IN SO ME SENSE farming is peaceful -- out here there are never traffic jams, few people, and not much noise in comparison to the city. Murder and rape are less frequent than in the country. And there is no X-rated theater, crack house, or all-night hotel outside my window. We hear the sirens from town, not vice-versa. Many of the greatest philosophers in the West have noted that rustic morality stems from the simple absence of temptation.
Yet Pax Agraria is a myth. The farm as a tranquil abode is the dividend of our romantic and pastoral traditions that date back to third-century B.C. Alexandria, where sophisticated and citified Greeklings dreamed that they were shepherds in Arcadia. Trapped in concrete, asphalt, and stucco, urban man idealizes -- the academics would say "constructs" -- what he does not know but wishes to be true, as either hope or penance for his own sometimes unsatisfying existence. So farms become "serene" and "peaceful" for those dreamers, who under no circumstances would live there. The idea of the calm north 40 is part of the same romance that explains why city folks buy enormous and awkward four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicles for rush hour traffic, or wear heavy, uncomfortable, and treaded high-top work boots just to navigate over carpet and tile. Equipped with such appurtenances, they can travel anywhere and so go nowhere. I suppose Plato would say that their reason and appetites are not rural, but their suppresse d spirit is -- the third great portion of our existence that longs for something primordial.
In reality, agriculture is frantic. It has cacophony and a frenzy as breakneck as any I have seen in town. Consider, for example, not the busy harvest or preharvest, but the month of February, Virgil's purported dormant "off-season." Then, farmers should be in by the fire,...
"This class is so far from the idea of balance that not even Tolkien's elves can see it in the distance." - Me, after reading this class. Now that I've got your attention, I'll warn you this review is very long and hopefully quite comprehensive as to the issues with the class (there are many).
Hunter's Bane massively steps on the toes of the ranger, giving you the 14th level version of Favoured Enemy at 1st level although your choice is locked to fey, fiends and undead (likely something you'll be fighting if you're playing this class in a campaign) and doesn't include learning their languages. I get the need to put across that "monster hunter" theme/idea for the class but taking another class' ability at its strongest version nearly wholesale isn't the way to go. In a module such as Descent into Avernus/Curse of Strahd you're on par with the party's potential Ranger and vastly outshining them in any campaign that involves any combination of the three.
You can only use it once to start with but don't worry, it recharges on a short rest and you can use it twice between rests at 15th level. So to recap, you can cast controllable version of the 7th level spell etherealness that still lets you interact with/attack creatures on the material plane, 1-2 times between short rests, that requires no action or bonus action at 7th level.
Are there any drawbacks to becoming a better version of Barbarian? Well you get "Bloodlust". If you start your turn with no more than half your max HP you must succeed a DC 8 Wisdom save or move directly towards the nearest creature (which will more than likely be whatever you're fighting) and use the attack action against it (which you were going to do anyway), you have the choice to not use extra attack for this on the rare occasion you are doing friendly fire, and then you act normally for the rest of your turn. If you happen to be raging (because you got greedy, wanted two versions of rage and multiclassed into barbarian) or otherwise unable to concentrate you fail the save automatically.
What does this Blood Curse do? You can frighten every creature (avoiding allies) within 30ft of you if they fail a Wisdom save, if they fail by 5 or more they're also stunned until the end of your next turn. If you spend, on average, 5 HP you can target every creature (avoiding allies) within 60ft instead. If a creature succeeds the save they're immune to the Curse for 24 hours but if they fail you can potentially frighten and stun them up to 3 more times. The sheer fact that the non-amplified version of this Curse will frighten and potentially stun nearly all of the enemies in one encounter makes this insanely powerful.
As if to try and balance this mess it's the one Blood Curse that requires your action to use; however stack this with the 15th level subclass feature and 20th level class feature to farm Blood Curse uses from your advantage attacks on the branded creature and you can both solo the BBEG/Big Monster whilst also providing crowd control by frightening and potentially stunning any other enemies the party is fighting.
And thus we finally conclude all the issues. The base class could almost be a standalone class with one or two more features (or expanded blood curses to make them more of caster), the same with the Lycan and Mutant subclasses. A Lycan/Mutant Blood Hunter feels like it's a class and a half to two classes by itself. The Brand of Castigation and it's upgrades as well as most of the subclass unique Blood Curses stand out as horribly over powered features, clearly part of this newer revision leading me to believe the older version of the class might have been more balanced than this newer "massively rebalanced" version.
