Compelling and Differentiated Gameplay For Spellcasters and Martial Classes

Condiments

Explorer
The physics of giants doesn't make any sense either, they would collapse in upon themselves due to their own weight. There are plenty of stories of warriors slaying the dragon or giant.

I want to play Beowulf, not Superman.
Even Beowulf performed superhuman acts of feats that would make a fighter blush.

"There are additional examples of the use of fantastic elements in Beowulf. Beowulf single-handedly carrier thirty suits of armor from the battlefield in Frisnia and swims with them through the North Sea and the Skagerrak to Geatland, a distance of five hundred miles (120). In Beowulf’s early life, he swam for five to seven days with his companion Breca, killing sea monsters by night. During his swim match with Breca, Beowulf dressed in full armor, was attacked by nine sea monsters and killed them all."

I even remember his fight with Grendel's mother, where he swam into an underwater cave and fought her for hours without going back up for breath.

It just strains credulity for me to have your everyman fighter going with a mythical wizard to other-worldly planes to fight yacht sized dragons, and teleporting demon pit lords that can peel open plate armor like a sardine can. High level D&D sort of funnels you into the these conflicts, so keeping the game grounded is hard when wizards can willingly transport the entire party to other planes once per day. By then, your casters are driving adventures, and your fighter is good at swinging his weapon like a wiffle bat.

Just boggles my mind that people don't see the conflict inherent in that. Either make casting more difficult and fraught with danger, or make fighters more fantastical.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Even Beowulf performed superhuman acts of feats that would make a fighter blush.

"There are additional examples of the use of fantastic elements in Beowulf. Beowulf single-handedly carrier thirty suits of armor from the battlefield in Frisnia and swims with them through the North Sea and the Skagerrak to Geatland, a distance of five hundred miles (120). In Beowulf’s early life, he swam for five to seven days with his companion Breca, killing sea monsters by night. During his swim match with Breca, Beowulf dressed in full armor, was attacked by nine sea monsters and killed them all."

I even remember his fight with Grendel's mother, where he swam into an underwater cave and fought her for hours without going back up for breath.

It just strains credulity for me to have your everyman fighter going with a mythical wizard to other-worldly planes to fight yacht sized dragons, and teleporting demon pit lords that can peel open plate armor like a sardine can. High level D&D sort of funnels you into the these conflicts, so keeping the game grounded is hard when wizards can willingly transport the entire party to other planes once per day. By then, your casters are driving adventures, and your fighter is good at swinging his weapon like a wiffle bat.

Just boggles my mind that people don't see the conflict inherent in that. Either make casting more difficult and fraught with danger, or make fighters more fantastical.
I don’t know man, a plain ol fighter can wrestle an ankylosaurus to the ground, can take multiple direct hits of dragon breath, fall from literally a mile high without so much as losing their breath, and numerous other feats. Knowing that, I don’t know how you can say what you’re arguing. Seems like they are already pretty darn reality bending heroic as is.

There seems to be this repeated argument that “fighters can’t do anything heroic because they can’t do this” while ignoring all the other stuff they can do that certainly is superhuman heroic
 
That is not the argument.

The argument is this:

- If Fighters can do thing x, then it stands to reason that they can do thing y and thing z.

- If they can do thing y and thing z, then it stands to reason that they can do thing a and thing b.

- If they can do thing a and thing b, then it stands to reason that they can do thing c and thing d.

- If Fighters can do things y, z, a, b, c, and d, the game would scale more desirably from mid levels onward and play more desirably at endgame (both in the experience of GMing games and in playing them).

But that is beside the point of this thread. What @Campbell is interested in (whether martial characters can do all of the above or only thing x) is how do we design martial characters and resolution mechanics that simultaneously yield a robust decision tree and the sort of enjoyable tactical/strategic overhead that he is looking for (in and out of combat)?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
That is not the argument.

The argument is this:

- If Fighters can do thing x, then it stands to reason that they can do thing y and thing z.

