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


log in or register to remove this ad


ECMO3

Hero
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!

The point is not everyone wants to play a meatshield fighter who can hold the line. I know I don't. I don't play fighters a lot, but when I do they are generally either using bows of flying around the battlefield delivering strikes to specific enemies. If I want someone to "hold the line" and control, I am probably going to build a wizard or cleric for that, because their spell availability and selection make them better at it. Not saying you can't build a fighter for that, you can, but they are not ideal in that role.

In the end people just do not want that extra baggage on the core fighter and I think that is overwhelming from the play test. It is simple as that, and there are subclasses, feats and other classes for people who do want their fighters doing that.
 

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
Yeah this is a real issue that's been repeated across multiple different games, and 3E had it in spades, where it turned things into Feats and made everyone completely terrible at them unless they had the Feat (the Feat itself often having weird or very specific pre-reqs, too).
 


In the end people just do not want that extra baggage on the core fighter and I think that is overwhelming from the play test. It is simple as that, and there are subclasses, feats and other classes for people who do want their fighters doing that.
I think the big problem is that the same is true of virtually every class, but only Fighters got their core class made ultra-simple because of that.

If every core class was ultra-simple with complexity level being determined by subclass, well, we'd have a bunch of much more consistently designed classes, that's for sure. Instead we have a weird mess where it varies wildly and with no real rhyme or reason.

Further, the DNDNext playtest was 8 years ago in a very different world, and with very different goals to what D&D would have now, in 2022. It was completely grog-centric on every level, whereas it's inevitable that any playtest done now, when there are many times as many people playing D&D, and the overwhelming majority of them are new to D&D with this edition (most new to TT RPGs, too) would have very different results. Especially as the main proponents of Champion Fighters as "vital" and virtually everyone who claims to play one in a serious way is actually a 40-something or 50-something guy who is an extremely experienced player who just wants a specific style of character.
 

I think the big problem is that the same is true of virtually every class, but only Fighters got their core class made ultra-simple because of that.
part of the problem is some people just want a name written on the sheet and get mad if it changes... I found it in 4e but I see it in 5e as well.

in 4e fighter were built melee and rangers (spellless at that) were made to be range or melee. So people kept saying they had an archer fighter with a back up set of long sword/short sword but they could not play it in 4e... but when people said "Oh that could be an awesome ranger" they got told "Not a fighter doesn't count"

the problem is if you made a warrior class some people would complain "but it's not a fighter"

I even had a player joke about this in my martial game a few years ago... we used the classes from the middle earth book, and there fighter iscalled warrior and he said "I'm writing fighter"
If every core class was ultra-simple with complexity level being determined by subclass, well, we'd have a bunch of much more consistently designed classes, that's for sure. Instead we have a weird mess where it varies wildly and with no real rhyme or reason.
I think we should have simple and complex skill classes, simple and complex divine/primal casters and simple and complex arcane classes... but I also want simple and complex MARTIAL classes.
Further, the DNDNext playtest was 8 years ago in a very different world, and with very different goals to what D&D would have now, in 2022. It was completely grog-centric on every level, whereas it's inevitable that any playtest done now, when there are many times as many people playing D&D, and the overwhelming majority of them are new to D&D with this edition (most new to TT RPGs, too) would have very different results. Especially as the main proponents of Champion Fighters as "vital" and virtually everyone who claims to play one in a serious way is actually a 40-something or 50-something guy who is an extremely experienced player who just wants a specific style of character.
I just hope we get enough new blood testing and surveying
 

I just hope we get enough new blood testing and surveying
I think we will. Also with different people in charge of WotC and D&D, and a very different environment, it seems like the "special thanks"-type testers (who seemed to have been listened to ahead of the actual broad playtesters with DNDNext) will be nowhere near as retrograde. If they even have them this time.
 

