D&D (2024) Do you see Fighter players at your own table?

Do you see Figther players at your own D&D 5e games?

  • During 2022-2023, my games have 2 or more play a nonmagical nonmulticlass Fighter to over level 7.

    Votes: 56 44.8%
  • During 2022-2023, my games have only 1 play a nonmagical nonmulticlass Fighter to over level 7.

    Votes: 29 23.2%
  • Not in my games.

    Votes: 40 32.0%

TheSword

Legend
Balance in RPGs is a worthy goal for designers, but you shouldn’t let balance take precedence over fun and playability. It’s one goal but not the driving goal.

A good example of this is in W40K which has constant competitive testing between factions by millions of players but also semi-official tournaments. The company in recent years takes great care to balance armies against each other. The problem with this two fold… we have different ways of playing game and an extremely complex system with millions of potential combinations. In roleplaying as it is in many other situation, perfection is the enemy of good.

One particular army’s unit might be completely reasonable and interesting in normal play but in a particular circumstance against a particular unit, or in combination with another unit or power it might become particularly good. Problem is, with 20+ factions, multiple sub factions and the ability to combine factions on the same team the potential match ups are amazing. Secondly something might me perfectly fine in an army but some players - particularly tournaments like to maximize a particularly unit or ability and take it in unusual numbers.

The danger is that by trying to solve problems in extremes and corner cases, you do a disservice to home games and exclude fun, interesting and playable elements which would otherwise be fine. You can’t design a game to cater to 5% of the players.

Similarly D&D and games like it have so many moving parts and combinations in order to make it balanced you often end up being reductive (e.g 4e). Rules get condensed and homogenized and we end up fixating far too much on combat - because it’s easier to regulate and more crunch heavy. The higher the level the more possible combinations and likelihood of corner cases.

Balance is a good thing, nobody wants to be unintentionally sidelined. What you shouldn’t do is try and balance the game against coffee-locks, sorcadins and bladesigners.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Whereas I never ran or played at a table that did.

Funny how anecdotes work.

Now, my next question. What level do your games typically end at?
You’ve never ran or played at a table of 4+ players that had a fighter? What ever?

Do you not think that undermines your rather strong opinions on how fighters play out in reality?

I mean, it explains a lot but I am genuinely surprised you’re so authoritative in your opinions if that is the case.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Please show me where I said this.

FYI, this is all rhetorical, because I didn't say it, and rather than have a dialogue with me to address whatever it is thats making you jump to conclusions that aren't there, you've (again, as you've done this before) just doubled down on asserting Im saying something despite the fact Ive already I told you I did not say these things.



The point was to illustrate to you that you're hinging every other word out of your mouth on strawmen. I can't say Im surprised that was lost on you, though Im sure you'll just deny it rather than reflect.

At this point all you are doing is declaring that nothing I'm talking about is something you've said and, frankly, that seems to mean this conversation is dead in the water.

If you don't disagree with me that declaring people have fun playing the current fighter isn't neccessarily a sign that the fighter is well-designed, then I don't see any point in loudly and angrily agreeing with each other. If you do disagree, make a point other than "but I didn't say those exact words"

Not a single part of this actually engages what I said.

That people don't call on myths and legends to represent their ideals for their heroes? Or that you don't think King Arthur was terribly strong?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Balance in RPGs is a worthy goal for designers, but you shouldn’t let balance take precedence over fun and playability. It’s one goal but not the driving goal.

SNIP EXAMPLE

The danger is that by trying to solve problems in extremes and corner cases, you do a disservice to home games and exclude fun, interesting and playable elements which would otherwise be fine. You can’t design a game to cater to 5% of the players.

Similarly D&D and games like it have so many moving parts and combinations in order to make it balanced you often end up being reductive (e.g 4e). Rules get condensed and homogenized and we end up fixating far too much on combat - because it’s easier to regulate and more crunch heavy. The higher the level the more possible combinations and likelihood of corner cases.

Balance is a good thing, nobody wants to be unintentionally sidelined. What you shouldn’t do is try and balance the game against coffee-locks, sorcadins and bladesigners.

How is balance taking precedence over fun and playability by giving martials better options? Are we somehow declaring that casters are neither fun nor playable? Sure, not everyone wants to play a caster, but you don't need to give every martial spellslots and casting to make sure they have powerful, impactful options beyond "I get punched real good"

Also, this is a weird bit of slight of hand here.

Coffee-lock -> A specific build that works with a specific spell and a specific invocation, and all it really does is mean that a single character doesn't need to sleep. Otherwise has no effect on the game.

Sorcadin -> A multi-class between a paladin and a sorcerer.

Bladesinger -> A subclass.

Now sure, maybe the game doesn't need to be balanced against coffee-locks and Sorcadins... but aren't bladesingers just a single wizard subclass that gets a few martial features? Shouldn't the game be balanced so that a single subclass alone doesn't completely redefine it? I think Bladesingers are fun, but it is really notable that they get so much of the fighter and are so much better than the fighter. To make a perfect Bladesinger all you really need is to take 2 levels of fighter.

Oh, also, that 2 level dip is why no multiclasses, I don't think I saw too many people point this out. Since Action Surge let you cast two spells, even if you never wore armor and never used a weapon (and the armor + Defensive fightering style would be good) two levels for action surge and second wind was great. But after that? After that you don't really need anything else from the main fighter class.
 

If you don't disagree with me that declaring people have fun playing the current fighter isn't neccessarily a sign that the fighter is well-designed, then I don't see any point in loudly and angrily agreeing with each other

I don't see any point in getting as aggressive as you have with me just because I don't qualify my thoughts with some list of things I agree with.

