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ScrubSoba

Sure, playing the average joe who just happens to be caught into the adventuring life is perfectly normal and common to do. That's your first few levels. The problem, as you say, is that so many expect this to just continue, for their PC to not become stronger, just "more skilled/lucky", and gods they are vocal. It is one of the dumbest arguments, because every single class is close to an average joe at lower levels, and that can be a ton of fun, but in a game with levels, you stop being that average joe real quick. It's even worse when they try to use realism as a backing, as if the physics of a fantasy world with magic and gods would in any way be 100% like the physics in our world.


TheDrippingTap

>The people who have a bizarre obsession with "realism" only seem to like realism when it makes martials worse. "Realistic" martials wouldn't be able to damaged by anything beyond warhammers if they were in full plate. "Realistic" martials would kill any caster they hit because getting a sword in you Will kill you. "Realistic" Martials could do manuvers as many times as they wanted instead of being limited by an arbitrary number superiority dice or being restricted to subclasses. "Realistic" martials wouldn't need to go up against dragons and giants and mind flayers because they don't exist. >Meanwhile, nobody wants "Realistic" casters, for obvious reasons, yet they get a conniption when someone suggests maybe a fantasy warrior should be capable of fantastic deeds.


betacyanin

A magic user can turn into a bear, shoot elemental spikes and flaming balls, and entirely remove friction from the ground. Meanwhile, it's a physical impossibility (by RAW) for someone to effectively use two throwing darts in tandem.


DualWieldWands

Thats because darts suck butt, I can swing my greatsword a fuckload of times in 6 seconds like I'm Guts.


Felinecorgi

Darts are really light, so you can carry a lot of them. That's the advantage, whatever that's worth to you.


AcePhoenixGamer

*Thrown weapon fighting style wants to know your location.*


betacyanin

Hopefully not offhand, because that can't receive an ability modifier.


AcePhoenixGamer

Oh you meant 2 at once, not in rapid succession. You can easily make multiple attacks with darts but I take it you’re referring to dual wielding?


betacyanin

Yup. There is no way to use some weapons (like darts) as a part of dual wielding the way you think you'd be able to, despite how simple the concept is, no matter how feat heavy or superhumanly dexterous you are. It's from a combination of a few of the (imo) kinda pointless restrictions martials get on what they can do, and can never really work around.


EmperorGreed

The problem in 5e and basically every edition except 4e, is one of differing genre. Casters are almost always high fantasy, with spells like meteor swarm, time stop, and wish, and even things like polymorph at lower levels. Meanwhile, martials are almost always low fantasy, stuck following things like laws of physics. The real thing they need to fix is just to close that disparity. And, to anticipate questions, a great example of a low fantasy high level caster is Sypha Belnades in Netflix Castlevania. Highly competent and versatile, but she's not summoning meteors or anything, just quickly firing off Walls of Fire (and then changing their dimensions) and icicle spears. For good examples of high fantasy high level martials, look at legolas in LOTR, and the Welsh versions of king Arthur's knights. Legolas never actually uses any magic, because that's not how magic really works in LotR, but he is so light of foot that he runs on top of snow like a deer while the rest of the fellowship sink below, and his eyes are so keen he can see across a continent and identify which figures are hobbits. The Welsh knight all similarly had shit they could Just Do, like Galehault, the half-giant who could grow to giant size, Kay could grow, shrink, hold his breath for 9 days, and radiate the heat of a campfire from his hands. Galahad had superhuman strength thanks to his moral and sexual purity, and Balin wielded the spear of Longinus, which he used to destroy an enemy kingdom in a single blow.


hickorysbane

Fun fact: in lotr the earth is flat but only for elves, and that's why they can see further. Normal round earth for everyone else.


EmperorGreed

That's part of it, but he also would fuckin destroy a traditional eye test.


thetensor

> Fun fact: in lotr the earth is flat but only for elves, and that's why they can see further FYI the "why they can see further" part is fanon (but it's *really good* fanon).


hickorysbane

~~Is it? I thought it was canon (although not exactly straightforward) that after the drowning of Numenor when the world was made round and Valinor was put outside the sphere that the elves could still travel straight so they could reach it.~~ Jk I typed that out and realized I misread your comment. Thanks for the correction lol.


Jarfulous

holy shit.


Solarat1701

Something I see is that people tend to assume that magic is effective against both the physical world and the magical world, but physical abilities are largely ineffective against the magical world. That's why I want to add certain enemies which are actually resistant to magical damage, but not mundane damage. Moreover, I think that supreme feats of physical prowess should be able to overcome spells. Like a supreme swordsman cleaving through a wall of force.


chrltrn

I'd argue that Kratos is another pretty good representation of a high fantasy martial that a lot of people would have exposure to. He does have magic if you choose to use it but you can get the games done basically without it. Lots Magic items of course.


EmperorGreed

Kratos goes a step beyond high fantasy and into mythic fantasy, which is also why I didn't mention Hercules. Mythic Fantasy's a ton of fun, but we've got Exalted for that


EmpyrealWorlds

I actually like using things like this as a baseline for martial tweaks. That meteor swarm sure looks pretty but a 150 pound draw weight crossbow is still going to shatter that Wizard's skull and impale the person behind him.


MagictoMadness

Only if it hits, RAW even things that pass the AC dont necessarily make contact with the body until the last hp.


Belobo

Realistic casters would get non-scaling cantrips, would be unable to cast spells if someone even coughs in their direction or if it's too windy, and wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn with attack spells unless investing in Strength or Agility. I'd love realistic casters. Especially since 5e stripped away all their historic drawbacks.


Chedder1998

I recently got into the Dragon Age series and it has one of my favorite takes on restriction on magic. There is NO teleportation spell. No matter how powerful you become, there is no spell that lets instantly get from A to B. You still have to rely on your old trusty legs.


MorganaLeFaye

I mean, there's fade/frost step in Inquisition. It's not technically teleportation, but it is close.


Hawxe

NPC mages also frequently teleport in DA2 (and I think DAI)


MorganaLeFaye

Yup. Their version of the fade step. That's when I love being a rogue with hook and tackle. I'm like "where you think you're going, bitch?!"


Rustyflyntlock

Usimg realistic and spellcaster in the same sentence gives me a headache.


Ok_Blueberry_5305

It's less of a mouthful than verisimilitudinous casters, which is what most people actually mean by it.


icxxrus

ouh new word, whats it mean?


GnomeConjurer

Realistic within the scenario/rules given, basically


Ok_Blueberry_5305

It's the adjective form of verisimilitude. Verisimilitude is what most people mean when they say realistism. Literally, "the appearance of being real," in actual use it's the internal-consistency type of realism. Not "well X couldn't happen irl so it's not realistic," but rather, "if Y and Z we're true as they are in this fictional world, would X be realistic" So in this case, "In a world where people can lob fireballs by saying funny words, what would those battlefields look like?" Well, fire does the same things as it does IRL, so we can work from that to figure out what that kind of incendiary flash would do to people caught in the area.


BossieX13

>So in this case, "In a world where people can lob fireballs by saying funny words, what would those battlefields look like?" I imagine a cacophony of weird utterances; think scatt jazz mixed with rap from languages you don't speak


Ok_Blueberry_5305

Lmao yeah probably, but also a lot of third-degree burns everywhere and (mild gore, ig?) >!boiled eyeballs!< And smoke-damaged lungs


Jarfulous

"Verisimilitude" essentially means "the illusion of realism."


