D&D 5E Casters vs Martials: Part 1 - Magic, its most basic components

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
It really isn't. It's comparing class/subclass features to class/subclass features.. the things over which a player has agency and visibility.

"Someday you too might be able to do mythic, awesome things, if you can just get access to the right mythic awesome items..and hey you have very little control over the likelihood of that happening" is...

1. Unsatisfying
2. Unnecessary

The awesome stuff you need magic items to accomplish now could just be awesome features you have access to as part of your class.
I'm struggling to understand the point here, I think because I'm not sure of the context this statement is in.

I come back to, some players don't like magic characters, at least not all the time. Sometimes they don't want the character to be inherently magical, but are happy to be lit up with magic items like a christmas tree. And sometimes they want to have no magical gear at all. This is not related to the campaign setting, it's an individual play choice.

If the campaign is a high-magic campaign (and presumably a Session Zero or something occurs where the players & DM collectively decide this?) and the player wants to play a non-magic character concept who ALSO doesn't use much by way of magic items, then they're making some choices about the sort of story they want to tell, and if that's the story they want to tell ... what's the problem ?

If the campaign is a low-magic world and they choose the same sort of char concept, then they're going to be wanting to tell a different type of story. Aren't they ? So, again, what's the problem ?

Bottom line: if they want to be an epic level, amazing, legendary, non-magic martial, they should be able to do that, and it should be a valid playstyle choice. What's missing for you ?
 

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TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
There are some interesting criticisms here some fair some less so. For example, i do think there are a number of ways in which monk abilities are underestimated.

That said, the main issue with the noncombat feats that are frequently included in the 5e martial classes is that, especially relative to spells, they are typically some combination of:

1. Slow.
- create a new identity...in a week of downtime.
2. Narrow
- frighten a single enemy within 30 feet of you, or you know about two stats relative to yours
3. Dysfunctional
- Your strong tough barbarian uses charisma as the attribute for their save, your dex/con/wis focused monk can now talk to anything.
4. Late
It takes an Assassin 9 levels to figure out effective document forgery in a presumably pseudo-medieval society without the internet. 10 levels for the hulking rage monster to learn how to scowl..badly
5. Likely irrelevant to most campaigns.
Unless you're playing a campaign modeled on Cocoon, or Benjamin Buttons, your character will basically never have to worry about old age, and if it is an issue, you'd probably just play an elf.

I don't know if people would still disregard these things if they were better..but they truly aren't very good even for their intended purposes.
Ok, this is helpful to understand your position.

So, if I understand correctly, you are saying here that these are some of the sorts of things that you would like to be available to non-magic martials, but you would prefer to see improvements, such as: more of them, earlier, more relevant, more functional, more focussed, etc.

Is that right ?

Edit: are you also saying that you would prefer to see more awesome examples of these things at epic levels ?
 

I'm struggling to understand the point here, I think because I'm not sure of the context this statement is in.

I come back to, some players don't like magic characters, at least not all the time. Sometimes they don't want the character to be inherently magical, but are happy to be lit up with magic items like a christmas tree. And sometimes they want to have no magical gear at all. This is not related to the campaign setting, it's an individual play choice.

If the campaign is a high-magic campaign (and presumably a Session Zero or something occurs where the players & DM collectively decide this?) and the player wants to play a non-magic character concept who ALSO doesn't use much by way of magic items, then they're making some choices about the sort of story they want to tell, and if that's the story they want to tell ... what's the problem ?

If the campaign is a low-magic world and they choose the same sort of char concept, then they're going to be wanting to tell a different type of story. Aren't they ? So, again, what's the problem ?

Bottom line: if they want to be an epic level, amazing, legendary, non-magic martial, they should be able to do that, and it should be a valid playstyle choice. What's missing for you ?
I'd agree that it's a playstyle that should be a valid playstyle choice. I think that the way 5e has been made, it is an explicitly less powerful playstyle...in all three pillars of play.

I think some people think that this is the way it should be "if you want power, go get some magic". I disagree.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
One thing I believe that harms and depowers the nonmagical characters is that there is no subsystem to shove features into except for magic items, magic spells, feats and boons.