That youre still trying to skirt around the fact that you're asserting strawmen after being told twice is telling.

Typically in a conversation most people would just apologize for the mistake and move forward, or at minimum would just not acknowledge it but still correct the mistake.

It is very much not typical to triple down on it.

That people don't call on myths and legends to represent their ideals for their heroes? Or that you don't think King Arthur was terribly strong?

That not everyone hears fantasy swordsman and thinks Hercules. You're inappropriately conflating a ton of disparate characters together and you are not responding to that statement by shouting a bunch of examples of characters across myths, legends, literature, etc at me.
 

TheSword

Legend
How is balance taking precedence over fun and playability by giving martials better options? Are we somehow declaring that casters are neither fun nor playable? Sure, not everyone wants to play a caster, but you don't need to give every martial spellslots and casting to make sure they have powerful, impactful options beyond "I get punched real good"

Also, this is a weird bit of slight of hand here.

Coffee-lock -> A specific build that works with a specific spell and a specific invocation, and all it really does is mean that a single character doesn't need to sleep. Otherwise has no effect on the game.

Sorcadin -> A multi-class between a paladin and a sorcerer.

Bladesinger -> A subclass.

Now sure, maybe the game doesn't need to be balanced against coffee-locks and Sorcadins... but aren't bladesingers just a single wizard subclass that gets a few martial features? Shouldn't the game be balanced so that a single subclass alone doesn't completely redefine it? I think Bladesingers are fun, but it is really notable that they get so much of the fighter and are so much better than the fighter. To make a perfect Bladesinger all you really need is to take 2 levels of fighter.

Oh, also, that 2 level dip is why no multiclasses, I don't think I saw too many people point this out. Since Action Surge let you cast two spells, even if you never wore armor and never used a weapon (and the armor + Defensive fightering style would be good) two levels for action surge and second wind was great. But after that? After that you don't really need anything else from the main fighter class.
I’m saying that balance is a good aim up to the point it impacts on fun. That’s all. Balance isn’t a trump card that justifies all other considerations.

Making fighters unnecessarily complicated would be one way that fighters could be more balanced and less fun. Forcing them into a supernatural straight jacket might also be a way they could be more balanced and less fun. There was substantial backlash to 4e giving fighters the same burst/spread attacks as casters just keying off a different stat. Very balanced and not much fun.

I’m saying there are circumstances when bladesinger are better than others and we don’t need to redesign the game because of a few subclasses. If you get to the point where wizards are always bladesingers then come back to me because the last data I saw only 14% of wizards were choosing that subclass.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I mean, it explains a lot but I am genuinely surprised you’re so authoritative in your opinions if that is the case.

Mod Note:
Just so you know, you are now making the disucssion about them, rather than about fighters.


That youre still trying to skirt around the fact that you're asserting strawmen after being told twice is telling.

And more making the disucssion personal.

Rhetorical - If I started laying about me with characterizations about the two of you, based on these posts, how do you think you'd feel? You'd go off an report me to Morrus, right?

Well, then why on this good green Earth do you think it is okay for you to do this to someone else?

The Golden Rule applies. Do not do to others that which you wouldn't want someone to do to you. Now, take that to heart going forward, in all threads, please.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I’m saying that balance is a good aim up to the point it impacts on fun. That’s all. Balance isn’t a trump card that justifies all other considerations.

Okay, I can agree to that. But that ends up rearing the ugly subjective head of "impacts fun". Again, in the Berkley study the person chosen at the beginning of the game to win by getting double the resources reported that the game was very fun. They would report they have less fun if the other player ALSO got double resources, but despite impacting fun, it creates parity and is a more fair game.

Making fighters unnecessarily complicated would be one way that fighters could be more balanced and less fun. Forcing them into a supernatural straight jacket might also be a way they could be more balanced and less fun. There was substantial backlash to 4e giving fighters the same burst/spread attacks as casters just keying off a different stat. Very balanced and not much fun.

How complicated is unneccesarily complicated? Is make an attack and then force a save unnecessarily complicated?

What if instead of a supernatural straitjacket I offer a supernatural cardigan? Is that going to be less fun? What about supernatural overalls?

And while you claim substantial backlash, I will point out that many people have begged for martial AOEs to return, because they desperately need them. And for all the "4e was BAD" talk, we often find 5e cribbing 4e's homework and hiding it. Because 4e got a lot of things correct.

I’m saying there are circumstances when bladesinger are better than others and we don’t need to redesign the game because of a few subclasses. If you get to the point where wizards are always bladesingers then come back to me because the last data I saw only 14% of wizards were choosing that subclass.

In those 14% of all games, where a bladesinger is chosen, how many lacked any martial character? Because we have found there are a good chunk of games that don't have fighters (30% or so?), so what would the data tell you if every time the Bladesinger hit the table, the martials either quit, weren't picked, or started multiclassing to get spells?

It would tell me there is a problem, because one subclass seems to be able to replace an entire class, and that's a balance problem and might point to a redesign being needed.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
I'll just leave this little nugget...

2e Player's Handbook said:
The fighter is a warrior, an expert in weapons and, if he is clever, tactics and strategy. There are many famous fighters from legend: Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha, Beowulf, Siegfried, Cuchulain, Little John, Tristan, and Sinbad. History is crowded with great generals and warriors: El Cid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Spartacus, Richard the Lionheart, and Belisarius. Your fighter could be modeled after any of these, or he could be unique. A visit to your local library can uncover many heroic fighters.
 


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