What Fifth Edition class is your favorite? We all have a class we love more than the rest, sorry other classes. It is not like I’m asking what’s your favorite cookie. (The correct answer is, “The one in my hand.”) Pick your favorite class and see how others answer by voting in the poll below.
Screen Rant recently posted their list of 5 Most Bad Ass Classes (& the 5 Weakest) D&D Classes. While I completely agree with the 5 best list, I have to argue with the weak list, especially with the bottom of the list: the Ranger. Yes, I’ve heard this time and again from many people, many of whom have never played a ranger before, only read the class, felt they were weak, and decided to pass.
As someone that enjoys the ranger, I can say that those that read the class and pass frequently overlook half the class: the spells. This is what makes the class earn its bad ass status. Let me share with you the 5 spells (6 actually) that no ranger should be without (and yes, I am sticking to the core book for these spells).
1. Hunter’s Mark
From 2nd level on, there shouldn’t be a ranger that doesn’t have hunter’s mark. Cast as a bonus action, this spell let’s the ranger add 1d6 damage to all attacks against a single target. When the target dies, the ranger can switch it to a new target. And this lasts for an hour. So it gets extra damage like sneak attack but doesn’t require the ranger to set it up (needing to have a friend be in melee or have the target be at a disadvantage). You go from room to room in a dungeon quickly and it will only require one casting. That is a boatload of extra damage for a single first level spell. Even better, using a 3rd or 4th level spell slot lets you have this spell for 8 hours. Now you don’t have a to move through a dungeon quickly. You can maintain this through a short rest while the warlock is getting their spells back. As a 5th level version, it lasts 24 hours. So you cast it as soon as you wake up and you still have it active on when you are on guard duty that night. That is a pretty sweet spell.
2. Ensnaring Strike
Another 1st level spell, ensnaring strike is a valuable ranger spell. You cast the spell as a bonus action and the next time you hit a creature (note: not necessarily your next attack, you can miss and the spell is still active) the target is restrained. That is a single target out of the fight until you want to deal with them. Sure there’s a Strength saving throw involved, but let’s see the enemy wizard make that.
3. Hail of Thorns/Conjure Barrage
I am lumping these two spells together because they are very similar. In my mind, these are the ranger’s fireball. For hail of thorns, you fire an arrow (dealing the arrow’s normal damage) and then the target and all target’s within 5 feet have to make Dexterity saves against 1d10 piercing damage (half on a successful save). Sure the radius is small and the damage is small compared to fireball, but you can cast it at 2nd level as compared to the wizard’s 5th level.
The higher-level version of hail of thorns is conjure barrage. As a 3rd level spell you can do a freaking 60-foot cone of thrown weapons or ammunition. Start your combat off with conjure barrage when they’re all clumped together and you can deal 3d8 damage to all your enemies. Less damage than a fireball but that is a freaking 60-foot cone. Plus, you can change up the damage type. Going up against several oozes and skeletons, pull out a light hammer and this spell deals bludgeoning damage. Have a handaxe to deal slashing damage.
4. Cordon of Arrows
Have an extra guard at night. You place some arrows in the ground and cast cordon of arrows. The spell watches for 8 solid hours. When someone other than the party enters the protected area, an arrow flies up and attacks. No Perception checks. It ignores invisibility or any number of other things that can trip players up.
5. Swift Quiver
Now for the 5th level spell we’ve all been waiting for: the machine gun archer spell. Swift quiver lets you use your bonus action for two (yes, two) bow shots. Combine that with the class extra attack and that is four bow attacks per round, three levels before the fighter can. Have a GM that makes you count your arrows? Well swift quiver just produces arrows for those two bonus attacks each round. So yea, for the next minute, you just fire again and again.
In my opinion, rangers are a resource management version of the fighter. Fighter’s choose when to use their action surge or second wind; rangers choose when to cast their spells which level to cast them, what am I using my bonus action for (moving the hunter’s mark to a new target or getting two extra attacks with swift quiver), and even which kind of damage do I want this spell to do. Rangers are a bad ass class.