Magic users can shove most of their complexity into spells.

Nonmagical characters in 5e don't have a similiar subsystem to shove complexity into. So they tend to need these features to be spread slowly over multiple levels to make the classes not flooded with class features. With boons being epic level and feats optional and not scaling, these only levels magic items as a method to get many features over a level.
 

Ok, this is helpful to understand your position.

So, if I understand correctly, you are saying here that these are some of the sorts of things that you would like to be available to non-magic martials, but you would prefer to see improvements, such as: more of them, earlier, more relevant, more functional, more focussed, etc.

Is that right ?

Edit: are you also saying that you would prefer to see more awesome examples of these things at epic levels ?
Basically yeah. Though I wouldn't mind some combat benefits that are slightly more awesome than "now with 30% more attacks".

A good counter example would be shadow monk teleportation. Even though it has a damage and defensive cost by eating up the monk's bonus action, it is consistently useful, available, flavorful and fast..and you get it at a relevant level of play. Its awesome. I've never seen anyone complain about that as a class feature.
 
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TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Basically yeah. Though I wouldn't mind some combat benefits that are slightly more awesome than "now with 30% more attacks".
OK, that's a pretty reasonable stance I reckon. I could get behind that.
A good counter example would be shadow monk teleportation. Even though it has a damage and defensive cost by eating up the monk's bonus action, it is consistently useful, available, flavorful and fast..and you get it at a relevant level of play. Its awesome. I've never seen anyone complain about that as a class feature.
I love that one too! Although in my mind, I don't put monks in the same bucket as fighters, rogues & barbarians as far as being non magical martial. Ki isn't far from either magic or The Force to me, it's plenty magical.

On your recommendation, I went and had a look at the PF2e char creation. And I found most of the feats you were referring to earlier in this thread. Some of them seemed awesome, rangers tracking their prey across the planes for example. I think this is brilliant.

Likewise the barbarian earthquake stomp. Awesome. And the draconic instinct being able to transform into a dragon (although again, that's not really non magical to me plus I'd have major balance concerns). But awesome.

I wasn't so sure about the rogue phasing through walls one.... That seemed.... A bit weird.... You look for cracks and somehow appear on the other side.... Huh?

I couldn't find the fighter cleaving space time apart one though.

Anyway, good stuff mostly.
 

People only like the idea of martials having out-of-combat features. In reality, if it's not combat related, it's seen as wasted. And the proof is that there's already utility features for martials that are unique and they're seen as wasteful.

Take a fighter. Look at the chassis, there's nothing. But Battlemasters have Know Your Enemy.

The ability to understand the meta-statistics of your enemy is something no other class can do. Spend 7 minutes talking to a character, you'll have a good understanding of what the enemy is. For example, if you know you're talking to a spellcaster, you can spend 1 minute interacting with them to know their highest level spells. You can also discern physical weaknesses, so knowing that a character has low constitution may be valuable to inform the monk. Again, no wizard nor cleric nor druid can do this.

Berserker's Intimidating Presence is misunderstood. It's a poor combat option, by far, but as an out-of-combat social option, it's amazing. It debuffs a creature from their perception checks, insight checks, stealth checks, and any other practical checks. This means your barbarian can easily be a distraction for your group while the rogue sneaks off or while the bard bluffs past guards.

The Assassin drives my point home. They can take 7 days to create an entirely different person to do whatever they want with as an identity. Yet it's seen as a wasteful feature. Why? Because of possible settings? Even though 99% of adventures probably do have a home-base style town/city.

So many utility features of martials are flat-out ignored in these discussions simply because they didn't add a +1 to the damage.

Monks can literally jump 60ft in the air, run up vertical walls up to 180ft tall, never die of old age, and literally turn invisible. This is without spells or magic, purely fantastical. But Monks are seen as weak because...they don't have par damage with rogues? Who can't even get close to doing this stuff?
checkout Levelup(A5e), martials all have those kinds of abilities & they work great.
The impact of magic items expects varies. And a lot of magic items could beand often are just numerically enhancements of their trained abilities. Only 2 d&D classes have their movement speeds increase as they level. What's up with that?