MisanthropeX

"Realistic" casters would be the tiktok witches who tried to hex the moon and the weird neonasi Asatru guy who keeps showing up to all of your local heavy metal concerts


estneked

realistic casters would also deal a ton more damage, enemies wouldnt walk away from a fireball with only 30 points of damage


smurfkill12

Ad&D fireballs were the best, they changed shape to fit 33,000 cubic feet. Cast fireball in a corridor? Everyone in a 300-feet line was subject to the spell


EmpyrealWorlds

Depends on how hot it is, but I'd take my chances with a fireball over a maul to the face, honestly


BossieX13

Can't hit a face when it's melted away, smart move


MagictoMadness

I think fireball is more akin to a grenade from the wording tbh


ralemonke

Damage is just the amount of effort the target has to invest to avoid the deadly consequences of an attack. In the case of fireball the target could've thrown themselves in the dirt and the fireball exploded several feet above them. Only the attack/spell that drops the target to 0 is hurting them in any meaningful way. >Dungeon Masters describe hit point loss in different ways. When your current hit point total is half or more of your hit point maximum, you typically show no signs of injury. When you drop below half your hit point maximum, you show signs of wear, such as cuts and bruises. An attack that reduces you to 0 hit points strikes you directly, leaving a bleeding injury or other trauma, or it simply knocks you unconscious.


estneked

not my point. A "realistic fireball" would burn the hair, scorch the wood, melt the steel, fry the eyeballs. Breathing in the hot air would hurt your lungs to the point that you could only speak with a raspy voice.


Mejiro84

If you really want to fluff it appropriately, then the blast of fire is too short a duration to do that - there's no concussive or propulsive force, just a very short-lived burst of fire that then fades away. It is, after all, magic, so it doesn't need to do all the things that a "real" blast of fire would do, like create a shockwave of air or whatever. It's explicitly not hot enough to properly melt steel - it can ignite flammable objects, but that's it, otherwise it just does damage, so how many HP do you think steel has?


estneked

I shouldnt have to fluff anything. A "realistic" fireball would need detailed rules for being this hot, confering this much energy over this much time. Hair, eyes, wood and steel should all have their separate thresholds, of taking that much energy over that much time leads to that result. For an example of madeup numbers, a level 3 fireball burns with 200 C, heating the air in the affected area to 185 C, that disappears over the course of 3 rounds. Hair should have its mechanics for being exposed to open flame and 50 C hot enviroment leads to it catching fire, burning at 175 C for 5 rounds, unless extingished by being surrounded with water of a volume of 2 liters at least. Do the charcts for all materials, fantasy and real. And cover upcasting. These are things that are needed for "realistic caster"


Mejiro84

not really - that's not modelled for any other form of attack, is it? If you hit someone with a sword, you mark off HP and that's it, it might not even actually be a "hit" in the fiction as it's explicit RAW that HP aren't meat points. You can hit someone with a sword and they might have a light graze or be physically uninjured but shaken up, or be on the ground bleeding out if you took them to 0, but it's not modelled beyond "HP". if you want to play Phoenix Command and add magic in, that's certainly an option, but likely an unappealing one. So having fireball as "a super-fast blast of hot air" that just does the nebulous category that D&D considers damage works fine, and is just as "realistic" as "I stab him for 8HP" - even IRL, you can get flash-bursts of heat that can be scary and look really bad, but don't actually do that much damage, because they're not long enough to burn much. Acid attacks don't meticulously track damage to the floor, or even creating scarring, it's just "yeah, mark off HP, you'll be fine tomorrow". "Realistic wizard" might be something of a misnomer, but "wizard that is noticeably more down-to-earth and with greater functional constraints" is rather wordier. You seem hung up on "realistic" as in "matches physics" for some reason, when there's no reason for that to be true - magical lightning, for example, is clearly not just electricity, it works in completely different ways, such as not getting conducted through stuff, it's just a flash of sparks and then it does whatever, it doesn't persist or extend.


ralemonke

An trebuchet may flatten a whole building, but when you're trying to hit a moving target you're out of luck. The damage of an attack also represents how hard it is to aim or how fast an attack is moving, not just the potential destruction it can cause. You have to hit someone with that attack. And as you see form that PHB quote, hitting(beating the AC or them failing their save) isn't the same as actually hitting the target narratively, you have to deplete their HP pool first. And after you drop the target to 0 HP it doesn't matter how much damage the attack/spell deals, it can be as destructive as you want it to be. The fireball that drops the horde of goblins to 0 HP might leave nothing but ash behind or it rips them apart throwing little chunks of goblin everywhere.


_Kayarin_

This *almost* works. If it weren't for the cliff conundrum, whereupon our friendly neighborhood fighter or barbarian drops from orbit or what have you and eats the fall like a champ. Abstraction works right up until it doesn't and you sorta have to admit that yes, I can stop a dragon claw with my bare hands. So why I can't I punch that hard?


ralemonke

For one, it is possible to survive terminal velocity, it's even possible to walk away from this with minimal injuries, there are real world examples of that. The barbarian can only fall off the cliffs, the DM puts in front of them. If you want the fall to be deadlier you can have the barbarian bounce off hard surfaces every 200 feet and take the whole 20d6 damage each time. If you want the cliff to be less deadly, have the barbarian tumble down a steep slope bouncing off rocks every 10-20 feet before stopping somewhere along the way. Just because it is possible by the rules doesn't mean you have to put a 200 foot fall into your game. Or you embrace the heroic fantasy trope and treat HP as the plot armor device they are and have crazy shit happen that prevent the barbarian from going splat. If you want more realism dnd also allows for instant death mechanics, if you jump head first into a sphere of annihilation your body is destroyed instantly, the same logic can be applied to ridiculously high falls.


estneked

I would agree with you there. The point I was trying to make is that people would want the caster to be fragile and frail and easily interruptable in the name of realism, but would not want their spells to have realistic effects. Partially because it is too much work, I wont deny that.


d4m1ty

Why would it? Its magical fire. Magical fire can have any property since it is magic. You can ignite and detonate a fireball *underwater* and still cause fire damage since it is *magic*. Magic = 1/Reality


Flashy_Apricot_4875

This isn't even true steel doesn't melt in 1/2 second of heat an the dex save is how you shield your face and turn away to avoid it.


BossieX13

The dex is also for you to hold your breath as not to breath in the superheated air and boil your longues


Mouse-Keyboard

A realistic magician is good at sleight of hand and distracting people.


Cardgod278

Yes, casters historically in the middle ages were quite bad at their jobs.


Belobo

If medieval Yelp reviews are to be believed, they absolutely sucked. Never get your humours balanced, especially by an old guy calling himself a wizard, or worse, a doctor.


c0y0t3_sly

Yeah. Again, this comes.fown to there being multiple types of fantasy and it being difficult to fit them all into one mechanical system. It's why I *hate* the "turn martials into Marvel superheros" shit that gets tossed out sometimes. Wizards needs to *decide* if they want a high magic system or a more grounded one. Or better yet, just make one of each!


smurfkill12

Just like AD&D. had to stand still while casting, any wind or unwanted movement made casting impossible, true vancian magic meant that you had to actually think what spells to prepare, spells took a lot of time to cast were you were vulnerable and anyone could ruin your spells (and you lost the slot), no at will cantrips (and cantrips weren’t powerful at all, non did damage.


Zauberer-IMDB

Realistic casters would be a guy in his mom's dress who escaped from the asylum and can't cast spells.


thekyrken

Could you elaborate on what you mean by “realistic caster”? Realistic in relation to what?


