Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alternative 5th edition character: The Bow Fighter

Note: This is very out of date with the current version of the D&D Next (5th Edition) rules.

I talked to my group last night and the guy running our current game is going to be unable to run it for a couple weeks either starting the week after next or the week after that. As a result, we will be playing my 5th edition D&D game during the interim. That should lead to some interesting posts but in the meantime there is a problem: I now have six players and there are only five premade characters. Now someone could run a clone character of someone else but we decided to try an idea that came out of last session: the bow fighter.
I typed it up today but unfortunately, according to the terms of the play testing material for 5th edition, I can’t distribute it, which is unfortunate since I was going to post it here.

I am allowed to make suggestions on 5th edition, so I can tell you about it so long as I don’t post the full write up, as it includes things copy pasted from the play testing materials. Firstly, I switched the character from dwarf (assume a dwarf gets +2 constitution, -2 charisma) to elf (+2 dexterity, -2 constitution) and copied the elf racial abilities over from the information provided for the wizard character. Then I switched around some ability scores to optimize for range.The way I did it, this gave me far too many scores at 12. I ended up trading in three 12’s for a 10, 11 and a 14. Seemed fair. This gave me the ability scores

Strength: 12 / +1
Dexterity: 18 / +4
Constitution: 11 / 0
Intelligence: 10 / 0
Wisdom: 14 / +2
Charisma: 8 / -1

Then I switched the weapons and armor over. I gave this character a longbow, a short sword and a chain mail shirt. The standard fighter has an unexplained +3 attack and +2 damage with both of his/her weapons, so I kept these. Other than that, how to do this is detailed in the document “how to play.”

It is important to note here that the slayer theme still works as it applies to “any attack” rather than “any melee attack.”

I exchanged intimidate skill training for stealth. I figure this guy might make a good scout. Admittedly, that was the fighters only social ability, which might come back to bite me during social encounters.

I adjusted the hit point progression to take into account the lower constitution score. I assumed that the first level hit point score is calculated some number plus constitution. I also assumed that the number of hit points gained at each level there after was equal to some number plus constitution modifier. This gave me:

Level 1: 17 hp
Level 2: 21 hp
Level 3: 25 hp

This seems fair.

The final thing I did was to remove the cleave feat and add the following feat of my own invention:

Pin: You let loose an arrow and pin the target of your attack to the floor or other immovable object.
Benefit: Once on your turn, when you make a range attack with a bow or crossbow, you may have the target become restrained if you hit. Make a check with the ability that you used to make the attack. At the beginning of each of its turns, as a free action, the target makes a strength check. The restrained condition ends when the target's strength check equals or beats your check. Targets that are not in contact with an immovable surface are immune to this attack.

That should be enough that, if you have access to the play testing materials, you should be able to replicate this.

My other idea was to give the fighter the wizard's magic-user theme so he/she gets two minor spells. Anyway, I'm not going to get around to writing that today. Maybe in another post.

Addendum: If you are participating in the DnD next play test, I can send you the full character sheet by email. Send me a message at LewisRFlanagan at gmail. 

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