D&D 5th Edition How much should 5e aim at balance? - Page 76


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  1. #751
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I'm still talking about mechanical effectiveness. Just in a broader context.

    For example, one of the most broken abilities I'd ever seen (or so I thought) was the warlock's eldritch blast. Several d6 of damage at will? You could use it like a mining drill. You could do an infinite amount of damage very easily. The thing that sold me on it was the half damage against objects and slow progression. Is this mechanical? Yes. Is it in the context of a CR appropriate combat encounter? Not really.
    *Hands Ahenosis an ordinary greatsword* 2d6 + 1.5*Strength modifier damage at will. You could use it like a mining drill. You could do an infinite amount of damage very easily.

    One's no more broken than the other.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    *Hands Ahenosis an ordinary greatsword* 2d6 + 1.5*Strength modifier damage at will. You could use it like a mining drill. You could do an infinite amount of damage very easily.

    One's no more broken than the other.
    Better example may be a Monk that deals 1d10 damage unarmed. You can't disarm that one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    *Hands Ahenosis an ordinary greatsword* 2d6 + 1.5*Strength modifier damage at will. You could use it like a mining drill. You could do an infinite amount of damage very easily.

    One's no more broken than the other.
    True. The difference is that:
    *The warlock is new and flashy and magical and it looked overpowered at first sight.
    *DMs are more likely to enforce limitations such as the sword swinger getting tired, the sword getting broken, or the sword doing less damage against objects than they are to limit the mystical blast.

    Both of which pretty much characterize broader issues as to why magic tends to look more powerful than it really is in play.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    You can imagine a world with wizards and dragons but you can't imagine an amateur artist and entertainer being self-taught?

    Sure. I think most people use all kinds of non-rpg examples to form their conception of what a game should be (books, movies, etc.). I don't think game-specific examples are necessary.

    I wouldn't give it that title, but I would support the concept. The setting and the game itself are different though. I think far more people use (or ostensibly use) published settings as a backdrop for their campaigns than use complete prepared adventures.
    I don't think long term they are certain to fail. I just think starting out they aren't likely to be that good. There is a difference. In the early days of D&D most of us started out mediocre at best and progressed to much better with practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I don't think long term they are certain to fail. I just think starting out they aren't likely to be that good. There is a difference. In the early days of D&D most of us started out mediocre at best and progressed to much better with practice.
    Starting out at anything most of us aren't likely to be that good. There are no shortcuts on that point. You learn by doing. So I say to the beginners: do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    True. The difference is that:
    *The warlock is new and flashy and magical and it looked overpowered at first sight.
    *DMs are more likely to enforce limitations such as the sword swinger getting tired, the sword getting broken, or the sword doing less damage against objects than they are to limit the mystical blast.

    Both of which pretty much characterize broader issues as to why magic tends to look more powerful than it really is in play.
    You miss the counterbalancing issues. Direct obvious power is seldom a problem with casters and it's very easy to balance when it is. Casters don't often gain their power through things that look broken. They gain their power through things that make you say "Hmmm?" Polymorph. Save or Suck. Accumulation of little effects (none of Persistent Spell, Divine Metamagic, and Nightsticks are terribly broken on their own; combine the three...)

    Magic doesn't normally break when you throw it at things head on. It breaks when you have someone with a mixture of creativity, persistence, and attention to detail. And who works out ways to use things that weren't the direct intention but are consequences enabled by the magic. It's not the magic that looks powerful that is. Fireball looks powerful in 3.X. It's the magic that doesn't look flashy or is hyperflexible. Or just doesn't require rolls when it should (Knock, Spiderclimb).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    True. The difference is that:
    *The warlock is new and flashy and magical and it looked overpowered at first sight.
    *DMs are more likely to enforce limitations such as the sword swinger getting tired, the sword getting broken, or the sword doing less damage against objects than they are to limit the mystical blast.

    Both of which pretty much characterize broader issues as to why magic tends to look more powerful than it really is in play.
    Magic is more powerful in play. The humble warlock can take a little minor ritual to shatter any nonmagical item under like lvl*20 lbs. He can then point at the weapons and armor of anyone nearby, and say "break." And they break. This deals damage to everything near them. Giant has a greatclub? Break. The corrupt guard captain is in a suit of fullplate? Break.

    Goodbye to anything that's not using magical items (and if everything in your gameworld has magical everything, hello Monty Haul!).

    He can also make conal attacks, and fly at will. Cones projected straight down form circles, so he can get quite enormous attack radii. Not to mention line forms. And at high level he can drain levels. With 3 levels of Hellfire Warlock, he can also do very substantial damage (Eldricht blast just scaled miserably at high levels).

    So, in summary, a Warlock is far more impressive than any martial character in the PHB - fighters, monks, paladins, and rangers all end up looking rather lackluster next to a solid, well-played Warlock.

    But he still doesn't touch actual broken classes.

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