June 20, 2016

Dervish

Ranger Archetype
Comments from the Palm: The Desert Update comes at the end of the month on Patreon!

Dervish

Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style, Favored Terrain: Desert
You are one of the legendary Dervish: fierce, lighting fast warriors who call the desert their home. Though there are others who profess skill at fighting with a pair of weapons, there are none that compare to the absolute mastery of the style the dervish hold. As well, they excel at both distraction and misdirection, and seem to be able to bend the sands of their homeland to their whim.

Sand Sprinter
Beginning when you select this archetype at 3rd level, moving through sand and similar materials cost you no extra movement. Additionally, your base walking speed increases by 5 feet. At 7th level, this movement speed bonus increases to 10 feet, and at 15th level it increases to 15 feet.

Dervish Dance
At 3rd level, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls you make with light melee weapons. Additionally, if you have moved at least 10 feet on your turn, you can attack twice instead of once when you use your bonus action to engage in two-weapon fighting using two light weapons.

Sandstorm
Starting at 7th level, you learn to kick up an obscuring cloud of sand around yourself while you move. When you move more than 15 feet on your turn, you can use an action to cause your space to become heavily obscured until the start of your next turn. Your ability to see is unhindered by this effect.

Sirocco 
Starting at 11th level, while wielding a light melee weapon in each hand, you can use your action to make a melee attack against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you, with a separate attack roll for each target.
     Additionally, the damage die of any light melee weapon you wield increases by one step (d4 -> d6 -> d8) to a maximum of 1d8.

Dune Tunneler
At 15th level, you learn the secret of moving through the dunes. You gain a burrow speed in sand and similar materials equal to your walking speed. While burrowing, you gain tremorsense out to 30 feet, and you can breathe while submerged. Once per turn, if you exit the sand next to a foe on your turn, you gain advantage on your first attack against that creature.



Changelog:
6/20/16: Dervish Dance: Removed light weapon restriction. Added Dexterity to attack and damage rolls.
Sirrocco: Expanded to work with all light weapons.
Dune Tunneler: Added blindsense
6/21/16: Dune Tunneler: Removed Blindsense. Added Tremorsense.
6/22/16: Sandstorm: Invisibility replaced with a heavily obscured condition

20 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun idea to use in a desert style campaign. I do have a question though as to why you made the 7th level ability grant invisibility. It seems a bit much and doesn't exactly fit with what the ability actually does. Running around in a giant sand cloud doesn't really make someone invisible. It's more like "He's in there! I think?" Something like disadvantage on all attack rolls maybe? It would work similarly to if the attacker was considered blind or if the character was actually invisible, but simultaneously avoids terminology misconceptions. Just my two cents. But like I said, it looks very fun to play.

    (oh and p.s, you used 'a' instead of 'an' here --> "you learn to kick up a obscuring cloud of sand...")

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    1. I think invisible is the correct mechanical interpretation, (after all, it doesn't really heavily obscure an area) though it might also need a clause to indicate that other creatures know generally know you're within the cloud.

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    2. I second the fact that it should be invisiblity, though I don't think the clause is exactly needed. It opens a can of worms for the DM to meta where you are explictly for his monsters.

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    3. I also want to applaud the fact that while the Desert is the prereq's for this subclass and mentioned in all of the fluff, you retain all of your abilities if for example your campaign starts in the desert and then moves to the ocean, underdark, ect. That is awesome and I thank you for it.

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    4. Of course. With the exception of a small number of these (primarily the forthcoming Oasis Druid and the Pharoah Warlock), we wanted to make sure that these subclasses had utility outside of their thematic origin.

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    5. Heavily obscuring your space, or the spaces around you effectively makes you invisible. Invisibility is affected by things such as truesight. On the other hand you gain the ability to hide as a bonus action at 14th. I would change this ability for one of the following:
      Starting at 7th level, you learn to kick up an obscuring cloud of sand around yourself while you move. When you move more than 15 feet on your turn, you create a small sandstorm with a five foot radius, this area is lightly obscured and you may attempt to hide in it. Your ability to see is unhindered by this sandstorm

      Starting at 7th level, you learn to kick up an obscuring cloud of sand around yourself while you move. When you move more than 15 feet on your turn, you can use an action to cause your space to become heavily obscured. Your ability to see is unhindered by this sandstorm.

      This solves the problem of invisibility, as well as makes it feel more thematically fitting.