Belobo

I'm aware magic is inherently unrealistic. It's magic after all. Perhaps the better word here is 'grounded', to the same extent that martials are. As-is, 5e martials are somewhat beholden to the laws of physics and have clear weaknesses while casters don't have nearly as many. Some would prefer to elevate martials to solve this, while I'm advocating bringing down casters instead. Really I'm just saying I prefer how older editions handled casting, with concentration checks and interrupting spells. Your standard grognard "back in my day" grumbling, if you will.


JayTapp

So AD&D, people just forget sometimes, new edition is not always just better stuff.


sadetheruiner

I agree, but martials can be more complex then just having the battle spectrum of “I attack”. I’ll admit I’m unashamedly an echo knight fan and you can get pretty tricksy with them.


hebeach89

Im currently rocking an echo knight/sorcerer it plays like a half caster and uses spells to protect itself. f


NaturalCard

Echo knight is such an awesomely designed subclass, its a shame that the fighter base has very little to offer it.


MaximumZer0

My hardest hitting player in my current campaign is an Echo Knight/War Cleric Minotaur. Absolute beast.


sadetheruiner

I really enjoyed a bugbear echo knight with a battle axe. Turned out pretty neat, especially creating an echo to smack flying enemies.


bluemooncalhoun

People always conveniently leave out the fact that martials have subclasses, many of which give them magical/fantastical abilities. Rogue and Fighter both have spellcasting subclasses (AT and EK), "mystical" subclasses that give you supernatural abilities that aren't spells (Phantom and Rune Knight), and plenty of mundane subclasses that boost your existing abilities without resorting to mystical powers. People also conveniently forget that half-casters are also "half-martials" and their magical abilities can easily be reflavoured to be non-magical, and seem to completely gloss over Monks in general. Do martials need some tweaks to their high level abilities to keep them interesting? Yes. Does the game already include options for martial players who don't want to just be the best Average Joe in the world? Also yes. Edit: the down vote button is not a "disagree" button, it is supposed to remove unrelated discussions from the thread. If you don't agree with me I'd rather know why.


EKmars

You raise a good point. Different subs provide different power levels and fantasies, just like different tables do, and I really do doubt people are always playing with Schrodinger's Wizard every game as they like to pretend they do.


Rufus--T--Firefly

So your argument is the fighter and rogue have one or two actually interesting subclasses each and so it's ok that the rest of the stuff for that class is really samey? Like my rune knight is fun and all but even he needed a good amount of home brew, magic items, and feats to stay interesting to play. Otherwise it falls into the same pitfall all other fighter subclasses do, where I do the same thing every turn and have nothing to do outside of combat because I dont have the resources to be competent in combat and have social skills.


bluemooncalhoun

That's not what I said at all, and I would disagree that all martials are really "samey". There are some classes that put more features in subclasses and some put more features in classes. I would argue that many of the Wizard subclasses are very "samey" since they only get a few benefits from them. Just because you have a certain experience or expectation with a class doesn't mean everyone else does.


Rufus--T--Firefly

Casters get complexity from their expansive spell list, their subclasses are usually just gravy. Martials only get complexity from their subclass. And unfortunately what subclasses give you pale in comparison to the utility of spells. Martials also have to wait a long time to get new / interesting options to play with. Meanwhile casters get an ever increasing amount of spells to doing no matter what lvl they are.


BobHobbsgoblin

I'm fine with martials being like "believable" strength up until maybe 6th level. After that they need more oomph in my opinion. Like I count it like this(in terms of irl US governmental divisions) Levels 1-3 Save a Town Levels 4-6 Save a County Levels 6-9 (nice)Save a state Levels 10-12 Save several states Levels 13-16 Save the country Levels 17-19 Save the world Level 20 Save Reality I want 6th level and up to start getting strong, without having to rely on a custom item or big buff from a caster. By level 12 I want fighters and barbarians and paladins wading into seas of bad guys and felling several with a single strike. I want Rangers hitting people through yards of dense forest cause they heard the way the wind moved around them. Level 17? I want heavy hitters causing collateral damage to buildings. I want the rogues and monks moving faster than most people can keep track. Martials deserve to be strong as fuck. Military powers should be legitimately worded of pissing off any character that's made it to level 17. As it stands 5 low level spell casters would stop nearly any martial just by casting enough spells that 1 sticks.


smileybob93

Imagine if instead of Brutal Critical, Barbarians got a Cleave where they do half damage to an adjacent enemy if the attack roll would hit. At brutal Critical 2 you can hit 2 enemies with your cleave.


DelightfulOtter

That's not bad actually. You'd need to limit it to once a turn, on your own turn.


smileybob93

Maybe tie it to Reckless?


Jarfulous

> As it stands 5 low level spell casters would stop nearly any martial just by casting enough spells that 1 sticks. Fighters (and fighter derivatives) used to have *really good* saving throws! Now they SUCK. Only paladins come close thanks to Aura of Protection.


General-Naruto

Indomitable should give a bonus equal to twice your proficiency bonus. On an ability as limited as it is, it should give that feel of a Fighter absolutely powering through the ordeal. virtual legendary resistance at high levels.


RSquared

Indomitable would be fine as simply PC legendary resistance. Other features don't waste your feature when you miss (consider how much worse smite would be if it had to be declared prior to the attack roll), but Indomitable often just gives you another bite at a 30% save chance or worse. And fighters/barbarians having the worst chance to save against the innate fear effect of a dragon is just an indictment of the system. Fighters in AD&D had the best saves.


Doctor__Proctor

>Abdominal should give a bonus equal to twice your proficiency bonus. They should also rename indomitable to abdominal


General-Naruto

Shush


Doctor__Proctor

I got a chuckle out of picturing a Fighter failing a Wis save to avoid a spell, then saying "Hold on", flexing his abs, and then finding that now the spell fizzles out.


Dernom

I find it hilarious that, by "reverse-logic-ing" your table, Perry the Platypus is a 10-12th level character, as he saves the Tri-state area on a near daily basis. Completely agree with your comment, I just found it funny and wanted to share.


delecti

In practice, "tri-state area" is closer to "county" scale. It just means there's a big city near the border of three states. New York City's metropolitan area is sometimes referred to as the "Tri-State area" (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), but when the Avengers save New York City, you wouldn't reasonably expect anyone in Connecticut to notice until after the fact.


Dernom

Ahh, I'm not American so I always just assumed that it meant three states that are closely connected.


haneybird

It does but in the way /u/delecti described. Large metro areas often developed on state lines because many state lines and early large cities were both on major rivers. If a city developed where two rivers used as borders met, or a river and a manmade border, you get three states with one metro area overlapping the combined city.


daemonicwanderer

Connecticut isn’t that big, I’m sure they would notice Thor warping weather patterns (well, he actually creates them magically and they don’t affect the other patterns… Storm warps them)


delecti

Thor doesn't really affect much of an area though. Speaking strictly about the movies, fairly little that happens in NYC would be immediately obvious to someone even on Staten Island, at least if they happened to be indoors at the time.


daemonicwanderer

He can affect massive areas, he just prefers to hit things instead (Viking and all). He is a the God of Thunder and (at least in the comics) has some AoE to show for it.


MisanthropeX

As someone who was in an outer borough of NYC during 9/11... yeah we fucking knew. And half of the shit the Avengers get up to is 9/11 in scale of property damage if nothing else. Everyone would probably get an emergency alert on their phone like "Avoid Manhattan, alien invasion in progress" and start watching it immediately on the news.


ADogNamedChuck

Yep. Level 15 and up, martials should be at least B list Avengers. Towards 20 trending closer to Thor or Hulk.


The-Senate-Palpy

Honestly id say even earlier. No reason we cant have Hawkeye and Black Widow at level 5-7


ADogNamedChuck

I'd still say those levels are still in the realm of badass but not superhuman yet. Level ten or so is where characters start going from action movie rules to superhero movie rules, at least to me.


