, BookBarbarian is right:
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:41 pm
Light would be a necessary property to attack with a weapon in the offhand as a bonus action, but you actually need both weapons to be Light to do it according to the rules for TWF.
So he couldn't have attacked with the shield in any case. I just didn't want to say him a plain "no". I actually like when players come up with creative actions that spice up the fight, such as the Wanderer climbing up the leg of Tauler to have a better shot at his abdomen.
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
There are no Tower Shields in AiME so I assume you mean Great Shields? And by rage I assume you mean Battle-Fury?
Yes, sorry about my wrong terminology. Old habits die hard ;)
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
Entering a Battle-Fury takes a Bonus Action ans since each Character can only have one bonus action a turn the Slayer should not have gotten an additional attack. So even if he could have attacked with his shield as a bonus action (which is something only Level 3+ Warrior Weaponmasters with the Protection Fighting style, and Men of the Lake characters with the appropriate Cultural Virtue can do) he wouldn't be able to do it in the same turn as entering a Fury.

You're free to rule however you want, but I find messing with the Action Economy, can have very undesirable consequences. Also I don't like giving things that are unique to a certain Class, Subclass, or Virtue away for free, but again you can rule as you wish.
You are right, I messed things up a bit. Still, in the end he only got an extra attack dealing 1d6+5 damage compared to what he would have been entitled to, so I don't think this shifted so much the odds of the fight.
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
Terrorize might have been the better choice here since if you can keep the Slayer from attacking or taking damage, they will drop out of Battle-Fury, reducing their damage, and getting rid of their resistance.
In that particular round, using Terrorise would have made Tauler miss the opportunity to attack with advantage, so I was saving it for a round where the Slayer wouldn't use Reckless Attack.
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
Do you mean a Natural 10 since +7 to hit makes it enough to hit AC 17?
Yes, a natural 10 of course. Rolling with advantage, it's fairly easy to obtain.
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
Interesting. At this point, the Battle Fury would have run out as 10 rounds is one minute, and the next round the Slayer would not have had Resistance to damage, or advantage to Strength saving throws.

Now if he hadn't had the perfect combination of Culture, Class, Magic Armor, Good rolls, and lenient rulings it might have been a very different story.
I actually missed him twice with Tauler's Stomp, and I faked one of the two misses, so I actually stripped him of 1 round. I think that evens out the extra shield attack. But yeah, the timing was close: one more round, or a failed save, would have changed the fight outcome, but not so dramatically. In that case, the Wanderer would have simply finished the job in one or two more rounds, probably helped by the Scholar's healing.

Michebugio
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Michebugio » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:31 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:41 pm
In other words, I think in that situation Michebugio aimed for RAF (Rules As Fun) http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/sage-ad ... nd-rulings
There is nothing wrong with it, if it's fun for you and all your players.
Thanks Anarfin, that's exactly my philosophy. :)
Majestic wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:18 pm
One final point regarding the excellent battle summary: technically there are no such thing as "surprise rounds" in 5E. Even if a character is surprised, you figure out their initiative, and if they roll high enough, their turn might happen (they don't get to take any actions at that point, as they are surprised) before the enemy even goes (for the first time), and from the end of their turn onwards they are allowed to do certain things (like take Reactions). So no more "surprise rounds" where only one side gets to beat up the PCs (or the PCs beat up adversaries) while the other side does nothing.
Thanks for the compliments Majestic! :) It did was a thrilling fight, up until round 4-5 when the players started to realize that it wasn't going to be as hard as expected. At that point, the situation started to change into something like "well, let the Slayer do the job. He's doing great. We'll do fun stuff meanwhile!", which isn't the kind of attitude you'd want from your players when they're fighting the big bad boss. :roll:
But still, they had fun, and that's what matters in the end. ;)

Note taken about the surprise round (it actually was a regular round and the Treasure Hunter was surprised, that's why I counted it as before initiative). By the RAW, you're definitely right.


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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:54 am

Michebugio

If you think the real problem here is the ability of the Slayer to 'pump up' their AC past what a Warrior could, then there is a very simple solution:

The idea of a ''Battle Fury" is to duplicate the abilities of characters such as Beorn etc. to 'go berserk' once they start receiving some minor damage in combat, am I right?? Then simply houserule that the Slayer can only go into a Battle Fury if they are wearing Light or No Armour - to me this sounds thematically correct with the idea behind the Battle Fury of Slayers.

I like this because I don't see the Slayer and heavier armours as compatible, anyway.
Another option: Slayer must have taken a certain amount of damage before they can use their Battle Fury ability.