And in some media,the power, speed, and hardiness of their nonmagical character's far exceeds that of even level 20 D&D nonmagical characters. D&D gatekeeps a lot of features to epic levels or magic items that other media doesn't.

A few months back, my party got TPKO by the DM's Dracule Mihawk inspired villain. My wizard got air-slashed into zero HP on turn 1 and froze all our henchmen with panic check. Then he pulled the "this is the smallest weapon I have one me" shtick and dueled our barbarian with a dagger. The D&D had a ton of houserule buffs for warrior and rogue types. My wizard struggled. Post level 5, dudes kept cutting physical barriers, eating death spells. and parrying attack spells.

The impact of magic items absolutely varies as you note, that was my point. a fighter who's bread & butter is swinging a sword multiple times a round & being hi(or whiffed on) by baddies will benefit significantly more from magic weapons & armor than a caster who almost never casts more than one spell per round & might not even have armor proficiency will benefit from magic weapons & armor

Yes some media has very durable mages, Naruto is a good well known example where mages & martials stand side by side but is far from the most extreme(it's just well known). The only totally nonmagic individuals in the entire series are the but of a disparaging joke made at an obnoxious stereotype d&d happens to still embrace with one class. d&d does not design for the sort of baseline assumptions required for those sorts of media though & bizarrely there seems to be a group saying they want arthur without Excalibur or its sheath to compare to morgana mordred merlin and the magic item clad magic using characters from those sorts of media. Point out that Arthur has Excalibur & Excalibur's Sheath when comparing his capabilities to those other types though & people cry foul as we saw earlier after an example was given. @Minigiant might desperately want a martial pc that does not need magic items to keep up with magic item sporting characters, but that is some other system because d&d along with its genre is swimming with magic items and said pc will just be slvonkers broken and silly overpowered when it adds those magic itemsjust as *but my character concept really requires the game let me gestt multiple classes each level so the problem is d&d not supporting those characters" would be
 

checkout Levelup(A5e), martials all have those kinds of abilities & they work great.


The impact of magic items absolutely varies as you note, that was my point. a fighter who's bread & butter is swinging a sword multiple times a round & being hi(or whiffed on) by baddies will benefit significantly more from magic weapons & armor than a caster who almost never casts more than one spell per round & might not even have armor proficiency will benefit from magic weapons & armor

Yes some media has very durable mages, Naruto is a good well known example where mages & martials stand side by side but is far from the most extreme(it's just well known). The only totally nonmagic individuals in the entire series are the but of a disparaging joke made at an obnoxious stereotype d&d happens to still embrace with one class. d&d does not design for the sort of baseline assumptions required for those sorts of media though & bizarrely there seems to be a group saying they want arthur without Excalibur or its sheath to compare to morgana mordred merlin and the magic item clad magic using characters from those sorts of media. Point out that Arthur has Excalibur & Excalibur's Sheath when comparing his capabilities to those other types though & people cry foul as we saw earlier after an example was given. @Minigiant might desperately want a martial pc that does not need magic items to keep up with magic item sporting characters, but that is some other system because d&d along with its genre is swimming with magic items and said pc will just be slvonkers broken and silly overpowered when it adds those magic itemsjust as *but my character concept really requires the game let me gestt multiple classes each level so the problem is d&d not supporting those characters" would be
Arthur vs. Morgana. The issue is that D&D Morgana derives basically all the power she needs to be Morgana from the PHB. D&D Arthur needs a cooperative GM to dip into the DMG to be Arthur.

Put another way. If multiple players at the table want to be Morgana, they all can be, they just have to pick the same class. If multiple players want to be Arthur. Then those players just have to pick the same class and then the DM has to give out multiple sets of legendary martial equipment as rewards..at the same time, or else you have one Arthur, and one notably less effective version of Arthur. Where's the merit in this difference?

It's not about keeping up with the other character's with magic items. It's about keeping up with other class's core abilities. Abilities, which, by the way, seem to expand with every new release and the attending 10-30 new pages of spells that come with them.