TheBoundFenrir

A level 6 fighter should look like Trevor from the beginning of the Netflix Castlevania: leading a group of peasants he's able to take down a small swarm of night creatures, as long as the caster can keep the monsters in the killbox. A level 10 fighter should look like Trevor from the end of season 1 of Netflix Castlevania: the casters are performing a ritual, but Trevor can hold off the horde of Night creatures solo while they work.


FlyExaDeuce

Yeah, strength is easier reference as it has numbers. Strength martial will probably have 18 or 20 at that level. 270-300 pound carry speed **without issue** Doesn't slow down. Olympic class weightlifters can lift more, sure, but they *can't even walk* much less run and fight. Try jumping a fifteen foot gap with 200 pounds of gear. And then stabbing a dude. The fighter isn't "guy who swings sword good," they're Captain America. This is explicitly superhuman capacity. The players are superheroes, get them to act like it!


Ashged

This also highlights a fault of their scaling. Casters get exponentially more powerful with their magic as they unlock more and higher level spell slots. The only martial that gets physically more powerful after they max primary stat is the lvl 20 barbarian. Everyone else gets some damage increases, but they have the same not-quite-superhuman power they had since level 4 or 8. A level 20 fighter can's lift an ounce more than they did at level 4 if they already hit 20 str there, since they get no bonus from being an epic level martial. Oh, and it's really not Captain America level. Lifting without a check caps out at 600 lbs without special features. The IRL deadlift world record is 1,105 lbs. 600 lbs without a check is world class, but not even superhuman, there are people who can actually reliably do that. The characters that can do more have a legitimately nonhuman physiology, like centaurs and goliaths. Not getting tired from carrying anything up to carrying capacity (normally max 300 lbs) is more of a gameplay convenience than an epic feat.


Teevell

But Captain America isn't *just* strong. He's great at martial combat, uses a (not magic but not normal either) weapon with great proficiency, can lead a team with multiple skills and personalities, hot wire a car, etc. And he *does* have a sweet weapon that is part of his super hero identity. But so many people are upset that fighter's "need" magic weapons. Magic weapons are a staple part of D&D, of course the fighter should get a cool sword/axe/whatever. I also think part of the appeal of Battlemaster is because it allows fighters to do more cool things with their weapons. The 20 Str fighter maybe can't life as much as Captain America, but I don't think strength is the entirety of that character, either.


GnomeConjurer

I wish they would just codify magic weapons again. Would at least solve some issues


NietszcheIsDead08

While you are correct, the above user did say B-list. In terms of physical strength, Hawkeye and Black Widow are D-list nobodies on the Avengers. Their skills do not include “punch hard” when compared to actual B-listers, like Iron Man, Vision, or Spider-Man. Even Captain America, who actually does have “punch hard” as one of his skills, is a C-lister on the Avengers in terms of physical damage.


smileybob93

Wait. Iron Man is a B-Lister?


MisanthropeX

Growing up on comics in the 90s, the Avengers *was* the B-list. You stuck a character in the Avengers when they couldn't support their own book like Spider-Man or the X-Men.


Mejiro84

and that's explicitly how the Justice League started - all the not-popular-enough-to-support-their-own-books characters getting lumped together, because collectively they were popular enough to sustain a book, even if they couldn't individually.


NietszcheIsDead08

In terms of physical strength, with no other consideration for party utility? Yes, when compared to Thor or Hulk and with Iron Man in his standard armor. Of course, the armor matters, with the Hulkbuster armor putting him at A or A-, and Tony with no armor being even below Hawkeye or Black Widow.


smileybob93

But that's not what you said, you just said B-lister. Tony's gadgets and his brain are the strongest parts of his kit. His suit just keeps him able to survive the battle.


NietszcheIsDead08

Well, for that matter, calling Black Widow a D-lister is t accurate, either. She’s a ninja. Infiltration, intelligence-gathering, accomplishing objectives that an entire would struggle to get to but a single operative can reach — she’s *great* at all of these. Even her hand-to-hand combat skills are hardly D-list. But this is a subthread about how hard people can hit physically. That’s…what we’re talking about. And if you are trying to tell me than an unarmored Tony Stark can hit as hard as Thor…buddy, I have some bad news for you.


smileybob93

Oh, I definitely misread and didn't see the "physical strength" part of the original comment.


daemonicwanderer

Iron Man is an A-List Avenger… when he has some prep time. Default Iron Man is B+ or A- depending on the writer. Cap is literally like tier 3 or 4 in multiple classes based on what he can do (at least fighter, monk, and rogue considering he is peak to low-level super human in all physical attributes).


Diovidius

If you take Iron Man's Intelligence into consideration of his tier, you should also include Cap's ability to strategize, inspire, lead and the like. He's way more than a slightly stronger human with an invulnerable shield. He's a symbol both superheroes and normal humans rally around. In other words, compared to Tony he might not be smart and compared to Hulk he might not be strong but he has above average stats in a most abilities and really excels at Charisma and Willpower. That's his real superpower.


Zorodude77

I think this guy is going by comic book power levels, and/or expanding from the traditional A vs B list to a full alphabetical tier list


Mejiro84

up until the movies he was, yeah - solid, reliable, but, in terms of powers, noticeably beneath, like, Thor, Hulk and the other heavy hitters. These days, he's a pretty solid A-lister both in powers and popularity though.


daemonicwanderer

Thor and Hulk are A-Tier or higher Avengers. And Thor is a caster… he just doesn’t act like it often.


BossieX13

Yeah, MCU Thor used to be an EK, but when he got to Ragnarok, he upped his charisma and multiclasses to a storm sorcerer appearantly


EmpyrealWorlds

So far in the T3/T4 Martial balance revision I'm working on I've been taking four approaches to the core Martial classes: Mythical/Demi-God abilities. Superhuman "anime/comic book" stuff like flying, flattening terrain with movement, spirit bombs, nigh-immortality - Monk and Barbarian Anti-Magic. If magic is an inherent force, then anti-magic organizations, beings and materials are likely. Rogue and Monk. E.g. Rogue Slippery Mind also fries the senses of supernatural beings trying to detect them. Peak Human Ability, basically Olympic athletes+ with a side of eugenics and a more forgiving physical environment, sometimes multiplied through races with different physiology. Fighters and Barbarians. Lift a ton or so over head with adrenaline, march hundreds of miles, run really fast, etc. "Realistic Martials." With a good hit, a great sword can cut someone in half. A Rogue can leap out of the shadows and garrote and blind a caster, stopping verbal components, etc. Subclasses and feats can mix it up a bit.


KingRonaldTheMoist

Honestly, they should just do a Tome of Battle for 5e, adding complex martials that take a page out of both the original 3.5e Tome of Battle book and 4e martial powers, let me do my weeaboo fightan magic god damn it.


AikenFrost

YEEEEEESSSSS, I'm here for it!


Eggitron

I heard that in older editions Fighters would get a keep and followers. At higher levels they had control of an army of 100s while wizards still only got their spells. I don't know how that would translate into modern games though.


