I’m not seeing the advantage of the raider over the fighter, except for in the limited scenario of fighting on board a ship, and their disengage bonus action with movement is better implemented by the rogue or the monk. The subclasses could all just belong to the fighter class too, having little to no unique interaction with the raider’s core abilities.
Am I missing something or should I just fold these subclasses into fighter?
Raider’s really weird, yes. However, I don’t think it’s just a fighter, it has a lot of very weird advantages in a lot of strange places. With the ability to get advantage against pushes, shoves, grapples, being knocked down and multiple ways built in to move, Raider has a lot of advantage, though in weird places. And while it’s certainly true a lot of this plays into naval campaigns as a theme, several of those bonuses apply all the time.
Raider seems to be a fighter archtype in their ability to deal a fair bit of damage, but trades armor for mobility. It’s unique enough, I think, that just rolling it into fighter seems a little remiss, you’re either going to take a fighter that’s overloaded with extra gimmicks or subclasses that don’t actually do much. Raider’s just extremely slippery as a class. It’s true that Rogue and Monk have more straightforward and easy to use movement options, but Raider has tons and tons of defensive tech in addition to their own movement that keeps the enemy from moving them around that those other classes lack.
In all fairness, I’ve never had a Raider run in one of my games, so I’m not sure how they actually play on the table. But their gimmicks of mixing a monk or rogue’s mobility with a fighters damage capabilities seems like a decent enough niche to leave it as a unique class.
I’ve only played a bit of 5e in general so I’m not sure how much D&D usually handles things like specialized classes and subclasses, but from my long experience with the 2d6 version of IKRPG I can tell you that PP loves creating very specialized options for specific situations. 2d6 has a bunch of careers and career variants that are for making characters fit a very particular player fantasy.
Which is to say that it would be entirely in keeping with PP’s design style if Raider was literally just “fighter but for a pirate campaign”.
Sounds like some 5E subclasses, then. Admittedly, even in official 5E rules, some subclasses are just “why would I ever play this, even for fluff?”, but I guess they’re at least a simple way to create some very niche character concepts.
5E has a built-in weakness in its very limited customization when leveling up a character, which is why you need so many subclasses. And even then, you basically need to lock down your character concept upon creation with little opportunity to change on the way.
My group is a big fan of the FMF system and… not a big fan of 5E, so we’ll probably end up homebrewing the new content into the FMF system when we find stuff we like.
I think the issue I have is that this touted mobility really boils down to a once per rest ability at levels where people most frequently play (levels 1-8) which could be duplicated by a fighter using their action surge. Take a spear and polearm master (which you can get at level 4) and you get the reaction attack too.
It’s not specificity that’s the issue. Its replicated design.
There’s more than just the basekit long rest ability, however. Commander at 7th level gets a long rest ability to move the entire party around at the start of combat, while Highwayman gets a conditional Cunning action that’s both a dash and disengage. Pirate has no inherient extra movement, however, it gets huge amounts of resistant to anything that limits it’s movement right when it takes the class in addition to a relatively trivial DC10 dex save to avoid any movement for being knocked prone(allowing, among other things, for the pirate to go prone at the end of every turn, giving it effective dodge against ranged attacks for free).
I don’t think they’ll match the mobility of a monk or a rogue point for point, but I still think it has a unique niche outside of the fighter.
Those subclasses are “fine”. They’re also absolutely applicable to the fighter class rather than to raider. Everything interesting about the main class beyond the subclasses could be a single feat, and one nobody would take.
I definitely understand why it exists as a base class. You could have made those subclasses fighter or rogue subclasses, but you get all the base class stuff that kind of makes the subclass themes harder to do. Maybe you don’t want any of these doing sneak attacks or in heavy armor. Doing a mixture that can be used as a baseline for your standard raider works fine.
Why would you use it over the fighter? Depends on your character concept. If you look at one of the subclasses as say “yeah, I want to be a pirate or naval officer” and you like the fighting style those grant you, then there you go. If like the heavy armor marine concept more, then go fighter. The raider gets some a unique movement option, exclusive fighting styles, an extra reaction attack at 13, and the same feat progression as a fighter.