You say it's because they baked the power into magic items instead..and I ask..why? Why not just put the power in the class, why have this divide where one player gets to make 1 choice and get all their goodies, while another gets to make 1 choice and then hope the DM is putting their thumb on the scale in handing items out to balance things.
 
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Arthur vs. Morgana. The issue is that D&D Morgana derives basically all the power she needs to be Morgana from the PHB. D&D Arthur needs a cooperative GM to dip into the DMG to be Arthur.
Good of you to admit that, but you are complaining about the wrong problem. d&d is and always has been swimming in magic items. In a fit of poor design wotc decided to simply build a big chunk of the 5e system's math pretending otherwise & declared magic items "optional" like a software dev might declare something unsupported. Your complaint is in wotc refusing to correct that.
It's not about keeping up with the other character's with magic items. It's about keeping up with other class's core abilities. Abilities, which, by the way, seem to expand with every new release and the attending 10-30 new pages of spells that come with them.

You say it's because they baked the power into magic items instead..and I ask..why? Why not just put the power in the class, why have this divide where one player gets to make 1 choice and get all their goodies, while another gets to make 1 choice and then hope the DM is putting their thumb on the scale in handing items out to balance things.
Magic items are part of the game. If you want a system designed so the heft they bring to the table is baked into the class abilities you would need a completely different system with different design goals like the Conan one I linked earlier. Wotc has provided multiple unfinished rules in o5e for crafting magic items, you. It would be charitable to call them "half baked", but rules exist for pricing of magic items as well. In past editions & some of the forks of 5e those rules were more robust with things like wealth by level & treasure by level to provide both GM and players guidance on how much is just right.

That guidance was & is critical because a GM had a goalpost to aim in the general vicinity of if they didn't have the system mastery to use other metrics. Players too had an equal if not even greater benefit from those rules as it provided them a goalpost they could point at if they felt the GM was failing to put the right amount of thumb on the scale for their character.
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Arthur vs. Morgana. The issue is that D&D Morgana derives basically all the power she needs to be Morgana from the PHB. D&D Arthur needs a cooperative GM to dip into the DMG to be Arthur.
Does he?

This reminds me of the exchange in one of the marvel movies. Thor says to Iron Man, "Take away your suit and what are you?", and Stark says "Genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist. Playboy". It's the perfect response. Why? Because the story of iron Man is so much more than his magic item.

So, the question is, again, what's the character concept and what's the story the player wants to tell?

If the character concept is Legendary King of England, then there are plenty of things that make that character special. Visionary. Amazing Leader. Greatest Diplomat. Warrior King. If he hadn't drawn the sword from the stone, he could've become king in other ways. Why? Because just like Iron Man there's so much more to the story of Arthur than his magic item.

Put another way. If multiple players at the table want to be Morgana, they all can be, they just have to pick the same class. If multiple players want to be Arthur. Then those players just have to pick the same class and then the DM has to give out multiple sets of legendary martial equipment as rewards..at the same time, or else you have one Arthur, and one notably less effective version of Arthur. Where's the merit in this difference?
Again. What's the character concept and what story do they want to tell?

If the idea is 2 identical twins sorceresses who are the same in every way except one really important one - what's the problem?

If the story they're going for is, we BOTH want to be King of England and we're going to fight for it, and only one of us can end up with Excalibur.... Then the problem again is?

These sound like awesome stories. If I were DM-ing for these players I would be 100% on board!
It's not about keeping up with the other character's with magic items. It's about keeping up with other class's core abilities. Abilities, which, by the way, seem to expand with every new release and the attending 10-30 new pages of spells that come with them.

You say it's because they baked the power into magic items instead..and I ask..why? Why not just put the power in the class, why have this divide where one player gets to make 1 choice and get all their goodies, while another gets to make 1 choice and then hope the DM is putting their thumb on the scale in handing items out to balance things.
There are also new feats, new character class options, new subclasses, new settings & new world options. Spells and magic items are one way to get character options but they're far from the only way.