I think we will. Also with different people in charge of WotC and D&D, and a very different environment, it seems like the "special thanks"-type testers (who seemed to have been listened to ahead of the actual broad playtesters with DNDNext) will be nowhere near as retrograde. If they even have them this time.
yes... I want a bigger pool of in house playtesters... I just fear that we will still (even with more diversity) be people who think like the WotC team. I also want the surveys and this public testing (that I think of more as gaging audience then playtest) to have 15 and 18 year old players that never played a previous edition and players that have only been playing since covid to equal or out number us who played TSR versions
 

yes... I want a bigger pool of in house playtesters... I just fear that we will still (even with more diversity) be people who think like the WotC team. I also want the surveys and this public testing (that I think of more as gaging audience then playtest) to have 15 and 18 year old players that never played a previous edition and players that have only been playing since covid to equal or out number us who played TSR versions
Yeah I think the one thing that worries me re: 5E UA/playtesting/etc. generally is that the current process is gathering feedback in a way that's massively more friendly to people aged like 30-50 with a lot of time on their hands than it is to the playerbase in general. Obviously WotC can account for that a bit by weighting opinions to reflect the percentages who actually play the game, but if they have tons of feedback from people over 30 but far less from people under 30 it's going to be less accurate.

Like, can I imagine myself at 16 or 20 having the patience to finish filling in the literally hundreds perhaps even thousands of checkboxes and radio buttons that every single UA asks you to do? Even in a world which required far more patience, as it did back then? I cannot, and I cannot imagine most kids today having that either. Indeed, I can barely hack it at 44 even as someone who does stuff like this as part of his job. I'm often very tempted to just go "Oh who cares!" 1/2-to-3/4s of the way through an endless survey. There are several surveys I just didn't even start because I didn't care enough to press all those buttons!

So I really hope they have some kind of nice surprise in the form of a more modern approach to the survey on the 1st, or that they open up more avenues of feedback.
 

Yeah I think the one thing that worries me re: 5E UA/playtesting/etc. generally is that the current process is gathering feedback in a way that's massively more friendly to people aged like 30-50 with a lot of time on their hands than it is to the playerbase in general.
yup...
Obviously WotC can account for that a bit by weighting opinions to reflect the percentages who actually play the game, but if they have tons of feedback from people over 30 but far less from people under 30 it's going to be less accurate.
I assume that is why they ask for demagraphics
Like, can I imagine myself at 16 or 20 having the patience to finish filling in the literally hundreds perhaps even thousands of checkboxes and radio buttons that every single UA asks you to do?
I would have (and this was hight of my 2e gameing) gotten half way through and decided working on a character/game or playing a video game was a better use of my time.
So I really hope they have some kind of nice surprise in the form of a more modern approach to the survey on the 1st, or that they open up more avenues of feedback.
yeah I hope they somehow have there ear to the ground on other ways too, I wont even pretend that I know what we should do
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think the big problem is that the same is true of virtually every class, but only Fighters got their core class made ultra-simple because of that.

If every core class was ultra-simple with complexity level being determined by subclass, well, we'd have a bunch of much more consistently designed classes, that's for sure. Instead we have a weird mess where it varies wildly and with no real rhyme or reason.

Wizard and Barbarian both have a simpler core class than a fighter does. Consider that there are 34 different choices you can make for fighting style alone in a base fighter. Rogue and Cleric are not too far off either.

Further, having simple class mechanics is not "a weird mess" it is what people wanted and what I believe they still want. There is a rhyme and reason to it - you build the fighter YOU want to the limits of the optional rules presented at the table you play. The ability to vary wildly is essential to that flexibility in character design.


Further, the DNDNext playtest was 8 years ago in a very different world, and with very different goals to what D&D would have now, in 2022. It was completely grog-centric on every level, whereas it's inevitable that any playtest done now, when there are many times as many people playing D&D, and the overwhelming majority of them are new to D&D with this edition (most new to TT RPGs, too) would have very different results. Especially as the main proponents of Champion Fighters as "vital" and virtually everyone who claims to play one in a serious way is actually a 40-something or 50-something guy who is an extremely experienced player who just wants a specific style of character.

I did not say the Champion was "vital", but it is the most widely played fighter and in fact the most widely played subclass of all. Complaining about Champion is like complaining about an IPhone. Your complaints might be valid, and maybe you can point out all the things other subclasses do better, that champion should also do. But at the end of the day Champion is good enough to be the top dog in terms of popularity and that makes an argument that it needs to be changed pretty weak overall.

