October 24, 2019

Path of Tranquility

Primal Path
Comments from the Finger: A clever little barbarian crafted by our friend Grand Moff and refined by yours truly. I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

Path of Tranquility

Barbarians of the Path of Tranquility follow a strange philosophy for their kind. Unlike their furious berserker brethren, the Serene, as they are often called, practice restraint and moderation in their rage. They are calm, tactical fighters, striking swiftly and without warning.

Mantra
Starting when you select this path at 3rd level, taking the Dodge action on your turn counts as attacking a hostile creature for the purposes of sustaining your rage.

Anticipate
Also at 3rd level, whenever you do not make an attack roll on your turn, you prepare yourself for blows. Until the start of your next turn, whenever a creature makes a melee attack against you, you can use your reaction to make one melee weapon attack against that creature.

Battle Trance
At 6th level, whenever you use your reaction to make an attack, you can make two attacks instead.

Tranquility
At 10th level, you can chant calming verses to entice, relieve, and protect those around you. You can cast the calm emotions, enthrall, and sanctuary spells once each, without expending spell slots or components, and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Your spell save DC for these spells is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier.

Zen State
At 14th level, whenever a creature misses you with a melee attack, you gain a +2 bonus to your Armor Class, up to a maximum of +6. This bonus resets to 0 if you take damage or at the start of your turn.


19 comments:

  1. Hey yall! Sorry for missing last week's post. I'm back into work mode and should be able to resume normal operation.

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  2. Love the theme, but it may be too strong. You can give other character's advantage by using help as an action, and then use your reaction to attack too. You can also use dodge and reckless attack to gain free advantage on those reaction attacks. Not to mention double dash into reaction attacks. Overall there's too many options that can exploit freeing an action up in combat and still attack. The only downside is you don't have too much choice in the target of your attack, but if you want to hit something in specific, you can still use your attack action normally. It's a good concept, but I wouldn't let one of my players use it.

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    2. You can't use reckless attack for advantage on reaction attacks. Reckless attack only works on the barbarians turn and at no other time. Here's the relevant text from the feature.
      "when you make your first attack on your turn, you can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during that turn"

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    3. It took me a moment to realize what you were saying, but yes with the way anticipate is worded it creates a problem, it would be fixed if it didn't function outside of rage and that should fix a lot of the problems you pointed out

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    4. This one was obviously a bit of an action economy experiment, but the two balancing factors here are: A, no Reckless Attack on reaction attacks, and B, no guarantees you'll be able to deal damage, since you might just not get attacked.

      Also Phyrose, I'm not sure what you mean by "double dash". The most you can do is use the Dash action once on your turn. That said, using Dash, Help, or Dodge is pretty strong, if you can still attack, but it takes a lot of control out of your hands, so it's a bit self-balancing.

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    5. double dash is a phrase that comes from CR that they tend to use, though it only really means anything for Nott or Beau the rogue and monk respectively

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    6. Another balancing point is that if you dont make an attack (or Dodge, in this case) on your turn you stop raging. So you cant really take the Help or Dash actions here without penalties.

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    7. Yeah forgot that reckless had to be on your turn, so slightly less encounter killing. I'd say its still pretty strong, just not op. To play devil's advocate, @Grand Moff, yes Help/Dash doesn't trigger rage, but getting hit still does, so you can still rage through that turn without a penalty.
      And even though you can't reckless on a reaction attack, those two reaction attacks would be at advantage if you did reckless an attack action that turn.
      (Yes I use double dash to describe move action into dash action. Its much easier to say imo even if its not entirely accurate. I blame PF2e)

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    8. Reckless Attack can only be activated on your turn, and last for the duration of that turn. Making a reaction attack outside of your turn cannot ever benefit from Reckless Attack.

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    9. it really doesn't seems that strong offensively- much less so than other barbarians. When combined with feats that such as sentinel, or with specific subclasses, it might be problematic- but that's true for a lot of classes and features.

      Defensively, however, barbarians are already very good- high hp, damage resistance, and possibly very high (a dex barbarian with a shield can easily have 21-22 AC at lvl 8+). Add disadv. on attacks against them from dodge, and you'll get one hell of a tank.

      Still, I wouldn't say it's too easy to pull off an overpowered build with this one.

      A really great class overall. Kudos, GMX.

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  3. Give this character Sentinel and Mage Slayer and your DM will never, ever be able to pull off a single enemy bossfight again. Bonus points if you tack on Blade Master for permaadvantage on AoOs.

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  4. Most people are thinking on this class in a 1v1 scenario where
    1) the enemy has to hit only him and
    2) the enemy has to do it at melee range

    Yes, sure, great boost to AC, if you go dex-con and a shield, you can reach 28 by sacrificing your damage output. But the problem is, most enemies have no reason to attack a barbarian, specially a barbarian that deals low damage (if the npc is intelligent, he will target the party dps, or the strong support units, and if the npc is a dumb beast, it will probably attack the squishiest target possible, usually the mage or monk/rogue). And since this barbarian does not have a way to punish those who don't attack him (like the zealot), he can be ignored most of the time and then be dealt later, when he is alone with no help from the backline.
    And any enemy that stays 20ft away from him can just make him into a pincushion without any problems (zen state only increases if the missed attack is a melee one, so on overall this archetype is way weaker to ranged foes than most of the other barbarian subclasses).

    Now, on the other side of things, it is a pretty cool class with an ability that I loved on 3.5 (reminds me of pearl of black doubt from tome of battle) and yes, within the situation of being a melee duel, with the right feats and maybe a few levels in another class (this one with battlemaster or kensai would be dope), then it would be pretty strong, possible one of the best non magical duelist builds out there!

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  5. Mage Slayer, Polearm Master and Sentinel would all make this subclass extremely powerful level 6+ with varying results depending on the campaign. With the main issue being that it works on any reaction that lets you attack.

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  6. It's probably too big of a level dip to make it all that worthwhile, but it could be interesting to see a level 3-6 Path of Tranquility Barbarian multi-classed as a spell-caster. As long as you don't make an attack roll (like casting a spell that doesn't have a spell attack) you could still benefit from "Anticipate" & "Battle Trance", if I'm reading it correctly.

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    1. Nice trick, and might be a viable build. Not too strong though, at least until high levels.

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