And for characters who want to tell different (ie non magic) stories, there's plenty of other options.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The impact of magic items absolutely varies as you note, that was my point. a fighter who's bread & butter is swinging a sword multiple times a round & being hi(or whiffed on) by baddies will benefit significantly more from magic weapons & armor than a caster who almost never casts more than one spell per round & might not even have armor proficiency will benefit from magic weapons & armor

My point is D&D places this power in magic item whereas the 13th level anime swordsman, manga thief, or movie gunslinger has them all inherently. They are already moving 100 feet, making 5 attacks a round, have 18+ AC, has high damage range attack, and has advantage to initiative.

D&D puts martial power in magic items where in other media where casters and masters stand equal the martial have said power within themselves.

The fighter doesn't need +2 sword, +2 plate, wings of gliding, boots of speed, gloves of strength, belt of strength and goggle of night vision in non D&D media. They get those abilities at level up.

Yes some media has very durable mages, Naruto is a good well known example where mages & martials stand side by side but is far from the most extreme(it's just well known). The only totally nonmagic individuals in the entire series are the but of a disparaging joke made at an obnoxious stereotype d&d happens to still embrace with one class. d&d does not design for the sort of baseline assumptions required for those sorts of media though & bizarrely there seems to be a group saying they want arthur without Excalibur or its sheath to compare to morgana mordred merlin and the magic item clad magic using characters from those sorts of media. Point out that Arthur has Excalibur & Excalibur's Sheath when comparing his capabilities to those other types though & people cry foul as we saw earlier after an example was given. @Minigiant might desperately want a martial pc that does not need magic items to keep up with magic item sporting characters, but that is some other system because d&d along with its genre is swimming with magic items and said pc will just be slvonkers broken and silly overpowered when it adds those magic itemsjust as *but my character concept really requires the game let me gestt multiple classes each level so the problem is d&d not supporting those characters" would be

Ain't no pure casters in Naturo. Everyone is a fighter/rogue or fighter/rogue/caster.

Why?

Because in most combat based fantasy anime/mange/manhua, when a martial type engages a caster type, the caster needs to be higher tier or they are on the backfoot. And if the caster is in the martial type's preffered attack range... the caster is dead. Not slightly beaten up or or lost 25% HP. They are dead without plot armor. And the martials can do this without magic items.

Magic items just enhance the martials there to make the combat interesting.
The top martials in Naruto, Bleach, One Piece,Kenshin, Slayers,Berserk, and preZ would mess up somemonsters and caster of D&D with mundane gear in fantastic fashion in ways a level 20 fighter would dream about.
Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the powerup JL versions of Batman and Green Arrow would do the same.

The point is D&D nerfs its martials by stripping some of their power and placing it into magic items in order to make an exciting collect-a-thon.

However this shouldn't be necessary. Martials could have magic items be true bonuses like how casters treat them. They could have some of their power given back to the base classes. The only issue is the martial classes would have a lot more class features.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
That said, the main issue with the noncombat feats that are frequently included in the 5e martial classes is that, especially relative to spells, they are typically some combination of
So, I'll discuss each point, but I want to also mention that we should compare spells-to-spells...rather spells-to-feature.

What I mean is that if you compare, say, Intimidating Presence to a bard's Fear spell, you'll find it rather underwhelming.

But Intimidating Presence isn't a leveled spell. It's a cantrip, at least comparatively. Know Your Enemy is a cantrip with a minute casting time like mending. Infiltration Expertise is a cantrip that has to be repeatedly cast. But they're all cantrips (or rituals). But cantrips and rituals are almost never nearly as powerful as these features. We're comparing a cantrip that can read the metagame to advantage on the next attack by using concentration or fixing a single tear on an object.

Slow.
- create a new identity...in a week of downtime.
If your DM never grants downtime, it can be difficult to use the feature, but they should always be able to give the characters downtime. Still, it can be niche in the wrong campaign.
frighten a single enemy within 30 feet of you, or you know about two stats relative to
I don't know. Seems pretty broad to me. These are creatures in the general sense, so you can intimidate guards, or ghouls, or even a beholder if you're feeling lucky. Same with Know Your Enemy. Doesn't matter if they're human or not, you can get three ability scores, HP, class levels, and AC all in 6 minutes of interaction.
Your strong tough barbarian uses charisma as the attribute for their save, your dex/con/wis focused monk can now talk to ananything.
Charisma for the save is a balancing thing. Remember, it's a cantrip in terms of spellcasting. If you automatically had a DC 17 save for the feature, it'd start being something a barbarian would always try doing to even powerful enemies. Because, remember, it's nonmagical so creatures like devils and demons can't get advantage on it.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Does he?