It has been a while since we talked much about Fifth Edition. This is a game we at the “office” love and enjoy regularly. We have several 5e projects in the works, but we’re not ready to talk about them further at this time.
What we do want to talk about is the Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths. We released this one at the end of last year, but did not talk about it nearly as much as we would have liked. We did share with you the Path of the Giant and the Path of the War Avatar. Today I would like to share with you my personal favorite of the supplement: Path of the Pyrorager.
We shared with you a very early version of this barbarian path back in 2017, but we decided on a number of improvements to it. This is a chance for you to see how our products can change during the development process. We hope you enjoy this barbarian path in your 5e game.
Path of the Pyrorager
While some barbarians describe themselves as burning with anger, the pyrorager literally catches on fire when they fly into a frenzy. Some pyroragers claim they descend from an ancient red dragon. Many scholars doubt the validity of that claim, but only voice such doubts when they are well out of earshot of any pyroragers.
When you choose this path at 3rd level, your arms and weapons erupt into flames when you rage. Your melee weapon attacks deal an extra 1d6 points of fire damage when raging. This damage counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. This damage increases to 2d6 at 6th level, 3d6 at 10th level, and 4d6 at 14th level. This damage does not stack with spells or weapons that deal additional fire damage, such as a flame tongue weapon. When your rage ends, you suffer one level of exhaustion (as described in Appendix A of the PHB).
Also at 3rd level, you become proficient with the Ignan language.
Starting at 6th level, fire runs through your veins, granting you resistance to fire damage. At 14th level, you are immune to fire damage and are resistant to cold damage.
Upon reaching 10th level, you gain advantage on all Charisma checks when conversing with elementals that speak Ignan.
Beginning at 14th level, you gain the ability to vomit forth flames. All creatures in a 30-foot line take 3d6 points of fire damage on a failed Dexterity save (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier). A successful save reduces this damage by half. Once used, you cannot use this ability again until you complete a short or long rest.
Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Trying to figure out if you got more ugly sweaters or socks? Another “World’s Greatest” mug just not doing it for you this year? We at JBE understand and figure it is time you give yourself a little Christmas present. Whether you play Pathfinder 1e, D&D 5e, 13th Age, or 1e Mongoose Traveller, we have RPG PDFs just for you at 25% off their regular price at the JBE Shop.
Head over to the JBE Shop now to get all the races, class options, spells, magic items, adventures, monsters and more for your game. Any PDF that we have to download that is normally $2 or more, you can grab right now for 25% off. That is an awesome deal that you should not pass up.
This lasts only until the new year so grab these deals now. Head over the JBE Shop today.
If you want to run a game at a convention, you want it to be epic and for people to remember both you and your game. Much of that has to do with what you do before you get to the table as much as what you do during the game. Previously, we talked about how you make pregen characters and set up the character sheets. Today we are looking at preparation for your adventure.
1) Decide What to Show Off
When you are running a game, the most important thing is showing how is this game different. If you are running what would otherwise be a Pathfinder and D&D adventure just in a different system, the gamers leaving the table will think they might as well have been playing one of those games. You need to show them what is different with this game to make them want to give up their regular game and play the game you are running.
Take Traveller for example. Unlike D&D/Pathfinder, the combat and skills are the same system and skills can switch their “attributes” depending on the situation so any introduction convention game should show these off. So firing a gun uses See Dex and the Gun Combat skill. However, if a player wants to perform a ballistics test on the weapon, that would use Intellect or Education. So I would make sure to show off how those skills can switch attributes. If your game lets magic users cast unlimited spells but have to make a roll, make the adventure that requires magical solution.
