D&D 5E Companion thread to 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part XV: The FINAL ROUND)

Aldarc

Legend
We know from behind the scene stuff that the lead designer had to fight his own team all the time because they kept trying to make the Wizard more powerful. They debatably overshot in the other direction and the Wizard was probably the weakest class in the PHB, even tho some of the PHB classes used a dual-primary design that was eventually ditched as the game progressed (for exemple, your Cleric could be STR or WIS or both, and Warlock CON or CHA or both). It was the only Controller in the PHB and it didn't really help to define the Controller role very well. The Invoker (Bascally all the Laser from Heaven bits of the Cleric) and Druid in PHB2 were much more well received as far as Controllers went.

4e sent almost ALL utility magic to their Ritual System, leaving mostly combat stuff in the Wizard (they got free Rituals though), and 4e ditched the School of Magic classifications until Essentials shoved them back into the system as a needless keyword addition.

Also, they made Magic Missile an At-Will with an actual attack roll (It was a good one too, inflicted Force damage and had crazy good range).

So... all the Wizard players were pissed their Magicest Magic God King wasn't there anymore.

Fighters, on the other hand, were pretty much one of the best class in 4e from start to finish. They didn't get to be Archer (I mean, you COULD, but it wouldn't do you much good besides ranged marking for a turn) so that was its own kind of bellyaching (if you were too much of a pedant to just play a Ranger for all your Archery needs), but as a Defender they were probably one of the best. Capable of preventing multiple enemies from running past them, having powerful attacks, and even ways to strengthen themselves (Battlerager Fighters could just collect Temp HP at-will if it wanted to! At the cost of Heavy Armor) and the best AC available. For the first time in the game, a Fighter holding the front line ACTUALLY held the frontline! There was no need of a gentleman's agreement with the DM that they wouldn't ignore the Fighter, they just couldn't! And the Wizard (or the Invoker or the Druid) didn't have access to all the broken 3e stuff that would allow them to replace the Fighter, they had to rely on their team mates to hold the line.

So the players used to self-reliant casters were pissed.
To expand on this a bit, if you were a prepared caster who could cast 9th level spells in 3e, you were considered a God Tier Class. Quibbling about who was more powerful between Druids, Clerics, and Wizards in 3e was basically about like talking about who is the richest person on earth. What mattered was that you were in the God Tier. So when 4e came and reworked classes: What was the response when the Cleric was brought down to earth? Mostly silence. What was the response when the Druid was brought down to earth? Mostly silence. But what was the response when the Wizard was brought down to earth? Indignant moral outrage that 4e dared to make a God mortal.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
yes spellcasting should require a skill check just like weapon use does, auto-success spells suck. There needs to be more focus on other pillars and making everything a skill check would help balance things better.

While I didnt play 4e, I’ve been looking at martial powers and thinking that they might have been on to something …
I agree, though I would not be opposed to an alternative route. Kevin Crawford's WWN reduces the amount of spells that Mages can cast per day, but spells are more potent. (Spells only go up to 5th level too, and there is nothing on the level of Wish or highest level magic in D&D.) In play this means that Mages must be careful choosing when to cast. In combat, however, the Warrior is king.

All things that made casting super tedious except maybe casting times.

Per slot spell prep in particular isn't on fire enough.

That's the issue. Everything got downgraded, so the actual gap is the same.
But since class imbalance is a feature and not a bug, WotC should clearly make wizards inferior to fighters so we can remind wizard players that whatever upset they may be feeling is due to a feature and not a bug.

ETA: I see the wizard supremacists and their sympathizers are voting back in force this morning. :cautious:
 
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Undrave

Hero
How about removing cantrips from the game? If they want something to do every round, then they can shoot and reload a crossbow or even throw darts.
Cantrips are basically the same thing but not boring.

I rag on Wizard but if there is a design principle I will always stand behind is that you should get to BE your Class. Not, X number of times before Y rest, you get to be your Class ALL the time. Every class should have some unique aspect to it that is either continuous or at-will. And it should be there at level 1.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
How about removing cantrips from the game? If they want something to do every round, then they can shoot and reload a crossbow or even throw darts.
I want vengeance, but there's no excuse for poor game design at that level.

If we're going to do that, let's bump their subclass to 5th level.
 







CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
We are trying to fix the problem of class balance because class imbalance is a feature and not a bug: ergo, wizards should be less powerful than fighters.
Ah, gotcha. I'm a poor person to ask, then, because I don't agree that the classes are that imbalanced in 5E...I haven't noticed any problems with balance at my table, anyway. EDIT: That's not entirely true. There was a problem with a certain Sorcerer/Warlock character, but the balance issues were caused by feats and multiclassing, not from the default rules of the game. I don't believe that wizards should be less powerful than fighters, either, but only because it doesn't really fit the vibe I'm going for in my campaign. (My wife, on the other hand, is looking for a low-magic game system to play for their next campaign, because 5E D&D is basically All Magic, All the TimeTM and it's nigh impossible to dial it back. They're looking into the Witcher RPG at the moment.)

Sorry, got off track.

But for the sake of discussion? If I did think that wizards were too powerful, I'd go the super-easy route and add this to my house-rules: "The wizard class has been removed from this campaign. If you were interested in playing a wizardly character, ask me about other options." And then if someone had any heartburn with it, I'd chat with them, find out what they were hoping to get out of the wizard, and meet them in the middle. If it was just certain cantrips or the 6th+ level spells, I could add those to the Artificer spell list. If they were just hoping for a Necromancer with the Arcane Recovery feature, I could replace the cleric's Channel Divinity ability with it. And so on.

But I'd bet dollars to donuts that nobody at my table would care. If I got any response at all from my friends, it would be something like "No wizards? Weird. Oh well, I'll play a sorcerer instead."
 
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Ah, gotcha. I'm a poor person to ask, then, because I don't agree that the classes are that imbalanced in 5E...I haven't noticed any problems with balance at my table, anyway. EDIT: That's not entirely true. There was a problem with a certain Sorcerer/Warlock character, but the balance issues were caused by feats and multiclassing, not from the default rules of the game. I don't believe that wizards should be less powerful than fighters, either, but only because it doesn't really fit the vibe I'm going for in my campaign. (My wife, on the other hand, is looking for a low-magic game system to play for their next campaign, because 5E D&D is basically All Magic, All the TimeTM and it's nigh impossible to dial it back. They're looking into the Witcher RPG at the moment.)

Sorry, got off track.

But for the sake of discussion? If I did think that wizards were too powerful, I'd go the super-easy route and add this to my house-rules: "The wizard class has been removed from this campaign. If you were interested in playing a wizardly character, ask me about other options." And then if someone had any heartburn with it, I'd chat with them, find out what they were hoping to get out of the wizard, and meet them in the middle. If it was just certain cantrips or the 6th+ level spells, I could add those to the Artificer spell list. If they were just hoping for a Necromancer with the Arcane Recovery feature, I could replace the cleric's Channel Divinity ability with it. And so on.

But I'd bet dollars to donuts that nobody at my table would care. If I got any response at all from my friends, it would be something like "No wizards? Weird. Oh well, I'll play a sorcerer instead."
I applaud your willingness to seek out what the player desires and meet in the middle. That's generally what I look for in almost any DM.

That said, I don't really know if this actually solves the problem of casters or not. As you say, it's "all magic all the time," and people who don't have magic are left out pretty hard. That's kind of the core of the problem.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I applaud your willingness to seek out what the player desires and meet in the middle. That's generally what I look for in almost any DM.

That said, I don't really know if this actually solves the problem of casters or not. As you say, it's "all magic all the time," and people who don't have magic are left out pretty hard. That's kind of the core of the problem.
My point is that it is only a problem for a few people. Describing it as a universal problem that all have experienced, and all agree needs to be fixed, is a pretty big exaggeration. Suggesting (demanding?) large changes for something that only a few people are troubled by isn't a recipe for success. My advice remains: keep it small, talk to your players, be flexible.
 




DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
How about spells going to 5th level max? Would that be an acceptable change for full casters?
It would be for me, but again I know I am in the minority on that...

And I don't think we need to remove cantrips, but limit them. In my MOD, damage-causing cantrips are called jinxes. You can use your jinxes a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per short rest. They scale once at 5th level, but that's it.

Frankly, I would be fine with removing any damage causing cantrips. If you want to deal damage every round in combat, play a martial. :p
 

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