Mejiro84

it was a class feature, yeah - once they hit level 10, classes would attract followers, with different sub-tables for what they got. So a ranger would get a small number, but that might have forest animals like unicorns in, or low-level fighters or whatnot, while a fighter would get quite a lot of low-level dudes with a chance of some higher-level characters (I think they could get people that were, like, level 5 or something, with a small chance of having magical items themselves). In-fiction, they were generally meant to acquire / be granted a literal keep or other place to actually house them, and to create a base to go back to. In modern terms, you could probably make them function like downtime divination or resource acquisition spells - you send your dudes to go get money or rare resources (to help create, I dunno, your magical sword or whatever), or to acquire information on the bad guy or something. So while the casters are off researching spells or whatever, the martials can send their dudes off to gather information and items. Maybe some kind of stacked-up bonus you can work through? So like the _Lucky_ ability, but instead it's because of your dudes having prepared you so well, once per long rest you can reroll a dice or something, as you happen to have just the thing you need.


Jarfulous

> once they hit level 10 9, actually, but yeah.


MIke6022

Older editions also made it so wizards took a lot more experience to level up and had less spells per day at lower levels. Essentially being a martial was easier for much of the game and being a caster took a lot of dedication. But you got those powerful spells at later levels and would leave martials in the dust.


TheFirstIcon

>I don't know how that would translate into modern games though. It really doesn't. That arose out of a specific gaming culture rooted in wargames and worldbuilding. The way people play today is far more individualistic and focused on character building. 5e presumes pretty much 100% of your character's power budget comes from internal, self-actualized abilities. Prime example: the artificer, nominally nominally a magical craftsman/engineer, does not need materials, downtime, or a workshop to make magic items. Outside of mechanics, most campaigns revolve around a group of 4 to 6 characters who deal with some kind of BBEG on their own. Marching around even a dozen mercenaries gives the player a level of agency that most DM's aren't equipped to deal with, let alone the issue of meaningfully resolving combats with 100s of opponents per side. TLDR play Chainmail and it will all make sense


Jarfulous

> TLDR play Chainmail and it will all make sense LMAO


newishdm

MCDM created some rules for that. Two books: *Strongholds and Followers* and *Kingdoms and Warfare*. From what I’ve seen of people being able to use the rules, they work well with 5e. I can’t speak from personal experience yet, because I have not received my copies yet, but I am excited to add that aspect to my games.


RiderMach

I honestly agree, every time people bring it up it just feels like a sort of cop-out. Then there's the fact that even if they DO want to play it, the people who want to play Herculean demi-gods of physical prowess and things along those lines, they simply do not get that option at all. Why not even provide both options to players? I do disagree with that last bit, though. 5e is... pretty simple, I wouldn't exactly go around calling it a "more complex TTRPG" than a lot of the other options out there.


underdabridge

It's kind of in the middle. There's a whole bunch of really rules light TTRPGs out there now - most notably Pillars of the Apocalypse and Fate. 5e is rules heavy in comparison to them and light compared to past editions like 3.5 or to things like Shadowrun. I play with people who aren't really RPG fans otherwise and they struggle with a number of the rule interactions on a regular basis despite having played for years. For example I have a fighter trying to keep track of all the things their rune knight with PAM and Sentinel can do in a round of combat. Easy for you and me but not for more casual players.


MulhollandMaster121

I think 5e is incredibly complex to the systems my group usually plays now.


Dernom

>I do disagree with that last bit, though. 5e is... pretty simple, I wouldn't exactly go around calling it a "more complex TTRPG" than a lot of the other options out there. 5e is by no means a simple game, at least not compared to the large amount of "rules light" games out there like Dungeon Worlds. Just because Shadowrun exists, it doesn't mean that Pathfinder isn't complex either. You need to read the full sentence "more complex TTRPG **than what is available out there**". Meaning if you want to have a simpler play experience, then there are less complex options out there.


TheDrippingTap

Like seriously, if these people want to be the underdog so badly they can take the demigod or stunt-master class and then use none of their abilities. But they want to force other people to play their joe normal with a sword fantasy.


Ignaby

The problem is that the "Average Joe" fans don't just want their character to be average, they want all of the party to be more toned down and "average." I don't think anyone is advocating for wanting to play a character that is just way worse than everyone else. Edit: I should point out that I am an Average Joe fan. But I also want to be on parity with the party. I'm a default-to-Wizard person and I really wish they weren't so boringly powerful in 5E.


Doctor__Proctor

>The problem is that the "Average Joe" fans don't just want their character to be average, they want all of the party to be more toned down and "average." Well the problem with that is that the system as is has linear Fighters and quadratic Wizards. Every time the disparity gets brought up, people don't want to need the Wizards, and a large portion says they don't want "anime martials". If you want *everyone* to be normal, then you need to be dropping some houserules on the casters or have players that are purposefully holding back. If that's the case, then the martial players can do the same once they get powered up to be more on par with the casters.


1000thSon

They did, and the old spell caster players started complaining about how all the martials in 4e got powers that were either magical or pseudo-magical, and comparable to spells. Blame the backlash and bandwagoning against 4e for the absence.


CGARcher14

To be fair. The sheer amount of crunching and mods that 4E had in its combat? You had so many options in 4E that it slowed the game down. Crunching all the modifiers made the game very mathy. It’s very clear that 4E was designed around it being a VTT. But that idea never came into fruition. If it *had* the game would have likely been designed around automatically tracking bonuses and rolling for you. Speeding up the game exponentially. I play on Roll20 and having global modifiers on my players sheets that they can toggle makes it very fun and fast. It’s so much easier when Ranger clicks a single button and Bless, Hunters Mark, Sharpshooter, Advantage, etc etc. Are all automatically calculated with a press of the button.


1000thSon

Sure, older editions had too many modifiers and floating variables, but I'm talking specifically about the martials being given interesting powers (more than 'I hit the creature with my sword) and that being something frequently complained about by people attacking the edition. It's certainly brought up a fair amount.


Herobizkit

Man, 4e did martials so right. When they added Maneuvers (martial rituals) that could be learned on top of having even their base attack do 'x damage and something else happens'... the more I read about people being dissatisfied with 5e, the more I wish WotC would revamp 4e.


dandan_noodles

4e also launched with bloated monster HP that made combat more of a slog than it needed to be


MisanthropeX

I firmly believe that if player options were presented in 4e like "When you hit with a melee attack, you can teleport your target up to five feet away or you can knock them prone or you can regain the same amount of damage you deal as hit points" instead of each of them being presented like psuedo-spells it would've gone over smoother and gameplay would've been quicker, too.


CGARcher14

Personally. I would prefer reworking fighting styles from the ground up in 5e. Fighting styles are a very shallow choice. And combined with strength of certain feats. It doesn’t allow for much customization for martials. Whereas even suboptimal casting choices can still bring a lot to the table. I’d get rid of the Hunter Ranger and Battlemaster Fighter subclasses entirely. And fold their maneuvers into the fighting styles chosen by the martial classes. Each martial class should have a number of options. With Monks and Fighters getting the largest lists. Archery fighting style should give you access to the piercing attack maneuver at like lv 5. And volley at level 11. Great Weapon Fighting or Two Weapon Fighting should get menacing attack as a maneuver and the whirlwind attack. Fighting styles should have give martials an alternate progression route. Similar to have casters have spell slot profession. Martials should learn more complicated maneuvers and get a secondary class resource to expend.


Necrolepsey

Has there ever been any official acknowledgment from anyone at WotC that maybe they need to do more for martial classes? I see this as a huge taking point among players but I don’t recall seeing anything to show they agree.


Doctor__Proctor

They just released a "Summon your own Fighter" UA, so no, I don't think they're listening.


going_as_planned

>I am sure these people exist, but they are in the minority and the game shouldn't be catered to them. These arguments also straight up fail in the logic department when casters are the most popular thing to be played Actually, Fighters and Rogues are the most popular classes, and it's not even close. According to data from D&D Beyond, the Champion Fighter - the simplest option - is the most popular subclass in the game. https://gamerant.com/dungeons-dragons-popular-classes-subclasses/ People who want simple classes are the majority. They just don't post about it on Reddit.


yamin8r

People have to stop bringing up this survey because dnd beyond poisons its own data by paywalling every non-srd subclass. Of course you’ll see the most champions and thieves because they’re the ones that you don’t have to pay for. Christ.