Personally I have never played a champion and I never would unless it was a tournament-style one shot with pregen characters. It is not what I am looking for in a figther or PC in general. That doesn't mean other people should take it and be able to if they want to (and MANY do). There are plenty of build options to suit me, both inside and outside fighter.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think we should have simple and complex skill classes, simple and complex divine/primal casters and simple and complex arcane classes... but I also want simple and complex MARTIAL classes.
I think we need to stop defining classes as "divine", "arcane" or "martial". When we do it just seems people are making arbitrary stereotypes to pigeon-hole character design.

That said if we define a "martial" class as a class with no spells in the core, then we have four martials in 5E - Rogue, Barbarian, Fighter and Monk.

Of those, considering only class mechanics - Monk is pretty Complex, Rogue and Fighter are middle of the road and Barbarian is simple. Now you can build any of these to be simple or complex overall and you can build all of them to use spells (without feats even), at which point are they really even martials any more?
 

Further, having simple class mechanics is not "a weird mess" it is what people wanted and what I believe they still want.
I didn't say it was so that's kind of an elaborate tangent to go off on about a thing that isn't present lol jeez.
Wizard and Barbarian both have a simpler core class than a fighter does.
Only if you pretend spells don't exist. Wizards are infinitely more complex to build than Fighters because of spell selection alone. It's not even close. Barbarian is about the same. Cleric and Rogue are similar. That's it. Monk for example has drastically more totally unnecessarily shoved into the core chassis.
I did not say the Champion was "vital", but it is the most widely played fighter and in fact the most widely played subclass of all.
It's barely the former and definitely not the latter.

The last datapoint is from 2020, over two years ago, and Battlemaster was 1% behind. And a much earlier survey had Champion much further ahead, so we can say that Champion is likely rapidly losing ground to other subclasses. I have zero doubt it's behind Battlemaster by now - indeed it would take a bizarre reversal of trend for that to be true.

It's definitely not the most popular subclass, either. The same Beyond statistics which put it as "most widely played" (again by 1% over Battlemaster) put Warlock ahead of Fighter in popularity (13% Warlock, 12% Fighter), and Hexblade as by far the most popular Warlock subclass at 38%. Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer is also more popular than Champion, even though only 10% of players play Sorcerer, 28% play Draconic Bloodline.
But at the end of the day Champion is good enough to be the top dog in terms of popularity and that makes an argument that it needs to be changed pretty weak overall.
Except as I've demonstrated, it isn't. And Hexblade should never be changed, by that logic.

But I'm not necessarily arguing it needs to change, but rather if you object to a more complex default, all classes need chassis as simple as Fighters, and to have as much put into subclasses.
 

I think we need to stop defining classes as "divine", "arcane" or "martial". When we do it just seems people are making arbitrary stereotypes to pigeon-hole character design.
the new playtest will make that even harder
That said if we define a "martial" class as a class with no spells in the core, then we have four martials in 5E - Rogue, Barbarian, Fighter and Monk.
I can see an argument for it (I still only see rogue and fighter but I will give you this)
Of those, considering only class mechanics - Monk is pretty Complex, Rogue and Fighter are middle of the road and Barbarian is simple. Now you can build any of these to be simple or complex overall and you can build all of them to use spells (without feats even), at which point are they really even martials any more?
I just want to recreate the fun my group had with 4e fighters and warlords.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I just want to recreate the fun my group had with 4e fighters and warlords.
Well it's a little sad that 5e doesn't suit your group, but that doesn't mean you can't do some work yourself to recreate the feel of the fighter and warlord. Create subclasses, classes, or optional features to bring those options back in, or look at 3pp. One of the best adaptations I saw for the warlord was someone's homebrew which used the fighter with replacement features. Hit all the high points of the warlord from memory. Sadly I either never saved it, or have since misplaced it.
 

Well it's a little sad that 5e doesn't suit your group, but that doesn't mean you can't do some work yourself to recreate the feel of the fighter and warlord. Create subclasses, classes, or optional features to bring those options back in, or look at 3pp. One of the best adaptations I saw for the warlord was someone's homebrew which used the fighter with replacement features. Hit all the high points of the warlord from memory. Sadly I either never saved it, or have since misplaced it.
we sort of have... about 5 times 5 different ways... none of them stuck because they were swimming against the rules...

