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 .


Follower of the Way
Ah, I've seen Sorcerer a few times, though most of that involves adding a spell list to the bloodlines. I've made fixes to the Monk myself, but most of that involves giving them more ki. I'm guessing Warlock is mostly making the Bladelock better?
Usually it's about killing the Hexblade, which may or may not mean making Bladelock better.

And yeah, Sorcerer fixes usually involve bloodline spells known. Sometimes it involves more SP and/or better metamagic options.

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That's a bad argument, as it can be said about the fan base of literally every edition of D&D while it was current.

You're right, it's largely anecdotal, much like yours, which is why we really shouldn't rely on those. At the end of the day, WotC seems to recognize (at the least) the Ranger is broken given that they debuted a two different UA Rangers earlier in the lifecycle before they just decided to leave it be. Given that they seem to recognize that it was broken (and even made what essentially hotfixes with Tasha's), it would seem to be prudent to fix it.

I would love to know how many of these reduxes were written by the new players WotC is courting, and how many by players who started with previous editions.

Given that the "simple" fighter is meant to harken back to the roots of the fighter, I'd posit that the ones who are most okay with it would likely be older players. With modern media, I'd say newer players would be puzzled why fighters have so many restrictions on what fantastical things they can do compared to other classes.

Usually it's about killing the Hexblade, which may or may not mean making Bladelock better.

Yeah, that makes sense.

And yeah, Sorcerer fixes usually involve bloodline spells known. Sometimes it involves more SP and/or better metamagic options.

Another sensible thing. For the most part, those classes work, but they could work better with some more resources. Compare that to the Ranger and Fighter, where people seem to like completely rebuilding the class.


I voted Accidental. The Fighter does not have anime fightan abilities because the designers cannot imagine the Fighter doing it. Its because they don't believe you can do amazing things without magic, or that incredible feats can only be achieved by magic.

I'd agree that it is less that they cannot imagine anime fighting powers, it's that the older school crowd use focus on toughness. There is a percentage of fans who see all warriors over level 5 as "Mighty Glaciers" and see that as super enough to balance against magic full stop and end analysis there.

I mean as much as people say "HP aren't Meat Points" that's how many gamers see it. Crawford and Kendrick was still talking about warriors with multiple arrows sticking in their body in the 1DND video. Whereas to me, unless the arrow is poisoned or kneecaps, the imagery can be of the warrior parrying out of the air or matrix-dodging it.


But the true issue is that fans want their casters to have magic versatility, power, control,AND stamina and dislike the rules restrictions needed for that to work. Few games and media give spellcasters Versatility, Power, Control, and Stamina for a reason

In most media, caster gas after a few spells, know few spells, have control issues, fear backlash, are easily disarmed, or have to work hard to power spells.

Naw, just realize that in 5e D&D, the DM has a suite of tools delegated to them.

They are world plots, boons and magic items.

And if you can't fix any spotlight imbalance problems using those tools, you aren't creative enough.
You also have hammers, nails, saws, and wood. If you can't fix any problems with your kitchen furniture using these tools you aren't creative enough. Which is why it's just fine that no two legs of any chair in this set are the same length.

When I buy a set of RPG rules from a publisher one of the things I am paying for is professional game design and playtesting. I can write and fix my own game rules - but it takes time, effort, and skill - and 95% of DMs don't know the system as well as the designer and don't have as good an understanding of game design.

Also I don't want to be a helicopter DM, making sure that rather facing challenges and overcoming them there is automatic spotlight balance. Instead I'd rather give the players opportunities and actually value their creativity.

It is not impossible. Star Craft does it all the time.

Your statements are simply false. Especially because "balance" does not mean (and has not ever meant) absolute mathematical parity, it means (and has always meant) approximate equivalence up to a statistical standard.

That's literally how ACTUAL balanced systems are designed. I don't mean "balanced" in the sense of games. I mean "balanced" in the sense of physical devices.

Please stop summoning straw golems.
The one thing to be said about this is that balance can only be round intended playstyle. oD&D was actually pretty balanced - round hardcore dungeon crawling where the players were intended to test their luck without completing the dungeon in a single run and then taking the loot back home through a hostile wilderness. It's not even remotely balanced in a game of political intrigue because that's not what the game is for. Starcraft is balanced round single player PvP starting with one base.

This is a big problem 5e has. It's trying to be all things to all people - and the 6 encounter day the wizard was balanced against the rogue round is at the extreme end of the spectrum. In oD&D dungeon crawling you wanted to test your luck which meant resource management. In 5e? There's a much wider range which makes balance much harder.


I mean, 4e. People tend to make all sorts of reasons why that's not acceptable. 13th Age is also very well-balanced, but it's often disqualified for not being as popular. I hear good things about PF2e, but haven't played it, and it also gets the "not popular enough" disqualifier.
4E was not perfectly balanced in my experience. In addition, the way they achieved balance was also one of it's drawbacks for many people. No matter what class you took* you had to make the same type of decisions when you leveled up and during play. Do I get a new AEDU power and which one? Do I replace that power I've really enjoyed with a new one? While playing, do I use this encounter power, wait until a more opportune moment, maybe use a daily or a combo?

All those choices made for an interesting challenge for some but in the decision making process and execution it was very much the same, even if the results varied.

That didn't make it a good or bad game, but it did mean that if you didn't like the pattern then you were just SOL. Much of 5E's perceived imbalance comes from giving people different styles of play.

*I don't count essentials

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