I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Monday, July 19, 2021

My champion (5e)

Since 5th edition is about eight years old, I'm guessing everyone has its own version of the Champion by now. Here's mine.

The idea is not doing a complete overhaul; just the minimum changes necessary to make it closer to the Battlemaster in damage output (and give it some out of combat utility), without adding much complexity, so the the Champion remains the "simple fighter". 

I think a couple of small changes at levels 3 and 7 might be enough. This is because Improved Critical and Remarkable Athlete are especially weak; if we fix them early on, we fix the entire subclass.

Of course if you already like the champion as written, you can use the original version. As always, I advise making all house rules optional.

If you like this, I might do the barbarian (berserker) and ranger (hunter) next. Currently, I'm only interested in the SRD... The beastmaster ranger would take more rewriting. I'm not sure the other SRD classes need additional boosts; maybe the assassin. The warlock an the sorcerer I find a bit lackluster and redundant with wizard, but, well, they are good enough I guess. Paladin, wizard, cleric, druid, rogue, are all more or less balanced IMO (if anything, maybe fighters and barbariasn need a bigger boost to compete with them).


Improved Critical

Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20. In addition, whenever you score a critical hit with a weapon attack, you add your proficiency bonus to your damage.

Skilled Athlete

At 3rd level, you can choose Acrobatics or Athletics as a new skill. If you're already proficient in the skill you choose, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make using this skill.

Remarkable Athlete

Starting at 7th level, you can add half your proficiency bonus (round up) to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make that doesn’t already use your proficiency bonus, and also to the damage you deal with an weapon attack

In addition, when you make a running long jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Strength modifier.


So, now the Champion can be awesome at grappling (or at least escaping from a grapple) and deal decent damage throughout his career.

The boost is STILL not enough to outshine the Battlemaster, but it makes both Improved Critical and Remarkable Athlete good features. 

Giving the entire proficiency bonus to damage at level 3 would work too, although I'm a bit concerned that in this case everyone would take three levels in fighter just for that (and action surge, etc.). There might be some other balance issue here (maybe with multi-classing), but I don't see it.

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