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D&D 5E Is the imbalance between classes in 5e accidental or by design?

Which of these do you believe is closer to the truth?

  • Any imbalance between the classes is accidental

    Votes: 65 57.0%
  • Any imbalance between the classes is on purpose

    Votes: 49 43.0%

  • Poll closed .

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FallenRX

Adventurer
Wizard being the strongest class, is actually a intentional design decision and has been since the game's inception, this game was not made to go past level 10, and anyone still playing at that point gygax expected to be a wizard, because thats what it is for. The idea is most players will likely never play that long, for it to matter anyway. This is stuff big G man said himself, and 5E was trying to be more "classic" DnD so this is something that held.

The idea that Casters should be "Weak" early, but very strong "Late" Game.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean, I'm not the first person to respond to you like this, so unless it's a conspiracy between multiple posters to you, I think that we all understand you and just disagree with you trying to extensively litigate the meaning and concept of "balance" as you are. ;)
That's twice now that you've abused the laugh button. A third time will be reported.
 

Threadcrapping (Emoji abuse)
Another option for wizards would be to balance out the slope of effects for spells. Right now there is a pretty high slope/difference when it comes to effects for spells: a lot of killer spells either hit or don't. Going to more gradated success similar to PF2 would be doable, though it would be up to WotC to find how to make it different. Leveling out the effects would go a long way to improving balance in general.

Also, I thought I saw somewhere that spellcasters in the playtest only got one spell slot per spell level at 5th and after. Is that true? Going back to that would cut down on the big stuff, make nova-ing less effective because you have less spells to nova and force wizards to focus on their lower level spells with the big ones being situational trump cards.

On the martial side, allowing martials to improve their AC with level a bit so they weren't constantly getting hit by higher-level foes would be good in the same way wizards have their spell DCs go up. And improving the progression of saves in general would probably be more helpful to martials, since lacking Wisdom proficiency is a big weakness since you could, in theory, have the same Wisdom save at level 1 and level 20.

That's twice now that you've abused the laugh button. A third time will be reported.

It's not an abuse: I find it legitimately funny that you think I don't understand what you are talking about. :LOL:

And as I've said in the past, if you're going to report me, just do it, don't threaten me.
 

Undrave

Legend
Honestly I think there are some interesting way to go about balancing casters that aren't being done by, say, Pathfinder.

For example, while I know they aren't going in this direction, I think it'd be interesting to do more restrictive schools: if you are a specialist, you get access to certain spells not even a generalist wizard would, but your ability to learn and cast spells outside of your specialty would be limited. Meanwhile a generalist wizard wouldn't be able to learn all the best spells, but would be more well-rounded. This sort of design would let you have some really powerful spells, but they would be more akin to class features that you could balance each school around while the generalist might get more benefits from, say, upcasting lesser spells because they don't get access to the killer spells at each level like the specialists would.
I've been saying the basic Wizard spell list needs to be HEAVILY trimmed down, and the Subclass you pick being the one to expend the choices. Also, Wizards should naturally only get 1 new spell at level up, with the Subclass either giving them an extra (with conditions like "1 Illusion school spell" or "1 spell with an attack roll") or a proper class feature that does something.

The Wizard can remain a flexible CLASS but the flexibility of the a singular Wizard should be curtailed and their flavors ramped up. Instead of 8 copy pasted subclasses I could see a PHB where 1 of the Subclass is the 'School Specialist' or 'Academician' who gets a bunch of bonus spells from their selected school, the spell copying discount, and a power that recharge when they cast that school. Then you'd have room for like... a War Wizard who recycles the Impliment Masteries of 4e and focuses on attack roll spells and maybe a "Lore Hunter" who is a bit of an Indiana Jones type with like a MC Rogue flavor to it. Wouldn't get as many bonus spells but would get skills and exploration ability, some extra languages, a little extra toughness...

Could be a fun time instead of a boring time.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Wizard being the strongest class, is actually a intentional design decision and has been since the game's inception, this game was not made to go past level 10, and anyone still playing at that point gygax expected to be a wizard, because thats what it is for. The idea is most players will likely never play that long, for it to matter anyway. This is stuff big G man said himself, and 5E was trying to be more "classic" DnD so this is something that held.

