Vow of Poverty, overpowered or underpowered?

I have read plenty of things about the Vow of Poverty in forums, and i have seen both opinions expressed.

If i understand it correctly, it does work on the assumption of a linear magic item acquisition from the rest of the party, and it is "balanced" on that assumption. I also do understand that some builds use it to mix/max their character, with synergy of other vows.

My question is, as a mechanic, and if one assumes that this linear magic item acquisition is valid for a party, is it overpowered, underpowered, or balanced. Are there any other aspects i am not aware of?

Is this wolf DMPC overpowered or underpowered?

I am new to being a DM and soon will have my first session. Since we are with three players total (me as a DM plus two PC characters) I want to help them out a little. The players are a Dwarf Cleric and a Rogue Halfling (The premade characters of the 5e Starter set)

At first I thought about giving them some more potions/scale the battles but that feels less fun than my other idea. My other idea is creating a wolf companion character.

The party in question is a lvl 1 party. I intent to have this character level with them and have access to barbarian skills like Rage etc. (mostly what would fit a wolf)

I took the basic stats off the default wolf enemy and modified a few things. I increased the intelligence since it is a somewhat more intelligent wolf and it’s also a little bit more charismatic.

I will control this wolf for his own actions, but I will allow the players to give commands etc. The end goal is to balance out the party a little bit so they can act more like a party of three (or two and a half)

The sessions will probably be loose regarding the rules (I don’t intent to micromanage skills etc) since we just want to have fun of course 😉 I intent to take them through Phandelver Mines first, and if it goes well I want to put them straight into the PoTA campaign.

I gave it the following stats:

Race: Wolf
Class: Basically Barbarian without armor/weapon proficiency
Alignment: Neutral

Stats:

  • STR: 13 (+1)
  • DEX: 15 (+2)
  • CON: 12 (+1)
  • INT: 7 (−2)
  • WIS: 12 (+1)
  • CHA: 8 (-1)

Saving throw proficiencies: Strength, Dexterity

Skills:

  • +4 Acrobatics
  • +3 Athletics
  • +1 Intimidation
  • +3 Perception
  • +4 Stealth
  • +3 Survival

Attacks:

  • Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (2d4 + 2) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone

Feats:

  • Grappler
  • Keen Hearing and Smell. The wolf has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

I feel as if this thing is either massively overpowered or weak, I am not 100% sure. Does anyone have some tips/guidelines to improve this character?

Is the ribbon ability of a transmutation wizard underpowered when compared to other wizard subclass ribbons?

I feel the casting limitations on a transmuter’s minor alchemy make it much less able to be used in typical play, as compared to a conjuration wizard’s minor conjuration, an evocation wizard’s sculpt spells, or even an illusion wizard’s improved minor illusion (which is still pretty bad, but better than 10 minutes cast time).

The text for minor alchemy is as follows:

Starting at 2nd level when you select this school, you can temporarily alter the physical properties of one nonmagical object, changing it from one substance into another. You perform a special alchemical procedure on one object composed entirely of wood, stone (but not a gemstone), iron, copper, or silver, transforming it into a different one of those materials. For each 10 minutes you spend performing the procedure, you can transform up to 1 cubic foot of material. After 1 hour, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell), the material reverts to its original substance.

To clarify; I’ve taken ribbon to be the second level feature of the wizard subclasses that aren’t their savantism.

Am I mistaken or is there an imbalance here?

Is this adjustment to the Lucky feat underpowered?

I have the feeling Lucky feat in 5e is overpowered.

I have a modification that I want to propose my players with says you have to decide to use your luck point BEFORE rolling the dice. That’s the only modification so the feat will be:

You have 3 luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points only before you roll the die and before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20 is used for the attack roll, ability check or saving throw.

You can also spend one luck point before an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attacker uses the attacker roll or yours. You choose the dice before the attack roll is made and, therefore, before knowing the attacker roll result.

The rest of the feat description (i.e. cancelling rules) remains unchanged.