This reminds me of the exchange in one of the marvel movies. Thor says to Iron Man, "Take away your suit and what are you?", and Stark says "Genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist. Playboy". It's the perfect response. Why? Because the story of iron Man is so much more than his magic item.

So, the question is, again, what's the character concept and what's the story the player wants to tell?

If the character concept is Legendary King of England, then there are plenty of things that make that character special. Visionary. Amazing Leader. Greatest Diplomat. Warrior King. If he hadn't drawn the sword from the stone, he could've become king in other ways. Why? Because just like Iron Man there's so much more to the story of Arthur than his magic item.
The problem with that exchange and with the magic vs martial divide is that Thor could have retorted 'And I'm a prince beloved by a warrior people who has a buddy who can teleport me literally anywhere, with a great tactical mind, more wealth than your planet with the body of a Helmsworth who can also fly and throw lightning. '

Like the mage, Thor can be everything Iron Man is plus more because magic is just inherently and tacitly allowed to be more.
 



My point is D&D places this power in magic item whereas the 13th level anime swordsman, manga thief, or movie gunslinger has them all inherently. They are already moving 100 feet, making 5 attacks a round, have 18+ AC, has high damage range attack, and has advantage to initiative.

D&D puts martial power in magic items where in other media where casters and masters stand equal the martial have said power within themselves.

The fighter doesn't need +2 sword, +2 plate, wings of gliding, boots of speed, gloves of strength, belt of strength and goggle of night vision in non D&D media. They get those abilities at level up.



Ain't no pure casters in Naturo. Everyone is a fighter/rogue or fighter/rogue/caster.

Why?

Because in most combat based fantasy anime/mange/manhua, when a martial type engages a caster type, the caster needs to be higher tier or they are on the backfoot. And if the caster is in the martial type's preffered attack range... the caster is dead. Not slightly beaten up or or lost 25% HP. They are dead without plot armor. And the martials can do this without magic items.

Magic items just enhance the martials there to make the combat interesting.
The top martials in Naruto, Bleach, One Piece,Kenshin, Slayers,Berserk, and preZ would mess up somemonsters and caster of D&D with mundane gear in fantastic fashion in ways a level 20 fighter would dream about.
Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the powerup JL versions of Batman and Green Arrow would do the same.

The point is D&D nerfs its martials by stripping some of their power and placing it into magic items in order to make an exciting collect-a-thon.
They don't have magic items?...
I could go on, but you mentioned anime... zanpakto, naruto stuff, some fairy tale stuff, overlord stuff, I could go on & start getting into more & more obscure things but I'll instead end that by pointing out dragonball stuff.
All of those media forms tend to be littered with magic & magic through tech items, often ones seen in the hands of no other individual in the world even when it's common like Harry Callahan's cannon.

Your "point" that martials are expected to gather magic items throughout a campaign is accurate, but in wotc's 5e that's a problem because wotc:
  • did not bother to finish a magic item crafting system
  • may as well have provided magic item prices through a game of darts
  • did not bother to include a wealth by level/treasure by level
  • Took things one step further by balancing both caster abilities and martial abilities around the assumption that no feats & no magic items would be used expecting the GM to take the heat for saying no to both or correct the resulting problems rather than adding an autoscaling thing like darksun once introduced for tables that want no feats & no magic items
  • effectively left out the kind of guidance like the old behind the curtain stuff that might help a gm learn what is needed to finish all that stuff for wotc
All of those things compound & get into your last point...

However this shouldn't be necessary. Martials could have magic items be true bonuses like how casters treat them. They could have some of their power given back to the base classes. The only issue is the martial classes would have a lot more class features.