- If they can do thing y and thing z, then it stands to reason that they can do thing a and thing b.

- If they can do thing a and thing b, then it stands to reason that they can do thing c and thing d.

- If Fighters can do things y, z, a, b, c, and d, the game would scale more desirably from mid levels onward and play more desirably at endgame (both in the experience of GMing games and in playing them).
That logic is the literal definition of a logical fallacy lol. So maybe not the best thing to base an argument on 🤷‍♂️
 

Undrave

Hero
There were two huge complaints about 4e:
1. It felt like a tactical board game
2. Everyone had powerz

As someone who skipped 4e for those reasons, and plays with others who also don’t like 4e, I am pretty familiar with what people complained about about the game. I’m guessing fans of 4e didn’t spend that much time around people who didn’t, so your exposure to how people felt who weren’t fans is limited.

And I’m not being dramatic. It’s unheard of that DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS would lose its spot as the #1 TTRPG. 4e fell flat, from a business perspective. That’s not being dramatic, that’s objective truth. And it split the gaming base up worse than any other edition, largely for the reasons I just gave above. Just look at 5e, which retreated from those two things, and how well it’s doing in the market now.

So no, DnD can’t afford to go back to one of the top complaints of 4e design.
By 'dramatic' I meant that this isn't an 'all or nothing' thing.

You have option between "Ignore 4e completely" and "Go full 4e". 5e itself is already using elements from 4e and hasn't gone full 4e. I'm saying that on a spectrum between 3e and 4e, the 5e Fighter should take a step or two more toward 4e, but NOT all the way. Heck, JUST the 4e At-Will powers are more interesting than what a 5e Fighter can do turn by turn, and they don't need to be incompatible with grid-less play.

I like 4e but I also appreciate simpler games so even I would rather not go back to the bloat of higher level 4e and decision paralysis (I would like better base tactical options though). I think there's room in the market for a game like 4e, but it's obviously too niche of a style of gaming.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Even Beowulf performed superhuman acts of feats that would make a fighter blush.

"There are additional examples of the use of fantastic elements in Beowulf. Beowulf single-handedly carrier thirty suits of armor from the battlefield in Frisnia and swims with them through the North Sea and the Skagerrak to Geatland, a distance of five hundred miles (120). In Beowulf’s early life, he swam for five to seven days with his companion Breca, killing sea monsters by night. During his swim match with Breca, Beowulf dressed in full armor, was attacked by nine sea monsters and killed them all."

I even remember his fight with Grendel's mother, where he swam into an underwater cave and fought her for hours without going back up for breath.

It just strains credulity for me to have your everyman fighter going with a mythical wizard to other-worldly planes to fight yacht sized dragons, and teleporting demon pit lords that can peel open plate armor like a sardine can. High level D&D sort of funnels you into the these conflicts, so keeping the game grounded is hard when wizards can willingly transport the entire party to other planes once per day. By then, your casters are driving adventures, and your fighter is good at swinging his weapon like a wiffle bat.

Just boggles my mind that people don't see the conflict inherent in that. Either make casting more difficult and fraught with danger, or make fighters more fantastical.
That sounds like the Paul Bunyan version of the Beowulf legend, not the one I remember reading. Of course that was a long time ago.

So how about this. I want to play Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova or even Steve Rogers (assuming I can get his magic shield and that Steve is a high level fighter).

But superpowers? Nah. Been there done that, gave away the books to someone who liked the game.

As far as your mind being boggled I can't help that much other than to say I don't have a problem with it and nobody I've ever actually played with and discussed it has either.
Last but not least, your standard grizzly bear can rip the doors off cars yet people used to hunt them with pointy sticks. Sure it's easier to hunt them from a helicopter, but where's the fun in that?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I even remember his fight with Grendel's mother, where he swam into an underwater cave and fought her for hours without going back up for breath.
I was going to sarcastically suggest one build him as an eldritch knight since you can only do the impossible with magic after all.
@Condiments

I was with you there until you said “yacht-sized dragons.”

