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

One thing I have been surprised about in the games that I run is against using Battlemaster fighters, as "too fiddly". I've had at least four players who have either gone Barbarian or Champion Fighter because they don't want the extra complexity inherit to the Battlemaster's maneuvers - or that is at least the perception of the subclass. It's why I brought them up earlier.

Have other groups encountered the same thing? It almost seems like the divide is play a Wizard/Cleric to do cool stuff or play a Fighter Champion to do simple hack'n'slash combat. Battlemaster gets left out of the scene except for a very small group of individuals, who eventually end up leaning the Wizard or Champion direction after a while. Or run off and do monks.
I think there is an issue that Monks (and paladins, bladelocks, etc.) are compelling alternatives for people who want to play 'fighters, but with buttons and levers and dials' (So perhaps to the statement 'they don't make complex fighters,' they would say, 'they did, they just renamed them monk, ranger, paladin, etc.'). I think that there are plenty of people that treat D&D as beer&pretzel gaming and want to have to keep track of as little as possible (or to judiciously use. I know at least one person who probably underperformed a Champion with their Battlemaster because they consistently entered every rest with half or more of their superiority dice left unspent, because they were worried that they would need them later). I think there are plenty of people who don't see mechanical complexity as inherently beneficial and just want to be able to attack when it comes time to fight (possibly the same people who would rather 'say what my character says' for social encounters rather than have social resolution mechanics).
 

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FallenRX

Adventurer
One thing I have been surprised about in the games that I run is against using Battlemaster fighters, as "too fiddly". I've had at least four players who have either gone Barbarian or Champion Fighter because they don't want the extra complexity inherit to the Battlemaster's maneuvers - or that is at least the perception of the subclass. It's why I brought them up earlier.

Have other groups encountered the same thing? It almost seems like the divide is play a Wizard/Cleric to do cool stuff or play a Fighter Champion to do simple hack'n'slash combat. Battlemaster gets left out of the scene except for a very small group of individuals, who eventually end up leaning the Wizard or Champion direction after a while. Or run off and do monks.
Tbh, this is always something people forget when talking about "battlemaster/resources should be for everything"
That WoTC did not make this decision arbitrarily to remove maneuvers from everything, it was something that was communicated to them by a large feedback in the biggest DnD playtest/feedback collecting cycle ever and that still holds true about how a lot of people feel about stuff like that.
 

Undrave

Hero
The real issue with Battlemasters is that there is no maneuvers past level 3. If one didn't fit at level 3, why should I want it later on?

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."
Though luck because even without Battlemasters it wouldn't be easy.
3e and Pathfinder have a ton of special actions all warriors can take. Disarm, Sunder, Trip, and (in PF1), things like push, drag, steal and Dirty Trick. Most of the time, players don't take those actions.

Part of this is yes, those editions made these maneuvers difficult without specialization. But the other part is, you give up an attack (or sometimes all attacks) to impose a status ailment on the target. Sometimes, like Disarm or Sunder, this can be a very good status ailment, but many times, it's not.

And giving up damage when, as many people say "the best status effect is Dead", is problematic. That's why Battlemasters spend a resource to do their thing, and still be able to deal their damage. If everyone could do this without spending a resource, and just spam "frightening strikes", that is exactly what they would do, and 5e isn't built to let non spellcasters have at-will damaging debuffs; indeed, a vocal group during the playtest specifically did not want this, instead wanting the Fighter of old, the heavy armored, tough, weapon damage dealer with no fancy moves or "magical" abilities (however you define such).
Pretty much. Martial don't get nice reliable stuff.

That said, I think 'Goading Attack' should be a thing ALL Fighters can do. Keep the save but remove the bonus damage from Superiority Dice, make creatures that resist charm immune to it. It would be a great replacement for marking and make them a good defender.
 

Undrave

Hero
One thing I have been surprised about in the games that I run is against using Battlemaster fighters, as "too fiddly". I've had at least four players who have either gone Barbarian or Champion Fighter because they don't want the extra complexity inherit to the Battlemaster's maneuvers - or that is at least the perception of the subclass. It's why I brought them up earlier.

Have other groups encountered the same thing? It almost seems like the divide is play a Wizard/Cleric to do cool stuff or play a Fighter Champion to do simple hack'n'slash combat. Battlemaster gets left out of the scene except for a very small group of individuals, who eventually end up leaning the Wizard or Champion direction after a while. Or run off and do monks.
Aah yes, the Champion Player... the reason why the Fighter SUCKS.

They really need to stop shoving the Pretzel Class into the Fighter! It hurts the whole thing! I don't care if you end up making another class that's thematically the Fighter again, just keep the Pretzel Class (or classes, where's the blaster?) from dumbing down every Martial archetypes!
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
I agree that Battlemaster is fiddly. You have to track your dice, what each of your maneuvers does specifically… that’s why I like a solution that has no resource, focuses less on the bonus damage of the BM, and allows for creativity.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The real issue with Battlemasters is that there is no maneuvers past level 3. If one didn't fit at level 3, why should I want it later on?