This does not have to be exclusively about system. Setting is just as important a difference to communicate. If your game makes dragons far more approachable and not be a bag of fire-breathing hit points, show that off in your game. If your setting has a major city made of giant mushrooms and pixies are in charge of construction, show that off. D&D and Pathfinder tend to take themselves seriously so an adventure and setting that was more light-hearted would be a welcome change. Show that off.
And with that we move to our second point.
2) Aim to Use 75% Of the Time
If you have a two-hour time slot, make a 90-minute adventures. Four hours? Make a three-hour adventure? If you run over your time, players are going to be unhappy with you and remember your game in a negative light. Players will be players and will screw around. Good. They should. If they do, that means they are enjoying your game. But that uses time you would otherwise use for your game. Leave time for them for sheer enjoyment. 75% is a good aim. If you finish with an hour to spare, they have extra time to wander the dealer’s hall; they won’t be upset. They will be unhappy if you are cutting into their lunch break or missing the start of their next game. Build in time for that.
My final point involves the adventure itself.
3) Structure a 4 Act Adventure
When you make a four-hour adventure, divide the adventure into four parts:
- Character Evaluation / Introduction
- The Hook
- The Twist
- The Finale
Character evaluation begins the moment you and a player get to the table. The players present get to start looking at the character sheets right away and pick what they want to play. Reward the early arrivers with being able to get the character they want.
Introduction is where you tell the players what the adventure is. This is when the wounded guard stumbles into the tavern reporting that the prince is taken before dying. Here is where the players get the mission before the message self destructs. Try to keep this part to no more than half hour.
Second part is the hook. Here is where the players go, “This is fun!” Show off what makes this game fun. The twist is pure plot, where something is revealed or discovered. These two parts should take 30 minutes to an hour in a typical four-hour game.
One of these two sections should be combat. The other should be problem solving. If both of these are problem solving, the players will get tired and worn out. If both are combat, it will be a slog and get to be boring. Making each different keeps them interesting and lively.
The final section is the climax. The finale should be a surprise to you let alone everyone else at the table. Sure you should have an idea of how it goes, but players should be allowed to do whatever they want. If the big bad is guarding a MacGuffin and you figure they are going to fight the big bad in a climatic battle and they instead decide to sneak past and steal it, don’t put unreasonable impediments in their way; let them do it their way. Forcing them to do it your way will make them think their choices have no impact on the game, and it will spoil their fun. Let them do what they want.
If you are looking for an excellent adventure to run for a convention game for Pathfinder or D&D 5e, grab yourself the adventure Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider. Download now at the JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.
Recently we released Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths for the Fifth Edition of the Worlds Oldest Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This book features 8 new paths for players that love to see their characters fly into a rage and destroy every enemy that comes into their path. Previously we shared with you the Path of the War Avatar. Today we are sharing with you a monster-themed subclass: Path of the Giant.
Higher level 5e and similar game adventures tend to focus around one of a few ideas: fiends, undead, constructs, and giants. With their mythological origins, giants make a wonderful enemy to fight as you advance through the game. Over the years, giant themed class options and races have become player options as well. This one barbarian subclass celebrates those old adventures and those races and class options available over the years. We hope that you will enjoy this offering as well.
Path of the Giant
The blood of giants flows in you. At no point in time is that heritage more obvious than when you are raging. You grow larger and your reach becomes extraordinary. Feats of strength are nothing to you. None but a true giant can stand against you.
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you grow in size when you rage. While you are still the same size category as before, you are obviously taller and wider when raging. Additionally, your reach with melee weapons increases by 5 feet.
Also at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with Strength (Athletics) checks; if you already are proficient with this skill, you add double your proficiency bonus when making these checks. Additionally, you can now speak, read, and write Giant.
Starting at 6th level, you select one of the following giant types: cloud, fire, frost, hill, stone, storm. The type of giant you choose determines what ability you gain.
Cloud. You can cast the spells fog cloud and misty step once per day each.
Fire. You gain resistance to fire damage.
Frost. You gain resistance to cold damage.