Sub that for “DC9 sized dragons” and we’re on the same page!
I usually say house sized... it allows for variations that way... my house vs Gates house vs one of those Preachers who buy themselves Jets houses.
 
That logic is the literal definition of a logical fallacy lol. So maybe not the best thing to base an argument on 🤷‍♂️
If you’d like to continue this derail, you’ll need to give me a paint-by-numbers explanation of how you derived that “the above format is a logical fallacy” without knowing what things x - z, a -d are.

I’m sure you have something in mind, so show me the machinery of your thinking and we can continue to befoul Campbell’s thread with this D&D Culture War sidetrack that has been disrespectfully (yet so predictably) injected into the mix.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don’t know man, a plain ol fighter can wrestle an ankylosaurus to the ground,
but his 20 strength is the same as a typical football player... and grappling is size limited and so on and so forth. "must be no more than one size larger than you" hmmmm how exactly?

In 4e my level 1 fighter could knockdown that monster (AND yes likely get trounced by it anyway) - if he was specializing in that by selecting the exploit that allowed it.
 

Undrave

Hero
but his 20 strength is the same as a typical football player... and grappling is size limited and so on and so forth. "must be no more than one size larger than you" hmmmm how exactly?

In 4e my level 1 fighter could knockdown that monster (AND yes likely get trounced by it anyway) - if he was specializing in that by selecting the exploit that allowed it.
Clearly, higher level fighters (and Barbarians really) should be able to Shove and Grapple creatures TWO sizes bigger. Would be a fun class feature.
 
@Campbell

Can you depict how you perceive the following in PF2?

1) Scaling of the non-combat conflict engagement between Fighters and Spellcasters? Put another way, as play progresses and the fiction changes accordingly, does it appear like the conceptual space for Fighters to engage in answers when dealing with non-combat obstacles contracting or staying steady (contrast with Spellcasters)?

2) Can you describe what you expect the cognitive space occupied by the martial PC player and the tactical overhead in the engagement of those non-combat obstacles to be (contrast with games/edition as you see relevant)?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
If you’d like to continue this derail, you’ll need to give me a paint-by-numbers explanation of how you derived that “the above format is a logical fallacy” without knowing what things x - z, a -d are.
It's the literal definition of a logical fallacy to say what you said: "If you can do a, then you can reasonably do b or c." That's not true at all.


but his 20 strength is the same as a typical football player... and grappling is size limited and so on and so forth. "must be no more than one size larger than you" hmmmm how exactly?
Well, the grapple part wasn't the point. The point was that the fighter is stronger than an ankylosaurus. How is that not superhumanly heroic (along with the other examples I gave that you seemed to ignore)?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, the grapple part wasn't the point.
I think it very much is the point... just as jumping 10 feet is typical for very normal people . The STR number isnt really used except for your bland as hell "I hit it with my sword" oh my how many percent more on to hit ??? = Where as that that wrestling him to the ground could be awesome WHICH is exactly why you said it that way.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Well, the grapple part wasn't the point. The point was that the fighter is stronger than an ankylosaurus. How is that not superhumanly heroic (along with the other examples I gave that you seemed to ignore)?
I would say that the flaw is that the strength score for ankylosaurus is far too low, as it is with most large creatures.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
I don’t know man, a plain ol fighter can wrestle an ankylosaurus to the ground, can take multiple direct hits of dragon breath, fall from literally a mile high without so much as losing their breath, and numerous other feats. Knowing that, I don’t know how you can say what you’re arguing. Seems like they are already pretty darn reality bending heroic as is.

There seems to be this repeated argument that “fighters can’t do anything heroic because they can’t do this” while ignoring all the other stuff they can do that certainly is superhuman heroic
Well that's because none of that counts... they have to be heroic in the specific way that a specific poster wants them to be otherwise they're not heroic... o_O
 

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