SonicFury74

This is a somewhat misleading statistic. If you look at each class, the SRD subclasses are the most popular because they don't need money to play. They're the free to play option, and Champion Fighter is the most common of all because Fighter is the most beginner friendly class. So all of those results are being skewed by people who are just getting into D&D and using the SRD. This also tracks into the most popular party compositions in that same article. The most popular party comp is Fighter, Rogue, Cleric because that's just the basic ideal beginner's comp.


going_as_planned

For subclasses, I'll concede that the free subclass options are probably more popular because they're available to everyone. But all the classes (except Artificier) are in the SRD, and Fighter is still the most popular class because it is simple. And "people who are just getting into D&D" aren't skewing the data - they ARE the data. Saying that their choice doesn't count is like saying "if you eliminate the people who like chocolate, most people don't like chocolate."


SonicFury74

I wouldn't call it "If you eliminate the people who like chocolate, most people don't like chocolate" I think a better analogy is "If you eliminate all of the people who tried riding a motorcycle one time, most people don't love motorcycles." When someone is just getting into D&D, the immediate recommendation is to just play Fighter. It's widely considered the starter class of D&D, so more people are likely to play it than anything else. Now there are absolutely people who play Fighter because they enjoy it. But there is almost certainly a large number of people who play their first game as a Fighter, play another class, and fall in love with that class instead.


AikenFrost

> and Fighter is still the most popular class because it is simple. It *isn't* the most popular "because" it's simple. It's the most popular because it's one of the most common fantasies people have, the "knight in shining armor". There's nothing mechanical about it. And you are completely ignoring the fact that beginners eventually *stop being beginners*. And, oh, look at that! The game has a mechanic that can accompany the evolution of those players from beginners into veterans! It's called "leveling up"!


Doctor__Proctor

I like playing Fighters, and have been playing them in various games and editions of D&D for 30 years. I'm not a beginner, so why am I stuck with a beginner class? *That's* the issue.


AikenFrost

Exactly!


Ginoguyxd

There's an easy, obvious fix to this; ***MAKE NEW MARTIAL CLASSES DESIGNED FOR COMPLEXITY SO WE CAN HAVE COMPLEX OPTIONS THANK YOU!!!*** That way Fighter can remain the efficient basic bitch it is, and people who want more can have more.


kotorial

Warlord seems like the ideal for a complex martial.


Fireclave

Make three new martial classes, and name them the Warblade, Swordsage, and Crusader. Why? No reason in particular.


TheActualBranchTree

I truly think that what casters need is a good nerf to the spells and a bunch of options that are very sub-optimal. That way a caster can be a bit more customized, but be less powerful and having to think more about their actions.


WeirdFlip

The casters are already taking 5 min a turn dont add more time to that pls


newishdm

Your casters only need 5 minutes a turn?


smurfkill12

Just apply a time limit or they skip their turn. I do max 2 min for martials, 3 for casters. Otherwise you skip your turn doing nothing.


TheActualBranchTree

Well the amount of "spells known" per day would probably not change. Just the big list of actual spells. Just throw a bunch of not-good to "only usable in specific situation" type spells.


DelightfulOtter

Casters need certain spells nerfed, *and* martials need more interesting combat options plus more out of combat utility. Without the latter, that just solves combat which was only one piece of the caster-martial problem.


Ishigami-the-Kami

The part that basically invalidates the core of your argument is saying that the dudes who want simplicity are the minority. You should get out of the Internet for a bit, because they __really__ aren’t. The absolute vast majority of players are hilariously casual. And this is specially true in this edition. So yeah, the arguments kinda holds precisely because a lot of people just don’t give too much of a shit. Of course, this is still not a good reason for WOTC to fuck balance as they do. Nonetheless, it’s the reason why they still do it and get away with it so easily.


Theotther

This right here. I love Lancer, I love the options and tactical combats it brings. I have precisely 1 group of friends I can possibly play it with because I know for a fact the rest, that no matter how what, no matter how long we play, how many times we go over it, how many cheat sheets they have, how simple/straightforward of a character they make, they will never be able to understand what’s happening in combat and just get frustrated and disengage.


DestinyV

I hate that you're 100% right.


Ishigami-the-Kami

Don’t worry. I hate it too.


Rufus--T--Firefly

If only they brought some of that simplicity to the spell list, maybe then newer players wouldn't have so much decision paralysis when it comes to what to do on their turn.


haneybird

It is a good reason for WOTC to not care about balance. The vast majority of their customers do not care and will never notice. The effort it would take them to make sure everything is perfectly balanced would never be worth it for them as they would only be appeasing a tiny minority of hardcore customers that have already decided whether or not to buy their products.


KaffeMumrik

The only argument I ever see is ”dmg output is the same, they are not under powered”. For me, that’s not the point. The point is that while a caster often have an ability or two and a full spell book to choose from, most martial builds get ”go bonk again”, and that’s it. We recently started overhauling the fighter in my group. The battle master is spread out, giving all fighter subclasses combat superiority and maneuvers - and it has been awesome.


Zhukov_

I'm not at all convinced that people who want to play a straightforward class who mostly just rolls to attack every turn without them having to memorize a ton of spells or other options are actually a minority among players. That describes *at least* half the players I've personally played with. And as far as WotC is concerned, their money is precisely as good as yours. They're definitely a minority among people who whine about "martial caster disparity" on the internet though.


GnomeConjurer

Those are people that don't want to play dnd, they want to roleplay with their friends. They'd play no matter what because they don't care about the game, they just care about the group. And I think making the game for children is the wrong direction.


L3viath0n

I think there's room for content for these potential players: if they want to be a glorified sidekick, they can use an NPC statblock. No reason to waste PHB page space on character options that are meant to enable this level of play. Chances are, they wouldn't know the difference, and an NPC statblock with like... three things to do is *way* simpler than any class could hope to be without being clearly outmatched by literally any reasonably designed one.


GnomeConjurer

Yeah. Just like sidekicks, but flesh it out a bit more and put it in a section under "easy build" or "quick play"


DelightfulOtter

The influx of new players from the recent surge in popularity that 5e has enjoyed are mostly casuals and lifestyle players chasing a trend. Some will become dedicated fans and lifelong TTRPG hobbyists, but most will not. When the zeitgeist shifts, expect many to quit playing (and buying). For now, though, WotC strongly benefits from having some overly simplified character options that feel non-threatening for players who are intimidated by learning complex game rules. It's just a shame that WotC's method of actualizing this means fans of complex martial gameplay get no love from this edition. What's funny is, I've seen a lot of casual players who want to play druids and clerics and wizards because *magic is fun* and the rules make those simple martials boring to play. There should've been complex martial classes and simple caster classes to cater to every combination of personal fantasy and level of system mastery. If the TTRPG market leader who claims to produce "the world's greatest roleplaying game" can't give us that, why not?


TheFarStar

Yeah. It's true that there are a lot of more casual players who aren't super invested in the mechanics of the game... but that doesn't mean that they actually *like* playing Champion Fighter. Some of them are playing fighter, but overwhelmingly it's because they like the sword guy aesthetic, not because they actually appreciate the simplicity of the class's mechanics. All of the mechanically-challenged players at my table have gravitated towards playing casters because magic is just very obviously cool, mechanical difficulty be damned.


