Relax we're just having a discussion. I'm not going to be mad either way Adam handles it. I was just bringing ways to make this combo less game breaking and how I would run it.
A 1 hp familiar is never going to be gamebreaking. It's quite easy to handle.
I feel like the whole party getting a personal boon just means the encounters will get harder accordingly.
It's just the equivalent of getting a magic item as I understand it, so if that affects CR (not read 5e) then yes.
Players are outright expected to get magic items at some point in 5e's balance.
The only issue would be if these are too powerful of boons. The familiar obviously isn't (we've seen and had it before). An uncommon magic item like a Flying Broom is a kind of normal "big find" magic item for guys around their level.
The only suspicious one is Berg's. That's a powerful ability, but Adam seems to know that, thus the "We'll see what happens when you kill someone with it" thing.
I think the balance is based around Gassy's willingness to use Frenzy in battle, giving him a level of exhaustion. As he gets more uses of rage, levels of exhaustion, and less chances to remove said exhaustion, a relatively small increase in damage/healing isn't a deal breaker, especially the higher they level. On top of that, the damage bonus is typed - Necrotic. Seeing as how they aren't an evil party, the chance they run into something that's resistant/immune/absorbs necrotic is pretty plausible.
Adam says he gets the d4 of drain damage when he rages, not when he frenzies. Exhaustion isn't necessary to benefit the boon.
You say it's not a big deal but it kind of is. Barbarians stretch out any HP they get better than other classes. Every round he can potentially be attacking 3 times as soon as he hits level 5. +3d4 hitpoints per round is a big deal, as is +3d4 damage. It's better than a cure wounds spell. Even without frenzy +1d4 hp or +2d4 hp a round next level is still going to be a LOT in combat.
Admittedly it's typed damage so certain enemies will negate it but in general it's quite a powerful ability that becomes extremely powerful with a Barbarian's damage reduction.
I know, my point being is that in order to get the most out of the drain, he has to take exhaustion.
True, but only to an extent. In Max's case, he's only resistant to any B/S/P damage. As we saw from the Wyvern fight, and the possible damage of the scorpions, that damage is the least of their worries. Any elemental/radiant/necrotic damage will blow right through that, and that damage often has more/higher value of dice than on weapons available.
There's a few conditions to that however.
- Berg is/wants to frenzy. Beyond 2 exhaustion it really starts to cut into his ability to hit things.
- He hits with all those attacks.
- The enemy isn't resistant in some way to necrotic.
At level 5, the healing from attacking has a lower min. (3 vs 4) slightly higher average (8 vs 9) and slightly higher max (11 vs 12) than that of CW. However, if any of those conditions aren't fulfilled, then CW is immediately numerically better. Not only that, but CW has the ability to scale, where the only way of Berg getting more dice is critting.
Damage is another story, but then we're talking about a whole different slew of class abilities/spells. One example with more or less the same perimeters exists however - scorching ray. Both the spell and level 5 berg require 3 separate attack rolls. The min/avg/max of that spell, assuming all the rays hit, is 6/24/36, blowing the 3d4 out of the water, even more if you use a 3rd or higher spell slot. Granted both CW/SR require spell slots, but that 3d4 is also dependent on Frenzy.
Point being, the +2(3)d4 is a nice bump, but it's far from outclassing other spells/classes that can do the same thing.
I feel like everyone keeps forgetting that the players are literally on their third characters. Fourth in JP's case. Anything "game breaking" will easy be negated by Adam's willingness to put them through the meatgrinder.
They most likely gave Berg a heal because of the fact that every time he walks into a fight with full health, he very rarely walks out with more than ten. And usually because he's been healed. He spent most of the last two episodes relying on hit die to stay above 1 HP.
So really, all he's getting is that if he flies into a rage, if he actually hits, he'll be doing a minimum 2 damage(1 necrotic if applicable), and regaining 1 HP. And as Adam said, they're still working out the kinks. So they might say "Max, you don't get this for bonus attacks, only your regular attack and any hold actions that are attacks."
So chillax guys. Adam is likely to slaughter anyone if they actually become OP.
Right but you're arguing these points as if this isn't a passive benefit. CW takes an action to use. Berg gets this kind of healing and damage at the extreme cost of doing the thing he always does anyhow.
I don't even get how you're comparing it to Scorching Ray. You only have so many scorching rays and you can't add scorching ray's damage to his own attacks. If Berg learned Scorching Ray it wouldn't be nearly as good as this ability.
The Barbarian is already the best class at doing consistent damage in the game (due to rage damage, a means of getting a bonus attack, and reckless attack every round). You're treating that extra 2to3d4 in a vacuum when that's not how it functions.
Of which isn't guaranteed to hit, work, or be terribly impactful. Again, d4 healing isn't going to mean much when you could take 20+ damage in one hit, and the enemy hast multiattack. Same goes for a d4 damage against something that 60+ health. Dan can deal more (and has a bigger pool for doing so) with Divine Smite, and is more likely to have an impact on the monster's health than xd4 rolled throughout a fight.
Both for SR and your example, 3 attack rolls are needed. They're comparable, not 1:1, but you were the one comparing the healing to a Cure Wounds.
I assume you mean "You can't add your spell modifier to your attacks" which yes, while mostly true, Berg is also not adding any modifier to the d4 damage. SR also doesn't need to add anything to handily beat the boon's damage. You're also correct in saying you have only so many scorching rays, However, you can cast Scorching Ray WAY more than Berg will ever be able to rage/frenzy, with 5 spell slots vs 3 rages (I don't think I'd use all the slots for blasting, but that's moot).
They're good at doing consistent damage, but they are far from the best. And you say consistent, but add in that it's due to a mechanic that has limited uses per long rest, along with an archetype that by gaining an extra attack, you can lose the ability to consistently hit (without incurring further problems) throughout the day. Then you tell me I'm treating the xd4 like it's in a vacuum, when I'm explaining that there's conditions/restrictions/penalties to applying the xd4...
Whatever, I'm done. Guess we'll just have to disagree.
No, what I meant was your direct comparison of Scorching Ray to this buff is folly. If you gave Berg the scorching ray spell right now it wouldn't increase his overall damage in any significant way. Especially as he gets higher level. It would only give him the utility of a ranged spell, which isn't really the argument you're making.
Yes, they do the most damage per turn assuming a character is not burning some very valuable resource to have a one turn bump on them, like a very high level spell or an action surge. Their DPR is significantly better than any other class.
The fact that Berg can reasonably create a 4d4 life swing each turn (2d4 damage and 2d4 healing) on a very consistent basis in a way that doesn't interfere with his current primary method of doing damage is amazing. Next level it'll be a 6d4 swing! If you don't think a 15 point average lifeswing (there's some variance here for critical hits and misses, admittedly, but can't really calculate the latter without knowing the enemy's AC) isn't amazing in this game then we have vastly different opinions.
Compare that with casting scorching ray, what, 3 times a day maybe? and there's no argument. If you assume every attack hits, which benefits Scorching ray more, 6d6 (averaging 21) is less damage than Berg's current 1d8+8 twice a round, which averages 25 damage. Now Berg's damage has jumped up to 30 (since 2d4 averages 5), on top of healing! I don't know about you but I'll take the latter more often than the former.