D&D 5E Does the 3rd Tier of Play at Level 11 Make Sense?


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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I don't have the PHB to hand but I think that Hunter's Mark only needs to be upcast to 4th level to last all day, and a ranger can do that without multiclassing.
I don't have it handy either so will just go on assuming that the numbers are accurate because I have no reason to doubt them & don't think they are off enough to matter if they are. :)

With that said hunters mark is a spell pretty much purpose built for a fractional caster who is a fractional caster because the class is still linking back to past editions when it was normal for different classes to gain a particular spell as a different level*. Now full casters are casting the same spell at the same strength from the same slot as fractional cssters& the winners are the multiclass & fractional casters who have powerful non spell class features along with custom built class features like hunters mark hex & ekdritch blast masquerading as spells in ways that make it difficult to address full progression caster issues.

* for example cure light wounds was Brd 1, Clr 1, Drd 1, Healing 1, Pal 1, Rgr 2 while cure moderate rounds was Level: Brd 2, Clr 2, Drd 3, Healing 2, Pal 3, Rgr3
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
I don't have the PHB to hand but I think that Hunter's Mark only needs to be upcast to 4th level to last all day, and a ranger can do that without multiclassing.

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd or 4th level, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 8 hours. When you use a spell slot of 5th level or higher, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 24 hours.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
Not exactly. 3rd Level spells are definitely transformational in a way that makes it feel like the appropriate point for martials to get their second attack, but even that is just the top ten or so 3rd level spells. Wish is transformational for the classes that get it or can get it, in opening up limited access to the whole spell book, but other 9th level spells, while very cool don't differ in power from 8th level spells radically more than 8th level differ from 7th level. 6th level spells, I don't really see it. The rules definitely emphasize 6 and above as being a class far apart from 5 and below (it's where spell slot regaining abilities draw the line), but I don't really see this being born out in the actual power differential between 5th and 6th.
I would quibble a little with your comments about 9th level spells. True polymorph is almost as useful as wish, in the sense that it can give PCs access to the special abilities of almost any creature, potentially permanently. Also, even though they're not big conceptual changes in capability, meteor swarm and mass heal do damage/healing that's disproportionate to the normal spell level progression.

But I see your point; the weak spells of level X are not terribly distinct from the strong spells of level X-1.

And for my money the most radical shift in (non-Warlock) spellcaster power is level 2 magic, when the number of spells they can cast a day double from a largely symbolic three to a "can meaningfully use throughout the day" six.
That's a very good point.

I guess I have to admit that the way those tier level power spikes are standardized is much less elegant than I'd like it to be.
 

S'mon

Legend
The level 11 jump into Paragon Tier definitely does not feel like a huge power up the way the level 5 jump into Heroic Tier does. Really the biggest change is the reduced XP to level! "Baby I'm a firework!" :D

I have level 11+ PCs adventuring with level 5-10 PCs in my 5e Stonehell campaign, and it's not a BMX Bandit vs Angel Summoner situation the way 4th vs 5th is.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The levek 11 jump into Paragon Tier definitely does not feel like a huge power up the way the level 5 jump into Heroic Tier does. Really the biggest change is the reduced XP to level! "Baby I'm a firework!" :D

I have level 11+ PCs adventuring with level 5-10 PCs in my 5e Stonehell campaign, and it's not a BMX Bandit vs Angel Summoner situation the way 4th vs 5th is.
That is because neither the designers nor the community conceptualized what Tier 3 is. Especially when the community rebelled again editions, games, and media that had a clearer image of what Tier 3 is.

5th edition was created with 20 level by designers and playtesters who didn't know what the last 10 levels were supposed to be.

It's sorta the opposite of how video games 10 years ago where designed for the endgame but left the earlygame and midgame a boring mess to be grinded past.
 


jgsugden

Legend
...But just to be clear, are you rejecting the premise that PCs [are meant to] become substantially more powerful at the tiers of play transition levels, or are you accepting that premise and agreeing that 11th level, unlike 5th and 17th, is not a significant increase in PC's power?...
Somewhere inbetween.

Players advance in power at every level. 2nd to 3rd is a big leap as you see PCs double the number of spell slots, gain 2nd level spells, gain class abilities that are definitional, etc... You also see PCs tend to rise above the risk of a 'critical hit kill' when they get to 3rd level as they have enough hit points that a critical hit when they are low on hp is unlikely to take them to negative their max hp anymore. To that end, I personnaly think of this as the biggest power increase for PCs.

5th level gets you Multiattack and 3rd level iconic spells. That is also really big.

10th to 11th level is also a bigger step than say 7 to 8, 8 to 9 or 9 to 10. Fighters get a 3rd attack. Paladins get bonus Divine Smite damage. Barbarians get Relentless Rage. Despite the criticism above on 6th level spells, there are iconic 6th level spells like Disintegrate, Heal, Magic Jar, Irresistable Dance, and Word of Recall that represent new and significant abilities. I think 2 to 3, 4 to 5, and 16 to 17 are bigger steps - and 6 to 7 may be on par with 10 to 11 ... but 10 to 11 is one of the larger increases in power. And, as we discussed, it begins the acceleration phase of advancement, which is another unique feature of it that makes it special.

In totality: It is a small leap forward in power - notable, but not the most significant.
 

S'mon

Legend
That is because neither the designers nor the community conceptualized what Tier 3 is. Especially when the community rebelled again editions, games, and media that had a clearer image of what Tier 3 is.

5th edition was created with 20 level by designers and playtesters who didn't know what the last 10 levels were supposed to be.

It's sorta the opposite of how video games 10 years ago where designed for the endgame but left the earlygame and midgame a boring mess to be grinded past.

Well they copy/pasted the 4e Paragon Tier descriptive text into 5e. 4e Paragon Tier had a clear concept I think. But I agree it's not particularly mechanically supported in 5e. That can be good in that it supports play across the tier divide, like my Stonehell Dungeon campaign with level 7 & level 14 PCs adventuring together. But yes I would prefer more support for eg domain level play, politics & war. Also multiversal adventuring - BECMI D&D used to support that very well I thought, in the Companion & Masters tiers.
 


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