Mechanical / balance issues with War Priest feature replacement? [Attempt 3]

I recently requested a review of a homebrew War Priest feature replacement that contained major mechanical flaws (it could not be used at 1st level).

Below is revised wording that is intended to be useful at all levels:

When you cast a spell on your turn by expending a spell slot, you may instead have the spell assume the level below the slot’s (if valid) and use your reaction to make one weapon attack against a creature that was a target of the spell.

Alternatively, when you cast a cantrip on your turn, you may choose to expend a spell slot and use your reaction to make one weapon attack against a creature that was a target of the cantrip.

My discussion in the last post is still relevant. Do you think there are mechanical or balance issues to this homebrew feature?

Mechanical / balance issues with War Priest feature replacement? [Attempt 2]

I recently proposed a homebrew replacement for the War Priest domain feature. Consensus was that it was overpowered, because 1st level domain features should (paraphrasing):

  • Be situtational if they are powerful.
  • Have a meaningful resource cost.
  • Pose a trade off to the player.

(My personal opinion is that some equivalent abilities – e.g. the Order Domain feature – do not abide by these restrictions, but obviously there are contextual differences between subclasses).

I’ve written a new homebrew replacement for the War Priest feature based on that feedback. It allows a War Cleric to make an attack when they reduce the power of a spell they cast.

When you use your action to cast a spell by expending a spell slot, you may instead have the spell assume the level below the slot’s and use your reaction to make one weapon attack against a creature that was a target of the spell.

The assumed level must be a valid level at which the spell may be cast.

Some comments:

  • It’s situational. It requires the cleric to be blasting / debuffing (instead of the more common healing / buffing). This also better matches the aggressive nature of the original feature.

  • It’s limited by the number of spell slots the cleric can use, and costs a reaction. There is a soft precedent for using a reaction on your turn in the UA Blade Mastery feat, and there may be other such features that I’m not aware of.

  • It trades an extra attack for one level of a spell slot. So the cleric can either throw away a low-level slot to weak blast + attack, or nerf a high-level slot to strong blast + attack.

  • It stacks with Spiritual Weapon. So in the best case, the cleric can blast + reaction attack + bonus attack with spritual weapon. In contrast, the Order Domain cleric can heal + have an ally reaction attack + bonus attack with spiritual weapon.

Do you think there are mechanical or balance issues to the homebrew feature?

Attempt 2: mechanical / balance issues with War Priest feature replacement?

I recently proposed a homebrew replacement for the War Priest domain feature. Consensus was that it was overpowered, because 1st level domain features should (paraphrasing):

  • Be situtational if they are powerful.
  • Have a meaningful resource cost.
  • Pose a trade off to the player.

(My personal opinion is that some equivalent abilities – e.g. the Order Domain feature – do not abide by these restrictions, but obviously there are contextual differences between subclasses).

I’ve written a new homebrew replacement for the War Priest feature based on that feedback. It allows a War Cleric to make an attack as part of a casting action by weaking the spell cast.

When you use your action to cast a spell by expending a spell slot, you may instead have the spell assume the level below the slot’s and target one or more hostile creatures. Make one weapon attack against a creature that was not a target of the spell, as part of the casting action.

The assumed level must be valid for the spell, and the hostile creatures must be valid targets for the spell at that level.

Some comments:

  • It’s situational. It requires the cleric to be both blasting (instead of the more useful healing / buffing) and engaged with other enemies. However, it does remain useful into the mid- and late-game.

  • It’s limited by the number of spell slots the cleric can use. However, it doesn’t have an action economy cost (cf. the 1st level feature of the Death Domain).

  • It trades an attack for one level of a spell slot. So the cleric can either throw away a low-level slot to weak blast + attack, or nerf a high-level slot to strong blast + attack.

  • It stacks with Spiritual Weapon. So in the best case, the cleric can blast + attack + bonus attack with spritual weapon. In contrast, the Order Domain cleric can heal + trigger a sneak attack + bonus attack with spiritual weapon.

Do you think there are mechanical or balance issues to the homebrew feature?

Are there mechanical or balance issues with this War Priest feature rework?

War Priest is a 1st level feature that lets War Domain Clerics use their bonus action to make a second attack when they take the Attack action.

I (and others online) feel that this feature is poor, for a few reasons:

  • The wisdom-based use limit does not scale well to mid- and late-game.

  • The Spiritual Weapon spell available to all Clerics outperforms the feature in most circumstances (e.g. it allows a casting action to be followed with an attack bonus action) with only slightly more resource cost.

  • The feature is hard to use in mid- to late-game, where Clerics almost always cast a spell in preference to using the Attack action.

