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


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ECMO3

Hero
It’s also misrepresenting my position. When I said that I cast Bless and I got nothing else to do, I didn’t mean I just sit back, but rather that I have nothing interesting or that further supports my team to do. Plinking away with Sacred Flame or swinging a weapon is not my idea of playing a ‘Support’ character you know? It’s just going through the motion until the fight’s over or someone needs an emergency heal.

If you did almost as much damage as a fighter you would be helping more, it would not be just "plinking".

Wasn't it ECMO3 who previously suggested tanking with a rogue? By spending feats on medium armor and shields? And implied this was the most efficient type of Rogue his group had come up with?? Somehow?
I don't think so. I have played Rogues with medium armor, but they were always multiclassed and they are not primarily melee characters. I do use Rogues in melee sometimes, but I would not call any I have ever played melee builds. They are usually either ranged builds or builds that do some of both melee and ranged.

I may have said if you are going to build a strength-based Rogue you should get medium armor proficiency. It is a half-feat so I think that is a pretty good option and if you did it with a VHuman you could start with a 17 strength and then take heavy armor at 4th level for an 18. If you did that you could run an 8 dexterity and on point buy that would give you a lot for other skills, but I have never played such a character.

I have played a Rogue-Rune Knight Grappler who was a melee character in heavy armor, but she only had 2 Rogue levels for the expertise in Athletics and bonus action dash (for dragging grappled enemies). I would call her a fighter, not a Rogue.

I have only played one character total in 5E that used a shield. That was a Tempest Cleric/Fathomless Warlock. Some other characters may have used a shield on occasion, or for a specific fight but not normally. Shields really muck up my play style because they get in the way of casting spells with S or M and cause all kinds of "hands" issues, you can't just drop them and you are limited to a single ranged attack while holding one. I am thinking of playing a Mountain Dwarf Order Cleric/Enchantment Wizard with an 8 strength, heavy armor and a shield, but he won't carry any weapons so he will still have a free hand.

I have suggested tanking as a bladesinger and they are awesome at that. I also pointed out that you can do that as a Dwarven strength-based bladesinger and get heavy armor proficiency, dump dexterity and use a heavy 2-handed weapon. I have never done it myself, and you would give up using bladesong, but you would still have a good AC and the bladesinger version of extra attack.

And I play in multiple groups not just one.
 
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But it is even better and more fun for the table to limit it to once per short rest .... if you chose that fighting style and never get to use it at all if you don't. That keeps the fighter from overshadowing other characters in combat.

You truly believe that imposing disadvantage to hit other party members on one or two creatures is going to "overshadow" the other characters? More than say, a Fireball or Hypnotic pattern would?

Fireball or Hypnotic Pattern are not melee attacks. It will completely overshadow other characters in melee, especially when combined with extra attack, better weapons and the extra ASIs a fighter gets.
How? By being hit more than the other melee characters?

Because that is not melee! Hypnotic pattern and fireball are not melee attacks. This is like saying a Longbow is a better melee weapon than a scimitar. It isn't because a longbow is not a melee weapon, you don't make melee attacks with it, and if you have a longbow in your hand you won't dominate melee with it.

Suggesting the Wizard can dominate melee with fireball is like saying the PAM fighter can dominate spellcasting with his Glaive

Hypnotic Pattern and Fireball are spells, a wizard casting them might dominate combat with them (but I would argue they are not actually good spells for that either), but they won't dominate melee with those spells.
I think perhaps you should refresh yourself on the discussion we're actually having. It is not specifically about melee. We are talking about the Fighter being able to impose disadvantage to hit opponents other than themselves if they land a blow. That is a control and support ability as Hypnotic Pattern is.

The discussion is about who is better in melee. A high-strength cleric with a good heavy armor and martial weapon subclass can be close to a base no subclass fighter in melee in tier 1 and maybe early tier 2, but he is going to be outrun by quite a bit later in tier 2 and that gap will get wider still in tier 3 and beyond.
I'm fairly sure that Clerics aren't going to completely embarrass themselves, what with Divine Strike, and Spirit Guardians or a celestial fighting next to them.