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    6. Truesight! I thought I had forgotten an effect! Your wording works really well, and I'll definitely be implementing this change.

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  2. In the "Sandstorm" ability, you wrote, "until the start of our next turn." Not trying to be rude, just trying to help.

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  3. For Dune Tunneler, Blindsense doesn't pierce obstacles or terrain, like sand. You'd want to give him Tremorsense.

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    1. Ah, You are correct, that is what I meant. Thank you for catching that.

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  4. 'Sand and similar materials' does this constitute dirt?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Depends on your DM, but I would say only if the dirt is loose or easy to dig through.

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    3. I had a discussion about this with someone on /r/UnearthedArcana. My thought is that, essentially , if it's not straight up rock or tome other blatantly solid material, you're fine. We hit upon the idea that this could quickly and easily be adapted to being, say, an Inuit or Eskimo-like warrior who fights with a pair of axes and can tunnel through the snow. Still, final ruling, as always, lies with the DM.

      And on to the light weapons thing: yes, that's intentional. The class is designed around the Scimitar.

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    4. not sure what his comment was about the light weapon focus, but since you mention the design around the scimitar the whole dex instead of str is redundant. Scimitars are already finesse. However leave it there and you allow for sickle/handaxe/shortsword(for ultimate neckstabbery)/light hammer/dagger fun. Sickles or shortswords refluffed as khopesh or kukri. Handaxes for the Inuit. light hammer for ...dwarvish dervish? dwervish.

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  5. Maybe i´m stupid but doesn´t favorite terrain: desert negate all difficult terrain in sand and stuff and thus does render the first part of sand sprinter pointless?

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    1. Sand and similar materials =/= walking through the desert. I would have a chat with your DM ahead of time to determine what kind of materials would be appropriate for your dervish to ignore.

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  6. So, this is a more blanket question for all ranger archetyped as well, but given the release of the Revised Wizard by WotC, would you say that it would be appropriate to give this class extra attack at level 5?

    The Revised Ranger no longer gains Extra attack by virtue of the class, but rather by its subclasses except for the Beast Master conclave, which grants the beast the ability to attack with the ranger as a reaction.

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  7. I really have a hard time grasping what is the use of the Sandstorm ability at level 7. I've read the comments above on where it was and how it came to be changed but now, it really just is a reflavored Dodge action (with the same vulnerabilities - aka, you need to move to be able to do it, and it uses your action). Technically, being able to see through the 5-feet sandstorm you've created does not seem like a contributing factor to this ability (because you can't attack with advantage because you simply can't attack hidden inside that sandstorm). Well, it "might" be useful to make some Opportunity Attacks (and that would be the single and meagre benefit this ability would offer over a Dodge action).

    With how the ranger is built up and how this archetype is built up, I don't think it makes it anywhere close to underpowered. But the fact remains that, even as a ribbon class ability, this Sandstorm thing makes no sense to me. Maybe I am seeing it wrong?

    I would suggest for a ribbon ability that is just different, but I appreciate that you are trying to focus on the sand flavor subtext. I guess, on the top of my head (which is never reliable), there are a few possibilities to slightly modify it:

    a) to make it last longer
    Basically: sandstorm "until the end of your next turn", which could be quite interesting and may be within balance. Though I actually doubt the balance, it does force a player to take a turn for defence (thus delaying its actions) which it then transfers into the next round as potential advantages. It would give him a round with Dodge for that "transfer" though of, say, 3 possible attacks per round for two rounds to 3 possible attacks with advantage per two rounds.

    b) make the sandstorm bigger
    By either tying to the 15 feet move it requires and turns it into a 15 feet sandstorm sphere or using a mechanic of movement where he gathers and moves the sandstorm around. He still has to use its action, so it's really not that favorable, but he gets to confuse and entraps some enemies within it too.

    c) throwing a sandstorm
    Towards enemies. Or maybe even thinking of a sand-trap thingie. It could require an action and would be a long rest sort of thing (so its use is not exaggerated and overpowered).

    d) making the sandstorm go as he moves
    This could lasts for a round. Would take his action, his bonus action or simply a free action depending on how much he can do this (always, wisdom modifier or once). Technically, this would be pretty interesting as a control maneuver without actually putting the enemies into an heavily obscured area (because you can't run through an enemy's space, unless you use a Tumble action). And I doubt it'd be used too often, too.

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