I would like to propose that my DM remove the original feature and replace it with the following:

If you cast a spell with a spell slot of 1st level or higher and an ally is one of the targets of the spell, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

This replacement is based off the Voice of Authority feature, and seems roughly balanced with it (e.g. it is slightly stronger compared to that feature used on a Wizard, and slightly weaker compared to that feature used on a Fighter).

It also leaves a distinct niche for Spiritual Weapon: when you’d like to all-out blast by using damage spells along with bonus action attacks.

Are there any balance or mechanical issues that you can foresee with this replacement feature?

Is there any Major Mechanical advantage of Drow Elf (full) VS Drow Half-Elf?

Looking at racial features, half-elf Drow seem to have all the “best” features of full drow, with none of the downsides.

Past the “Drow weapon training” is there any major befit to a full Drow Elf over the Half-Elf Drow?

The Full Drow Elf racial features are:

Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry & Trance, Plus:

Ability Score Increase:

Your Dexterity score increases by 2 & Charisma score increases by 1.

Superior Darkvision:

Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet.

Sun Light Sensitivity:

You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.

Drow Magic:

You know the dancing lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the faerie fire spell once per day. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spell casting ability for these spells.

Drow Weapon Training:

You have proficiency with rapiers, shortswords, and hand crossbows.

A Half-Elf Drow racial features are:

Fey Ancestry, Plus:

Ability Score Increase:

Your Charisma score increases by 2, and two other ability scores of your choice increase by 1.

Darkvision:

Your darkvision has a radius of 60 feet.

Drow Magic:

You know the dancing lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the faerie fire spell once per day. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spell casting ability for these spells.

Physical mechanical examples of “M-of-N” locks?

Arbitrary “M-of-N” secret-sharing protocols are a well-studied topic in cryptography, and are apparently so useful that Bitcoin Script devoted a whole opcode to them.

In this blog post, I write:

Suppose we run a bank, and suppose that our bank stores all its gold in one big safe. And suppose that we have three people on our board of directors. We want to ensure that a single unscrupulous director cannot open the safe and steal all the gold. Therefore, we cut three distinct keys, and we craft the safe so that it requires two of these three keys to be inserted simultaneously, in order to open the safe.

Fans of Sean Connery might recognize this as more or less the setup to The Great Train Robbery, except for our “two out of three” requirement. I have not been able to discover any real-world mechanical analogue to the “two-out-of-three” mechanism.

So I ask you!

There is certainly an easy way to construct an “N-of-N” locking mechanism, such that you can get the safe open only when all N keys are inserted. (You just stack the locks vertically down the door, and make sure any single bolt by itself is strong enough to keep the door shut.) “2-of-2” mechanisms are used in bank safety deposit boxes.

I imagine it isn’t hard to construct a “1-of-N” locking mechanism, along the lines of the Borromean rings, but I haven’t found any such mechanisms patented or for sale.

I have not found any references to “M-of-N” locking mechanisms in the real world, nor can I immediately imagine how to construct one (except the brute-force method of obtaining N-choose-M different key safes, each protected by an M-of-M mechanism). Has any inventor ever designed such a physical mechanism? Does any real-world use-case exist for such a mechanism?

Mechanical implication of removing raw stats from Dungeon World

I started to look at DW to see how well the move and general rules work out in real life. Looks good, but one thing bothers me : Why do the stats need a 3-18 value if 9 out of 10 moves and/or rules only care about the modifier (or so it seems from my reading of the rulebook so far)? The main uses for raw stats appear to be Encumbrance and HP computation. The later being done only on character creation.

So here’s the main question

If we assume I would be fine to house rule or eyeball the Encumbrance move to not require raw Strength and that I would use the raw stat once at character creation to compute HP:

What other problems would arise from removing the raw stat? Or what does the game need those stats for?

A personnal note : My original curiosity and question would have been “What was the designers’ intend with the 3-18 stat concept?” (but that is off-topic). I am still curious to know if the concept exists in other PbtA engines and why is it necessary there. So I would be interested in an answer acknowledging this even thought it is not the main question.

Mechanical Implications Of Long Rest Restoring All Hit Dice

Is there any mechanical implications, short of the fact players can heal more on a short rest, to allowing them to restore all their hit dice per long rest?

We recently lost our Cleric so I instituted the Healing Surge to allow them to spend Hit Dice as an Action in combat to heal themselves. It’s used more frequently than they rested prior but they struggle a bit since they only regain so much at a Long Rest. (Currently Level 6).

What are the mechanical benefits of Recall Knowledge on enemies?

In the comments for another question it was implied that that Monster Hunter (Ranger feat 1) was great, because it lets you identify a monster as a free action.

Knowing a monster’s AC, saves, resistances and vulnerabilities would indeed be great, but I could not find any such thing at Recall Knowledge’s description (CRB p239).

Is there any guideline on what I will learn, or is it completely up to the DM?