I feel that makes the feat less powerful by turning a “I don’t really like this result” to “I really want to make sure I get this right”. That way the player needs to carefully decide what matters and what doesn’t before rolling, afterwards is just too late.

Is this modification, however, underpowered to the point that it makes the feat useless (meaning the feat will not be picked up by players since its not worth it)?

Note: I’ll accept frame challenges if you think the original lucky feat is not overpowered, although I think that may end up going to opinion based quickly.


Reasons I feel it is overpowered There are numerous discussions already on the internet about the Lucky feat. My take on it is that it allows way too many rerolls for any roll, after knowing the die roll (which means you at least have a feeling of whether you’ll fail or not).

In my view this means that the players are able to, on demand, reroll at will any critical situation they find themselves on and those usually do not happen more than 3 times per day and when they happen, it is simply not that difficult to spot them. I don’t usually put my players on such tight corners that they have more than 3 situations a day where the outcome of a single roll is of vital importance and the fact that you can decide after looking at the dice means that out of those critical situations, some of them would be naturally saved, allowing you to simply “save” the luck point. Then the next adventuring day, boom, you have your points again to start over with your safety net of, “if everything goes wrong I can count on my luck”.

Making the players decide FIRST means that luck points are precious and valuable and you really have to think first, is this worth making absolutely sure I have the best chances to succeed or is it better to save it for later? Is this a really critical situation?

With deciding after they can instead go like: oh, it seems like I’m going to fail this thing… ok, I don’t want to fail so I’m going to spend a luck point. It’s a fallback, not a carefully thought tradeoff.

Even though the players do perform dozens of rolls per adventuring day, most of them do not matter so much. Attack roll, you fail, fine,next. Attack roll, you succeed, great. But then there’s this occasional thing that really matters, “saving throw” against a fireball, that lockpick to enter the throne room, that deception check to escape from a contrieved situation, that last attack you’ve just failed with 5 HP left which you feel, if succeded may have just killed the monster… those are the ones that do change the course of the adventure. Yes, players roll a lot, but critical, potentially changing situations are far and between events that do not happen that often (at least not on my adventures).

I don’t want to quote all the internet here but Lucky is consitently considered either broken or one of the most useful feats on the game, usually being quoted as THE most useful feat for all the above reasons.

What is the evidence, if any, that the Ranger Beast Master archetype is comparatively underpowered?

I have seen various claims that the Ranger’s Beast Master Archetype is underpowered, compared to other ranger archetypes and/or classes.

I have searched for some factual analysis that would support or refute this, but I have not found any.

What is the evidence, if any, that the Ranger Beast Master archetype is comparatively underpowered?

Is this homebrew Monk subclass underpowered?? Criticism Needed

Hey people of the D&D community. I need your opinion about this subclass and whether if it’s balanced(underpowered) or not. It may not look like much against the 5-finger-heart-exploding-punch of the open hand. My intention was to create a super fast stalker cat monk.

Way of the Lynx

Feline Attribute:

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you gain the following benefits:

• You can choose your unarmed strikes to deal slashing damage instead of bludgeoning.

• You gain climbing speed equal to your walking speed.

• When you are prone, standing up uses only 10 feet of your movement.

• In addition to the bonus granted by your unarmored movement feature, your speed increases by 5 feet. Your speed increases by an additional 10 feet when you reach 6th level (+15 feet), 17th level (+20 feet).

Wilder Prowess:

At 6th level, You choose one skill from the following list to gain proficiency in: Acrobatics, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival

You gain an additional skill proficiency from the above list at 11th and 17th level. If you already have proficiency in one of the listed skills at 11th or 17th level, you can instead choose to double your proficiency bonus for any ability check you make that uses the chosen proficiency.

Danger Sense:

Beginning at 11th level, you gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger. You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Rapid Claw Strikes:

Upon reaching 17th level, whenever you use your Flurry of Blows feature, you can make three unarmed strikes instead of two.