I have a raider in a game I have just started, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m not foreseeing any real issues or any reason I would have told them to play a fighter instead. You could apply a lot of other subclasses to other classes without issue, so I’m not exactly sure that means anything.
I dunno. Like I said, we are touting this maneuverability, but lash out is a broad polearm master granted at mid tier 3 (when most other classes are transitioning into god-mode), the 9th level feature relies on a martial character choosing to forego attacking in favour of a dash action, quick on your feet is highly conditional, and evasive, which takes the same real estate as action surge in the fighter class, is once per rest until you reach tier 4, and, when compared to action surge (which scales as the fighter’s extra attack feature improves, and can ALSO has the flexibility to be used to take a disengage action if the fighter so chooses) is severely lacking.
Basically, the raider’s class features are bunk.
If it was built around the use of evasive, and that ability scaled with, say, your proficiency bonus, allowing you 2 uses per short rest at the outset, the raider’s mobility suddenly looks a lot more appealing. Still doesn’t make it the best at doing any of the things it is trying to do (fighting or mobility) but at least then it would sort of fill the middle ground. Right now, it doesn’t even do that well.
The deepest issue is that raider is really just an alternate fighter, but without any of the power scaling that fighter relies on to remain relevant as wizards and sorcerers go quadratic in their damage dealing, and the tier 1 and 2 offerings are so lacklustre in comparison to either end of the martial-maneuverable scale that I can’t see why if you wanted to be a mobile character who can hit hard, you’d ever choose this over, say, any rogue. The key benefit of the class seems to be the number of feats you can take, but since the mobility features of the class are so poor, you’d always be better taking a fighter and just picking one or two mobility based feats.
In fact, if you want to be a raider, be a fighter, get to 4th level, and then take the mobile feat.
You are exceptionally speedy and agile. You gain the following benefits:
+10 feet movement
When you dash difficult terrain doesn’t cost you extra movement.
When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature, whether you hit or not.
That covers 10 of the 15 feet that evasive would grant you, and you can move away from a target you tried to attack whether you hit or not, and you can do it EVERY SINGLE TURN MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU MAKE MULTIPLE ATTACKS. Not only that, but you get the ability to ignore difficult terrain when you dash as a side note in tier 1 instead of much later.
It sounds like you’ve already got it figured out, so just go play a fighter instead if the raider theme does not interest you. I do think you’re reaching pretty far in your points just to be argumentative about this. It’s perfectly fine though to homebrew something if you don’t like the way it’s set up. Happens all the time.
It’s not the theme I have an issue with. I am super excited about the concept of playing a raider. I was hoping that someone would be able to direct me to where the design is that I’m not seeing. So much of the IKRPG stuff is so interesting and exciting (for instance, most people don’t get how cool it is to play a warcaster, warlock or alchemist until they actually do it) but with this one, I just don’t get it.
Ultimately, I am not down on Nightmare Empire or Scoundrel’s Guide. I just ran a ship engagement with four players, each running their own small ships, all theatre of the mind, and it was truly excellent. Raider is the one place I take issue, because I look at it and I don’t see how it tackles the theme better.
Really most counterpoints come down to “if you don’t like it, don’t play it,” which seems doesn’t engage with the clear problems or the topic of the discussion.
The subclasses look good (barring the weirdness of 5 subclass features but that’s forgivable), if you except highwayman’s run and gun feature which doesn’t work well on raider as an exciting concept because it’s mostly just a better, more liberal version of evasive. Would be great on a fighter though.
I know it seems like I’m banging a drum, but that’s genuinely, hand on heart, not where I’m coming from. I love these books. I am running a pirate campaign that is wrapping soon, and I am going to be running another right away. This is right in the wheelhouse, but I am not going to present it as an option unless I can see where the fun is for someone who might select it.
Alright, so I’ll try to do a direct comparison. I haven’t looked at this before, but lets see the comparisons.
Fighters get more hit points, more armor and more weapon proficiencies. Raiders have a more thematic choice of Saving Throw proficiencies and skill proficiencies. That being said, I really think the Raider is a skirmisher combatant, more comparable to Rogue or Ranger. I’ll stick with Fighter for the comparison though.
