D&D 5E D&D Next Blog - The Fighter

Hassassin

First Post
If I had to come up with a mechanic to replace marking, I would base it on the Aid Another action in 3e. (+2 AC for adjacent character as a standard action.) Give some characters feats/powers/class features that let them attack when using it, use it on multiple targets, increase the bonus, or get an AoO.
 

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JohnSnow

Hero
There's a simple fix that would make the fighter just as effective an attack draw without the need for fiddly mechanics like marking.

The fighter should:
- be hard to hit (high AC)
- be tough (lots of hit points)
- hit frequently
- do lots of damage when he does hit
- be able to take out multiple weak foes with ease

Make all that true, and the bad guys HAVE to concentrate their attacks on the fighter because if they ignore the fighter, he'll cut them to ribbons.

Simple. Easy.
 

Crazy Jerome

First Post
@ExploderWizard , on one hand that makes a kind of twisted sense to me, but in another I'm still just as confused as I ever was.

It as if someone said, "Tennis is a wimpy sport." You ask why they think that, perhaps expecting them to talk about guys running around in shorts, hitting a ball that is so soft that it can hit you going 90 MPH and not do any real damage. Not that you really buy that argument, but if you were going to play devil's advocate, you'd start with something along those lines.

And then they say something like, "Yeah, wimpy. The guys run side to side, back and forth, like souped up 'suicide' training drills, sometimes for 4 or 5 hours at a time, in extremely hot weather, and even occasionally on heat-retaining surfaces."

You'll also note that nowhere did I say that D&D combat was realistic.

Edit: JohnSnow's objection I understand. I'm not sure I agree, but I understand it. It's saying that marking is bad because it is like that fuzzy little ball hitting you in the arm. :D
 

Nagol

Unimportant
Well, I think "rules first" design is great, so...

But as far as in-game representation? It's the fighter getting in the targets' face, keeping their attention, maneuvering them away from his allies (within the area the minis occupy), etc. Marks get overridden because keeping someone's attention and focus is rather exclusive. I guess a more "realistic" rule could be that if the first marker doesn't choose to give up their mark (as a free/no action), then neither mark is effective.

Ultimately, I think marking is no more "rules first" and game-y than HP or AC.



I disagree that it's "half-baked". I think they did focus on rules first, but made sure it made sense in-world as well. I think the ideal is a feedback loop between rules and in-world representation, where each informs and suggest alterations to the other, until they mesh. I think the most important thing is good rules mechanics. But there are lots of possible good rules mechanics, so an RPG designer should choose ones that make for a sensible story.

I think "rules first" works quite well, in many RPGs. The vast majority of indie RPGs are "rules first", in my experience.

That might work for Fighter marks, but how does getting in someone's face override a god watching and punishing them for not engaging the paladin?
 

Nagol

Unimportant
There's a simple fix that would make the fighter just as effective an attack draw without the need for fiddly mechanics like marking.

The fighter should:
- be hard to hit (high AC)
- be tough (lots of hit points)
- hit frequently
- do lots of damage when he does hit
- be able to take out multiple weak foes with ease

Make all that true, and the bad guys HAVE to concentrate their attacks on the fighter because if they ignore the fighter, he'll cut them to ribbons.

Simple. Easy.

Or reverse marks. Everyone marks a preferred target and take a penalty attacking anyone else. The fighter gets a large bonus when striking someone who hasn't marked him. Marking in this form is an indication where attention is being given.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Honestly, I think this applies far more to wizard than fighter.

It applies to all of them. Despite the idea of 'power source' making all the sense in the world, many players can't stand the idea of them. Which is why you see people saying things like they wished the swordmage and bard were just wizard builds, rather than actual classes. Some players want to be able to make their "wizard" good at swordfighting. The class name 'wizard' trumps the abilities of the swordmage (which for all intents and purposes *is* a wizard good at swordfighting).

Now some of this has to do with the names of the powers (or 'spells'), in that the swordmage didn't get classic wizard spells, they got all kinds of new spells made up for the class. But believe it or not, WotC learned this lesson after the fact, which is why the bladesinger was made and which became a build of the wizard (rather than a build of the swordmage, which technically would have made more sense). It was made to give players what they wanted... a a weapon-using build for their *wizard* that got to use all the classic wizard spells.

At this point I almost wish they would just go ahead and change all references of "Martial power source" to "Fighter", all "Divine power source" to "Cleric", and all "Arcane power source" to "Wizard", and make all the classes that fall within them Themes for the three classes. Because that seems to be the only way to let people make the type of character they want with the name of the class they want.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
Edit: JohnSnow's objection I understand. I'm not sure I agree, but I understand it. It's saying that marking is bad because it is like that fuzzy little ball hitting you in the arm. :D

Actually, I don't think Marking is "bad" so much as I think it's unnecessary if the classes are designed right.

What I don't want is for the marking mechanic to be used as an excuse for making the fighter crappier (less dangerous) than they should be. The fighter draws attention because he's dangerous? But then, shouldn't he actually BE dangerous? And if the character is that dangerous, why does he even need the marking mechanic?

For example, prior to 4e, when the PCs got into a combat than involved an ogre, the ogre didn't need a marking mechanic. He's got a big scary club, lots of hit points, and he'll stomp you if you leave him on the battlefield, so you take the bastard DOWN!

Effectively, the ogre is "drawing fire" from his allies. The ogre is playing "defender" just by being there! Because, duh, he's dangerous.

Make sense?
 

I can't even comprehend the kind of mindset that thinks marking is somehow out of place or immersion destroying or mind control or whatever objection we have this week, but thinks that completely ignoring a highly trained, heavily armed opponent is realistic.

[MENTION=39652]Yo[/MENTION]u'll also note that nowhere did I say that D&D combat was realistic.

True but the comment above gives the impression that marking is somehow quasi-realistic.

Opportunity attacks and such things don't make as much sense in an abstract combat system with somewhat long combat rounds. D&D combat isn't designed at its roots (static defenses, piles of hp) to be all that simulationist.

Dealing in all that detail yet not bothering to consider facing (locked in combat with a deadly foe then turning around to smack someone who runs past you doesn't give your original foe an opening?:-S) isn't very consistent in applying principles.
 

Crazy Jerome

First Post
True but the comment above gives the impression that marking is somehow quasi-realistic.

Opportunity attacks and such things don't make as much sense in an abstract combat system with somewhat long combat rounds. D&D combat isn't designed at its roots (static defenses, piles of hp) to be all that simulationist.

Dealing in all that detail yet not bothering to consider facing (locked in combat with a deadly foe then turning around to smack someone who runs past you doesn't give your original foe an opening?:-S) isn't very consistent in applying principles.

That I'll buy. I just want all the people selling it to apply that principle consistently throughout the model, if that's their rationale. :D
 

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