Hill. You gain resistance to poison damage.
Stone. You gain the rock catching ability. If a rock or similar bulky object is hurled at you, you can catch the missile with a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, thereby taking no bludgeoning damage from it.
Storm. You gain resistance to lightning damage.
Upon reaching 10th level, you can throw rocks like your giant forebears. You can make a ranged weapon attack with a rock or similar bulky object at a range of 30/120 ft. that hits one target. A successful hit deals 2d10 bludgeoning damage. Both the attack and damage rolls use your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier. At 14th level, this attack has a range of 60/240 ft. and deals 3d10 bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.
At 14th level, you can send your opponent flying after an attack. After you make an Attack action with a melee weapon, you can use your bonus action to make the target attempt a Constitution saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier). A failed save pushes the creature 5 feet away from you. Failing the save by 5 or more means the creature moves 10 feet away from you and is knocked prone.
Devastate Your Enemies with Fury
Beware the raging barbarian, who can unleash destructive forces that few others can conceive, let alone achieve. Now you can play the barbarian hero you have always wanted to. Tap into your demonic heritage and conquer those that oppose you or show your passion and anger to win the day.
Inside the 14 pages of the Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths, you will find Fifth Edition subclasses like:
- Pyrorager, wielding anger that burns so hot as to literally catch on fire
- Skald, combining fury with inspiration and spells to bring ruin to enemies and boons to allies
- War Avatar, blessed with rage as a gift from the god of war, becoming an instrument of divine savagery
- And many more!
Be the Hero You’ve Always Known You Are With These Awesome Character Options Today.
We at JBE absolutely love Fifth Edition. This game is one we enjoy every chance we get. Writing for it is fun and a challenge.
Today we would like to share with you a greater air elemental. This monster comes from the much delayed Book of Heroes: Conjurable Creatures. The book contains a number of monsters perfect for your character to summon with the various conjure spells in 5e.
Greater Air Elemental
Huge elemental, neutral
Armor Class 16
Hit Points 133 (14d12 + 42)
Speed 0 ft., fly 90 ft.
STR 17 (+3) DEX 23 (+6) CON 16 (+3)
INT 8 (–1) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 9 (–1)
Damage Resistance lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Air Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Multiattack. The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
Whirlwind (Recharge 4–6). Each creature in the elemental’s space must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a target takes 30 (5d10 + 3) bludgeoning damage and is flung up 20 feet away from the elemental in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the target takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
If the saving throw is successful, the target takes half the bludgeoning damage and isn’t flung away or knocked prone.
After we released our first supplement of subclasses for Fifth Edition covering the fighter, we asked you over on our Facebook page and at Twitter which classes you want to see more subclasses for. One of those classes that got quite a bit of comments on was the barbarian. Well you asked for it and we delivered. We are working on our next supplement for 5e being the Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths.
Today we are showing off one of those barbarian paths: the Path of the War Avatar. The original inspiration for this path comes from none other than Robert E Howards. It is said that he believed that the spirit of Conan come into his body when he was writing down those very tales. From there, the idea of having a barbarian filled with the piece of the god of war seemed almost poetic. So raise a glass to Howard and enjoy this barbarian path.
Path of the War Avatar
You do not describe your rage as simple anger, but as a blessing from a god of war. You feel the connection to that divine entity radiating through you, causing you to pulse with divine energy as you battle.
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to attack more often. After using the Attack action, you can make another weapon attack as a bonus action, gaining your full ability modifier to the damage roll. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Starting at 6th level, you are divinely gifted with knowing where the perfect strike should land. The first Attack action you make after entering a rage receives a +10 bonus to the roll.
Upon reaching 10th level, your connection to your deity gives you advantage on all Charisma checks made when conversing with celestials and fiends.
War Avatar Body
At 14th level, choose one of the following damage types: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. You gain resistance against all nonmagical weapons that deal the chosen damage type.