D&D 5E Are Wizards really all that?


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jgsugden

Legend
I'd fix this problem in the next edition by having all spells have four levels of effect:

1.) Full effect: The equivalent of what happens if someone fails the save now.
2.) Partial effect: A half impact that gets across the brunt of the spell, but not all of it ... like half damage.
3.) Low effect: A minimal effect that is still something to notice, but is less than the partial effect. Something like 1/4 damage.
4.) 'No' effect: Generally, nothing - but in some cases this would still have some impacts. For example, you might have a 'no effect' of a web spell force the target to move out of the area of the web.

Then, we'd give monsters that would allow them to downgrade the effects of the spell from full to partial to low to no. Making a save could reduce it, but so would resistance. Creatures with legendary resistance would automatically downgrade all spells to partial effect as a starting block.

Damage spells are easy, but things like Hold Monster might be:

Full effect: Paralysis, resave at the end of each turn to downgrade.
Partial effect: Slowed, resave at the end of each turn to downgrade.
Low effect: Speed reduced by 10 feet, resave at the end of each turn to downgrade.
No effect: True no effect.
A monster that fails a save is paralyzed, but if they make it they are slowed. At the end of their next turn they could save again and downgrade it by a level. You might specify that a creature that makes the initial save instead moves to the no effect - that would be dictated on a spell by spell basis.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
*One of my projects is that I want to find a dataset of 5e SRD monsters and computationally generate and graph all these odds. If anybody knows of such a dataset, let me know.

Won't such an analysis have to assume each creature is encountered with equal frequency? I'm not a statistician, but I think it would be hard to make this sort of analysis meaningful for understanding actual play. (I have the same problems when people start counting immunities and resistances: yes, all devils are immune to fire and poison, but the conditions under which they are met are comparatively rare.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
I honestly don't know how people come to the conclusion that "Monsters tend to make saving throws much more easily than they dodge weapon attacks (that is, than PC's miss with their weapon attacks)"

Is that factual? I've never seen it. IME saving throws get worse, relative to save DCs as you level while AC generally gets better as to-hit bonuses go up (though not all the time. Some monsters remain easy to hit).

This is an interesting place-


It lets you view the various saving throws for monsters. It's pretty much what you expect (Int saves are usually the worst, Con saves are usually the best, saves start getting better at CR8). But you can play with it.
 

So here are actual stats from my campaign.
Rogue, Hit: 86% Damage Dealt: 11937
Sorcerer, Spell Landing: 65% (this includes save and attack roll spells), Damage Dealt: 8931

Screen Shot 08-24-22 at 09.11 AM.PNG


Ardwill = Range
Daxmog = Rogue
Manny = Sorcerer
Meinan = Fighter/Wizard
Sorin = Cleric
Will = Bard/Warlock
 



Reynard

Legend
Supporter
So here are actual stats from my campaign.
Rogue, Hit: 86% Damage Dealt: 11937
Sorcerer, Spell Landing: 65% (this includes save and attack roll spells), Damage Dealt: 8931

View attachment 258942

Ardwill = Range
Daxmog = Rogue
Manny = Sorcerer
Meinan = Fighter/Wizard
Sorin = Cleric
Will = Bard/Warlock
Off. Poor Sorin -- lowest damage output and tied for most KOs. Also, that player's (digital) dice HATE them.

Those rogue stats are a pretty strong condemnation of the design as anything other than a front line fighter dressed up in stealth cosplay.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
In combat, wizards have some significant advantages over martial characters (AOE burst damage, number of options), and some significant disadvantages (single target sustained damage, survivability). Focusing only on combat, though, misses a big part of the picture.

Out of combat, wizards are comparable to martial characters (except rogues) in terms of non-magical, skill-based capabilities, but they also have access to spells that can completely transform the state of an adventure (teleportation, scrying etc.). If I wanted to pull back some of wizards' power, my first step would be to reduce their number of skill proficiencies. That way, they'd be able to do powerful things out of combat in scenarios where their spells were applicable, but would be more reliant on skilled martial characters in other scenarios.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
In combat, wizards have some significant advantages over martial characters (AOE burst damage, number of options), and some significant disadvantages (single target sustained damage, survivability). Focusing only on combat, though, misses a big part of the picture.

Out of combat, wizards are comparable to martial characters (except rogues) in terms of non-magical, skill-based capabilities, but they also have access to spells that can completely transform the state of an adventure (teleportation, scrying etc.). If I wanted to pull back some of wizards' power, my first step would be to reduce their number of skill proficiencies. That way, they'd be able to do powerful things out of combat in scenarios where their spells were applicable, but would be more reliant on skilled martial characters in other scenarios.
Wizards that burn through powerful resources out of combat end up being terrible elemental archers in combat.
 

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