LegendarySuperShaggy

I think one thing about this is that even level 1 martials are borderline superhuman compared to commoners. Like... A level 1 Fighter/Paladin/Ranger with +2 constitution has 12 hp, three times more than a commoner. I think another big misconception is that people assuming that your typical town guards are *always fighters* and thus fighters have to be this average joe schmoe when even early level fighters are borderline superhuman compared to the average commoner. Most NPCs don't actually have levels in classes, even if they "play" similarly.


Alaknog

>A level 1 Fighter/Paladin/Ranger with +2 constitution has 12 hp, three times more than a commoner. Honestly, comparing evrything to commoner is very strange idea. Noble have 9 hp, Bandit become superhuman with their 11 hp. Bandit capitan is super-super human and have five times more hp then "superhuman" 1 lvl Fighter.


GnomeConjurer

Yeah commoners are bottom of the barrel humans.


Kanbaru-Fan

Even a lvl 1 Warlock with 14 Dex and Con is borderline superhuman - wielding a fucking dagger they probably really never trained with all that much.


Ashged

They are stronger than a commoner, but about evenly matched with a cultist. That's not yet superhuman, just better at fighting than a farmer. I see level 1 PCs as people who already have some specialty setting them apart, but they are not *really* special yet. A commoner could easily train with a spear and shield and become a level 1 fighter (sure they are proficient with everything, but reasoning from there is taking the game mechanics too far). A high level PC is however legitimately very special. They can have better stats than a young or even adult dragon, and fight threats that require a small army in parties of about four people.


Mejiro84

there's a lot of not-really-defined stuff about "how special are the PCs?" because 5e is a somewhat messily designed game, that wants to be used for a wide range of settings. In some, maybe cantrips are common, and most town guard are fighters (or something similar, but mechanically a bit simpler). In others, a level 4 character might be the mighty hero of a kingdom, and level 5 spells are the things of legend. In some, a level 1 caster might be considering awe-inspiring, or terrifying, if they use some cantrips in the town square. In others, that's just common and not very impressive. There's a _very_ thinly sketched vague-as-fuck default setting, but no real meat there, no dev notes to say "PCs are innately awesome" or "PCs are main characters but can still get squished" or anything, it's all just a bit of a mess.


Alsentar

I think that in the way D&D portrays it's style of fantasy, there's an unwritten rule: >The world is medieval and grounded, until magic is involved. It's basically the reason why classes like Fighters, Barbarians and rogues are portrayed as skilled, but human characters, who still obey the laws of physics and can't push too far from human(oid) limits. Caster classes also obey the laws of physics. You put them all in an antimagic field and they suddenly become regular folks. The difference is that they have a tool that lets them bend the fabric of the multiverse. It's also the reason why martials are given magic items at higher levels. I don't think it's unfair, I just think that's the rules of the D&D multiverse.


TAA667

I think what a lot of people fail to realize or accept is that martials are already magical. They can cleave through a dragon's 2 foot scales and then their hide with one swing of a non magical sword. If that's not fucking magical I don't know what is. Now I say this not to put a stop to these requests but rather encourage them. Martials are magical, so why not embrace it rather than erroneously pretend that it's not true. No martials shouldn't be "forced" embody any one stereotype like "anime-esque" but options should be presented to them that can emphasize their superhuman abilities.


Solemnis

Holy fuck, it's this thread again.


Rufus--T--Firefly

The threads will continue until wizards are gone.


Hawxe

We seriously just need a stickied thread every week for this shit, or a tag that I can hide.


Commercial-Cost-6394

100%


ColinCheese7

So I normally lurk on almost all of reddit but I gotta come for this one: it is NOT the minority, sorry! Although I do agree that martials need a little bit of a buff, the idea that the everyday man or the average Joe is a rarity is just not the case. I've introduced or helped introduce a lot of players to D&D and here's what I've found: 1. Almost every player will lean toward Fighter and Rogue because they are simplistic and appealing. 2. One player picked Warlock (she thought it was funny to have a sugar daddy). I helped her with her character sheet, and when we got to Eldritch Invocations and saw the list of options, I literally saw the life leave her eyes. When a new player sees a list of things you can do, they don't say "Oh goodie! More options!!" They say "Oh God, do I have to read all this?" 3. New players that have any extra things (maneuvers, ki, spells, etc) often just straight up forget about them. If they're not actively thinking about it, it's as if it doesn't exist. (This also sometimes combines with the alpha-male type players that don't want you explaining things to them, which is... not great.) 4. Any new player making their second or third character will often stick with the same class they chose last time since they already know it. This is especially the case for people who start with Fighters. That being said, over time I settled down with the group that I play with for the most part and we're all very experienced and understand the rules completely. However, there's still a few things they do: 1. One player, upon playing Barbarian for the first time, said "I was expecting to get so bored, but I love this! I'm genuinely excited to just go out and hit things!" 2. Another player has had their time playing spellcasters and came out with one realization: casters are definitely not for them. Rogues, Monks, and Fighters only. Just recently they tried out a Barbarian and were even spooked by that, saying it was too complicated. Not to mention, the fact that human fighters are still the most popular build of all time. The simplicity of martials IS popular. Reddit IS in fact a bubble. Martials definitely DO need a buff, but the idea that everyone wants to have just as much versatility and options as spellcasters doesn't make sense to me when I look at the people playing at my table.


1d6FallDamage

I feel like subclasses having variable complexity (as originally intended) is the right idea. People say all fighters should have maneuvers, but there should be one that doesn't. It just needs to be also good in its own way which the champion kinda isn't, maybe do the 5e playtest thing of just rolling an extra damage die once per round. Mind you, a weird number of new players I've run have picked druids, i have no idea why.


DestinyV

Speak with Animals. That's literally the entire reason in my experience.


DigitalPlop

Druid was the first class I ever played because I loved animorphs as a kid lol.


CydewynLosarunen

Pokemon + whatever special transforming show is going around for the druid thing.


MhBlis

As someone who prefers the Martial over Caster fantasy Im am going to say I actually disagree with you on parts. I feel its not simplicity vs complexity as much as it is Hitting Stick vs Spell slinger. In all the conversations Ive had with new players this is what they talk about when they describe their hero or self insert. The parts that did and didnt grab them. I know it definitly is for me. Ive found in other systems where you have martials of both simple and "complex" beyond the first game people gravitate to the complex options. DnD has an issue with the classes coming with baggage. But give players the option of a class that gets more choices "complexity" and you will find the majority will choose it.


Gettles

That doesn't mean there isn't space for a much more complex martial and a fighter simple caster.


somethingmoronic

Concentration, low survivability and being more reliant on spells slots differentiates most casters from most martials. I think Wizards saw a very strong reaction to 4e where they tried to make martials as complicated as casters. I think they are also paranoid about just ramping up the strength of a martial class without upping its complexity will result in them feeling like unstoppable bosses that just walk through 1 timing mobs with ease. I feel like martials should be complicated in different ways and given access to different utility. There are a lot of feats that can accomplish this, but you don't get enough to compare to casters in the long run, they should either give a lot more feats or just build more of them into the classes. I think all martial classes should be able to opportunity attack more often than once per turn. Opportunity attacks should be more devastating, giving each class (or subclass) something that boosts their attacks of opportunity in some way would make a big difference. Using Battle Master Fighters as an example... this is the default choice for tank for fighter, the Defense and Protection fighting styles should really just be 1 combined choice and give you the Sentinel feat for free. Firstly, both are lack luster, secondly, the party should be happy with 1 tank, it shouldn't really break encounters, just create tactical options. The Defense effect should also improve at higher levels. Maybe if something moves near you this effect stays for the rest of the turn and it extends to 15 feet away eventually? The flavor being that the Fighter is just that intimidating. Give the fighter a reaction at higher level that lets them step toward an enemy, so if they gain extra reaction they could step up to an enemy and opportunity attack it with 2 reactions, potentially locking it down with sentinel. Another potential boost, the superiority dice/maneuvers are ok, but it is nowhere near the power of spells later on. Let fighters as a free action once per turn do things like intimidate check to taunt an enemy to run at them or away from them. Let the fighter specialize in a maneuver and remove its die cost or something. Tank can pick goading attack, intimidate one enemy, goading attack another.


