D&D (2024) High Tiers = Superheroes

Capping off levels at 10 and then giving feats instead of level ups or subclass features instead of level ups etc is the alternative if you want to play Joe the Fighter. Venturing into 11th and beyond means we're getting into some freaky deaky naughty word.
Brilliant! I think this is the most elegant way (that I've seen) of dealing with an issue that has infected a number of threads of late
Keeping it Mundane (capping all classes at level 10 with feats etc, essentially converting e6 but e10); or
Going Mythic (accessing levels 11 onwards, and adding the mythic abilities to martials)

Would be nice if levers such as these and others were included within the DMG.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Brilliant! I think this is the most elegant way (that I've seen) of dealing with an issue that has infected a number of threads of late
Keeping it Mundane (capping all classes at level 10 with feats etc, essentially converting e6 but e10); or
Going Mythic (accessing levels 11 onwards, and adding the mythic abilities to martials)

Would be nice if levers such as these and others were included within the DMG.
There is the bounded accuracy problem compounded by the inability fany e7 type analog to really give any form of advancement because there is an assumption in monster math that PC's will have no feats and no magic items.

Even 5e magic items themselves are built problematically like they were transplanted from some other game that has more in common with something like the Dragonball cartoon to make them unsuited for such options.
 

There is the bounded accuracy problem compounded by the inability fany e7 type analog to really give any form of advancement because there is an assumption in monster math that PC's will have no feats and no magic items.
I'm not sure where you think the BA problem exists with additional Feats? It is not Feats that give plusses.

The monster math was already an issue and in fact should have been accounted for in the DMG within the encounter design. i.e. they could have said if you're using Feats add +2 to the level of the PCs. If you're using magical items with plusses add an additional +2 to the level of the PCs. But that is on them not on what we are trying to accomplish here.


Even 5e magic items themselves are built problematically like they were transplanted from some other game that has more in common with something like the Dragonball cartoon to make them unsuited for such options.
I agree with that. It was very lazy design.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I'm not sure where you think the BA problem exists with additional Feats? It is not Feats that give plusses.

The monster math was already an issue and in fact should have been accounted for in the DMG within the encounter design. i.e. they could have said if you're using Feats add +2 to the level of the PCs. If you're using magical items with plusses add an additional +2 to the level of the PCs. But that is on them not on what we are trying to accomplish here.



I agree with that. It was very lazy design.
The old e6 didn't just hard stop. Players would still gain feats. Potentially quite a few feats in fact. What kept them from being crazy was that you only had 6 levels of advancement to build up the nonfeat prerequisites. 5e feats have no meaningful prerequisites and so far it would be a stretch to say that the 2024 feats we've seen have prerequisites by virtue of level zero and level 4 prerequisites. Even the 5e skill system is too bare bones and simplified to hang prerequisites on.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Tactician’s Insight. After the hero has observed or interacted with a creature for 1 minute, he learns whether or not it has higher, equal or lower Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma scores than him. In addition, he learns if the target has more or fewer class levels than him.

Heroic Aura - the Heroic Fighter exudes mighty prowess and inspires trust and confidence in others. He gains advantage on all persuasion and intimidation checks and is treated with a measure of respect wherever he goes.

Leaders Speech - The Heroic Leader can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by the Wisdom (Insight) check of a creature that can understand what he says during 1 minute of talking. On a success, as long as the hero remains within 60 feet of it the creature will have a friendly attitude towards him.
I understood that reference!
 

Yaarel

He Mage
The reason D&D has superheroes is because of AD&D 1e. D&D 5e superheroes relate to the original, ad hoc, conflictive design of the socalled "quadratic magic-user, linear fighter". At high tiers over level 8, the tradition of the 1e "linear" fighter is what feels as if "nonmagical", and the tradition of the 1e "quadratic magic-user" is what feels as if "superheroes". 5e design eschews the tradition of class inequity. So, 5e spellcasters feel tougher in combat at low tiers. 5e Fighters feel like superheroes at high tiers.



Quadratic Superhero.png
 
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Yaarel

He Mage
A main reason why 1e Fighters were "fun" is because they were simply overpowered. 1e Fighters are strictly more powerful at low tiers. When a game gives more power to one player, that game is more fun for the player, but less fun for the other players. Anecdotally, at least one fourth of 1e players played Fighters, but probably, it was more like over half played Fighters. In 5e where there is more class balance and more classes to choose from, perhaps only about 6% of players play a strictly nonmagical Fighter into high tiers.

Dejure, the 1e situation reversed at the highest tiers. But defacto, the 1e ad-hoc, disparate, mechanics caused the entire 1e game engine to fall apart at the high tiers. Perhaps the 1e Magic-User players could enjoy a brief reprieve from levels 9 to maybe 12 or so, where the game allowed some sense of equality with 1e Fighter players − perhaps even an edge toward the end. After that, only a few 1e tables managed to homebrew houserules that could play sustainably into the higher tiers. For most, the game ended too soon.

For many players accustoming to the low tiers, the "traditional" D&D "experience" is one of Fighter class supremacy. There is an ongoing tradition of resentment against high tier spellcasters and low tier cantrips because they displace the entitlement of the overpowered Fighters. It is as if the Fighter "deserves" to be in power, and spellcasters "deserve" to suck at low level and "deserve" to have their high level spells removed.

The 4e and 5e development of class balance came with other sentiments. 3e systematization made it possible for more players to advance into the high tiers. So 3e spellcaster players began to accustom to their own supremacy of spellcasters. The socalled "CoD-zilla plus Wizard". The "C" Cleric "or" "D" Druid got a taste of power sooner if they turned "selfish" and reused all of their extra magic that was meant to buff teammates to buff oneself instead. But eventually at the highest tiers, the amassment of Wizard spell slots and their strictly more powerful spells at each spell slot, as well as the fact that most spells automatically became more powerful while advancing at levels − allowed the 3e Wizard players to outclass every one else − if ever reaching those highest tiers.

Where class imbalance was the "thesis" during 1e, 2e, and 3e, the "antithesis" is 4e. 4e design had all classes employ the same mechanical gaming engine with strict balance at each level. 5e is the "synthesis" in the aftermath.

5e design prioritizes class balance during combat. But it allows disparate mechanics that can cause problems similar to earlier editions. Also, class inequity can resurface unconsciously, such as 5e Wizards remaining subpar in combat encounters in the lowest tier, and the lack of magical utilities shutting down 5e Fighters in noncombat encounters.

Even so, 5e class balance empowers cantrips, higher hit die, and AC spells like Mage Armor and Shield, so 5e spellcasters are competent in combat at the lowest tiers. Meanwhile at higher tiers, 5e spellcasters are significantly less powerful. The spells no longer "autoscale" and require the expense of higher slots for any more powerful effect. There are far fewer high level slots at the highest tiers. "Save or suck" spells that autowin a combat encounter are rare.

Meanwhile class balance designs the 5e Fighter with the same design space that caster classes uses. The 5e Fighter is extremely powerful in combat encounters. However, the lack of versatile powers makes the Fighter incompetent at high tier noncombat encounters. The pressure to form more equitably in noncombat encourages Fighter players to want to trade combat supremacy for more powers that are effective out of combat, that necessarily feel more magical, such as flight, teleport, and so on. Thus the low tier "Batman" starts to feel more like high tier "Superman".
 

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