Both classes get a Fighting Style at Level 1, so the comparison is Second Wind vs. Quick on Your Feet. In my view, Quick on Your Feet is a superior ability over Second Wind - because the Raider isn’t a tank class.
Evasive vs. Action Surge. I think this comes down to one of the basic misreadings of the Disengage Action. Many assume that you get to move when you use the Disengage Action - you don’t. So if you were to use your Action Surge to Disengage, you would need to use the Dash action or use your regular move. I like the maneuverability.
Boarding Action vs Indomitable. Reroll a single saving through or ignoring nonmagical difficult terrain and have advantage on Dexterity checks made to avoid being knocked prone until the end of your turn. This is maneuverability. I like it.
A new Reaction vs. a second use of Indomitable. This could go either way.
Ok, so The Raider more matches my playstyle, I love maneuverability. So, is the movement of the Rogue or Monk better than the Raider?
Depends. The Rogue’s Cunning Action is delightful because it can be used each round, but it requires use of your movement as well. You’re limited to your move speed. With Evasive, you could get your melee attack and move your speed +15 feet but you only get it once between rests.
For the Step of the Wind ki-action, you get it twice but it has the same limitations as the Cunning Action. As you continue to gain levels you get more uses, but as you use it you reduce most of your other options.
Ultimately - the Raider isn’t a fighter class. Its a striker and mobility class. Regardless of if we’re on a ship, this is a class that I would take if a tank isn’t necessary. I wouldn’t combine it into Fighter. For starters - the archetypes don’t fit if someone is wearing heavy armor. You’d have to restrict them to light armor, but…
Ah, see this is all the stuff I went over when I read the class. On paper it looks good, but then you could just take the mobile feat, have the benefits of the fighter and be in almost the same place as the raider is.
You’d have to decide if you prefer +10ft of movement every turn or +15ft just once per rest, and whether you like taking the disengage action once or not needing to disengage, because if you attack them (hit or miss) they can’t opportunity attack. Also dashing through difficult terrain at level 4 or level 13.
If a skirmisher type with increased mobility is what you’re going for, once you hit level 4, a fighter with the mobile feat is better. You can easily do a dexterity build and wear light armour with a fighter and you’re getting almost all of the benefits of the raider class and all of the benefits of the fighter class.
I suppose you don’t get firearm proficiency or some of those fighting styles unless you’re assuming that a fighter on Caen would likely have access to those (because they probably would, right?)
I dunno. Wish I could get my brain into the design space because most everything else (Argus excepted) is pretty good.
Well that’s where you get to personal preference. Giving the raider mobile would be a bit of a hat on a hat situation, but it isn’t terrible. Definitely improves them, but compared to a fighter at level 4 with action surge, the mobile features, and second wind, I’d probably say the fighter is still working better as a skirmisher.
A raider with sentinel is a proposition vs a fighter with mobile. If the goal is to have a skirmisher, the fighter with mobile is likely still doing that job better. Sentinel is just a good feat, but it’s more a tank/heavy hitter/defender feat, which the raider is not.
By level 4, after all, the fighter has second wind to buff their hit points, an extra 5 hit points on average from their hit dice, and assuming a constitution bonus of +2, probably an additional 4 to 8 hit points there, (if you follow the raider’s class quick build instructions). If the goal of the raider is to attack and not get hit, sentinel isn’t helping them.
Responding to the firearms bit - classes that don’t have firearms proficiency can trade out Simple Weapons proficiency for Simple Firearms proficiency, and/or Martial Weapons proficiency for Martial Firearms proficiency.
Another thing that hasn’t been brought up is fighting styles. Raider gets access to two unique styles, Street Fighter and Point Blank. Point Blank is fairly straightforward, while Street Fighter is a bit more interesting. Mostly it’s intended to reflect Satyxis headbutts, but Farrow also get enhanced unarmed strikes and the improvised weapon bit is an out for everyone else.
And since we’re talking about feats, we also need to remember essence feats, which means blighted can get some pretty powerful unarmed strikes(and Raider has the feat slots to crank it), and several of the other essences have some very nice feats to take.