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D&D 5E Battlemaster and Superiority Dice are causing martials to suffer.

FallenRX

Adventurer
People usually see battlemaster and its maneuver system as a cure for the issue of the martial caster gap, and i can understand why, martial have a terrible issue of a lack of options, and battlemaster gives resources and options, which make the class feel far more dynamic and interesting.

But here is my issue, one of the reasons why martial are suffering is because

  1. Martials cannot do certain actions because thats what the battlemaster does.
  2. Martials and what they do are tied to resources...for no real reason.
These two ideas i feel limit martials from what i feel they could be, why can martial threaten people into attacking them, why cant they simply disarm and trip people, why can't they rally or parry and such. And why should any of this be on any resource?

Its silly, what resource am i spending to goad someone into an attack or making a distraction? Magic? No, Stamina? How much effort does it take to goad or shout orders? Evasive Footwork, and grappling sure, but basic stuff like that?

The idea martials need resources to do these things is insane, they should just be able to do them, Special Actions, like shove or grapple show a clearer way forward for martials, with actions they can trade out attacks to do to get unique options.

The issue with martials is the fact battlemaster exists so other martials cant get these options, and the fact that they are on an arbitrary resource that represents nothing but trying to imitate 4E's power system, which was just as nonsensical and one of the reasons that game failed.

I feel we can do better than just turning martials into casters with a different resource, Martials defining trait is always being able to act without being tied to resources on what they can do, so i feel we should design them around that.

Martials should be characters of action, who just do, while casters should be powerful but limited by resources, I feel like limiting martials to resources to do technique is absurd, they should always be able to do a lot with a action, even PF2E which a lot of people praised for solving the issue did so in this way.

But thats just my opinion on this, how do you feel?

TLDR; Battlemasters hogging all of the special techniques martials should just be able to do, and the idea that doing these things cost some weird limit hurts the martial experience overall. Martials should just be able to do these things with attacks/actions themselves being the resource, and they should not have weird limitations
 

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MarkB

Legend
It's silly, what resource am i spending to goad someone into an attack or making a distraction? Magic? No, Stamina? How much effort does it take to goad or shout orders? Evasive Footwork, and grappling sure, but basic stuff like that?
For most of that the resource you should be spending is time. Any such actions would require you to stop dedicating yourself solely to attacking as efficiently as possible. The Battlemaster specialises in incorporating such things into their normal attacks.

That said, you should really check out Level Up Advanced 5th Edition, which gives maneuvers to a lot more classes.
 

FallenRX

Adventurer
For most of that the resource you should be spending is time. Any such actions would require you to stop dedicating yourself solely to attacking as efficiently as possible. The Battlemaster specialises in incorporating such things into their normal attacks.

That said, you should really check out Level Up Advanced 5th Edition, which gives maneuvers to a lot more classes.
No Time is spent via actions, what im spending is some weird dice called superiority dice.
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
As someone about to wrap up an A5E campaign, maneuvers were what we thought we wanted but weren't actually what we wanted. It's the Battlemaster problem writ large: extra resource to track, specific moves that allow for specific things. And asking someone to not attack so they can disarm or something instead just feels BAD, because it's almost always suboptimal.

What I ended up doing for a player that wanted more flexibility, and will be doing going forward, is using the Proficiency Dice variant in the DMG. If your PD comes up a 4 or higher, you get to add a lil summ summ to your attack: disarm that enemy, knock 'em over. The character using this system has been having a blast throat punching casters to silence them for a round and throwing weapons at eyes to blind. Typically these effects are all short-term, but it gives the player the juice to do something more fun and still be effective.

Took inspiration from people gushing about Dungeon Crawl Classic's Warrior, found a way to make it work, and it's been great.
 

No Time is spent via actions, what im spending is some weird dice called superiority dice.
The point was everyone is spending time. The BM is only spending dice. They are the exception. Everyone else can do maneuvers, but they need to spend an action and probably succeed on a check (possibly opposed).

Now the play test did have maneuvers for all martials (and dice), but it didn’t poll well so they reduced it to just a fighter subclass. So blame the fans!

Personally I liked it. However, as someone else pointed out, LevelUp has you covered. So does Tasha’s to an extent.
 

As someone about to wrap up an A5E campaign, maneuvers were what we thought we wanted but weren't actually what we wanted. It's the Battlemaster problem writ large: extra resource to track, specific moves that allow for specific things. And asking someone to not attack so they can disarm or something instead just feels BAD, because it's almost always suboptimal.

What I ended up doing for a player that wanted more flexibility, and will be doing going forward, is using the Proficiency Dice variant in the DMG. If your PD comes up a 4 or higher, you get to add a lil summ summ to your attack: disarm that enemy, knock 'em over. The character using this system has been having a blast throat punching casters to silence them for a round and throwing weapons at eyes to blind. Typically these effects are all short-term, but it gives the player the juice to do something more fun and still be effective.

Took inspiration from people gushing about Dungeon Crawl Classic's Warrior, found a way to make it work, and it's been great.
I like that idea. I could see it tied to you to hot roll too. So 5 over the hot number allows you to add a maneuver of sorts
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
I like that idea. I could see it tied to you to hot roll too. So 5 over the hot number allows you to add a maneuver of sorts
I've never heard of a hot number, but if it's just the DC (or AC of an attack target), then yeah, that was something I had considered. I think it would be a lower chance than 4 or higher on the PD, especially as it increases in size, but if giving the martial a 25% chance to do cool stuff like the wizard can at will (I'm very biased here, excuse the snark please) seems to high, 5 over AC is a way to mitigate it a bit.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
The point was everyone is spending time. The BM is only spending dice. They are the exception. Everyone else can do maneuvers, but they need to spend an action and probably succeed on a check (possibly opposed).

Now the play test did have maneuvers for all martials (and dice), but it didn’t poll well so they reduced it to just a fighter subclass. So blame the fans!

Personally I liked it. However, as someone else pointed out, LevelUp has you covered. So does Tasha’s to an extent.
This is exactly how I see it, a champion could spend their Action to attempt to goad someone into focusing on them, the battlemaster does it with a single enhanced attack.
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
This is exactly how I see it, a champion could spend their Action to attempt to goad someone into focusing on them, the battlemaster does it with a single enhanced attack.
I'm not sure I'd ever have a player look at the options 1) Attack, multiple times for most of the campaign and 2) try to goad the opponent into hitting you instead of your friends and do nothing else, and then choose number 2 on purpose except in some weird edge case.

Wrapping extra effects into the things the martials already want to do because they're mechanically incentivized to do so (mostly taking the Attack action) means that you actually see these narrative adjusting actions in play instead of them being some theoretical "well, you COULD use your action to..."

Which is to say that I agree with the thread's premise: the existence of the Battlemaster drags other martials down. All martials should be able to goad, trip, disarm, and it shouldn't cost some specialized resource to do it, and it shouldn't feel like you're handicapping yourself to do something other than "I walk forward and swing twice."
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd take inspiration from some old UA feats that allowed special weapon tricks when you had Advantage and you gave up on the 2nd d20 to add an effect. Similar to the Samurai's Rapid Strike.

or (from the same UA, IIRC)

When you roll with Advantage and both die would hit the target's AC, you can do a cool trick.
 

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