Thoughts??
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monje29
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by monje29 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:20 pm

After a year playing I have seen how, in my opinion, the game suffers from some points in the design that cause imbalances in the system.
Although some say that aime has its own rules, we can not forget that aime is a byproduct of a previous system. In the root system (aka D & D) class features, gear, spells, etc. are tested to try to offer a balance with the challenges (and not always achieved). If new rules are added and not properly tested in conjunction with the others, it can happen that there are players who stack a, b, c, d and demonstrate the existence of a hole in the system that can eventually cause the challenge rating to collapse, eventually leading to frustration on the part of the DM, which has to take action in the matter through house rulings or censoring, which also leads to the frustration of the players. In my case I always advise that when you play a product not based on its own rules, you look carefully at every detail of the system and make several tests with players on the system before starting a campaign.In my case, the foehammer path was one of those holes that my whole group saw from the beginning, so we agreed to modify it and balance it with the rest of the subclasses.
In the case of the Foehammer, I do not see it as a subclass for slayer, rather as a fighter. On an aesthetic, philosophical and visual level, the skill of Unarmored defense and Battle fury of the slayer contradicts for me the proficiency in heavy armor and the use of a large shield. The use of heavy armor, shield and combat tactics is for me an introverted, cautious and defensive tactical choice, which has nothing to do with the defensive ability without armor of a barbarian and totally extroverted fury.

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Anarfin
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:20 pm

Ok, that will be long post... ;)
Robin Smallburrow wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:54 am
The idea of a ''Battle Fury" is to duplicate the abilities of characters such as Beorn etc. to 'go berserk' once they start receiving some minor damage in combat, am I right?? Then simply houserule that the Slayer can only go into a Battle Fury if they are wearing Light or No Armour - to me this sounds thematically correct with the idea behind the Battle Fury of Slayers.
[...]
I like this because I don't see the Slayer and heavier armours as compatible, anyway.
Yes, Beorn is good example of Slayer:

The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers [...] Swiftly he returned and his wrath was redoubled, so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him. He scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him.

monje29 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:20 pm
The use of heavy armor, shield and combat tactics is for me an introverted, cautious and defensive tactical choice, which has nothing to do with the defensive ability without armor of a barbarian and totally extroverted fury.
But Slayer is not only savage Beorn in his frenzy. Battle Fury is not only white-hot rage but it could be cold, deadly precision (vide description, p.72), or grim determination in the face of enemy.
I can easily imagine that defence of Húrin and Huor of the House of Hador was last stand of the group of slayers - well armoured and disciplined ("and foot by foot they withdrew"), fighting to the bitter end. They held Morgoth forces for all day, until Húrin stood there alone. "Then he cast aside his sword and shield and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew, Húrin cried "Aure entuluva!" "Day shall come again!" Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took them at last alive, by the command of Morgoth, for the orcs grappled him with their hands, which clung to him still though he hewed off their arms; and ever their numbers were renewed, untill at last he fell buried beneath them."
Yup, guy slew over seventy foes, including crack troops of the Gothmog's troll guards.

I agree that problem with slayer (especially "Foehammer" path) is their very high Armor Class (ability to stack Heavy Armor, Dexterity and Great Shields) combined with their damage resistance and high HP.
In combat this coud easily outmatch any warrior - and it's not right.

Book Barbarian wrote in other topic:
BookBarbarian wrote:
Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:48 pm
With Foehammer Slayers able to add their full Dex mod to Heavy armor, a Foheammer with Max Dex, heavy Mail, and a Greatshield could have an AC of 25.

Paired with the fact that a Weaponmaster Warrior with the Great Weapon Fighting style has advantage on all attacks against a foe it's size or smaller leads to an interesting conclusion:

If I want to play a sword and board character I'm likely to go Slayer. If I want to play a great weapon character I'm likely to go Warrior. This is not necessarily a problem, it's just counter to what I expected.
I didn't saw this as a problem too, until I realized something - none of those Slayer archetypes from the books was using a shield, at least not in final stage of combat. Both of them were reckless, and very effective against large, well equipped foes - trolls, bodyguards of Bolg etc. ( [...] and with them came the bodyguard of Bolg, goblins of huge size [...] ).
Maybe it should be the right direction?

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

Slightly revised Slayer

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

Foehammer gets:
3rd lvl - Armoured fury (no changes)

6th lvl you can choose:
Hooped and Clasped - As long as you're not using shield of any kind, your Dexterity modifier while wearing armour is increased by 2 (to +4 in medium Medium Armour and +2 in Heavy Armour). You do not suffer disadvantage on stealth checks when wearing Medium Armour

Giantsbane - When Large or larger creature within 5ft of you hits or misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, dealing extra d6 dmg of the weapon type, provided you can see the creature and you're wielding melee weapon with two hands.

Yes, if you sacrifice your STR or CON to have higher DEX, and you're aiming at stealth, mobility, (remember that Extra Movement do not work with heavy armour, even with current Armoured Fury and Hooped and Clasped) two-handed weapon or two weapons fighting, get Hooped and Clasped
Your Armour Class will be about 18 - nice, but nothing as scary as 25. You'll be still doing nice damage, though.

If you're aiming at pumping up STR and CON, take Giantsbane. Your AC will stop on 16, but you'll be effective against big guys, gaining additional attack with bigger damage.

Both options are discouraging Foehammer from using shields, leaving protection from that kind of equipment to Rider path and other classes, and Great Shields for the Warriors only.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by Anarfin on Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » 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.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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