The idea that Casters should be "Weak" early, but very strong "Late" Game.

This too.
The assumption around casters where that the Arcane casters were lucky to make it to high level and the Divine Casters had limited versatility and binded by the healer role.

5e attempted to counter this by attempting to enforce the 6-8 encounters day and limiting high level slots.

However high level magic by RAW contained many ways to avoid 6 encounters a day outside a ticking clock. A ticking clock that ironically harms short rest noncasters.
 

I've been saying the basic Wizard spell list needs to be HEAVILY trimmed down, and the Subclass you pick being the one to expend the choices. Also, Wizards should naturally only get 1 new spell at level up, with the Subclass either giving them an extra (with conditions like "1 Illusion school spell" or "1 spell with an attack roll") or a proper class feature that does something.

The Wizard can remain a flexible CLASS but the flexibility of the a singular Wizard should be curtailed and their flavors ramped up. Instead of 8 copy pasted subclasses I could see a PHB where 1 of the Subclass is the 'School Specialist' or 'Academician' who gets a bunch of bonus spells from their selected school, the spell copying discount, and a power that recharge when they cast that school. Then you'd have room for like... a War Wizard who recycles the Impliment Masteries of 4e and focuses on attack roll spells and maybe a "Lore Hunter" who is a bit of an Indiana Jones type with like a MC Rogue flavor to it. Wouldn't get as many bonus spells but would get skills and exploration ability, some extra languages, a little extra toughness...

Could be a fun time instead of a boring time.

Going the Warlock route where you have two modifiers would be interesting. Pathfinder 2E has something similar with Clerics, where you choose your deity and then whether you are a Cloistered Cleric (more of a spellcaster) or a War Priest (more of a fighter). And really, what would be good there would be to give them different kinds of metamagic dependent on their subclass, which they can use a number of times equal to their proficiency or intelligence modifier. I'm unfamiliar with the masteries from 4E, but if you could explain it I'd be interested.

The generalist spells should be good but maybe not stand-out fantastic; a bunch of the classics which are alright on their own but don't set the world on fire. Generalists might get metamagic to power up their spells when they upcast them so that they can compete with the specialist stuff, or maybe they could get better choice of different metamagics. Schools would then give access to a bunch of school spells the specialist could learn, along with another associated metamagic fitting their school flavor. There's a whole bunch of options there, where being restrictive actually allows you to lean in harder to your specialty and makes the flavor of the class more distinct.

Now wouldn't metamagic defeat the purpose of the sorcerer? Well, maybe... or maybe not. The sorcerer could be the super-generalist, someone who has access to an even broader set of spells, even from spell sets that the Wizard can't normally access depending on the flavor. This would be where the idea of Primal/Arcane/Divine would come into play: like Pathfinder 2, your sorcerer subclass would define your deck. You get a specialist gimmick based around the whole "Uses equal to Proficiency/Main Stat" idea, and the ability to use metamagic more freely through your spell points compared to wizards that have a set number of metamagic usages each day. Thus sorcerers have fewer spells but vary much more than wizards, and they also have a wider variety of combinations for metamagics. If you lock down the wizard with more restrictions, I think the sorcerer becomes more distinct even if you give the wizard a sprinkling of metamagic.
 

This too.
The assumption around casters where that the Arcane casters were lucky to make it to high level and the Divine Casters had limited versatility and binded by the healer role.

5e attempted to counter this by attempting to enforce the 6-8 encounters day and limiting high level slots.

However high level magic by RAW contained many ways to avoid 6 encounters a day outside a ticking clock. A ticking clock that ironically harms short rest noncasters.

Plus trying to enforce 6-8 encounters is difficult as hell. 3-4 can be tedious even if they aren't all combat challenges, trying to force 6-8 into a day to live up to the balance of the system is just a real lift.
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
Plus trying to enforce 6-8 encounters is difficult as hell. 3-4 can be tedious even if they aren't all combat challenges, trying to force 6-8 into a day to live up to the balance of the system is just a real lift.
It shows a lot that even WotC's own modules don't do the 6-8 encounters a day thing. It just really strains believability and tends to end up being a drag.
 

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