Though luck because even without Battlemasters it wouldn't be easy.

Pretty much. Martial don't get nice reliable stuff.

That said, I think 'Goading Attack' should be a thing ALL Fighters can do. Keep the save but remove the bonus damage from Superiority Dice, make creatures that resist charm immune to it. It would be a great replacement for marking and make them a good defender.
Unfortunately, there was also a lot of people who didn't want Fighters to be sticky or have 4e "marking" be anything like a core mechanic.
 

I think that the fighters should be able to do whatever options available in any sub class.
That way there won’t be prejudice or limitations!
 

Aah yes, the Champion Player... the reason why the Fighter SUCKS.

They really need to stop shoving the Pretzel Class into the Fighter! It hurts the whole thing! I don't care if you end up making another class that's thematically the Fighter again, just keep the Pretzel Class (or classes, where's the blaster?) from dumbing down every Martial archetypes!
split the fighter in 3 (I don't care what you call them)
the basic champion (I think we can keep it called fighter)
the complex battlemaster (warlord/warblade/swordsage/animeswordguy)
the gish eldritch knight (Bladesinger/swordmage/magus/duskblade)
 

Undrave

Hero
I agree that Battlemaster is fiddly. You have to track your dice, what each of your maneuvers does specifically… that’s why I like a solution that has no resource, focuses less on the bonus damage of the BM, and allows for creativity.
Tracking superiority dice is the easiest thing to do... you just... use actual dice.
Unfortunately, there was also a lot of people who didn't want Fighters to be sticky or have 4e "marking" be anything like a core mechanic.
AUGH! What's the point of a meatshield that can't hold the line? If the DM's good will is the only reason the enemies don't rush past you it's pretty useless!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think it’s more the culture of “if it is codified in any way to a specific character type, you can’t do it without taking that option.”

It’s an absurd perspective on the game, but sadly widespread.

In reality, the BM having Disarming Strike tells us nothing at all about whether you can disarm someone. It just tells us that the BM who takes that maneuver can do so as part of a single attack, with a damage bonus on top, and can choose to do it after seeing that they’ve hit.

The difference is huge. Just the action economy and being able to choose it when you land a hit is incredible.

Likewise, letting Arcana allow you to figure out magical fields and items and such doesn’t negate Detect Magic and Identify. Those spells remain the only way to just snap your fingers and get the info, no check required. Identify remains the only way to find out the item is cursed. Etc.
 


Still haven't seen an idea as good as the Bushi in Adventures in Rokugan.

Having a per-turn generated 1d4 points that you can stack (to a cap) and spend on abilities is super fun to play. Being able to replace attacks and use them as reactions and bonus actions gives a fighter a chance to play simple (favoring just 1-2 techs) or get really diverse and go all out trying things.

The Bushi even works in core 5E, and is pretty much balanced along 5E class lines. If 5E ever just adopted the idea, man, like, even children can do it. No dice to keep track of. Per turn. Mmmm heat.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Still haven't seen an idea as good as the Bushi in Adventures in Rokugan.

Having a per-turn generated 1d4 points that you can stack (to a cap) and spend on abilities is super fun to play. Being able to replace attacks and use them as reactions and bonus actions gives a fighter a chance to play simple (favoring just 1-2 techs) or get really diverse and go all out trying things.

The Bushi even works in core 5E, and is pretty much balanced along 5E class lines. If 5E ever just adopted the idea, man, like, even children can do it. No dice to keep track of. Per turn. Mmmm heat.
The Bushi, Courtier, and Shinobi are amazing design.
 

Stormonu

Legend
split the fighter in 3 (I don't care what you call them)
the basic champion (I think we can keep it called fighter)
the complex battlemaster (warlord/warblade/swordsage/animeswordguy)
the gish eldritch knight (Bladesinger/swordmage/magus/duskblade)
One of the ideas I have been working on is turning the Ranger into the battlemaster class (Ranger as in a commando, instead of an Aragorn). Trade manuevers for spells, with a subclass having the spell abilities.
That leaves Fighter more or less the basic champion
Paladin would be the divine fighter/spellcaster, and I've been working on a Battlemage which would be the arcane fighter/spellcaster.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Tbh, this is always something people forget when talking about "battlemaster/resources should be for everything"
That WoTC did not make this decision arbitrarily to remove maneuvers from everything, it was something that was communicated to them by a large feedback in the biggest DnD playtest/feedback collecting cycle ever and that still holds true about how a lot of people feel about stuff like that.
The core issue is that WOTC wanted only one "Fighter" class.

The survey displayed that there ws a clear desire for a "Simple Fighter: and a "Complex Fighter". WOTC forced them to be the same class instead of 2 separate class chassis.
 






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