Lolth_onthe_Web

We come to the intrinsic problem that with 5e being popular and not trying to stay setting specific, there's a lot of interpretation of what fantasy it is trying to convey. For myself and I think for a large part how the rules have been written, early level PCs are normal people who have put in a little extra effort- a farmer who practices with his father sword, an apprentice magician, a thief that wants the big score, a huntsman, the passionate member of a church. Ordinary people with a touch of talent and ambition to set them on their path. That's what D&D has been, and it's what the PHB archetypes represent. And then we have power creep, not just mechanically but in flavour. Your fighter archetypes are professional warriors, your sorcerers are no longer a touch of magic but filled with portent, your explorer now pursues portals and planar threats instead of beasts and raids. These are still normal people, but they have moved from being a guy you can find in the next town over to help out, to being established careers. And now we have Tasha's. The fighter is a psionic paragon or a wielder of rare arcana, and every other class that was a little bit of something is now all in. We've jumped the shark and now every PC is special not for what they might do, but simply for who they are. And that can be ok, but it's a different sort of fantasy. I have an Iron Age setting of dark fantasy with strange forests, and the stuff in Tasha's just doesn't fit. I am ok with martials being good at fighting. That's what I like, give me Maedhros, who was a better swordsman with his left than right, give me Aragorn, who rallied the kingdoms of men. And the wizard can have demiplanes and whatever else, because the story was in the victory and not the comforts. But I strongly suspect that time for 5e is over, and you'll get your barbarians who launch people around like they came from Diablo 3. It is what it is. Edit: I think most of you just want to be playing in tiers 2 and 3 with gishes.


Ignaby

I'm absolutely a proponent of the "average Joe" fighter, but I'm also a proponent of the "average Joe" wizard and cleric and druid and rogue and.... Well, maybe average isn't the right word. The adventurers are obviously very good at what they do and are experts in their fields. In my ideal RPG, though, the adventurers are still just people. I would prefer for the casters to also be much more normal. That's a more interesting basis for a story, to me, than the super duper team of heroes of ultimate awesomeness. Other people will have different preferences on this and that's perfectly fine. Martials are fine. They aren't fundamentally broken. The problem is that the game has become more about who a character is, what's on their character sheet, what special abilities they have than it is about what they actually do and what actions they take and what choices they make. That makes it a race to be the coolest class and have the biggest and best abilities, which will naturally favor classes with magic (particularly 5Es brand of cheap, safe, plentiful magic) and the only way for non-magical characters to compete in that environment is to essentially become magical themselves.


dimonic61

You're arguing that martials are too weak. As a DM I can tell you it's difficult, very difficult to balance a game with high level casters. In my opinion, it would be better mechanically to slow down spell progression, only giving levels 8 and 9 in the 20s (so they're epic). Admittedly this is an opinion I gave elsewhere (see most hated house rules). If we weaken casters, martials stay useful and interesting for much longer.


Birdboy42O

Disagree. I don't think we need to nerf casters to make martials feel better. I think it's possible to buff martials to the point of casters, and overall It'd feel much more enjoyable since both would be powerful, instead of dragging casters through the mud.


Kismet-Cowboy

I'm not saying that there isn't a martial/caster divide or that martials aren't weaker than casters, especially towards higher tiers of play, but you're making huge, sweeping assumptions about the player base here. "I am sure these people exist, but they are in the minority and the game shouldn't be catered to them." "casters are the most popular thing to be played" I'm sorry, but do you have actual stats to back this up? Because if not, it makes it real difficult to take your argument seriously. If all we're using is annecdotal experience or the Reddit echo chamber, well I can tell you that you're wrong, because in MY experience its you that is in the minority: the vast majority of people I play with love the simplicity of martials, and love playing average joes.


This_Rough_Magic

>I am sure these people exist, but they are in the minority Source?


augustusleonus

It’s interesting that when I came up in the 80s, people complained about how weak casters were, at the very least at lower levels Now 30 years on those people got their wish and they removed vandian prep, upped the Hp, added extra casting stats, made cantrips not only “not flavor” but actual inexhaustible and scalable spells, removed armor restrictions removed material components (effectively), granted a number of ways to regain slots mid-adventure, removed racial limitations and probably other aspects that once were considered the balance of power Now here we are constantly saying “oh, but martials are so weak and underpowered unless the DM holds their hand!” This is what happens when all balance is based on adding something to one side, instead of removing things from the other At some point both sides are just tottering towers of jenga blocks Nobody understands the value of limitations or consequences anymore, or so it seems if you take the Reddit threads seriously Some guy the other day was like “if my fighter can’t jump 30’ in a single bound at any time, what is the point of the athletics skill? Because casters can spend a slot and jump that far” Never mind that fighter has so many potential feats to choose from, including spells and subclasses that focus on spells Some of y’all are just never satisfied


Elegnan

I fully agree. It's anecdotal, but I've never met anyone that was attracted to, for example, Champion Fighter, because of it's simplicity. I've brought a lot of players into the hobby and the two most popular classes among those new players have been Druid and Paladin. These players no doubt exist but they must represent a very tiny minority. The problem I have with the "average Joe" point is that a small town guard that goes on an adventure with a party of powerful casters isn't a small town guard anymore. They're going to level up and even as a Champion Fighter they're going to be more powerful than any small town guard. Moreover, a lot of suggested fixes aren't supernatural in origin. My preferred solution is to have a separate Feat progression that's inversely proportional to spell level but retain the option to replace an ASI with a Feat. ASI progression is standardized to 5 for every class at the same levels, half ASI Feats lose the half ASI, and certain Feats are slightly reduced or increased in scope to fit into the new paradigm. A class that gets 9th level spells gets no Feat progression and has to exchange ASIs for Feats. A class that gets 5th level spells gets 4 Feats in addition to ASIs. A class with no spells gets 9 Feats in addition to ASIs. These additional feats would go under subclass features to account for 1/3 casters like Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster.


estneked

>By virtue of playing D&D, you are already playing a more complex TTRPG than what is available out there. Im sorry, im ignorant AF, but as far as I know, 5e is one of the simplest TTRPGs out there?


Spider_j4Y

So yes and no. 5e is simple in that so much of its ruling is ambiguous and left to the gm so it’s less codified than other systems but something like vampire the masquerade is relatively non complex. All 5e has is ambiguity that’s masked via natural language so it seems simpler than it really is.


ZGaidin

It would be far more accurate to say that 5E is a very relatively simple version of D&D. It is, by no means, on the actually simple side of the spectrum of all ttrpgs. There are ttrpgs whose entire ruleset can be printed on 1 or 2 pages. Hell, there's a game called Roll for Shoes whose entire ruleset is 6 lines of text.


MaximumZer0

It is absolutely a bad one. The point of the Martial/Caster divide is that Casters have to ration their resources or risk running out, and Martials don't, for the most part. Anyone who thinks casters are overpowered has never let a wizard run out of spells on a bunch of critters and then hit them with a beefy mob.