I am not sure a Bard can ever really match up with a fighter in melee at all, although to be fair I don't play a lot of them .... mostly because they suck.

Sure they have spells, but most of their spells are not melee oriented and most actually reduce your melee damage because they take a full action to cast. There are some are good melee bonus action spells - sanctuary and shield of faith come to mind, but their power is limited and if you are casting sanctuary every turn after you make your melee attack you are going to run out of spell slots quickly.
Melee-oriented Bards get as many attacks as Fighters do for most of their usual career. Even if the campaign continues much beyond 11th level they are a full caster with whatever spells they have plundered from the Paladin or other lists.

I was replying to someone and his point was that clerics don't have enough to do enough in combat, that they don't have enough support options and their attacks are irrelevant so there is nothing to do. I was pointing out that if you make the fighter more powerful the cleric will be even more irrelevant by comparison.

Keeping the fighter better but in the same ballpark makes the other characters weapon attacks and to a degree cantrips more relevant. Still not as good, but meaningful. If your fighter is doing 70DPR, who cares if your cleric can tack on 8 more with his mace. If your fighter is doing 20DPR that boost matters.
How would the Fighter being able to focus enemy attacks more on themselves and less on the other characters change this for the worse?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I think that's the problem. For some the players of fighters should have as much narrative control as they could envision a star athlete to have.
Let's examine that, IMO one would need to have such a complex and detailed model of the world and each encounter and be able to sufficiently describe all the details that model uses to the players that play would bog down to a standstill - if one were to want non-narrative control to function similarly to a star athele.

Due to the above issues, past attempts have removed almost all nuance from such abilities and had them just be that you can always attempt them. The theory being that the star athlete can attempt anything he wants at anytime, but that's not particularly realistic for a star athlete either. Star athletes don't just attempt to steal, slam dunk or shoot three pointers all the time or sack the qb, intercept the ball, or cause a fumble - even if they could attempt those things all the time, they wait for the right/good opportunity to try them - meaning that some plays/turns should have higher or lower chances of success. yet ttrpg play doesn't provide that level of complexity and detail. So IMO, if you want 'at will attempts' you have to add to the model some nuance of opportunities that enhance the likelihood of success or you are missing out on important details (and again that's very complex if you are trying to bake that into the world instead of into a limited use ability).

IMO, without the opportunities factor making some attempts more likely than others, I think giving a star athlete the at will ability to 'intercept or force a fumble, etc' is also giving the player just as much narrative control as a limited use ability. As noted above star athletes only attempt to intercept or force a fumble or slam dunk or shoot a 3 pointer at the opportune moment. Using the at will ability would be implying there was an opportune moment right now and declaring there was an opportune moment is narrative control! It's kind of amazing people view at-will all the time with no/limited external factors to success as 'not narrative control'.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I think perhaps you should refresh yourself on the discussion we're actually having. It is not specifically about melee. We are talking about the Fighter being able to impose disadvantage to hit opponents other than themselves if they land a blow. That is a control and support ability as Hypnotic Pattern is.

But you are doing it as part of landing a blow. If you want this kind of thing, I think it would be better to separate it form his attacks, have it be a spell or special ability he uses as an action or have it replace action surge.


I'm fairly sure that Clerics aren't going to completely embarrass themselves, what with Divine Strike, and Spirit Guardians or a celestial fighting next to them.

By the time Clerics get divine strike fighters are substantially ahead with a full extra attack and an extra ASI in addition to their fighting style and action surge and that is assuming you are using a Cleric with martial weapons.

Spirit Guardians is an action to cast, it eliminates any melee damage in the round he casts it in exchange for 13.5 damage per round on failed saves after that (or half with a successful save), possibly to multiple enemies, until he loses concentration. Multiple enemies ramps up the near-term damage but it also virtually assures he is going to lose concentration unless he has burned a feat for either warcaster or resilient con, which will put the cleric 2 ASIs behind the fighter.