I want to pay for a book by WotC that is playtested and worked on by devs they pay to make it work
 

ECMO3

Hero
I didn't say it was so that's kind of an elaborate tangent to go off on about a thing that isn't present lol jeez.

I quoted you. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant, but "wierd mess" is what you said



Wizards are infinitely more complex to build than Fighters because of spell selection alone. It's not even close. Barbarian is about the same. Cleric and Rogue are similar. That's it. Monk for example has drastically more totally unnecessarily shoved into the core chassis.

Fighters are proficient in 49 different weapons and armor at first level, in addition to a fighting style and 2nd wind. At 1st level Wizards have 9 spells, including cantrips they have to keep track of.

The fighter base class is more complex than the wizard base class. It just is. You can build either of them to be simple or complex overall, but there is more for a fighter to keep track of with weapons, armor, action surge, second wind, extra attack, inbdomitatble etc.

Wizards have spell casting, arcane recovery and that is it until 18th level.


The last datapoint is from 2020, over two years ago, and Battlemaster was 1% behind. And a much earlier survey had Champion much further ahead, so we can say that Champion is likely rapidly losing ground to other subclasses. I have zero doubt it's behind Battlemaster by now - indeed it would take a bizarre reversal of trend for that to be true.

Here is a 2022 ranking that puts it ahead of battlemaster in popularity:


And even if it is losing ground, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular subclasses by far.


Except as I've demonstrated, it isn't. And Hexblade should never be changed, by that logic.

I am ok with the Hexblade as is .... and if what you are saying is true, so are a lot of gamers. I think Hexblade is by far the most popular Warlock (probably because of critical role to be honest). I prefer other Warlocks, even for bladelocks but each to his own.

But I'm not necessarily arguing it needs to change, but rather if you object to a more complex default, all classes need chassis as simple as Fighters, and to have as much put into subclasses.

Multiple classes do have chassis as simple as the fighter. As noted earlier Wizard (even if you don't agree) and Barbarian (which you did not comment on).
 

ECMO3

Hero
I just want to recreate the fun my group had with 4e fighters and warlords.

Well you can still play 4e. I hated 4e and I really disliked playing 3.5E (for me 3.5 wqas fun to think about but not play).

In my opinion with 5E you can get a ton of mileage out of feats and multiclassing. If you say you can't recreate the 5e fighter and warlord experience I will take your word for it (because I did not play it), but you can build a character to do a lot in 5E with the right choices. You can make a Ranger a full on caster who rarely wields a weapon or a wizard who dominates melee.

I have seen people talk about Warlords, but it is hard for me to believe you can't recreate those mechanics with options already available. Something like Battlemaster or Banneret subclass with superior technique fighting style and a Bard multiclass.
 

Fighters are proficient in 49 different weapons and armor at first level, in addition to a fighting style and 2nd wind. At 1st level Wizards have 9 spells, including cantrips they have to keep track of.
that's it... you get all that, no choices made. You choose a weapon (maybe) and are done instead of 9 choices (and each book adds more choices)
You both choose a race (and for now subrace)
You both choose a background
You both choose a class

Now the fighter takes the weapon or two as his choice all of them are listed on a single chart in the PHB. The Wizard picks 9 1st level spells and 3 cantrips and then has to pick 4 of those 9 to prep...

in play the fighter then gets to move, use a skill, make an attack or some variant of that
in play the wizard has 3 cantrips to pick from (most likely only 2 are combat though but maybe all 3) and the 4 preped spells that he can use 2 per day... then recall 1 spell slot.
The fighter base class is more complex than the wizard base class. It just is. You can build either of them to be simple or complex overall, but there is more for a fighter to keep track of with weapons, armor, action surge, second wind, extra attack, inbdomitatble etc.
by the time you get indomitable at 9th level the wizard has there bas 9 spells plus 16 more from leveling and instead of preping 4 of them they now prep 13 or 14 and has multi spell slots. and a 4th cantrip
Wizards have spell casting, arcane recovery and that is it until 18th level.
are you really conuntint 1st-5th level spells and slots as 1 choice?
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top