In conclusion it may be worth going back to the drawing board with this one, the class suffers heavily from OP feature creep and steps on a variety of other classes' toes (Ranger, Paladin, Barbarian, Monk); despite all of what I've highlighted above I've seen near universal praise for the class (besides the shift to intelligence, people are divided on that) which is what spurred me to write nearly 10,000 words breaking it down and examining it. I have an idea of how I'd fix some of the problems, with many requiring a lot of work/thought, but I'll avoid adding another few thousand words to this wall. Hell I may take a crack at making a reworked/balanced version myself.
I have always liked the idea and style of the blood hunter, and am currently playing the old version in a game. While I have yet to test this new version, so take all that I say with a pinch of salt. There are several changes that have been made here that are welcomed, and some I thoroughly love, the Brand is a great new feature that really fits the theme of the class.
I could go on and on about things I love and things I would change. In fact, I think I have, whoops. Anyway, the main thing I am trying to say is that the class itself is good, the flavour is great and unique. The general changes of the class have brought more balance and structure to a budding idea. However I would say such class needs more play testing/player feedback before it makes its way into a staple D&D diet, and hopefully eventually into the official game, now that Matt has been working with wizards of the coast.
Class anger rages through Revelations making it less opium for the masses than crack for a vanguard. The kings of the earth who had committed fornication with Babylon and the merchants of the world who grew rich upon her bloated wealth could only weep and mourn. They could no longer buy and sell; "their cargoes of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, cloths of purple and scarlet, silks and fine linens; all kinds of scented woods, ivories, and every sort of thing made of costly woods, bronze, iron, or marble; cinnamon and spice, incense perfumes and frankincense; wine, oil, flour and wheat, sheep and cattle, horses, chariots, slaves, and the lives of men."
In 1492 feudalism came to an end, and capitalism began. Merchants, bankers and incipient industrialists allied with the European sovereigns to form "nations" and "states" against farmers, peasants, and urban artisans who were expropriated from the wide world's common. As proletarians their first experience of massive wage-labor was in the armies and navies of the European empires. From the standpoint of the intercontinental transmission of microparasites, the Columbian exchange can be simplified as an exchange of smallpox and syphilis. When it is said that syphilis is the first "historical" disease what is meant is that disease in its epidemiology has become a social rather than a biological event.
Another difference: the 1790s did not have its Thuc'. Instead, the parson, Thomas Malthus, wrote his pious lines, lines dripping with mathematical genocide, from the orderly perspective of his flower garden. Food production increases arithmetically, people reproduce geometrically, you see: this is the postulate of his "reason," and therefore people have to be killed. Q.E.D. War, plague, and famine were the "laws of nature", and he calibrated them exactly to the needs of the plantocrats with their whip crackings and to the factory owners with their eighteen hour days.
While Macon County thus became a "private laboratory" or "sick farm" analogous to Buchenwald, Nordhausen, and Auschwitz, one should not infer that the experiments were a local aspect of Southern exceptionalism" any more than the freezing, immersion, and typhus experiments of the Nazis were exceptional, because as the Tuskegee "subjects" migrated northwards, as some would, Public Health officials in Cleveland, New York, and Detroit provided "collegial cooperation" by withholding treatment to the afflicted men, despite the Hippocratic oath and despite state and federal public health laws of 1927, 1943, 1957, and 1969 specifically prohibiting the withholding of treatment.
Across the snowfield, the cabin lay hunched like an animal killed by the freeze, snow sticking to the furry shakes of its roof. He roused himself and trudged around to the tailgate, cracking through the crust of ice with each step. The air was so cold it had no smell at all. Greaves was opening the tailgate, thinking how the air was freezing the hair in his nostrils, when suddenly a strange sound came through the slender pines from the direction of the lake. A dampered, resonant heave, a piano key struck with all pedals depressed: it seemed familiar and alien all at once. Seconds after the first heave, a tremulous whistle ran away from his ears. Before he knew it, he was stumbling toward the heart of the sound. 2b1af7f3a8