I am currently running Tomb of annihilation and let one of my players play a "deep game test" Revised Artificer homebrew.
One of the characteristics under the Gadgetsmith the subclass is a grapple with this mechanism:
As an attack or action, you can target a surface, object, or creature within 20 feet. If the target is small or small, you can perform a grapple check to attract and attack it. Alternatively, if the target is Medium or larger, you can choose to be shot on it, but that does not attack it.
At first, it did not matter, because the character had a low HP (D8) scale, so it was good for the player to tackle the battle plan safely. He then, however, got this update:
Improved grab hook:
You improve your grapple by increasing its reach to 40 feet. In addition, the increased power of the grappling hook means that when you shoot at a larger or larger creature or object, you can drag an average or smaller creature, arranged or at least, within 5 feet of you with you.
The accent is mine. This clause starts to cause me headaches because it is a free, instant resource. Not misty + 1 ally to any object within 40 feet.
I am sure that it will overcome many obstacles in the present tomb. To give some examples:
4B – Second door of the puzzle: The player can tackle himself and a companion to the ceiling when the level appears. The pit trap is canceled when the lever is pulled.
5 / 5A – Trapped Corridor: Once the player has spotted or triggered the plates, he can carry the entire group to and from the end of the hallway. Cancel the trap of the pressure plates.
15 – blower: The player must simply attack the tunnel without ever activating the fan itself. He can carry the whole party this way. Deny the whole trap.
20 – False Tomb: The player can catch another player out of the room when he triggers the trap. If he is unable to escape, he can also seize the ceiling to increase his survivability against the Weird wine. (I do not have a problem with the second part).
37 – Winds of Pandemonium: The player can attack the entire length of the piece, carrying the entire group on platforms requiring jumps. The trap is canceled.
44B – Inside the vault: The player +1 can combine the slippery floor by attacking the walls or ceiling. That does not do much about the invisible Beholder, however.
48 – Tomb of Shagambi: The player can directly seize Shagambi's Tomb, eliminating the tip-toe portion of the walk. This removes much of the threat in this grave, although it does trigger it's best.
Level 5 – Gears of Hate: The player can deny any hardware experience by attacking the ceiling and carrying the players this way.
I think you get what I'm saying at this point. The hook + 1 mechanic is broken when it comes to dealing a significant part of the obstacles of the grave.
It can be fully managed and made unusable in the grave. the dungeon has powerful enchantments that change the world, so it would not be too original. I hesitate to do so, because the player likes to struggle and be mobile.
Overall, my main grievances with this mechanic are:
- The grapple is free. It does not require any use of resources to transport and transport a companion within 40 feet. Compare this to Steal, which also cancels many aspects of the grave, but which is a resource used.
- There is no check involved. He can bring any volunteer companion without fail. However, if I had to do an athletic check, his character would almost always fail catastrophically.
- It's at the heart of his kit. If I removed it, it would crush the player and I already left it too long to completely remove it.
Is there a creative solution / compromise that I can bring to this player so that I can make the experience of the tomb more attractive and exciting? Or am I out of proportion with the quality of his grappling abilities compared to this adventure?
Answers that cite previous experience of this module or similar mechanic would be greatly appreciated.