Thursday, October 8, 2015

Roguish Archetype: The Jester [Second Draft]

So, other than one major hiccup, the rough draft was mostly okay!

Well, as mostly-okay as rough drafts ever are. It had a bunch of bumps that needed ironing out, but iron them out I did, and we have a rather promising second draft before us.

So let's take a look at the changelog, then, to see why this is so much better.

What I Changed:

  • Midway through the rough draft, I changed Pratfall to Cruel Comedy. Pratfall almost perfectly emulated another core rogue feature, which didn't seem like anything close to good design, and so I changed it.
  • Cruel Comedy is designed to compete with Uncanny Dodge somewhat - when hit by an attack, you can decide whether to ignore half the damage or to cause minimal damage and disadvantage on the enemy's next attack. When taking damage from a spell, however, it's more of a no-brainer, and you can insult the asshole who hit you to your heart's content. 
  • I streamlined Cruel Comedy from the rough draft - instead of emulating vicious mockery, it now just casts vicious mockery. This is a trade-off, as it decreases the damage done from 1d10 to 1d4, but it also has a massive buff because...
  • Cruel Comedy now allows you to apply Sneak Attack damage to vicious mockery once per short rest. This can function off a standard casting, or the revenge-casting that Cruel Comedy provides. 
  • Jesting Magician now buffs the spell slot level of spells cast from Arcane Buffoonery to 2nd level - which is nice for color spray, and not much else. 
  • Included a sidebar on the last page directly addressing the multiclassing spell slot weirdness. 
  • Spell progression here is still weird, which makes sense because I've been doing weird things with the archetype. I don't think it's terribly unbalanced, though - you may get extra spells, but only four with any direct combat application, and your spell level caps at 2nd level rather than 4th. 
  • Other than that, not much. I think this archetype is good to ship!
What I've Learned:
  • Roguish Archetypes are weird. Unlike paladin oaths and warlock otherworldly patrons and pacts, rogues have most of their combat potential stored in core features of the class that cannot be directly altered, really. Thus, roguish archetypes are great for flavoring the core experience of being a rogue, which is essentially what they do in canon materials. 
  • It's really, really fucking hard to find pictures of high fantasy festivals. Seriously, try it. It's even more bananas than finding a non-sexy female necromancer. 

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