Talk:Gravity Warrior (5e Martial Archetype)

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Giving Credit Where Due[edit]

This is a conversion of Rithaniel's Gravity Warrior, and I think they should be credited somewhere on the page. Is there a page attribute where it's appropriate to write name people for direct inspiration? --YLM (talk) 11:34, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Here on Talk usually suffices. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 08:25, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Then it is done! Thank you, Eiji. --YLM (talk) 11:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Contesting Unbalanced Tag[edit]

Sorry Ghostwheel, gotta do it. I think you have several misconceptions about power level. Quote for reference: "The fighter is already one of the strongest single-target damage dealers; this gives very respectable AoE damage to the fighter, on top of a negative condition, and at higher levels one that only a monk has access to. Finally, 7th level spells on a short rest are not in line with the system's design, especially one as powerful as Reverse Gravity."

On fighter damage: Fighters are considered strong damage dealers with specific builds, such as ranged fighters that use sharpshooter. The intention is that most of the gravity warrior's kit will conflict, and in my testing I have seen this happen. Using Gravity Hammer tends to reduce DPR in a given round given how much easier it is to make an attack. I can see an argument for reducing it, though the danger of it doesn't come up.

Second on the power of stun: Monks having stun is a weak argument for it being too powerful, considering monks get it far more resource-efficiently, on any attack without changes to DPR, and have flexibility in terms of who they target. This all begins at 10 levels earlier than the Gravity Warrior. A better point of comparison is the mediocre earth tremors which the effect is based on and has caused fairly little fuss, given that prone is a somewhat disappointing status condition.

On flexibility: Much like the original gravity warrior, the power budget of this ability is strongly bound up in the way it encourages you to play in combat and/or the way it encourages you to build your team. A large AOE stun makes it difficult for the Gravity Warrior not to affect friendly melee characters, which leads to playing around the gravity warrior's initiative or wide spacing in combat -- both of which are long-term costs.

reverse gravity: Reverse Gravity is actually weak to middling. Most concerns about it seem to stem from not playing the spell or getting significant DM assistance to "break" it. However, I double-checked access to spells/day and the short rest access criticism is a good point -- I missed how spell access falls off at high levels. I'll look for places to change this.

I would also appreciate if we could start the talk on the talk page! Gives me an opportunity to at least bring this up instead of getting confused by banners. --YLM (talk) 11:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

I'll start looking for places to make changes. Here are some ideas --
  • Gravity Well: level 10 >> 15
  • Gravity Hammer upgrade: level 15 >> 18
  • Pool size increase: 1 at level 7,10,15,18 >> 2 at level 10
--YLM (talk) 11:54, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
On fighter damage: Fighters get twice as many attacks as any other class. It's undisputed that they have strong single-target damage. I don't know how this isn't obvious, and there are a plethora of ways to ramp that even higher, regardless of the archetype.
Example: Champion with GWM dropping people prone and then attacking them with advantage. Off-hand if you have PAM for an extra attack if you want.
On stun: Monks run dry rather quickly if they're spamming their stunning strike, and they aren't hitting multiple people. On top of that, monks are more MAD than fighters, allowing a fighter to max strength faster. Finally, if you're playing with magic items, there are belts that increase strength over 20. Nothing like that for Wisdom.
On reverse gravity: Yeah, you take any melee monster that doesn't have flight (a surprisingly large amount of the monsters out there) out of the fight without a save and with good damage, especially if outdoors.
I would rework a lot of the abilities; take out the stun from gravity hammer entirely for a start. Change how gravity well works (maybe just reduce speed to 0, save each round to end).
A lot of the fighter's power is in their class skeleton without taking into account their subclass. This is objectively better than any fighter subclass published in any of WotC's books, and thus got the tag. --Ghostwheel (talk) 15:18, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
On fighter damage: Real games are not like theoretical level 20 games. It was ridiculous to pull that card when people tried to use capstones for balance arguments in the mid 2000s, and it's ridiculous now. It's not disputed that fighters have strong single-target damage, but they are not the means by which to get "strongest single-target damage", particularly if they are gravity warriors. The actual path to high damage output involves building your character in certain ways, and the goal of the gravity warrior is to have strengths pushed orthogonal to those ways.
On stun: Monks don't need to spam stunning strike to get high value out of it, and usually don't want to hit their friends with their stun. The MAD argument & magic item arguments are sensible, but very different from what you brought up before. It's simply wrong to claim that stun is too strong since only monks get it. Monks get quite a bit of flexibility, safety, and power alongside their stun. The point of the gravity hammer is to avoid those, because you don't get to use it with your triple attack. Honestly, the stun on gravity hammer is what makes it useful at higher levels, because you would much rather put a Mummy Lord through the shredder than gamble on it spending its movement.
On reverse gravity: You can temporarily avoid an encounter like that, yes. You also risk removing allies (and yourself) from combat, and you stop your own team from getting to relevant objectives. You also do diddly squat in buildings with common ceiling heights, like most dungeon environments & indoor areas such as the adventures that involve level 18 play. If your DM builds their encounters like normal, your fights aren't usually going to consist of a low-mobility monster manual entry that you get the jump on in an open space where nothing around it is important to you. This is particularly true at level 18.
On reworks: Reducing numbers and changing the status effect seem like tweaks that can I can do. However, I am going to reiterate that removing the stun from Gravity Hammer is very unnecessary, especially if it is moved into higher levels. I have also seen the damage be pretty middling compared to other party members and 3-attack routines, but I can nerf it if you need that.
While a lot of fighter power is indeed separate from its archetypes, those archetypes are still significant sources of power budget. They can give the fighter access to great defense, useful spells, and synergies that provide significant damage. Most importantly, they grant power through synergies with attacks. Archetypes that deviate from this direct synergy, like the Eldritch Knight, get more power on their own. The GWar follows this design pattern, and it additionally creates gameplay incentives that suck up power. Taking a high-level view of what makes the fighter strong should make it more clear that this not an upgrade over all other other WotC archetypes unless your DM is gifting you perfect situations. Hence my choice to contest the tag.
Here is another set of possible changes. I'll test them as well:
  • Gravity Well:
    • level 10 >> 15
    • restrained >> speed of 0
  • Gravity Hammer:
    • damage 1d10/prof >> 1d10
  • Gravity Hammer upgrade:
    • level 15 >> 18
    • damage 2d10/prof >> 2d10
  • Pool size increase:
    • 1 at level 7,10,15,18 >> 2 at level 10
This looks like it turns the gravity warrior into a weak middle-ground class given its lack of fighter synergies, but I can look for another playtesting opportunity for it. --YLM (talk) 22:01, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Make the changes and I'll take another look at it? --Ghostwheel (talk) 00:56, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Per testing, changes have absolutely crushed its performance, particularly at higher levels. But I understand that consensus trumps consistency. Give it another look when you have some time. --YLM (talk) 03:44, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Looks fine now; I think you could make it so that they get gravity hammer at 3rd level (but only for damage), then add prone at 7th. But as it is, I would probably allow it in games I run. --Ghostwheel (talk) 11:51, 24 January 2020 (UTC)