Spirit guardians is an awesome, but I would not really call it a melee spell, in part because of the lost turn to cast. Your actual melee damage is going to go down if you cast it. think spirit guardians is actually best when fighting a single enemy and combining it with healing spells and staying out of melee range (but just in SG range). The best is when your melee guys are at like 1hp. Put up spirit guardians and then heal them every turn so they keep popping back up after they are downed. This is extremely difficult for an enemy to counter as long as you have 2 blockers, aid and the enemy has no AOEs.


Melee-oriented Bards get as many attacks as Fighters do for most of their usual career. Even if the campaign continues much beyond 11th level they are a full caster with whatever spells they have plundered from the Paladin or other lists.

But they are behind fighters in melee. Swords Bards get medium armor and a fighting style but are behind because they still don't have great weapons. Valor Bards get the weapons but no fighting style. and none of them get action surge or the extra ASI.

I am not saying you can't build them to be good in melee, but they are putting everything they have including a subclass just to be close to even with a base fighter.

How would the Fighter being able to focus enemy attacks more on themselves and less on the other characters change this for the worse?
Fighters can already do that:

The basic fighter can do it once a short rest with only class features (twice if you spend the extra ASI he gets on martial adepts). Twice a short rest is essentially once a fight, more than once a fight if you have less than the standard 6 fights-2 short rests.

The Cavalier subclass can do it at will. If you really want to do this why aren't you playing a Cavalier? And if we give this to all fighters, don't you think that severely infringes on a cavalier which is already on the low end of fighter subclasses? You are basically taking his best low level feature and giving it to every fighter.

A battlemaster that gets superior technique and martial adept can do this 6 times a short rest which means almost every round of combat, or almost every attack in some games.

If you are asking why it should not be in the class, it is because they already get more than enough melee stuff in the basic class features. They are the best class at melee, there is no need to boost them further in that area.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'd like to see fighters have a mix of at-will abilities and limited-use abilities. I'd rather have limited-use abilities that are reliable and powerful than at-will abilities that require particular rolls or circumstances and/or don't have much impact.

That is, if given the choice between
  1. Once per round, push an opponent 5 ft in any direction.
  2. Once per combat (or maybe once per day), slam an opponent so hard they go flying 30 ft away and deal some amount of damage to everyone they hit on the way.
I'll take option 2 every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Nods, number 2 has the wow factor which is missing from modelling the guy from the gym.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If you really want to do this why aren't you playing a Cavalier? And if we give this to all fighters, don't you think that severely infringes on a cavalier which is already on the low end of fighter
I think perhaps the PDK and Cavalier are so far low end they ought to collapse into the core class... it really just makes the fighter more flexible not really more powerful, isn't that what people perhaps incorrectly claim for the caster? that their flexibility and ridiculous amounts of control does not make them more powerful.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think perhaps the PDK and Cavalier are so far low end they ought to collapse into the core class... it really just makes the fighter more flexible not really more powerful, isn't that what people perhaps incorrectly claim for the caster? that their flexibility and ridiculous amounts of control does not make them more powerful.
I am having fun playing my cavalier multiclass right now. Admittedly I have never played a PDK, but a Cavalier has exactly what people are saying is needed in a fighter.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I am having fun playing my cavalier multiclass right now. Admittedly I have never played a PDK, but a Cavalier has exactly what people are saying is needed in a fighter.
Cool anecdote and It may reach the capability of a level 1 -> 4e defender fighter by 18th level maybe with some limits (although the 4e will likely eventually have multi-marking abilities like battle shouts and possibly self generating temp hit points and ways to do maneuvers like battlemasters do and so on in addition...AND that does not include abilities from Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Cool anecdote and It may reach the capability of a level 1 -> 4e defender fighter by 18th level maybe with some limits (although the 4e will likely eventually have multi-marking abilities like battle shouts and possibly self generating temp hit points and ways to do maneuvers like battlemasters do and so on in addition...AND that does not include abilities from Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies.
Well as I said I am having fund and I generally didn't in 4E .... so take that for what it is worth.
 

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