.
You can't have two different games at the flip of a switch. Designing martial classes with "a lot more class features" requires designing all of those features so they add up roughly on target with a given power level in aggregate and doing the same for casters in addition to ensuring that the system is structured in such a way that both types of classes can obtain similar power benefits through magic items & similar. wotc did not do that & you can't simply flip a switch to change one piece of that aggregate without significant redesign. That can all be built with a solid mathmatical strcture that allows some of it to be replaced quietly with an auto scaling (de)buff but 5e is not built that way either. It's a complex interconnected system that does not mesh neatly with the sort of isolation you are asking to be used.
 
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Voadam

Legend
This reminds me of the exchange in one of the marvel movies. Thor says to Iron Man, "Take away your suit and what are you?",

The problem with that exchange and with the magic vs martial divide is that Thor could have retorted 'And I'm a prince beloved by a warrior people who has a buddy who can teleport me literally anywhere, with a great tactical mind, more wealth than your planet with the body of a Helmsworth who can also fly and throw lightning. '

Like the mage, Thor can be everything Iron Man is plus more because magic is just inherently and tacitly allowed to be more.
It wasn't Thor, it was Captain America. :)

1639847313746.png
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
They don't have magic items?...
I could go on, but you mentioned anime... zanpakto, naruto stuff, some fairy tale stuff, overlord stuff, I could go on & start getting into more & more obscure things but I'll instead end that by pointing out dragonball stuff. All of those media forms tend to be littered with magic & magic through tech items, often ones seen in the hands of no other individual in the world even when it's common like Harry Callahan's cannon.
I didn't say they don't have magic items.
I'm saying they don't need them.

Those martial characters are strong without magic items. Just as dangerous as a caster without magic items.

Magic items just made them stronger.

When Gourry from Slayers is mind controlled and fights the heroes, it's his skill, speed, and strength that made him dangerous. The magic sword just let him take on the heroes 3 on 1. But he could be any of them 1 on 1. Hegained the option to parry magic missiles instead of easily dodging them.

Your "point" that magic items are expected to gather magic items throughout a campaign is accurate, but in wotc's 5e that's a problem because wotc:
  • did not bother to finish a magic item crafting system
  • may as well have provided magic item prices through a game of darts
  • did not bother to include a wealth by level/treasure by level
  • Took things one step further by balancing both caster abilities and martial abilities around the assumption that no feats & no magic items would be used expecting the GM to take the heat for saying no to both or correct the resulting problems rather than adding an autoscaling thing like darksun once introduced for tables that want no feats & no magic items
  • effectively left out the kind of guidance like the old behind the curtain stuff that might help a gm learn what is needed to finish all that stuff for wotc
All of those things compound & get into your last point...
yup

You can't have two different games at the flip of a switch. Designing martial classes with "a lot more class features" requires designing all of those features so they add up roughly on target with a given power level in aggregate and doing the same for casters in addition to ensuring that the system is structured in such a way that both types of classes can obtain similar power benefits through magic items & similar. wotc did not do that & you can't simply flip a switch to change one piece of that aggregate without significant redesign. That can all be built with a solid mathmatical strcture that allows some of it to be replaced quietly with an auto scaling (de)buff but 5e is not built that way either. It's a complex interconnected system that does not mesh neatly with the sort of isolation you are asking to be used.

Oh of course you can't do both. I'mjust saying that many martial class and racial features are locked up in magic items instead of the classes and races themselves.

This also means the casters mostly have to be nerfed item wise because they already get all their features from their class already.
 

They don't have magic items?...
I could go on, but you mentioned anime... zanpakto, naruto stuff, some fairy tale stuff, overlord stuff, I could go on & start getting into more & more obscure things but I'll instead end that by pointing out dragonball stuff.
All of those media forms tend to be littered with magic & magic through tech items, often ones seen in the hands of no other individual in the world even when it's common like Harry Callahan's cannon.

Your "point" that magic items are expected to gather magic items throughout a campaign is accurate, but in wotc's 5e that's a problem because wotc:
  • did not bother to finish a magic item crafting system
  • may as well have provided magic item prices through a game of darts
  • did not bother to include a wealth by level/treasure by level
  • Took things one step further by balancing both caster abilities and martial abilities around the assumption that no feats & no magic items would be used expecting the GM to take the heat for saying no to both or correct the resulting problems rather than adding an autoscaling thing like darksun once introduced for tables that want no feats & no magic items
  • effectively left out the kind of guidance like the old behind the curtain stuff that might help a gm learn what is needed to finish all that stuff for wotc
All of those things compound & get into your last point...



.
You can't have two different games at the flip of a switch. Designing martial classes with "a lot more class features" requires designing all of those features so they add up roughly on target with a given power level in aggregate and doing the same for casters in addition to ensuring that the system is structured in such a way that both types of classes can obtain similar power benefits through magic items & similar. wotc did not do that & you can't simply flip a switch to change one piece of that aggregate without significant redesign. That can all be built with a solid mathmatical strcture that allows some of it to be replaced quietly with an auto scaling (de)buff but 5e is not built that way either. It's a complex interconnected system that does not mesh neatly with the sort of isolation you are asking to be used.
The thesis of the thread was the issues between casters and martials. This strand of conversation has been about the particularities of 5e issues vs. what could have been, what might be down the road, what other systems do.

It seems like your argument is "5e did things another way. Wanting something different means you don't want D&D".

That strikes me as a poor argument.
 

This reminds me of the exchange in one of the marvel movies. Thor says to Iron Man, "Take away your suit and what are you?", and Stark says "Genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist. Playboy". It's the perfect response. Why? Because the story of iron Man is so much more than his magic item.
OK. And does 5e allow martials to have that kind of non-combat power within the game?

If the character concept is Legendary King of England, then there are plenty of things that make that character special. Visionary. Amazing Leader. Greatest Diplomat. Warrior King. If he hadn't drawn the sword from the stone, he could've become king in other ways. Why? Because just like Iron Man there's so much more to the story of Arthur than his magic item.
Most of King Arthur's temporal influence and capabilities would still require DM buy-in rather than simply being granted as part of the class.

If the idea is 2 identical twins sorceresses who are the same in every way except one really important one - what's the problem?

If the story they're going for is, we BOTH want to be King of England and we're going to fight for it, and only one of us can end up with Excalibur.... Then the problem again is?
This is precisely the point Gammadoodler was making.
Two players can just create identical sorceresses of the same power, because 5e gives the tools to play Morgana as part of the class package.

And as you say, two players wanting to create King Arthur cannot do that in 5e because 5e does not give the tools to play King Arthur as part of a martial class package.
You yourself make the point that the two characters would have to fight over them if the DM did not grant enough to bring both fighters up to Morgana's level. Thus ending up with one character behind on power and fun, or a playing having to generate a new character other than the one they actually wanted to play.

Ain't no pure casters in Naturo. Everyone is a fighter/rogue or fighter/rogue/caster.

Why?

Because in most combat based fantasy anime/mange/manhua, when a martial type engages a caster type, the caster needs to be higher tier or they are on the backfoot. And if the caster is in the martial type's preffered attack range... the caster is dead. Not slightly beaten up or or lost 25% HP. They are dead without plot armor. And the martials can do this without magic items.

Magic items just enhance the martials there to make the combat interesting.
The top martials in Naruto, Bleach, One Piece,Kenshin, Slayers,Berserk, and preZ would mess up somemonsters and caster of D&D with mundane gear in fantastic fashion in ways a level 20 fighter would dream about.
Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the powerup JL versions of Batman and Green Arrow would do the same.
I've not watched much Naruto, but what I saw looked more like spellcaster battles with the occasional physical attack rather than martial characters.

The point is D&D nerfs its martials by stripping some of their power and placing it into magic items in order to make an exciting collect-a-thon.

However this shouldn't be necessary. Martials could have magic items be true bonuses like how casters treat them. They could have some of their power given back to the base classes. The only issue is the martial classes would have a lot more class features.
Every spell slot is a new, 1/day class feature that can be used to do anything from the range the caster has memorised.
Many caster classes even allow complete rearrangement of the capabilities of those class abilities after a short rest to allow them to be optimised according to what the group will be doing that day.
 

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